Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Mega Teacher Garage Sale!

If you're interested in taking a look at any teacher materials/resources, I'm having a garage sale this weekend!  I plan to return to the classroom so I'm not getting rid of everything, but I have TONS of stuff that will be for sale. . .everything from pocket charts to books to puppets/puppet stands to art suplies. . .you name it-I probably have it in some form!

If you live in the DFW area and you'd like to stop by send me an e-mail, and I'll provide you with my address.  The sale will be on Saturday and Sunday.  I'd love to meet you, and you'd be doing me a huge favor by helping us de-clutter our garage.  I'm sure Mr. Perry is tired of parking in the driveway!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hello 30. . .

So today's my 30th birthday. . .my twenties were great, but I think I'll love my 30's even more!  I feel great, and I'm excited to see what the future has in store.
[don't know why I love this crazy picture. . .it's a fun one]!

Today all of my stuff on TPT  will be 20% off. . . most items are around $3.00 or even less. . .you can check it out here!

On a totally different note. . .the past two weeks have been the absolute busiest of my entire life!  Hanging out with a newborn, two year old, and four year old will keep you on your toes!  I thought I was an excellent multi-tasker, but I've learned a few new tricks!

First of all we follow a daily schedule that is pretty consistent [I know. . .with a newborn it sounds almost impossible-but Jax is a great baby]!

Every day I have been completing a special snack and project with my big guys [Christian and Solomon] so they know they still [and always will] have a place in mommy's heart too!  Last week we had celebrate summer week, and this week we've had a lot of fun with ice cream!  Here are a few of my favorite things. . .

We just need to add the handprints [red] to make a heart above "Happy Father's Day."

We talked about how pigs stay cool in the summer by wallowing in the mud.  We made "mud" [chocolate pudding] that same day for snack!

LOVED these cute little beach buddies!

Christian worked on patterns with his ice cream, and Sol worked on identifying colors. . .perfect review for both of them!

handprint ice cream cones!

A fun little project with help from Home Depot

Paint samples. . .free!

Wood glue and a small brush. . .about 4 bucks

white wood blocks [for crown molding]. . .$1.50 each

I added the colors to the wood and let them dry for 24 hours. . .

Then I added the letters [printed on scrapbook paper]. . .

I made one for all of the boys because this was such a fun project!

Sorry all of these are so blurry. . .
[I use my iphone to snap pics really fast, but my camera lens is scratched, and I haven't gotten it replaced yet!]

The new playroom. . .this is a kids' dreamworld. . .now it has my reading loft, blocks, a computer, playdough, legos, paint, cars/trucks, and so much more!  More pics to come-this used to be my office, but I traded with the boys so they could have a little more space!

 Probably the hardest thing for me right now is trying to find any kind of balance. . .between being a mommy and wife, I often forget about someone else who's important {ME}!  So one of my goals for this year has been to work on carving out time for myself too. . .just curling up with a great book, searching pinterest, or listening to some great jazz are the simple little things that I enjoy!  

O.K.  one last thing before I go [I have been asked about breakfast and snacks about 10 times while completing this post. . .which must be done before Jax gets up in about 10 minutes [timing is everything these days]!

Here's something that Christian is working on, and it has been great for him.  If you have a four/five year old who needs to work on building independence I highly recommend it.  It's a morning checklist which allows Christian to get himself ready and start an activity. . .independently!

This is kept in Christian's room near his bed.  It reminds him to get up and start getting ready!

Christian is a strong reader already so that's why there aren't any picture cues, but when I make one for Solomon, his will be mostly pictures.  He saw Christian using the marker and the easel and wanted one immediately!  On days when Christian completes his checklist independently, quietly, and without disturbing anyone else he earns a "star."  I'll tell you more about that later.

Eight years ago when I started teaching, I thought I'd teach for 25+ years straight, but this year God placed on my heart to spend more time with my boys. . . and I have a crazy kind of peace that passes all understanding!  With most of my posts from here on out, I'll be featuring an article that pertains to parenting or early childhood.  Today's article is by Heather Smith [see her bio below], and it's about a very important topic.  I hope it will give you a few ideas about ways that you can help your child build independence. 

