Grow a Tree for Earth Day

Hello all. I hope you and your families are doing well.

I know I am a little late on posting this as Earth day has come and gone, but we all love this planet we live on, right? Why not extend this project for any day and make everyday Earth Day?

Well, anyway, this is the project my sons and I did for Earth Day. It is not a one day project however so this was started months ago.

What better way to help the Earth than to plant trees?


Grow a Tree For Earth Day


Step one: Find the type of tree you would like to grow.

We found some trees near a park that Little A liked. We think it is a Tanoak.

Step two: Go to the tree once the matured seeds/acorns/fruit are ready to be collected.

We kept an eye for when the trees started dropping acorns.

Step three: Collect as many of the seeds/acorns/fruit as you would like.

There were quite a lot of trees there so we only took 100 some all together. We wanted to leave some for the animals to eat. You want a decent amount though as not all of them will grow. You also want to make sure the seeds aren’t being eaten or are cracked or rotten. We checked for mold, cracks, and holes in our acorns.

Step four:  If you have acorns, fill a container with water and dump in acorns. If they float they are not fertile. If they sink they more than likely are. Discard the infertile ones.

We only had 1 acorn float and all the others sunk. We have hermit crabs so we gave that one to them to chow down on. 

Step five:  Then place the seeds/acorns in a large bag filled with slightly moist soil.

Step six:  Put the bag in the refrigerator until some start to sprout.

We had ours away from other things so they didn’t get bumped much.

Step seven:  Once they have sprouted plant them each in a small container with the sprout to the side.

We put our acorns in used, but clean, plastic cups.

Step eight: Water them lightly.



Step nine: Place them in the sun.

We placed them on the window sill.



Step ten:  Wait and water and watch them grow.

Step eleven: As they grow transfer them carefully into larger containers until you can safely plant them where you want them.

Step twelve: Enjoy your trees for years to come.


You can use this project as an opportunity to discuss how plants grow, and why plants/trees are so important to the Earth and the life on it. Youtube, www.education.com, and Pinterest are great resources for more information.

If you have anymore questions about this project feel free to contact us in the comments section below.

Thank you,

The Momnipresent Mother

Our Home School Schedule

Good morning everyone. I hope you all are well. Today I was thinking about how many more days my oldest son, Little A, has left of 4th grade. He only has 32 more days to go. This also means I need to get a move on figuring out what I want to cover and what is required we cover for 5th grade. We have only been homeschooling for one year, almost so I am by far no expert on the subject. I do, however, feel as if I myself have learned a lot so far about how best to cover subjects with my son. So as I will be starting to work on getting our fifth grade curriculum ready I thought I would post how we do our schooling as of now and maybe how we may change for next year.


Our Current Home School Schedule



Weekly-

We work on a 4-5 day schedule mostly but that does change depending on other plans such as doctor’s appointments. 

On Mondays we try to do a review of what we did the past week.

Monday- School

Tuesday – School/appointments

Wednesday – School

Thursday – School

Friday – School/appointments

Saturday – no school

Sundays – no school


Daily Rotating Schedule-

We have 5 day schedule labeled with letters. This is more for me to keep track of what subjects we are on.

Day A:

Grammar

World History

Day B:

Arithmetic

PA History (because we are in PA)

Day C:

Science

Health

Day D:

Geography

Art/Poetry/Music

Day E:

U.S. History

Cursive

 

Things We Do Everyday-

Write Something

Draw Something

Read Something

Stretches

Mid-line Exercises)

Run laps around the house

Jumping Jacks

Arm Curls/Push-ups

Squats/Leg-lifts

Read the Bible together



 

Hopefully all of this makes sense. If not here is an example of one of our day’s schedule. We will do today.

Today was a Monday and a Day A.

We started the day with Little A doing some independent work.

Grammar worksheet

Math review worksheets

Wrote an entry in his journal

Drew a picture in his journal

Observed his Acorn project (they are tiny trees now)

Then we still did some work together (including M).

Reviewed his independent work

Stretches

Mid-line exercises

Jumping Jacks

Squats

Arm curls

Ran 5 laps around the house

 

Did some chores

Read Chapter 7 in The Story of the World Book (world history)

Did the review for Chapter 7 in The Story of The world Activity Book

Notebooked about Chapter 7

Read from the Bible

Then while his brother napped…

Read for about an hour


I hope that all makes sense.  If you have any questions on how we do things feel free to ask.

