Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What's for Breakfast?

Can't you just picture it?....

"MOM I would like cereal!"  
"MOM, I would like yogurt and a waffle!"  
"MOM!  just hand over the breast milk!"

All while the hubby is mixing his morning smoothie and heading out the door!!!!

After a few months of feeling like the cook at The Waffle House,  I HAD to do something.


I was tired of shuffling around (half asleep) trying to fix breakfast for 3 different lil learners.  

I was worried about how much $milk$ we were going through in a weeks time because that's the easy thing to fix - cereal and milk!  Right, Moms, it's our "go to meal!"

I KNEW my kids needed more nutrition in the morning to get us started up for the day.

Public Schools set Menu's...I set a weekly dinner menu... so let's try this Breakfast Menu!  

I really don't remember how this idea evolved, but I am so happy it did! 

I introduce to you - our Breakfast Menu:

It's a simple pocket chart from Lakeshore Learning, Days of the Week cards, a die-cut Star to highlight the Day, and a handful of interchangeable menu options:

Pancakes (I make them a freeze them in bulk)
Cereal
Yogurt
Burrito (eggs, left-over meats, cheese)
Fruit
Muffins
Eggs
Waffle (frozen)
Oatmeal (for colder days)
Smoothie
Toast
Free Choice
Special (Chick-fil-a or donuts)

Every Sunday afternoon, I toss this out in the living room and J&N work together to put the menu together.  
Of course, the first few weeks of this idea, I'd guide them in their choosing, but now its easy!  

They get it, they work together and THEY OWN IT!  

OWNERSHIP for kiddos is HUGE!!!
If you involve them, they feel a sense of importance and it really helps with ANY complaining!  

Just a quick post, for a quick idea, that has made a HUGE difference in the way we start our homeschooling day!

Happy Learning with your Lil Ones!
~Ashley


Friday, September 26, 2014

Johnny Appleseed Day...yep it was today!

Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!  

And just how did I know this...well...I teach a Reader's Theater class with our Homeschooling Group and just happened to pick a script on Johnny Appleseed for my advanced readers 
(which J is apart of).

Afterwards, J came home and said "WE HAVE TO REMEMBER Sept. 26th and mark our calendar to celebrate Johnny Appleseed's Birthday!"  

So we did - but it's apple season, folks!  Use these ideas all FALL long!

And this is a quick post about how we celebrated it (while learning at the same time, of course).

Started off the morning with some Apple Muffins and Apple Juice!  Not a bad way to wake up, huh!



We even delivered a few muffins to the elderly couple that lives across the street.  Three boys, with warm muffins, knocking on your door created BIG smiles!  
I love seeing that.


After our morning walk, we came in and did some taste testing.

I hope that I can describe this:

I bought 3 apples; Gala, Honeycrisp and Golden Delicious.  After cutting them up, I left 3 with the skin on and 3 naked (no skin)

Each boy tried 1 apple slice with the skin.  I asked them to remember the taste and which one they REALLY liked best.

This is 2 of the 3 apple slices. 

Our next test, was the naked apples/no skin.  As they ate the apple slice, they tried to guess which one it was.  And they did pretty darn good!  

We munched on apples while we watch this YouTube video on Johnny Appleseed.


A quick workbox for J was putting together a "broken" poem about apples.

It might sound familiar to you:
"Away up high in the apple tree.
Two apples smiled down at me.
I shook that tree as hard as I could.
Down came the apples and 
mmmm they were good!"




And to end our morning of learning...J and I made a homemade apple pie 
(while the little guys napped)

We followed this GREAT and super, easy recipe off of Pinterest.

It had great picture support for this lil learner so I didn't have to read the recipe.  He did, I checked it and we cooked!

Making memories and our first apple pie!



Happy Fall Yall!

Happy Learning with your Little Ones~

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Easy-peazee Perimeter!

We've been learning about units of measurement for about a month now.  Using inches, centimeters and a good ole fashion yard stick!  Here's a few pics from that last month is you missed them on Facebook.

We chalked out our family on the fence, then measured using inches.

Measuring with shoes from one room to another

using yarn to measure rocks

measuring GIANT bugs that we found on an evening walk

I knew he need to understand 2 math skills before I taught him this one.  
*Does he get measurement?  YEP!  After a month of fun-hands on learning and a quick pen and paper assessment, he gets it!
*Does he understand how to add using more than one addend?  YEP!  He does this nightly with Daddy during their Math time.

Ok...so I gave hime 2 cans of playdough for "snake making", showed him exactly how I wanted him to measure and label each snake and gave him a few minutes to complete it.  This is what that looked like:
I was ease-dropping and LOVED hearing his imaginative play shine through when he was making his snakes.


Perfect!  Just the way it needed to be to set up for the next step of this lesson!

From there, I showed J how we can take these "snakes" and form them into shapes.   We made the larger triangle on the left and I left him to do the others.

