Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Mary Had a Little Lamb Nursery Rhyme Preschool Unit Review & Giveaway

I received a copy of Mary Had a Little Lamb Nursery RhymePreschool unit by Super Mommy to the Rescue to review (she also has other units available that I've heard are great at Currclick!

When I first received the unit, I printed it out and read through the whole thing. You will see that the pictures of the unit are in black and white. That is because I was out of ink for my color printer at the time. The unit is very colorful and I am sure would be beautiful printed in color. Since I was going to be using it with three children at the same time and I was low on ink, I decided to put everything in plastic sleeves and have the girls use wet-erase markers to do the writing activities. I did decide to laminate the hands-on activities (except for the traditional puzzles, number puzzles and patterns. I stored most of the activities in envelopes in the back pocket of the binder. I did decide to store the tic-tac-toe pieces in the sleeve of the tic-tac-toe board.
 I sat down with Cora, Martha & Jaina to do the unit. While I thought it might be a little “easy” for Cora, I also thought she would enjoy starting the school year off with a little review from last year. Martha & Jaina are only four and I’m easing them into Kindergarten work since they turn five in February.

The girls enjoyed listening to the nursery rhyme and then singing it all together. I then had the girls practice with the pre-writing. I actually gave Cora one of the longer copies of the rhyme since she already knows how to write her letters. They enjoyed tracing the letters, wiping it off and trying again.

Martha and Jaina then worked on tracing the lines. They both did great with the straight lines, but needed extra practice with the zig-zag lines. Having them using the papers in the plastic sleeves was great for this because they just wiped them off and tried again. They also worked on the coloring pages. Again, having them in the plastic sleeves worked well because they just wiped off what they did and traded papers.

I had Cora work on the number puzzles while Martha & Jaina were working on their lines. Then they took turns with the number strip puzzles, 2 part match-ups, and sizing. They then would pair up and play tic-tac-toe while the other continued to work on the other “games” and then would switch pairs. All three of them played memory together.
I also allowed Cora to try her hand at the patterns. This was a little hard because the pieces were so small and she had difficulty seeing what the picture was and picking up the small pieces to place in the pattern. Because she was having difficulty, I didn’t have Martha or Jaina attempt it.
  When they were done with the other activities, they had fun putting the puzzles together. I couldn’t figure out a good way to laminate the puzzle pieces so I just made sure they were careful with the pieces.

Overall, this was a great unit! The girls had fun (they even asked the next day to do it again!), Cora strengthen concepts she already knew and was able to practice counting and number order, and Martha & Jaina began on the journey of learning letters, numbers, sizing, and matching like items. The only downside I saw was what I mentioned earlier about the size of the pattern page.
I would recommend this unit to anyone who has little ones. Even if you don’t home school, you and your children will have fun while learning at the same time!

Stacie Lewin (Super Mommy to the Rescue) is graciously giving a copy of this unit to 2 of my readers! To enter leave a comment telling me why you want this unit. Giveaway ends Sunday, Sept. 23rd at midnight. I will post the winner before I leave for vacation (we leave on the 26th).

To earn more entries, complete the following and leave a comment for each item you accomplish.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Large Family Mothering: Strategies for weathering a storm

Large Family Mothering: Strategies for weathering a storm: Mountains don't have to be high. Skiers know this. Once while in Bavaria on a ski vacation we were told that a world-class athlete had re...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tired of the Mess--Success!

Do you remember when I wrote months ago about being Tired of the Mess? Well, it took a while, but I finally did something about it. That is the reason why I've been pretty much absent from my blog for the last couple of weeks. With picking and preserving garden produce, preparing for school to start this week and taming the mess, I haven't had time to sit and write (although I have lots of ideas in my head!).

I started on taming that mess back in February when I first wrote about it, but got discouraged when I needed help moving some things and couldn't get my husband to help. Then I thought I was going to be getting some new shelving units so I thought I would wait until I got those. When the time came to get them, we realized they wouldn't fit in the room because they were 8 ft tall and since our ceilings are only 8 ft tall, there was no way to stand them up. I got discouraged, again.

I kept wanting to do something, but with lack of time because of the garden, the miscarriage, etc., I was great at making excuses as to why I couldn't do anything. Then, two weeks ago, I had finally had enough. We had moved out our chest freezer so I had extra space and it was a rainy day and I knew I wanted it done before school started so I set to work. It took a total three days to get it to this point (the first day was a full day and then two half days after that).

Of course, when I first started, the room began to look worse and worse. I had to move piles of stuff out of the way so I could move things around. We ended up taking out three bags of trash and a box of items to be donated. Of course, just a week before I started on the office, I had two boxes of books that I pulled out to sell (I'm now down to one box!) so that was helpful. I still can't fit all our books nicely on the shelves we have so I need to do a little more work and I still have a few files and drawers to go through, but for the most part I am done. I am working slowly on those other items and need my husband to go through his book collection and downsize as he has more shelves of books than I do (the English major, book-loving, book-reading fiend!). I think if I can get his seven shelves of books down to even five, we'll be good (I only have two shelves, the girls have four, school books have four, and reference books have four).

We also discovered we have a lot more room with the new format even though we brought in a bookcase to replace the space the freezer took. The placement of the desk give me a better view of the house and girls' school desk at the same time.

Are you ready to see pictures?!

Here is the view of the office from the main house.
The bookshelves still need a little work.

The "School Zone". Books, supplies, etc.

Looking at this picture I realize I need to clear off my bulletin board some more!

The girls' school desks (the blue board folds down for a desk). We can't get that printer to work, so we will be getting rid of it.

These are the  bookshelves that still need to be downsized.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Large Families on Purpose: Organized Sports and Individual Hobbies - Appetite...

Organized sports is a topic that I have thought a lot about. Some of the points she mentions I agree with. Some of the points I haven't thought about before and am still "chewing" on. Some of the points brought up in the comments section are things that I struggle with.

What are your thoughts? I would love to hear more opinions on the topic. Please only comment after reading the link.

Large Families on Purpose: Organized Sports and Individual Hobbies - Appetite...: We are heading in to the fall season.  School will begin soon, and many parents are trying to determine which and/or how many activities th...