"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33

Monday, November 19, 2012

O is for Octopus (MFW)

This week in our little kindergarten we worked on the letter O and counting by 10's.  We also gave our first gift to Jesus!  We started our week by packing up our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  Sassy and Peanut went with me to the store and helped to pick out he items they wanted in their boxes, they helped pack them, and helped me to drop them off.  We made sure to include a letter in each box with a special message for the child who receives it.

The kids packing their shoe boxes.
The week began with exceptionally warm weather or New England this time of year!  We took advantage of it and went to a local park with some friends.  Both kids wore themselves out running and climbing!

Sassy was really into puzzles this week, so we spent some time on puzzles. 

I found some videos online about Octopus.  We worked on a week long mural that the kids worked on together.  Tuesday they made an octopus out of an outline of their hands.  Wednesday they painted the paper blue.  Thursday they made their fish and glued everything on to the mural.  They seemed to really enjoy the mural come together.

Our ocean mural
We finished the week with an "ocean" lunch.  We had octopus (an organic GFCFSF hot dog) and coral reef (Organic broccoli).  Sassy was a little unsure and I had to reassure her it was really just a hot dog and broccoli.

I finished my week with Christmas planning and as able to get most of the kids Christmas gifts.  Now it's time to plan the homemade gifts.

How was your week?

Where I linked up this week:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Favorites Friday: Earth Mama Angel Baby

This Friday the "favorite" I would like to share with you is Earth Mama Angel Baby.  I stumbled upon this company while on a search for a safer body wash, shampoo and lotion for Sassy and Peanut.  At first glance this company is for pregnancy and infants, and that does seem to be their target audience  but I soon fell in love with their soaps and lotion.  They are as pure as it gets with a toxin rating of 0.  

We make all of our own cleaners and detergents (except dishwasher detergent), but the price wasn't bad so I tried it.  And you know what?  I LOVED it!  The scent was perfect, the lotion absorbs well and works well and the soap lasts much long than what we had previously used!  I am in love with Earth Mama Angel Baby

God Bless!!!
Mommy Provost

*Disclaimer: I in no way have any connections or affiliations with this company.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's almost Turkey time!!!

I love this time of year.  The leaves are falling and the seasons are getting ready to change again.  This past week I looked at the calender and was shocked to see Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away!  Time to plan our Thanksgiving activities!

Last year I learned that a formal homeschool plan during the week of Thanksgiving is just NOT a good idea for our family.  It just doesn't happen with the dedication it should so instead I dedicate the week to Thanksgiving activities instead.

This is what we did last year: Thanksgiving Wrap-Up 2011 and T is for Turkey  

This years plan
Thanksgiving Activities:
* Thankful tree-  We did this last year and loved it. (See Thanksgiving Wrap-Up 2011 )
* Thanksgiving activity box- I kept the one we used from last year and I plan to add some new    activities to it.
* Printables- We are using a printable mat pack from Money Saving Mom and worksheets from Mamas Learning Corner
* Crafts- Beth over at Living Life Intentionally has a collection of fun ideas on her blog. I also found some great activities over at Keeper of the Home
* Sensory Box-  I am making a box with pumpkins, pine cones and leaves.

Thanksgiving menu:
Our kids are both organic, gluten, casein, and soy free.  I am organic, gluten free and avoiding dairy. Because of this, I make a mini Thanksgiving dinner that me an the kids can eat from so we don't miss out on all the yummy Thanksgiving treats.  
My menu plan:
* Turkey- This year we ordered a farm fresh turkey, and my husband is going to use olive oil instead of butter to flavor the turkey. (He usually rubs it down with a mixture of butter and herbs). *Be careful with turkey my gluten free friends!  Many turkeys are "flavor injected" and many times that contains gluten!
* Cranberry Sauce- I think I'm going to use this recipe, but I'm going to omit the orange juice and add in more sweetener. (Peanut can't have oranges).
* Stuffing- I have been saving my bread ends for a few months now and have enough for the stuffing.  I am using a recipe from Gluten Free Girl.  I used it last year and it was REALLY good. (I'm thinking I might use a little sausage or bacon in it too...)
* Desert- I honestly have no idea what I'm making us for desert.  I usually make pumpkin pie but the kids don't really eat it and I want them to be able to enjoy it.

