Saturday, January 31, 2015

MFW Unit 15: Elephant

The theme of Unit 15 of My Father's World Kindergarten was Elephants. 

We read some elephant books.

And made elephant masks.

The Bible theme was "I will remember what God has done for me." We spent a little extra time that week thanking God not only for sending His son to die for us, but also for all the things He does for us on a daily basis. The girls are so thoughtful. They include things like, "sending the sun to shine for us and help keep us warm" and "sending the birds to sing for us to make us happy." I learn so much from them!

We learned that elephants have excellent memories, so we played a memory game. I set 10 items out on the kitchen table, had Mercedes close her eyes and I'd remove one of the items and hide it under the table. She had to try to remember which item was missing. I couldn't trick her. She also always beats me when we play the traditional memory game too!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Elf on the Shelf Ideas (2014)

I was pretty lazy with the elf on the shelf ideas this year. The girls were SO easily entertained by them I didn't have to try very hard. I don't try to get my girls to believe in Santa...or the tooth fairy or Easter bunny. I'm always super straight up and honest about the way life is. But with Kevin and Susie, the girls refuse not to believe they're real. Every day I reminded them that they were only real for pretend and they only lived at the North Pole for pretend and they only helped Santa make presents for Christmas for pretend. They thought I was lying to them.

The first night after we put up the Christmas tree, Kevin arrived from the North Pole for pretend, tore down the girls' Thanksgiving decorations and hung up our stockings in their place.

The next night, he ate half a bag of brown sugar.

Then he ate most of the chocolate cookies on the Christmas platter.

He took the ornaments off the tree.

Then moved the tree into the playroom. The girls didn't know how Kevin could be so strong.

He took a nap in the girls' monster slipper.

And one night, Kevin's girlfriend Susie showed up! 

They played Sequence in a blanket fort they built together.

Designed a Christmas tree with plastic blocks.

Had a picnic.

Had a royal party with all the Disney princesses and their animal friends.

Rode Eeyore.

Babysat the baby dolls.

Read LOTS of books.

Played hide and seek.

Wrote the girls a message with alphabet beads.

Bounced on the exercise ball.

Played with toys.

Hid in the picnic basket.

Climbed inside the cabinet.

Played Blokus. 

Surprised the girls with some Christmas chocolate.

Stuffed the girls' stockings with candy.

Painted a huge message for the girls across the living room floor and surprised them with some presents to open on Christmas Eve morning.

And guarded their Christmas presents on Christmas Eve night.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Managing Screen Time/Illustrated Daily Routine Chart

Every once in a while, the girls get stuck in a TV watching rut. It happens when I get lazy. And they get lazy. And I don't take time to prepare activities for them to do. And when I do take time to prepare activities they would rather watch TV than do them. Especially when the weather is cold and we have to stay inside multiple days in a row. I honestly don't mind my kids watching some TV throughout the day. It's a good break for them, and for me. Most of what they watch is educational. Mercedes loves watching animal documentaries or baking tutorials on youtube. Both the girls learned their colors, shapes, counting and most of their letters from shows like Barney, Sesame Street, Word World and Super Why. But obviously an unlimited amount of screen time is harmful developmentally. This winter as soon as screen time got a bit out of control, I wrote out a daily routine so their TV time is broken up throughout the day. They get 30 minutes of screen time every 2 hours, which is 2 1/2 hours total. Since we are stuck at home (mostly inside since it's usually too cold to play outside for long these days!) 13 hours every day and neither of them take naps anymore, I think 2 1/2 hours of screen time split up throughout the day is acceptable. I know lots of parents disagree. This is just what works best for us since both of them tend to have meltdowns without plenty of "chill time". 

The girls didn't respond well to the written routine, and I realized it was because since they can't read it really means nothing to them. I would read it for them and point to the words, but they really didn't accept it until I printed them out one that made sense to them. I used clip art pictures to represent each activity scheduled and they love to check it throughout the day and tell me what's next!

The girls were still having trouble with TV time only every 2 hours. For whatever reason, they need lots of breaks from organized activities. Time just for them, to chill out and unwind and relax. I made them a list of things to do (illustrated with clip art) so whenever they ask to watch TV but it's not time yet, I tell them to pick something to do off of their chill time list. This works like a charm. It's like a game and they love it!

To make the screen time boundaries even more clear, I made big red X's and put them over the TV, computer and phone. They stay there all the time except during screen time. The girls don't have to nag or whine about it or ask me a million times if it's screen time yet. They have a constant visual to remind them of the rules. This technique has worked great this winter!

Friday, January 2, 2015

MFW Unit 14: Horse

The theme of unit 14 of My Father's World Kindergarten was horses. The Bible theme was "I obey right away." We talked about how important it is to always trust and obey God and our parents. 

We put together a family of horses and Mercedes drew them.

She also decorated them with pretty jewels.

We found another horse to trace. Mercedes painted it and added jewels.

We cut out different animal cards and classified them into "farm animals" and "not farm animals". Then we found where each animal lived on our globe.

MFW Unit 13: Cow

The theme of unit 13 of My Father's World Kindergarten was cows. The Bible theme was "God's word helps me grow" and we discussed 1 Peter 2:2: "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation". 

We had a "dairy party" with milk, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt and ice cream to learn all the different foods we get from cows milk.

We read lots of books about cows.

And we drank milk with milk straws and blew lots of milk bubbles.

This was another unit we got through in about 2 days. Mercedes is flying through her lessons!