From here, we simply added up the sides
 And checked our answer by laying them out on the ruler.

What J did with this math problem was added 2 inches +2 inches in his head to get 4 inches; then added the 1 inch side to get his grand total of 5 inches.

Simple and fun way to learn!  This hands-on lesson took about 20 minutes all together.

I'm looking forward to our next few weeks of learning about perimeter! 
I'll keep you posted:0)
I post there daily with quick lil learner moments.
I'm posting our video summary for this lesson on Facebook!

Happy Learning with your Lil Ones


Play Dough, Snakes and a new Word! Oh MY!!!


If you want your Lil Learner to do it right...then you HAVE to show them EXACTLY how you want it done!  YOU have to model and talk out loud to them what you are expecting and 
HOW you go about doing this certain task.
Maybe it's unloading a dishwasher or even brushing teeth.

Keep this in mind:
"I DO" - parent models 
"We do" - child/parent do it together
"You do" - parent releases task for child to do independently


99.9% of the time, if your little learner DOESN'T get it - you didn't explain it well enough for them to understand...so try it again before frustration sets in!

Here's how I "talked" my way through making playdough snakes with N.  Yes, we've done this before, but I needed to make sure he understood this very important step in order for the next step of my lesson to be successful.

video


Once, we had our "snakes", we began his letter formation for his new word "at".  He had previously read his Aa Book (curriculum from thisreadingmomma.com) that exposed him to this word.


video

Another simple, quick, hands-on lesson and learning for a little learner!

How do you use play dough with your little learners? 
I would love to hear your ideas!  Feel free to share them below in the comment section or on our Mommy's Little Learners Facebook page

Happy Learning with your Little Ones!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Post Vaca Emot-i-blog


I hope the post title explains the meaning and purpose behind this blog....this post idea has been on my heart the second I stepped on our plane to fly back from Colorful Colorado to The Lone Start State of Texas.

Life after vacation is tough, for anyone!  It's back to the ole grind!  Luckily, I don't have to rush as much as a mom that works away from home...so blessed for that.  But I did have to get back in gear for planning lessons for the boys, prepping for a Homeschooling workshop, checking email and sending out reminders for our Lego Club, unpacking and doing laundry, planning meals and so on....

Back to life and the hustle of it all.

For 1 week, our lives were simple, easy and relaxed while we enjoyed God's beauty up at the cabin in Colorado.  And in ALL HONESTY...my favorite part was...there is ZERO internet access!  Yes, I could walk to the top of the hill by our cabin and "search for a signal" or drive into town just to check my email...but WHY?  Why can't we just get away from these amazing pieces of technology just to enjoy our family?  It's hard!  It's a struggle!  But why?

Mommy Confession!!!
Since MiniM was born, I always had my IPhone by my side while I nursed him.  (I sound old when I say "we didn't have those things when J & N were nursing"  But it's true!  I used this time when they were babies to relax, close my eyes and enjoy that sweet moment.)
But once I discovered what I could accomplish in 15 minutes using my phone (check email, Facebook, and Pinterest), it became a habit.  However during our vacation, no internet meant no need for that IPhone while nursing.  I looked down at him and thought "Boy, have I missed alot during this sweet moment between a baby and mother."
Now, I leave my phone out of the room and enjoy those 20 sweet minutes of time with him...because it will soon be over.



While at the cabin, I found a letter that my Mema had written to her Mom and Dad back in
1950-something.  Her words were beautiful and simple (just like her).  She spoke of the kids (all 5 of them) were in the bunk room reading funny books while she fixed a delicious meal.  No Ipads, no cell phones/or even home phone...just FAMILY and memories!  She was good at that...keeping life simple and fun!


The night before we left, the electricity went out but came back on around midnight.  We had NOTHING but each other for a solid 3 hours.  So Jer and I sat outside, watched the boys play, held hands and talked until the sun went down over those mountains.  We all went to sleep in silence - no TV, no lights, just the sweet sound of pure silence!  What a way to end this trip.



I don't know if I'm just getting old and wiser:0) - but I've reflected more after this vacation than ever.  Probably something to do with kids growing up, right?

So, I'm challenging myself to "unplug" on Saturdays and spend more time with my boys and my husband.  No blogging, no texts, no online shopping, no Facebook, no homeschool planning - just good ole' family time.

These boys are growing up so FAST - and I don't wanna miss a moment.  Computers, emails, Facebook post and all that jazz will remain...lil learners running around in their undies with lazer guns wont.

If you feel compelled to jump on board with me - HIGH FIVE!  And please "share" this and let's start a crazy movement of Moms disconnecting with life and connecting with family!
Simplify life, enjoy each moment and cherish the ones you love.

God Bless and Happy Learning with your Lil Ones!

Dear Mema...

October 2016 Dear Mema,    You probably saw from up above that we just spent 2 weeks at the cabin in Lake George, Co.  Wow!  What a mag...