Christmas Preparation:
I've been using the 12 Week Holiday Planner as a guide, but I honestly haven't stuck to it.  I have SO many great plans for organization, but I'm so disorganized it all gets lost in the shuffle!  I'm starting to slowly get a hold of that and things are slowly falling into place.
*  Angel Tree- We picked up our angels at church this Sunday!!!
*  Operation Christmas Child- It's drop off time! (November 12-19th)  We are going out this week to make our boxes, pray over them and drop them off.
*  Last year I was really inspired by the post at 1+1+1=1, so I need to start planning out activities for Jesus.

I'd love o hear your plans and recipes for Thanksgiving!

God Bless!!!

The Homeschool Post
photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via photopin cc

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Weekly Wrap-up: D is for Dinosaurs! (MFW)

This week we got a lot of work done!  A few weeks ago I had decided 5 days a week of homeschool was too much on our schedule and my kids and I were getting a bit worn out.  The kids are usually tired on Monday's after a busy weekend and Monday afternoon Peanut has OT and Speech therapy (an hour of driving round trip) so that is our hardest day.  So for the past few weeks we have been skipping "school" on Monday's and doing a mini bible lesson instead.  I found a Fruit of the Spirit devotional from Raising Arrows that we started to do.  I modified it a little and we focus on one character trait a week.  Throughout the week we try to exhibit this trait and discuss it.  This week we talked about Peace (a good one for Sassy)!
Our fruit of the Spirit baskets

We read many dinosaur books including What Really Happened to the Dinosaurs? by John Morris and Ken Ham, How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague, My "d" Book by Jane Belk Moncure, God Made Dinosaurs by Heno Head Jr, and Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! by Sandra Boynton.

We finished the MFW work as well as other supplemental worksheets, and worked on TeachMe Kindergarten on the iPad.  The MFW worksheets include a sheet to draw words that start with the letter or the week.  We haven't been doing this worksheet but I decided to start working it into their work.  Sassy was exited to do this and proud of her work.  Peanut on the other hand was NOT happy to do this sheet.  He will color but doesn't like to try to draw.  It's the same resistance I got from him with writing.  In the end we were able to work through it and get it done.  I'll be sue to start incorporating more activities like this into their assignments. 

I talked with the kids about the election on election day, and they watched a short Schoolhouse Rock about the electoral college, but they were not too interested.  The video may have been a little over their head.  They love the Schoolhouse Rock videos, and loved this one, but they were uninterested in the election.  They'll be 4 years older next election so I'm thinking we will have to do a whole unit on it to get them really excited about it.

We did some fun fine motor work.  We made dinosaurs (making sure to do a lot of pinching and rolling) out of Soy-Yer-Dough and played with them.
Here is Sassy "feeding" her dinosaur
We also took dinosaur stickers and put them on a paper to make a scene.  This was a great activity for Peanut because he not only had to pull the small stickers off the paper and put them on his construction paper, but he had to keep his hands steady to get the stickers to cooperate (which requires lots of concentration on his part).  He did a great job!
Peanut making his dino scene
I also had 2 small kits to dig "dinosaur bones" out of dry clay.  We pretended to be Paleontologists and dug up some dinosaur bones.  The kids LOVED this activity!  I got the kits for cheap at iParty.  They had a really hard time getting the bones out and we didn't end up putting the bones together but they still had fun!
Sassy digging up her dino bones

So that was our week in our little homeschool!  It was a great week!

Don't forget, the HSBA Blogger awards are not over yet!  Voting doesn't end until November 16th!  Make sure to vote! 

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!
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Who I linked up with this week:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Favorites Friday: Homemade Deodorant

For a while now I have been wanting to include a regular post or 2 into our blog every week to share things we have found and loved so here we go!  Welcome to our first ever "Favorites Friday"!

This week my "favorite" I would like to share is a recipe for deodorant I found online this past summer.  Since having my 2 children I have been a little "rough" on my deodorant (in other words, most o them don't work).  I had been reading about all of the awful things in deodorant (a good summary of this is HERE).  I had tried some of the deodorants that don't contain many of the most harmful ingredients and none of them worked.  I don't really care if I sweat, I just didn't want to smell!

