Caterpillar Day!

Caterpillar Day!

A few years ago, a friend introduced us to the wonder of raising our own caterpillars and watching them grow, metamorphosize, and fly away as butterflies. While we usually do this later in the spring, I had the foresight to order a caterpillar kit the day we learned school was cancelled for a while. So, for two weeks, we’ve been nurturing our caterpillars to their current chrysalis stage. And it dawned on me yesterday that this would make a very easy and terrifically fun theme for the morning! Read on to learn all about our caterpillar morning from yesterday and to see what our theme is going to be today. Continue reading “Caterpillar Day!”

A Tribute to Tomie dePaola

A Tribute to Tomie dePaola

We lost one of the greats yesterday, a storyteller beloved to many generations.

Do you have a favorite dePaola title from his more than 260 amazing contributions? My girls fell in love with Tomie dePaola’s stories through Strega Nona, which I also fondly remember from childhood, but some of our other dePaola favorites also include his Christmas stories, Bible treasuries, and his recent title Quiet.

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As you may know, we’ve been blessed to inherit an amazing collection of children’s books from my childhood next-door neighbor (and first grade teacher!). This lovely soul is also a huge Tomie dePaola fan (I probably also got my love of his work from her as a child!), and one of the boxes of books she sent this spring was full of his works, many signed! We cherished those treasures when they arrived but feel even more grateful to have them now.

Our prayers are with those mourning Tomie dePaola right now.

 

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Five Ways to Build Connection AND Literacy Skills During Shelter-In-Place

Five Ways to Build Connection AND Literacy Skills During Shelter-In-Place

Right now, it’s safe to assume that just about everyone is living in a shelter-in-place community and that your children are now learning from home for a bit. Today, I’ve got five easy ways to keep connections with neighbors, friends, and family strong while also growing some literacy skills at the same time. These are wins all around! Continue reading “Five Ways to Build Connection AND Literacy Skills During Shelter-In-Place”

Unexpected Homeschool Week 1 Check-In

Unexpected Homeschool Week 1 Check-In

So, how did your first week of surprise homeschooling go? Ours… definitely started out rocky. While we ended on a pretty good note, we all learned a lot over the course of the week. One of my biggest lightbulb moments came when I remembered that one of my favorite concepts in the classroom came from Responsive Classroom’s The First Six Weeks of SchoolClassroom teachers know that setting up routines, expectations, and rhythms needs to be done intentionally and takes focused time… Even up to six weeks of time! So if you were like me and hoped to hit the ground with a successful day on Monday, but felt like you got hit by a truck various times during the day, then a) you weren’t alone, and b) give it time! Continue reading “Unexpected Homeschool Week 1 Check-In”

Teamwork and Cooperation Activity: Collaborative Sewing

Teamwork and Cooperation Activity: Collaborative Sewing

Last week, I posted a photo in Instagram stories about our collaborative sewing project as a part of our March Family Focus on teamwork and cooperation. Today, I’ve got details about how we approached this project, and well as photos of the final product! Continue reading “Teamwork and Cooperation Activity: Collaborative Sewing”

Where Happiness Lives by Barry Timms, illustrated by Greg Abbott

Where Happiness Lives by Barry Timms, illustrated by Greg Abbott

Okay, I had slated Where Happiness Lives by Barry Timms, illustrated by Greg Abbott, to share today a few months ago… But now that most of us are mostly homebound for a while, it seems even more important to share today! Timms and Abbott give us a beautiful reminder to look inside our homes to see exactly what makes them so amazing, a reminder many of us might need over these next few weeks. Read on for a glimpse inside, and then remind yourself, “Whatever your home, it is happy indeed… If you love what you have… and you have what you need.” Continue reading “Where Happiness Lives by Barry Timms, illustrated by Greg Abbott”

Five Tips for Those Who Found Yourselves Home Schooling Unexpectedly

Five Tips for Those Who Found Yourselves Home Schooling Unexpectedly

Are you gearing up for having your kiddos unexpectedly at home for a few weeks? And is that leaving you feeling pretty overwhelmed? Or are you excited about this upcoming experiment? Either way, read on for five tips I’ve got for you on making these most of what’s ahead!

Continue reading “Five Tips for Those Who Found Yourselves Home Schooling Unexpectedly”

Compassion and Empathy Activity: Creating “Care Kits”

Compassion and Empathy Activity: Creating “Care Kits”

A few years ago, our family spent a Sunday afternoon creating “care kits” to keep in the car and give to homeless and needy people that we see around town. We passed the last one out last fall, and our daughters have been asking ever since to make some more. Recently, we read The Teddy Bear a handful of times early in February, as it was a big hit from our list of more than 50 compassion and empathy books to go along with our February Family Focus Traits of compassion and empathy. We also listened to the Big Life Kids Podcast, episode 17: Discover the Superpower of Kindnessa few times, giving us an opportunity to learn about one girl who was able to give homes to homeless people! The combination of these stories and the family conversations we’ve been having about compassion and empathy meant that the time was ripe for us to take action as a family. And, fortunately, the girls were eager to make more care kits!

So, when we had a free morning a few weekends ago, we all went together to the store to pick out items for new care kits, and then spent the afternoon packing them up. My car is now loaded up, and the girls are eager to be able to give to people in need over the next few months! Continue reading “Compassion and Empathy Activity: Creating “Care Kits””

How We “Outsource” Packing School Lunches

How We “Outsource” Packing School Lunches

At the beginning of this school year, I mentioned on Instagram that we had decided to have both girls make their own school lunches this year, and received many, many requests for more details on what this REALLY looks like day-to-day. So, here we are, a few months later (but, still with a few months more of school for most of you, so definitely not too late!), with all of the details about how we outsource the packing of school lunches to the two people in the house who actually benefit from these lunches! Continue reading “How We “Outsource” Packing School Lunches”

Three Things to Remind Children Before School, Classes, Lessons, Practices, and Games to Focus Their Minds on Process, Learning, and Growth

Three Things to Remind Children Before School, Classes, Lessons, Practices, and Games  to Focus Their Minds on  Process, Learning, and Growth

Today’s post comes to you from my husband! While I am the one with two degrees in children and ten years of classroom experience, he is by far the more natural parent when it comes to many things… Especially fostering growth mindset. Read on to learn about the routine he created to set our children up for learning and perseverance when they go to classes, school, lessons, etc.

Continue reading “Three Things to Remind Children Before School, Classes, Lessons, Practices, and Games to Focus Their Minds on Process, Learning, and Growth”