Thank you,

The Momnipresent Mother

Spending Time in Nature and Why it is Important When Raising Kids


Good evening everyone. I hope you all are well.

I don’t know about you but as a kid I spent the majority of my time outdoors exploring the area in which we lived. I loved being able to roam around and discover what nature had to offer me. I have such fond memories of climbing trees to see the view, digging holes in the ground to discover what sorts of rocks were under the grass, and taking the hedge clippers to the insides of brambles and bushes to create secret hiding places.

I would love to say my kids have had the same experience with the great outdoors that I did but I would be fooling myself. I try but my kids don’t get outside nearly the amount of time that I did as a child. One of the biggest reasons for this is growing up my mother made it a point to raise me surrounded by nature. We lived in mostly old farmhouses in the middle of no where so to speak. So I definitely had the room to roam.

Where we live now is very close to a main road and there is a development behind us. So while we have a rather large yard that is about the range of exploration for our boys. We try to get the boys to parks and other places where they can explore even more but obviously that is not every single day.

Even though we don’t get the kids out as often as we did as kids we still try and make it a priority to get them into nature. We think it is important for the kids to ample time to explore.

The biggest of these reasons we think outdoor time is important for kids are…

 

  1. Non-screen time

    With all the gadgets and ways to watch television shows kids these days get a whole lot more time sitting in front of screen. In our house we try and avoid screen time as much as possible and a great alternative for kids is to get them outdoors.

  2. connecting with family

    Outdoor time is a great time to connect more with family and friends . No screens to distract us and talking and exploring can go hand in hand.

  3. fresh air

    This one is a no brainer. Going outside is a great way to get some fresh air into those young lungs.

  4. imagination

    Without sitting in front of a screen kids can create wonderful things and imagine magically worlds out in nature.

  5. learning opportunity

    Getting kids outdoors is a great time to teach them about the plants and animals in the area in which you live.

  6. experiences new senses

    Sensory is a big part of children’s development and learning, and the outdoors has a large array of different senses to be experienced.

  7. exercise

    Excercise is always an important part of a growing child’s life as well as an important part of adult life as well. A great way to get moving is to get outdoors and explore what it has to offer.

  8. more appreciation  for nature preservation

    This is really a great bonus to getting children out in nature more often. This really tends to give them a better appreciation for nature and often makes it so they wish to preserve nature as well.

Some great ways we get our kids outdoors are taking them to parks, playgrounds, zoos, hiking trails, historical sites, ect.

How do you get your kids outdoors? Let us know in the comments below. As always,

Thank you for reading,

The Momnipresent Mother

 

Bed Time Routines and Why They are Important

 


Hello everyone.

I hope you and your families are  well.  Half of our little family is asleep right now after a busy day of running. We missed church because of my husband and our youngest being ill, but they both seemed to be feeling somewhat better by bedtime, which is a good sign.

Speaking of bedtime I thought today we could talk about bed time routines we have in our home and why they are important to us.

For us bedtime routines are crucial to having a decent week with our two kids. Our nine year old, A,  is ADHD and thrives best on a good nights rest, and with routine so routine is especially important for him to be able to get a good nights rest. This helps him stay a bit more calm and attentive to his schoolwork and other daily tasks.

Our one year old, M,  just will not sleep through the night unless we keep him on a schedule for bed time and naps. He also gets rather grumpy throughout the day without a good amount of rest.

The start to our bedtime routine begins around 7pm, sometimes a little earlier or later but for the most part we try to stick to as close to 7pm as we can. We have our oldest go and put his pajamas on and bring down his dirty clothes to put in the dirty hamper near the washing machine. This makes it easier to start a load of clothes when the kids are asleep because I don’t have to sneak into their room to get their dirty clothes.

Our youngest is normally already in his pajamas at this point. Normally unless we leave the house he changes into them right after supper because he is one and the food doesn’t all make it into his mouth.

