Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt

Have trouble with your kiddos at the grocery store? I have the answer! Engage them and make grocery shopping fun! I also count this as a weekly homeschooling lesson in nutrition. It also is an extra reading opportunity and lesson in colors, flavors, and on and on. It counts! :)

Anyway, I've made a bunch of different Word documents with clip art pictures of different food items. The possibilities are endless. I put twelve pictures on a page and print it on card stock and allow my big boy to hunt for the items while we shop. You could also laminate the games and use a dry erase marker in order to make them reusable. Unfortunately, Ephraim has to deal with little lady at the store, and she would just fight him for the marker the whole time.... so, for now, the games are disposable. (She gets one, too.) He can mark off items as he finds them, and the goal is to find them all before we check out. Fun! It reduces the "Can-I-Haves" by approximately 150 requests. ;)

Intentionally, I put all sorts of different kinds of food on the games, in order to be able to ask, "Is that a healthy choice?" and have discussions about nutritious choices. You could give a reward at the end of the game, but my method is more about the "challenge" of finding all the items before checkout.

Anyway, here are three of my games. I try to change them out really regularly to keep things fresh. Obviously, they are SUPER easy to make yourself. Hope this makes your grocery shopping a little easier!

Grocery Store Game 1

Grocery Store Game 2

Grocery Store Game 3

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Back to School - Week 1!

Well, we actually never stopped doing little lessons, but now that public school has started back, I decided to do a more formal lesson plan for Ephraim for Pre-K. We will be homeschooling him, and as a former teacher, I have lots of thoughts and ideas on the topic.

I am a fan of the Montessori method, Charlotte Mason style learning, whole language (or literature based) learning, crafts, hands-on activities, and child-led learning.

Also, I am a fan of plans and lists! ;) I have planned through the end of October, but obviously, these plans will morph and change as time goes on (especially science - since my plan is to follow his interests). My main focus is still on reading, and helping Ephraim to become a fluent reader. Everything else follows that, anyway!

I have purchased no formal curriculums, and honestly, after seeing most of them doing homeschool evaluations, there is nothing that I would be compelled to spend a fortune on. I will say, though, if you are not naturally organized or if you have lots of other young children, a highly structured curriculum may be right up your alley! Whatever you choose, do what works for YOUR family. I'll be sharing what works for ours!

If you'd like me to continue posting what we do, I will. As you can see below, some of the activities span the entire week. That is because, as I said, my main focus is READING. The other activities will take place on one or more of the days. The Bible lesson will be done by Quincy, and since there are many activities, children's Bibles, and other ways to easily supplement, they will talk about that particular lesson all week.

Here's week one!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Great Park Adventure - Pickwick Park

What a fun day at Pickwick Park! This is a beautiful little park, but it is a bit difficult to find. We were meeting lots of friends, and I guess everyone got lost. haha! We all did eventually arrive there, and we were all late. So, take that as advanced warning.

Apparently, the park has multiple names, but I only found Pickwick Park listed on the City of Jacksonville website.

This park has super cool, giant climbing rocks!

And plenty of playground equipment, for big or little kids!

One of our little friends!


There are swings for big kids and swings for babies.

The park is completely fenced, which some of our friends also found to be great fun! ;) 

Not pictured, there are a few pavilion areas with covered picnic tables, where we ate lunch and little lady tried to bust her head open. She didn't quite do it, thank you Jesus!. :)

The park also opens into this large expanse of walking path/gym equipment. Great place for an outdoor workout!

Or to eat a carrot.

Or to have a race! GO!

Some kids made up their own rules.

Some other kids stuck it out to the finish.

Way to go, runners!

Anyway, Pickwick was really clean, secluded, had plenty of shade, and was lots of fun! 

Here is the park's website. Unfortunately, its amenities are not listed. Warning:  There are no bathrooms at Pickwick, so potty before you go!