Giveaway & Update

I have a been a little inconsistent with this blog lately. I have a few things going on, and many changes coming up, and I’ve been MIA at best. But I have plans for future posts… eventually! πŸ™‚

In the meanwhile, I wanted to share a giveaway with all of you from one of my favourite author: Sally Clarkson!

Her’s and her husband’s new edition of “Educating the WholeHearted Child” is finally out! One of my good friends owns the last edition, and absolutely LOVES it – so I was quite looking forward to the new one coming out!

There is only one catch: I just found out about it today, and it ends tomorrow…. so hurry! πŸ™‚


Easter Sunday

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 NIV

Happy Easter Sunday everyone!
Eat chocolate, do egg hunts, enjoy the spring weather, and remember to celebrate His glorious rising!


Calendar Time!

In the mornings (or around lunch time, whichever is more convenient), we got into a nice routine of doing some simple calendar work with rhymes and songs! Both girls love it πŸ™‚ (yes, even Miss C! Who doesn’t like songs!)

We start by singing the months of the year:

(Tune: 10 Little Indiens)
January, February, March and April
May, June, July, August and September
October, November, and December
These are the months of the year!

We usually shout out the current month (which has the little purple sticker, so A can see which month we’re at, and visualize it in the context of the whole year): “January, February, March and APRIL!!!” πŸ™‚

The image for the months of the year is taken from the Montessori for everyone site, right here, and the song comes from 1+1+1=1.

Following that, we check the weather outside the window, and move the arrow to the correct section on the circle. Then we place a little sticker dot on the Weather Graph, to see how many days during the month it was sunny, rainy, cloudy, etc.

And then we sing this fun song from 1+1+1=1:

(Tune: Bingo)
Today the {sun} is in the sky
And SUNNY is the weather
S-U-N-N-Y (3x)
And SUNNY is the weather!

If you go on 1+1+1=1’s website, you’ll find all the alternatives for the other weather options. πŸ™‚

Right afterwards, we talk about which season it is. As our weather chart says, currently the season is spring! We have a little sticker next the our season as well (season chart also from the Montessori site, right here).

And I made up this song for the season:

(Tune: Are You Sleeping/Frère Jacques)
Every year, has four seasons
Winter Spring, Summer Fall
This month the season is spring (2x)
March, April, May (2x)

You can sing:
This month the season is summer (2x)
June, July, August (2x)

This month the season is fall (2x)
September, October, November (2x) {yea… sing quickly lol}

This month the season is winter (2x)
December, January, February (2x) {another tongue twister!}

Following that, we’ll read a story about the current season.

Then we move on to the calendar itself!

I made a little scallop sticker that we move around every day, as well as a “2011” sign.

We sign two songs to learn the days of the week, both from 1+1+1=1’s calendar section.

Following that, we read the daily story from our DK Children’s Everyday Bible. I really like this book, I find that the stories are short enough for a young child, but not so simple that an older child will be bored, and the illustrations are just beautiful and very engaging. They go through the entire Bible, covering most of the books, in a story that flows well. It’s a GREAT introduction for the kids! Through it, they get their first complete exposure to the Bible, from where they can go more in depth as they get older, since all the stories will already be familiar to them. You can do it year after year without it being repetitive since it will be a whole full year before you repeat the same story. And it helps foster the habit of daily Bible studying πŸ™‚

And that, is our calendar time!

Some resource links:

  • We got our calendar at our local office supply store, but you can also order it from Amazon here. I laminated it all to add durability, and also the repositionable stickers can peel on and off easily, as we move them every day or every month.
  • DO visit 1+1+1=1’s calendar post, she has lots of great resources for you, free printables, ideas on how to set one up, etc. It’s very thorough!
  • Homeschool Creations also have great calendar stuff, ideas and printables. I didn’t use them just yet because the calendar set is pretty complete and enough for A’s level, but as she gets older, I definitely might add some of her stuff!


St. Patrick’s Day Fun!

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and we’ve been busy putting on our greens and getting our Irish on! πŸ™‚

I don’t have any actual hardcore Irish ancestry – there is some Irish on my dad’s side of the family, but it’s somewhere around my great-grand-mother, and even then, we don’t know if she was 1st generation Irish or the daughter of an Irish and Canadian parent… So I guess I’m a wee bit Irish, but nothing very defined. But somehow, I’ve just ALWAYS been fascinated by Ireland. I remember when I was in elementary school, a friend of mine was Irish and I was very jealous of her… lol And then I was interested in learning Gaelic Irish (still working on that, I know some basic), I was fascinated by Irish dancing and have done some too (I’ll get back into it when the littlest one is older – maybe next year), I just LOVE the music, learned the basic of playing the tin whistle, would LOVE to learn to jig on a fiddle… I did have the opportunity to go to Ireland in July 2009, and I’m just waiting to go back again πŸ™‚

So, naturally, I love to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day πŸ˜€

Some St. Patrick’s Background Info
As I’m sure you know, St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the saint by the same name, who came to Ireland around the years 400 or 460 – the actual dates are debated. As a boy, he was captured from England and was made to work as a slave shepherd in Northern Ireland. After he went home, he felt a calling to go back to Ireland to teach the people there about God. He trained as a priest, became a Bishop, and pretty much brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle. St. Patrick’s celebrates his ministry in Ireland, and the date of March 17th is due to the date of his death!

In Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is still very much a religious holiday, although much partying is done there too πŸ˜‰ Some people might choose to attend church to worship and give thanks for St. Patrick’s teachings.