After our oldest takes his dirty day clothes down to the washing machine he goes to the bathroom and flosses his teeth. This normally takes him about 3 minutes all together. After he finishes flossing, he brushes his teeth for also about 3 minutes. Being ADHD he gets a bit distracted with his daily tasks so the extra time is to account for him being distracted by something and him not brushing his teeth. Once he is finished brushing he spits, rinses his mouth with water then rinses with ACT Kids mouth wash. He prefers the Batman Fruit Punch flavour. He uses his mouthwash for about a minute. After he finishes with his mouthwash he washes his hands and face and comes into the living room.  We definitely stress dental hygiene with our boys.

After our oldest does his dental routine I floss, and brush our youngest’s teeth. Before he had teeth that touched we only brushed those teeth, and before he had any teeth at all we brushed his gums.

Next we sit down on the couch in the living room and I read a book to the boys. Right now we are reading through the Harry Potter   Books. We are on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. We normally have the time to read one chapter a night sometimes more depending on the book and the size of the chapter. This helps both the boys begin to relax and start getting ready to get tired.

Once we finish the book it is normally about 8pm we hug and kiss goodnight and our oldest gets tucked in bed with his heavy blankets, his Green Bear, his Kitty Bear, and Little dog. He also wears earmuffs to bed. He likes them because of the pressure on his head and that it blocks out some of the noise from the house.



Before we put our youngest in bed I change him into an overnight diaper. We cloth diaper and this is just a diaper that is wider than his others and has more inserts in it so it is more absorbent.

Our youngest has bad reflux so we tuck him in his rocker chair and I slowly rock him a bit and sing to him until he falls asleep.  Then when my husband and I go up to bed we take him up and put him in his pack and play near our bed. His bed has a crib wedge in it so that he is still propped up.

So in short our bedtime routine looks like this:

  1. 7:00pm Pajamas
  2. 7:05pm Teeth
  3. 7:15pm Story time
  4. 8:00pm Bedtime

The reasons we think bedtime routines are important:

  1. Better sleeping habits
  2. A sense of structure and security for the children
  3. Help prevent as many toddler tantrums
  4. Help reduce inattentiveness in our ADHD child
  5.  And of course sanity for us… heheh

We try and stick to this every night. If it is thrown off just a small amount it isn’t bad but when it gets thrown off a lot or often it throws off everything else during the day.

What kind of bedtime routine do you have with your family? Do they help your kids throughout the day. Let us know in the comments.

 

Thank you,

The Momnipresent Mother

How to Prepare Your Own Home School Curriculum

Hello everyone.

I apologize for not posting in awhile. Our youngest, M,  has been sick, yet again. He had another rather high fever and twitches. We still aren’t sure what is causing it but what is great is he seems to be feeling well again today.

Let me tell you how  I prepared to create our own home school curriculum for our oldest son, A. This year was our first year of home schooling so I am no expert, and have changed my way of doing our curriculum a few times so far this year. I am hoping this will help another new homeschooling parent gain some footing and get their year started out well.

My first suggestion is to start by finding a list of the required subject areas for your child/children for the year of school they would be starting. Use this to make an itemized list of the specific goals you would like to set for your child for that year. These are adjustable so if you find your child is learning faster or slower than you expected you can always adjust the goals to fit their needs.


This is our current World history curriculum we are doing. Both my boys love it. It is great for all ages.


 

Now, from here you can jump in and find material you like for the specifics in each subject you would like your child/children to learn and print it all off or buy it all at once. Then you can have it organized in binders or folders for what you want to do each day. This was my plan in the beginning but then I thought,

What if my son does learn something faster than I expected, or what if he gets stuck on a certain material and needs extra time?

So I ended up not going this route, and collected all my ideas for the curriculum but waited until I knew for sure I would need something before purchasing it or printing it off from the computer.

I absolutely love this website for finding worksheets, lesson plans, activities, ect for our school days. You can just search for a certain topic, or pick from categories along the side to narrow everything down. Now, you do need a membership, and you can do a free subscription and get a handful of worksheets a month. I used to use the free subscription when my son was still in public school for extra homework to help him understand his subjects better. Now that I am fully schooling him myself I bought a paid subscription for unlimited downloads and access to the lesson plans. It is definitely worth it. Another great thing about it is you can save worksheets for later if you don’t want to print them right away. This makes it easier to just print out what you need as you need it instead of all at once.

