Sunday, February 19, 2012

President's Day Activities

Around the different holidays I scour some of my favorite websites looking for activities to do with my children.  Since our children are younger and have special needs, I prefer activities that are multi-sensory.

Our Stovepipe Hats:

1.  Long piece of construction paper
cut in half lengthwise, then rolled
up and attached.

2.  Trace two circles on another piece of black
construction paper (inner circle should be the
same size as the top of the hat).

3.  Starting at the center of the inner circle
cut circle in eighths then fold pieces back.

Glue to top piece.
 And the President is...


(looking a little like the mad-hatter)

Here are a few links of some of the activities I discovered:
Here is a coloring page of Washington and Lincoln (from Crayola).
KidsSoup President's Day Activities & Printables
Want to build a log cabin out of pretzel logs?
How about reading Abe Lincoln's Hat then making your own hat?
Abraham Lincoln Alphabet Code
Abraham Lincoln: Printable Early Reader Book
Penny Coloring Page (Abraham Lincoln)
Quarter Coloring Page (George Washington)
George Washington: Printable Early Reader Book
George Washington Alphabet Code
First-school President's Day Ideas (Preschool/Kindergarten Activities & Crafts)
February Calendar Connections: Presidents and blog post from 1+1+1=1

For your older children:
Abraham Lincoln: A Printable Book for Fluent Readers
George Washington: A Printable Book for Fluent Readers
Another favorite website of mine is Homeschool Share. Here is their President's Day Lapbook.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Six Flags: Read to Succeed

Are you a homeschooler?  I am excited to share that Six Flags is giving away FREE tickets in their Read to Succeed program.  Each homeschool child in grades K-6 is eligible and the teacher is provided a ticket as well.  All you have to do is register and each child needs to read 6 hours.  You will need to verify these hours BY March 1, 2012.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Expanding Expressive Language

Our children are currently receiving speech and language services through our local school district even though we homeschool.  It was there that I was introduced to the Expanding Expression Tool Kit.

It is a really great multi-sensory approach for improving oral and written language.  I created this free worksheet to go along with it as a visual tool for my children.  I printed & laminated one for durability.  Feel free to use for personal use only.

Adoption Tax Credit Awareness Day - February 13, 2012

Yes, there is an adoption tax credit and for tax years 2010 and 2011 it was made refundable.  Let me reassure you this is true.  You may have to wait several months (5 months in our case) to receive your refund and you may have to do some work (phone calls and mailing documents), but if you are entitled to take the credit you will receive the refund.  In our case, we finalized the adoption of our sons (3 biological brothers who were in our home as foster children) in 2007, but because we were able to carry-over the unused credit from previous tax years we were able to now claim it as a refund.  Imagine our surprise!

I am attaching this post from Voice for Adoption which also has links to the exact IRS forms/instructions.  Even if you adopted children from foster care and didn't spend any money on the adoption, you may still qualify.  I would recommend consulting a tax advisor if you are unsure.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Does This Compel You?

I came across this article written by a public school educator and administrator: 12 Most Compelling Reasons to Homeschool Your Children and I thought I would share it.  Some of these were definitely true for us, but they are only a handful of the reasons we chose to homeschool.  One comment from a teacher last year (when our children were still in public school) that really sticks out in my mind is "I treat all the kids in my classroom the same.  I don't want anyone to stand out as different."  Really?!?  As a parent, I know that what works as a reward for one child may not work for the next.  That's the joy of getting to know your children.  We do not all speak the same Love Language. We are all unique individuals with our own quirkiness.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Math, The Fun and Easy Way

Sometimes you need a quick activity and here is what we came up with one day.  We had these foam number dice on hand (I knew they would come in handy for something).  I had each of the boys sit down with a piece of paper, pencil, and a set of dice.  Dad helped too!

They rolled their dice and wrote their own equation, then solved it.  Everyone was just working on addition on this particular day.  To make it easier for Johnathan, I divided his paper into squares which he was to write the equations in.  This helped with his organization!

Even though this wasn't particularly challenging, the boys had fun and were able to practice setting up their equations.  I didn't have to copy any worksheets beforehand which made it even better.


Chicken Salad

This is a family favorite for lunch and very simple.  I boil the chicken (seasoned with fresh onion and garlic powder).  Let it cool, then mash with our Pampered Chef Mix 'n Chop.  Chop celery and dill (or sweet) pickles.  Add mayonnaise and mix.  Serve with Wheat Thins, on a salad, or as a sandwich. Enjoy!

Homeschool Helps: Equivalent Fractions FREEBIE

 I know it has been a while since I have posted. Life is crazy, as usual. We are back to homeschooling two of our children this year. Becaus...