Saturday, December 20, 2014

On a New Journey

So much has happened in the past year. I moved this blog to its own domain thinking that I was ready to really get this blog rolling... But a lot of things happened and I had to move back to blogger. As a result, all of my posts that I made on my own domain are now lost. :( I made posts in 2014... But they didn't transfer over. So it now looks like I haven't blogged in a year. That is alright though. I can start fresh.. Because honestly, I'm on a new kind of journey.

I've been so used to juggling all of my daughters therapies since she was very little. She was diagnosed with developmental delays at age 9 months. She began early intervention around 12 months of age. She is still receiving therapy in many developmental areas. Our week is filled with therapy sessions for her. She averages about 7 hours a week of therapy through occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, play therapy, and ABA/Community Supports. With all this therapy it just makes sense to keep her home for homeschooling.


As you can imagine, my attention is usually solely focused on her therapy and homeschooling her. But this year my health threw me through a loop. It forced me to take a step back and focus on me as well. Which is something I haven't really been doing too good of a job doing. I was diagnosed with Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis earlier this year. Talk about life changing! These things were suspected for a few years.. but I saw so many specialists who kept telling me no. My doctor was still adamant that this was what was going on. So, I finally found a specialist who heard me and found what was truly going on.

Now not only do I need to manage all of my daughters therapies and medical appointments, I need to manage my own. It is such a daunting task. Fitting in homeschooling into it and I can tell you most days are just plain overwhelming. But we're surviving and my daughter continues to thrive!


We're trying to find our new homeschooling norm So, if you're interested I will share what we are doing to make things simpler around our home. As well as how I've tweaked our homeschooling routine to make it a little easier. This is a new journey for me.. so if it'll help someone, I can share it. :)

Thank you for continuing to support me through all of these changes. ::hugs::

- Elizabeth

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Developmental and Therapeutic Toys that make perfect gifts!

I am always on the hunt for toys that aren't just fun to play with. But also have a developmental or therapeutic value too. This is so important for all kids. Not just kids who are developmentally delayed or who have a developmental disorder. So today I am going to share my top 10 favorite toys that I feel have some developmental and therapeutic value. But are a blast to play with as well! So here we go! :)


1. Spooner Boards - Freestyle - Spooner boards are awesome! This board helps your child work on balance in a variety of ways while practicing tricks on their spooner board. It's a lot of fun! During sleep overs all the kids want a turn to spin on the spooner board. :)


2. Mini Ogodisk Super Disk Set - The Ogodisk takes the game of playing catch to a whole other level. Your child will love to watch the koosh ball bounce off the Ogodisk and fly back to their partner. It's amazing how far the koosh ball will fly with these disks. I highly recommend these! It's a favorite in our house.


3. Simon - The Electronic Memory Game - An oldie, but a goodie. Great for working on cognitive skills.


4. Kidoozie Foam Pogo Jumper - A ton of fun for kids up to 10 years old. Great for coordination building!


5. Quercetti Filo Lacing Set - This is a great fine motor toy. It comes with several templates of what you can "draw" using the yarn. But you're also free to get creative. I find myself playing with this when I see it laying around. :)


6. Melissa & Doug Sort & Snap Color Match - Great for fine motor development. My daughter is almost 7 and still loves this toy. 
7.  Hasbro Scatterpillar Scramble - My daughter loves this game! It is so great for fine motor development and coordination. It's a wonderful game.


8.  Gymnic Hop Ball - Great for gross motor and sensory development.


9. Wobble Deck - Works on balance and coordination skills. It has 3 multi-level balance games that test reflexes and reactions while working on sound and color recognition.


10. Round-and-Round Outdoor Swing - Perfect for sensory development. This swing is wonderful because it can swing in all directions. It's a very comfortable swing too! 

These are my top ten choices. Want to see more great gift ideas? Head over to Gifts for Kids: 50+ Gift Guides and check them out on pinterest for more great gift guides.



Thank you for stopping by!

~ Elizabeth

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Two New Thanksgiving and Christmas Printable Packs

I have two new Thanksgiving and Christmas printable packs that I wanted to share with you. I have a Thanksgiving pack for kindergartners and a Christmas pack for preschoolers.


The Thanksgiving themed activity pack for kindergartners is 83 pages and is geared towards kindergartners and some preschoolers and first graders. 

The activities include:

Math Activities:

Thanksgiving Number Word Puzzles (1-10 - 2 Levels of Difficulty)
Counting Mat (1-20, Addition, Subtraction)
Greater than/Less than or Equal to Mat
Number Word Match File Folder Game
Thanksgiving Patterning File Folder Game

Literacy Activities:

Thanksgiving Color Word Puzzles (2 Levels of Difficulty)
Thanksgiving Syllable Clothespin Clip and Count
Thanksgiving Word Wall
2 Thanksgiving Blank Writing Booklets
ABC Order Center

Worksheets:

Which one is different?
Cut and Paste Patterning
2 Color the Shapes and Graph
Beginning Sounds
Ending Sounds
2 Color by Color Words
Counting 1-10 (Writing numbers - 2 worksheets - 1 tracing and 1 with no tracing)
10 Worksheets working on counting 1-10 and writing numbers 1-10 (5 with tracing numbers, 5 with no tracing)
Thanksgiving Number Count and Match
Greater than/Less than or Equal to Worksheet
Time For Turkey (Telling Time)

Here is a sample from this pack:



Next....


The hands on Christmas preschool themed activity pack is 124 pages and is geared towards preschoolers and some kindergartners. This pack is full of hands on activities for your child to do. 

