Monday, April 30, 2018


Recently a friend posted on her wall about all the amazing things her kids were doing to work on independence.
It really got me thinking. Sure we had the kids help out a little here or there when we were cooking, but not on a regular basis. Yes they all have their daily chores, and the older kids are able to make their own sandwich for lunch and make a simple breakfast of cereal or toast but not much more than that.
My friend mentioned that she made a goal list. I LOVE that idea!!!! What all do I want my kids to be able to do by the time they are certain ages? I am still working on compiling a list, however I did have a few ideas off the top of my head.
Showering/Bathing is one of them. Our 5 and 6 year olds struggled with showering and bathing because the shampoo and soap bottles were too big for their little hands. Trying to turn the large bottles upside down and squirt out enough soap/shampoo but not too much was hard for them. Add that into weak fine motor skills for our two 6 year olds with Down syndrome and it was just not something they were able to do.
To help fix this, I used some empty handsoap bottles for their body wash and shampoo, and then got my husband to decorate them so the kids could tell which one was for their hair and which one was for their body. It is working like a charm and is exactly what they needed. Now they can go in the bathroom, turn on the water to the right temperature, and wash their own body and hair!! Yahh!!!

 blow drying and brushing her hair

Cooking was another thing we have started to work on on a more regular basis. Now at least once or twice per week the kids work on cooking. 

 making Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

 making mini pizzas

 helping Daddy stir the curry

My oldest daughter gifted us with her sewing machine that she used when she was younger. She has outgrown it and now uses much more advanced sewing machines. I am going to start teaching the kids (I will start with our bigger kids) how to make some simple things. We will start with pillows.  (something my oldest kids use to do when they would go visit their grandma when they were younger) Sewing has never been anything I am good at, so this will be a project for all of us to work on. Pray for us on this one.... we will all need it! 

For our oldest girls (age 17) their goals list will be part of their school life as well.
  • How to plan a healthy diet
  • How to grocery shop
  • How to prepare a few favorite meals
  • How to use/clean a microwave, oven & stove
  • How to store food safely
  • How to use basic kitchen tools (can opener, knives, mixer
  • How to sew on a button
  • How to do basic mending
  • How to wash & care for clothing (how to follow care labels)
  • How to perform basic first aid
  • How to fix a running/clogged toilet
  • How to hang a picture
  • How to change a light bulb
  • How to use basic tools (hammer, screw driver, drill)
  • How to clean & vacuum
  • How to set the table
  • How to organize belongings
  • How to plan their own day
  • How to say "no" respectfully
  • How to be a respectful houseguest
  • How to write a thank you note 
We will continue to add to the list as we think of things.

In addition to this I have been working on trying to help our kids understand the difference between addition and subtraction. Yes the symbol is different but sometimes they need more of a visual.
 I made this sheet to help show how subtraction starts off large, and then an amount is taken away and the result is a smaller number.
 I made this sheet to show how two numbers added together means a larger amount at the end.
It seems to be just the visual she needed to grasp the difference between addition and subtraction.

more school work
I love that he is enjoying drawing now. 
It is really helping with his fine motor skills. 
Learning to be more independent has had great results! 
She is gaining confidence and is starting to be more bold and brave.

look who is learning to pump on a swing!!!
You can also hear Veronika in the background saying "Out, In" as she reminds herself to pump her legs. She has been pumping for a few months now but will sometimes say
 the words to remind herself. 

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Joy of Homeschooling

Today was a beautiful day. Amazingly perfect weather! Something we do not see often enough where we live. But today, it was lovely.
While most kids were being woken up for school my kids got to sleep in a bit.  While most kids were stuck inside the classroom on this glorious day, we were opening up our butterfly habitat and watching as our butterflies emerged from their chrysalis, pumped their wings to get them dry and the blood flowing, and then spread their wings for the first time and took flight.
While kids in public school were having a short 15-20 minute recess we were playing outside for more than an hour at a local park. While kids in public schools were eating lunch inside, we sat at the park and had a nice picnic lunch.
Ahhh the freedom of homeshooling. On days like today, we can take a break and bask in the sunshine and clear skies and the warmth of the day. We can always catch up on the weekend since school can be anytime or any day when you homeschool. Today was a beautiful day, however all weekend it will be raining.  So nice to think we can enjoy a day like today and catch up on work when the weather is not good and we are stuck inside. Days like today remind me how awesome homeschooling is!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

So Much Learning Happening Here!

 matching pictures to words with the So Happy to Learn at Home program

Making a sentence. 
She has to pick the correct pronoun and then find the sentence that goes with the picture.
Sorry no link for this one, I made it.

 working on counting the objects and working on what numbers come before another number with Rod and Staff book. She told me the answers and I wrote the numbers in for her since fine motor isn't her strongest area.
We are working on learning about butterflies and their life cycle 
Everyone made a caterpillar pattern and had to count out the correct number of segments the caterpillar would need to have for them to spell their name.  The kids all wrote their own name, no hand over hand. Our two oldest traced and cut out their own butterfly wings from a pattern.
 After dinner we had so much fun thinking up as many words as we could that starts with the letter B.

We are also learning about China. We learned about the Great Wall of China and then worked together to make our own Great Wall of China. 

To go along with our study of the life cycle of a butterfly, we have been watching our own caterpillars grow from very small caterpillars to now the pupa stage. We are so excited that waiting for them to emerge from the chrysalis is hard! 

 Working on caterpillar and butterfly tile pictures

addition puzzles

 feelings and emotions worksheet
from the So Happy to Learn at Home Program
One of our daily worksheets
This works on numbers that comes before and after, helps track the date, works on spelling the number of the month and practice spelling the day of the week for that day
 Handwriting with Handwriting without Tears
Handwriting with Handwriting without Tears
Working on Go Stops with the So Happy to Learn at Home program

So much going on....
making a butterfly
 spelling words
reading about the life cycle of a butterfly 
we have several STEM picture cards with famous places on them
After making his own Great Wall of China, he moved on and built the Tower Bridge in England.
During this project we look at the location on the card, (London England) then they have to find it on the map, and then try to use blocks to build it themselves
I found the STEM pictures on Teachers Pay Teachers
  Bug counting clip-its from KidsSoup
 working on writing with the So Happy to Learn at Home program

working on spelling 
This was on Teachers Pay Teachers 
The child has to look at the picture and then find the correct spelling of the word and then clip the correct answer
 Life cycle sequence strip
playing with the Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet
cursive handwriting
 reading worksheet from the So Happy to Learn at Home program
 finding the correct spelling
reading worksheet from the So Happy to Learn at Home program
 cutting practice with the butterfly life cycle
 working with money
writing with the So Happy to Learn at Home program