Chores That Teach Valuable Lessons

Most of us grew up with a daily chore list that unbeknownst to us, actually taught us responsibility early. Chores are a great way to give your child chances to learn and experience accountability within their lives and your family. Here are a few ideas for chores and the lessons they can teach:

Pet duty or doody: Whether your family has a pet fish or 2 dogs and a cat, having your child on ‘pet duty’ will teach them valuable lessons on caring for living things. Teaching your child the basics like feeding, bathing, walking and cleaning up after the family pet will not only build a loving connection with the pet but will teach them about nurturing. Depending on your child’s age start small with having them feed the family pet once a day. Then once they get older and need more responsibility upgrade to bathing and cleaning up after the pet. In most cases, this is a chore that most children don’t mind doing.

Room: The dreaded, ‘go clean your room’ statement. Let’s face it, even as adults it is difficult for us to want to keep our rooms clean. Cleaning their room means your child is to make their bed and pick up their toys and put away clothes. It’s simple but always a real hassle when you ask. Having them do this once a day will not only keep the room tidy but will form a valuable habit. Taking care of their room will teach them the importance and value of their own personal items.

Yard Work: Having your child work in the yard with you or with an older sibling will teach them team work and to follow direction. Obviously your elementary age child may be too small to work any heavy machinery, but sweeping up yard clippings and leaves is a good chore. This is also a great way to get your child outdoors to burn some energy!

Meals: Dinner is a great meal to have your child help with. The chore includes setting the table, helping with the food and then clearing the table. Setting and clearing the dishes, then rinsing them is the most tasking activity in the chore, but it teaches teamwork, responsibility, cleanliness and household skills. Now cooking the meal with your child isn’t as much as a chore but a great learning experience. They will learn kitchen safety and the fun in cooking. If you have a picky eater, this is a great way for them to learn about the food being made and then eventually wanting to ‘try it’.

To get the best lessons out of chores, make a daily chore list and keep it simple. Overwhelming them will only turn them off to chores all together. Don’t forget to thank them for doing their chores and depending on your parenting style, it’s up to you to give them an allowance or not.

Author Bio

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to nanny service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

So much to say. . .so little time!

I am sorry for my long absence from blogging. . .even though Jaxon was due to arrive in June, he arrived last week (Saturday, May 26th at 3:01 p.m.)!  My original due date was June 12th.  He was 7.3 pounds, 19 inches. . .if he had stayed in the womb for two and a half more weeks. . .OH BOY-don't know if I could have made it. . .he would have been nearly 10 pounds!

I was out of school for the last few weeks of school so I was able to rest and hang out with my boys for about a week before his arrival.  During the first few weeks of May I had so much to share, but I was in the process of packing up my entire classroom because for the next few years [at least] I'll be staying home with my little guys!  I am SO excited to take this opportunity to focus on helping them learn and grow.  You'll notice that I'll still post resources, articles, and tips for children-just with a different focus.  I've renamed the blog "Perspectives."  I am so thrilled to share my point of view on parenting, pre-school learners, and primary education.  I have a few teacher friends who have agreed to let me come into their classrooms every now and then to shadow, teach mini-lessons, or work with small groups.  If you're in the DFW area and you're willing to share your kiddos with me, just send me an e-mail.

I know I'm going to miss teaching tremendously, but I have already started working on lesson plans and activities for Christian and Solomon.   I promise to update the blog with more pictures soon. . .right now I'm just trying to get adjusted to a new sleep schedule!  I hope you had a fabulous end of your school year, and if you're still going-just hang in there!  Thank you for your patience with me during this school year.  It was one of my most busy, challenging years yet. . .I couldn't have done it without my amazing husband and the best teammates in the world-Jasmine, Colleen, Genese, and Brandy!

I love this guy SO much. . .just when I thought all the pieces of my heart were taken, God allowed me to see that I have so much more love to give!  I feel so blessed!

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