The activities include:

Math Activities:


Counting Mat (1-24)
Graphing Worksheet and Dice
Clothespin Counting Cards (1-15)
Counting File Folder Game (1-10)
Shape Matching File Folder Game
Size Sorting Cards
Size Sequencing Cards
Patterning Cards
2 Counting Puzzles (1-10 and 11-20)
Christmas Count and Trace Mini Book
Counting Worksheet 1-10

Literacy Activities:

3 Part Cards
Hands On Alphabet Sequencing (What letter is missing?)
ABC Match Mat
Clothespin ABC Match Cards
Sight Word Memory Cards (Write your own sight words)
Upper and Lower Case Alphabet Match File Folder Game or Upper Case Only Alphabet Match File Folder Game
Beginning Sounds Clothespin Match
ABC Order Tile Cards for Sequencing and Worksheet
4 ABC Match Worksheets

Other Activities:


Scissor Practice Page
Grid Game
8 - 4 piece puzzles
Dice Game

Here is a sample from this pack:



Both of these printable packs can be purchased in my Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook stores. Thanks for taking the time to look at my newest creations. :)

~ Elizabeth

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tweezing Beads Task Tray


This weeks task tray is a fine motor task. It also works on color recognition and color sorting skills.

You'll Need:
Tray (mine is from Melissa & Doug)
Painting Palate (I purchased mine from Hobby Lobby)
Tri-Beads (provided by craftprojectideas.com)
Tweezers

The tri-beads come in this package:


How to set up:

Imagine the paint palate is a flower. In each petal place one different colored bead. In the center place 3-5 of each colored bead. Then place the palate onto the tray and place the tweezers next to the palate.

How to play:

Your child uses the tweezers to sort the beads in the center by color. They can only use the tweezers to pick up the tri-beads. This is great for working on their fine motor skills. If this is too challenging for them, try putting in fewer beads in the center. After some practice, it should get easier.


This is a cheap and easy task to set up. It also works on a some important skills. I highly recommend it!

Please check back next week for another task tray idea. If you don't want to miss out, please subscribe to my blog by email. That way you won't miss a post. :) You can do that on the upper right hand side of this blog.

Thanks!

~ Elizabeth

Monday, November 4, 2013

Name Recognition and Spelling with Bead Necklaces

One thing that I have really been working on with Peanut lately is spelling her name. She has no problem with recognizing her name. But she still struggles with spelling her name. Recently, I had Peanut and my niece over at the same time and I decided to work with both of them on this. We worked on these skills  by making some beaded name necklaces together. Pumpkin even joined in the fun!

When craftprojectideas.com sent me the elastic cord, metallic alphabet beads and rainbow tri-beads, I knew just what we could do with it! So, this is how I set it up. 


I love setting everything up in a tray to keep everything structured. It also keeps it organized in our tiny classroom too. To make it a bit easier for them, I pulled out all the alphabet beads for their names and set it aside for each of them. That way they didn't need to dig for them. 


They got right to work and had a lot of fun. This activity was also a great way to work on their fine motor skills and bilateral coordination.


Super focused.. :)

Finished Necklace

This activity works on many different skills. The kids also had a lot of fun working on their necklaces together too. 

~ Elizabeth

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Our Week in Review

Each Sunday I like to take a look back at some of the things we did this week.

In First Grade with Pumpkin:


We learned about the virtue of diligence using We Choose Virtues


We finished up the dreaded chapter 6 in Singapore Primary Mathematics 1A. We also took both tests and Pumpkin did fairly well. This chapter was pretty challenging for her, but we survived!

On Teachers Pay Teachers, I found a really nice reader's notebook. It was created by Michael Friermood at A Home for Teaching Resources. The reader's notebook is for the book "Henry & Mudge under the Yellow Moon" This resource is wonderful! I highly recommend it! Mr. Friermood has a couple of other reader's notebooks as well.




Pumpkin is having a lot of fun using Picture Smart Bible. She is doing so well with this curriculum! This week we began the book of Exodus and the story of Moses.


Pumpkin is also making tremendous progress in All About Reading Level 1. She completed lessons 17 and 18 this week.


Lastly, we worked on the free bat lapbook I made. We also made bat hats for fun. :) Overall, it was a fun week! 

We also had a great Halloween! Here is Pumpkin in her costume:


I hope you had a great week as well!

~ Elizabeth

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Fine Motor Tray Task


Today I am sharing the last Halloween tray task until next year. This tray task is a simple fine motor tray task to set up.

You will need:
A Jar (mine is from the dollar tree)
Orange and Blank Pom Pom Balls (also from the dollar tree)
Clothespin (I found the two cute ghost and pumpkin clothespins at Michaels)
Container for Pom Pom's (also from the dollar tree)
A Tray (This tray is a melissa and doug crate)
Dice (optional)

To set up:

Place 10 orange pom pom's and 10 black pom pom's in the container. If your child struggles with fine motor skills you can tweak that number a bit. Have the jar and clothespin(s) ready for play on the tray as well. You are all set!

Time to play!

If you are playing without the dice, your child will simply use the clothespins to transfer the pom pom's one at a time from the container to the jar.


If you want to make it a bit more educational, you can add a dice. Roll the dice, count the dots and then transfer that many pom pom's into the jar. Then roll again.


It's a simple, yet fun and easy way to work on those fine motor skills!

I hope this task is useful to you! Stop by next week for a fall/thanksgiving themed tray task idea.

~ Elizabeth