Some St. Patrick’s symbols include the shamrock, which is a plant that grows in Ireland and looks like a clover. St. Patrick used it to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity – three entities in one God (the 3 leaves with 1 stem). There are many other legends associated with St. Patrick, including how he chased the snakes out of Ireland (there is, actually, no snakes in Ireland!), and how he chased the Devil away. In fact, there is a mountain in Ireland that is missing it’s top part, like if a round area on it’s top was blown away – that, legend says, happened when the Devil was chased away: as he left, he took a bite out of the mountain! You can see it in this picture I took from the Rock of Cashel, in co. Tipperary. (click to see it bigger)

You might also see Celtic crosses – the circle in the middle comes from the pagan symbolism of the sun. Like many other instances worldwide, Christian missionaries would take some of the pagan traditions of the locale and transfer them to their teachings to make those more accessible to the pagans. In this case, the circle for the sun became a symbol of God’s eternity. If you go into an Irish cemetery, you’ll see a lot of graves with this cross!

The harp is another symbol you might run into – it’s the national instrument of Ireland. I know, we always think of fiddles, uillean pipes (smaller versions of bagpipes) and accordions when we think of Irish music, but the harp is actually originally Irish, and in fact it’s Ireland national symbol. Ireland is the only country with an instrument as the national symbol!

What about leprechauns? Well those are make-believe, but they are a great deal of fun πŸ˜› The name is derived from the old Irish word Luchorpan, which means “wee one”. Indeed, they are believed to only be as big as your thumb, and if you catch one, it will give you it’s pot of gold, which he hides at the end of a rainbow.

And finally – the reason we all wear green? Well, in honour of the Emerald Isle, of course!


Here are a bunch of crafts and activities I prepared for A to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!

Lots of books! I like to have theme books on the top of the book shelf πŸ™‚ Lots of them are from the library, The Story of Saint Patrick’s up front is ours – I really love those little books in that series!
One of A’s favourite so far is “Shannon and the World’s Tallest Leprechaun”, which you can peak in the middle at the back πŸ˜‰

I explain some of the middle stuff in the next picture. At the bottom left you see a rainbow craft where we’ll glue punched out shamrocks in the little circles; next is a coloured shamrock memory game; next is a felt board rhyme (printed the shamrocks on cardstock, laminate, and stick a piece of sticky felt at the back, and the numbers are from a felt math set I have); above is a Leprechaun Man craft with Parisian clips so the arms and legs move (can’t find the link anymore 😦  I believe it’s somewhere on Making Learning Fun); and above is a shamrock tree craft, we will colour the B&W art and glue the shamrocks on the branches!

Some sparkly sticky glitter foam sheets; a potato counting mini book to draw; a Leprechaun mini book to draw (the pages inside are B&W); some shamrock foams, the solid ones are thin foam and the sparkly ones are sticky; some punched out shamrocks from construction paper; in the middle it’s punched shamrocks in tissue paper for a stain glass craft (gluing them on contact paper, sticking another sheet of contact paper on top, then tracing a shamrock over it using this template and cutting it out – shamrock stain glass!); St. Patrick’s Day stickers; on top I have green, orange and white glitter glue and paint crayons; green orange and white markers; green orange and white pompoms; and foamy shamrocks; bottom is a celtic cross, cut out from a template (can’t find it either 😦  Next time I’ll note them down as I’m prepping them…) and ready to glue and assemble, I made light & dark green ones, yellow, and orange ones.

File Folder games!
A Lower/Upper case alphabet match
(inspired by this post – scribd wanted me to pay to download her file so I found a similar
(same?) clipart and made my own! So it’s basically the same thing, just took longer coz
I made it πŸ˜‰ )

A Shamrock pattern match
And a St. Patrick’s Day Sudoku game

This will be a marble painting! We will paint on the other side of the shamrock in the pan, each ball a different colour, moving the pan around to let them roll all over the paper. Then you can use the shamrock outline to cut it out!

Magnet pompoms – I got some pompoms and a sticky magnetic strip, cut out some squares from it and stick on the back. There’s enough pompoms to fill each rainbow circle πŸ™‚Β  One rainbow has orange and the other pink.
And then some other themed pages. πŸ™‚

A shamrock magnetic puzzle and some St. Patrick’s magnetic dominoes (printed on cardstock and run through the laminator with the magnetic cardrige – it laminates the top and puts a magnet on the back – love!)


I also have many colouring page, shamrock tracing pages, and Bingo dauber pages.
We’ve been having fun!

Some of the crafts are already completed and some will be done this week still – I will post an Art Exhibition post when we are done πŸ˜‰

LΓ‘ FhΓ©ile PΓ‘draig sona duit!


Ash Wednesday Colouring – The Results

Here is what A came up with for her Ash Wednesday colouring pages!

Ok, I participated on that last drawing πŸ˜‰

The stickers also came out at some point, including some very secular cats when we ran out of devotional ones. Oh well!

(and I did not tell her to use red for Jesus on the cross. She picked it up as her first colour choice for that drawing all on her own! Same for the girl receiving the cross mark, all in black (covered in sin). Sometimes the coincidences in her little mind amazes me…)


Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, the 7th Wednesday (or, 46 days) before Easter, and a season to focus on our need for forgiveness and salvation.

I was reading through my Lent Bible Study (Preparing My Heart for Easter, by Ann Marie Stewart) and came across the colours of lent: Red for the Blood of Christ, Black for Sin (Good Friday), Grey for Ashes (Ash Wednesday – sorrow), and Purple for Royalty (King Jesus).

My crafty self thought: Hey! I should prep some colouring activities for DD1! I like having themed colouring pages with themed coloured crayons in a glass laying around for A to colour with. So off I go to Google to find some Ash Wednesday colouring pages, and I pull out crayons and markers of those colours. Themed activities, crafts and colours are a fun way to learn about Holidays and events at her age! πŸ™‚