Once you know what you want to teach them another good resource is Pinterest. You can collect ideas for activities and ways of teaching. I use this often and have a board for each subject. Such as , “4th grade PA History”, or ” 4th grade English”.

I like to keep track of what we have to do each day as well as what days we did what and what number day into the school year we are on. The way I do this is by making a check list for my son for everyday with what he can do independently and what he should wait for me to do like new material, tests, flashcards, ect. I also have him write the date at the top of the page along with what school day from 1-180 it is. Right now we are on the 135st day of 4th grade. I keep these all in a binder together and he checks off the things he has done as he does them. This helps him stay on task and helps me keep everything in one place.

Speaking of the days of school you also want to make sure you know how many hours of schooling, or home many days you need to do in order to finish an entire year of schooling. From there you can tentatively schedule what days you will teach and what days you will have a break from it. Then you can figure out how to parcel out your lesson plans throughout the school year.

By the end of the year you should have a somewhat organized idea of what you had as goals, what your child/children did throughout the year, and if you met the goals you set.

 

I hope you found this helpful.

Thank you,

The Momnipresent Mother

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Baby Bare Necessities

Hello Everyone. I hope you are well as you are reading this.

I have been wondering what to write about the past few days. We have all been ill with the flu so I had a lot of time to think. As usually I got sidetracked and instead I made a list of things that I needed to get done around the house once we were all well again.  It was quite a long list of things and it will likely last me awhile, but the first item I decided I should start with was to go through all of M’s baby things we no longer use or wouldn’t want to use if we have another child (although my husband says there is no if , and that two kids are enough). As I was going through all the items in my mind I realized this might be a good topic for a blog post. So here we are.

Now this isn’t necessarily all you, as a parent, will need, or want, but this is a list of the bare minimum we needed to use from birth to the present now that our son, M is 17 months old. You can use this list as a base or just for possible ideas of things you may need.  Personally, when I was pregnant I was very adamant that I didn’t want an entire baby supply store in our house. I just wanted the basic items, the least we could get by with. If you are like me this may help you decide if you want the things on my list or if you do not.

Our minimal baby items list


1. Diapers

2. Feeding supplies

3. Clothes

4. Blankets

5. Pack and Play

6. Place to sleep

7. Play pen

8. Bouncer seat

9. Car-seat

10. Personal Care items


Now that is just a short list, but I guess that is the point isn’t it. Heheh. If you have anything that was a huge necessity for you when you had a baby please let us know in the comments.

 

Thank you,

The Momnipresent Mother

Non-candy basket stuffers for Easter

Non-Candy Basket Stuffers for Easter

 

Maybe it is only me but I hate the idea of all the candy given to my kids on holidays. We always ask people specifically not to give our kids candy or sweets but sometimes it seems so unavoidable. Then you get to be the big ol’ meany that only allows them to eat a small amount at a time of what they get anyway.  We especially try to monitor our oldest who has a sensitivity to processed sugar and many sugar substitutes.  He actually ends up physically ill and has horrible stomach pain if he has too much of either.  One good thing from this is he can read a nutritional label and ingredients list very well now..

Anyway, many events surrounding many holidays seem to include people handing out candy and sweets will-nilly. So if you want to attend these events the candy is often unavoidable. However, one place you definitely can avoid them is in your own child’s  Easter basket they receive from you or the Easter Bunny. We try to avoid any candy in our children’s basket especially since they will inevitably receive some at one of the other family member’s festivities for the holiday.

This is a list of some ideas for alternative Easter basket stuffers.

 


EASTER BASKET STUFFERS THAT AREN’T FILLED WITH SUGAR

 

1. Puzzles

2. Books

3. Games

4. Clothes

5. Stuffed Animals

6. Non-sugary snacks

7. No sugar added juice pouches or boxes

8. Special tickets to events

9. Necessities/toiletries

10. Entertainment

11. Art supplies

12. Craft supplies

13. Action figures/dolls

14. Outside toys

15. Fruit

16. Family made coupons


Those are just a few examples of thing you can add to your child’s basket that they are bound to love. Obviously every child’s taste is different so your child may like other things that aren’t on this list.

Is there anything you traditionally put in your child’s basket, or any new ideas you are trying this year? If so leave a comment with yours.

 

Thank you,

The Momnipresent Mother