Then I came across an awesome recipe for homemade deodorant on Homestead Revival.  You can find the recipe HERE.  I used this recipe all summer.  Yes, you still sweat (it's not an antiperspirant), but that's okay, your SUPPOSED to sweat.  The important thing was that I didn't smell!  I used tea tree oil and vanilla(as a scent) during the summer.  Now that it is fall, almost winter I made a batch of plain.  The recipe lasted me about 7 months and in the long run is not only MUCH healthier to use but is also a lot less expensive.

So there it is! My first ever favorite Friday!  Do you make your own deodorant?  What's your favorite recipe?

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Don't forget about the HSBA Homeschool Blog Awards!  Voting ends November 16th!

God Bless!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Guest Post: IEP Advice for Parents

It seems IEP season has come and go, but  as the school year has gotten into full swing, many parents discover it may be time to revise their child's IEP.  We homeschool and do not utilize the school system for services, but many homechooling families do.  I am excited to have Sarah Fudin from the University of Southern California's online Masters in Education program as a guest writer to give parents advice during the IEP process.  Please join me in welcoming Sarah!

If your child is among the 13 percent of American students who receive an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), then you are probably familiar with the IEP process and how a student is deemed eligible for services. According to USC Rossier Online’s recent  special education graphic, an IEP is essentially a blueprint for your child’s education, a “detailed description of all special education services a student receives.” While an IEP is meant to provide the most appropriate education for a child’s unique needs, the process of creating an IEP can be confusing and even intimidating for some parents. To help, here are a few tips and pieces of advice on how to prepare for and what to expect at an IEP meeting:

Laura Hutton, a special educator and parent of children with disabilities, gives several key tips. A few weeks before the actual meeting, talk to your child’s case manager and request any copies of test results, assessments and drafts of the IEP, and discuss any concerns or recommendations that will likely be voiced. Make a list of your educational priorities for your child, and be ready to discuss them in order of importance. Also, list any questions that you do not want to forget. Ensure that you have communicated with your child’s teachers and other service providers so that you are knowledgeable of his or her current progress and goals. Sometimes, parents are blindsided at meetings with surprising recommendations or evaluations. This problem can best be eliminated through good communication.

During the Meeting
The Parent Mentor Program suggests that you “personalize your child.” You want every team member, including specialists with limited contact, to view him or her as a unique and special student. You may want to create a short video or even bring a scrapbook. Begin the meeting positively, since positive behavior invites compromise. Remember: Power struggles are rarely effective. Ask questions when you are confused or write them down to ask someone later on if you do not feel comfortable doing so at the time. Bring along an advocate, like a community service provider, parent advocate or family member. While you must sign that you were in attendance during the meeting, do not feel obligated to authorize or agree to anything that you are unsure of. It is your legal right to refuse or to take time for further consideration.

Your Rights
The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) outlines families’ specific rights during the IEP process. Kids Source Online identifies specific rights, such as the right to a free and appropriate education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The school must notify you if your child is going to be evaluated or have his or her educational placement changed. You have the right to request an evaluation if you believe that your child needs specific services, all at no cost to you. You should be allowed access to your child’s school records, you must be invited to IEP meetings, and you can request an IEP meeting at any time. Should you be unhappy with your child’s placement or services, you can request mediation and a due process hearing if problems persist with the school district.

Home schooling
Many parents home school their children with special needs in order to provide them with the best educational program. Since special education funding primarily comes from the state, you may be entitled to IEP meetings and related services in the home.  Homeschooling a Struggling Learner offers a state-by-state guide on what may or may not be offered. You will want to check with your state and local school district.

Sarah Fudin currently works in community relations for the University of Southern California’s online Masters of Education Program, which provides current and aspiring teachers the opportunity to earn a Special Education Certification.  Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading and Pinkberry frozen yogurt

Monday, November 5, 2012

2012 HSBA Post Blog Awards

It's that time of year again for the HSBA Post's Homeschool Blog Awards.  I was SO very honored to win last year as the best Special Needs Blogger and I have been nominated again this year.  I truly appreciate the support and the nomination.  A big thank-you to those who nominated me. 

 It is now voting time.  You can vote for a blog one a day until November 16th.  Please take some time to check out the links of these hard working bloggers.  

Thank-you again for the support.  I'm very blessed!

Join Me at The Homeschool Post!
Click on this link to go to the voting  page