Every year we head up the mountain for a fabulous ski field trip. China Peak offers a great deal for school groups. I manage the paperwork and needed to be up there to make the final payment. This meant bringing all three littles with us.
Doesn't sound fun!
So.... we have some amazing friends who let us stay in their cabin near the slopes. The littles and I went back to the cabin after lunch while the big boys and Jon enjoyed snowboarding.
Lent is something I have never really thought of. In fact, I don't know much about the religious tradition. I do know, though, that a season of fasting can bring one closer to God. It can draw us nearer to Him, and remind us to look to Him for our strength and fulfillment.
I woke up this morning and noticed a few posts about observing this season. I felt convicted to give it a try. I have always struggled with spending too much time on the Internet. Now that I have an iPad, that struggle has increased. When there is a free moment in my day, you will see my iPad in my hand. I LOVE it!
So, my goal is to decrease my time spent on my iPad. I want to end my day with completed projects, loved on children, and time spent with my husband. There are a few things I will still use it for.
Bible: I read my bible every morning on my iPad. I am currently doing the chronological through the year program. I have been more consistent with this than ever before and do not want to lose that momentum.
Menu planning, grocery lists, and cooking: I have been working on becoming paperless with my menus and recipes. It would be hard for me to make my grocery lists and cook without my iPad. It really does save me time.
Checking email: I do still need to check my email. However, I do not need to do this all day! I will check once in the morning and then walk away. This will be tough!
Blogging: I would like to also keep blogging. This is something that I really enjoy, and have a purpose for.
So, there you have it. 40 days of discipline. It sure is going to be hard, but "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phililpians 4:13
I finally have my schedule down to a point where I want to have more direction in our preschool time. I have been scouring the internet for ideas during our group time. It seems that so many programs out there are geared to a child working on just a few aspects: letters, sounds, shapes, numbers. I wanted something that would address more than that. Remember that my littles are ESL (English as a second language) kids. Nathaniel has some catching up to do verbally. Also, I want a program that will be geared towards group time. My kids aren't ready to sit at a table working on worksheets. I also do not want to do a bunch of projects. I don't have the time to prep them all or to clean them up. (Thankfully, my wonderful neighbor does a craft with them twice a month) So, I picked around a few programs and came up with a flow of activities for us to work through.
I'm posting here to help keep me accountable.
Here's my plan for this coming week-
Preschool Lesson Plans
Sing: God Made Me
Read: Children’s Bible: next story
Sing: Jesus Loves Me
Verse for the week: Proverbs 15:1
Theme: Cows (show picture) Give each child a plastic cow
Read: Cow book
Introduce vocabulary word: calf (show picture)
Gross motor: pretend to be a cow
Read: Cow book
Sing: Shake Your Sillies Out
Introduce letter A or review
Say A sound
Show pictures of words that start with A
Introduce number 1
Work on matching the number one to the card with one dot. Put one bear on dot.
Count bears to 10
Verbally count to 20
Make a pattern with counting bears
Go over prepositions: In/Out, On/Off, Under/Over, Beside (use bears with cups)
Recite Nursery Rhyme: Hey Diddle Diddle
Review color cards
Review circle, square, triangle, rectangle, heart
Tell name, age, boy or girl (Show name in print)
Opposites: Big and little (stand up to be big, crouch down to be little)
Smallest to largest: (bear cutouts)
Gross motor: Jump off stool
Sing: Slippery Fish
During Walks (This is 30 minutes of great verbal teaching time)
Sing: Days of the week, Months of the year, Phone number, Address
Recite: Nursery Rhyme (Hey Diddle Diddle)
Work on memory verse
During Table Activities (A great way to reinforce our group time)
Monday: Make the letter A and number one with playdoh
Tuesday: Color the letter A, pictures that start with A and the number one
Thursday: Dot paint letter A and the number one
Maybe this weekend I will add in the links to the websites that I have found helpful. The kids are ready to get up from nap time, so I must be off.
Things around here are going amazingly well. God has placed some organizational tools in my life that have had a huge impact on our days. Here's a look at how we spend our days and what helps to make it a success.
One of the biggest helps has been to create a daily schedule.
I don't keep my schedule to the minute, but I do try to keep flowing through my day. No matter how many tantrums, fights, or accidents, I do feel like the day goes well if I stay disciplined in carrying out our schedule.
Another huge help has been planning what activities the Littles do during the day. I have a rotation for every day. Before I came up with this rotation, I would be at a loss as to what to do with them all day. This helps tremendously.
I intersperse play time with structured time.
Structured time includes preschool.
We have bible time, sing songs, learn our colors and shapes, and other things.
I love preschool time. It's so much fun. They have already learned so much. Lily and Nathaniel know their colors, shapes, sounds, several songs, and can count to ten. Mae, being only two, has learned a bunch as well. It's a little harder to know what she has learned because her speech is very unclear. I'm pretty sure she has picked up quite a bit.
I love it when my Bigs get involved. Micah took over for me when I had to step away.
Structured time also includes our daily walk.
It also includes a short video before lunch. Right now we have been watching Leap Frog Letter Factory. They have learned all of the letter sounds from this DVD. I love it!
After lunch we play a little more and then take a nap. Nap time is school time with my Bigs. This is the time I read aloud our history and such. Micah is self taught on most other subjects and needs me very little these days. What a blessing! Alex still needs a lot of help from me. We carve out that time from 7-8 in the morning. It has been working beautifully to help him with his work first off. I dread being functional at that hour, but I am amazed at the difference it makes to have an hour of quiet with my boy.
After nap we have a small snack and head back outside. It's been a little more challenging for me to get them outside again. This is an area I need to work on.
Once back in we have a table activity.
I have these planned out as well. Otherwise, we would never get to these activities.
Some of our table activities-
We wrap up our day with a bath, some books, or a few songs with Papa.
I love it when Jon breaks out his guitar. The kids do too.
They love to dance and sing.
Once they are in bed, I crash on the couch. A day never goes exactly how I have portrayed here. We are getting closer to having more good days than frustrating ones. I am grateful for that.
My goal is to stay focused and keep on keeping on.