Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Sahara Desert and Cactus (and deep thoughts!)

I'm turning 40 in April. Along with that, I'm also going through a mid-life crisis I think, but not in a bad way. It's actually very good...Very exhausting mentally, but very good. It really is a God-centered mid-life crisis (I just made up this term, but truly, I believe it was fully brought on by God). Basically, He is having me question so many things as the mama bear, regarding if we are spending our time here on Earth doing what we should. Next year Sweet B will be in kindergarten (mostly homeschool except for two days a week) and Strong B will still be so young at 4 (I still can't believe my baby will be 4!) and I'm figuring out how to organize our time, our home, and my mind. 

And there's deeper stuff going on too, such as figuring out how to finally accept myself as I am (I am no longer an 18 year-old cheerleader and I'll never weigh 115 pounds again!) and I've got some wrinkles and I don't look so young anymore. There's also the beginning of a new life without a child who tube-feeds (but is still learning to eat) and thoughts of how God wants me to allocate my time now. I've been going to a bootcamp and it's amazing and I would have never been able to do that with the tube. 

Anyway, I'm thankful for the "constants" and the things that aren't changing, such as Mother Goose Time. 

Today I did two days of lessons. It's Sunday, which is usually a great homeschool day for us! I'm hopping around a bit with the lessons based on interest and a family field trip that we are going on tomorrow (the Butterfly Jungle exhibit at the zoo in anticipation of next month's Bees and Butterflies theme!!) 

All of the day's activities in the teacher guide were fabulous, but I chose three of the four in the interest of time.

I read "Sahara Blue Men" story to them and they passed around a blue napkin every time they heard the word "blue." 

We had a great discussion based on the questions given. It's hard for them to understand the Sahara desert being that they don't have much prior knowledge on the subject. I showed them pictures on Google and tried to explain it the best that I could.

We played "Race To The Oasis" twice and really focused on the different words used for subtraction such as "take away, less, minus, etc" and addition such as "add, plus, more, etc." It's important that they learn that the words mean the same thing.

"You are left with four canteens and I'm left with two! Which number is greater? (Bigger, more than, etc)."

We made colorful canteens for our trek through the desert. Once again, they learned that if you mix colors together, they make a brown color. I think this is a lesson that they'll relearn many times.

I had my husband take pictures of us working together, and I didn't realize that the sight of it would make my heart so happy. Strong B is three and a half and such a sweet boy. I want to snuggle him all day and he won't let me, so when he wants to cuddle or crawl on my lap, you better believe that I take advantage of it! 

They're best friends. Every day they ask each other, "Will you be my best friend?" 

Even with the mixing together of colors, it their canteens turned out perfect. You could see little wisps of color within the muddy brown.

As I mentioned earlier, we also did the cactus lesson, due to our upcoming field trip to see the cactus garden at the zoo.

We used green styrofoam-like noodles to form cactuses. Note: Don't use too much water, or else they shrink. It was pretty funny!! We called Tiny B's cactus "The Shrinking Cactus" and we all laughed so hard. 

Next week I'm going to write about individualizing instruction for Tiny B and Strong B. In it I'm going to talk about how important it is that I focus on fine motor tasks for Tiny B. Putting the toothpicks in the cactus was a task that helped her fine motor skills better than writing in a workbook could. She meticulously grabbed each toothpick with her pincer grasp that we've been working on for years and slid it into the cactus. She did this for about ten minutes and essentially performed her own occupational therapy.

I'm so thankful for such a wonderful week coming up...Good Friday where we will celebrate how Christ died for us, and Sunday where we celebrate how He rose from the dead. We've got an Easter party on Saturday with an egg hunt and decorating cookies and friends. We've also got our Easter kit from Mother Goose Time which I'm certain will include cute bunnies and lots of pastel colors!! What a fun life!

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