*****Please note that there are days where I will post more than once. So, to find out all the latest happenings and "goings-on" in our family (or my random thoughts), be sure to scroll down.*****

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Menu Plan Week of October 31, 2010

Here’s what’s cooking at our house this week:
Sunday – Italian Meatballs, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies, and Gravy
Monday – Hamburgers and Chips
Tuesday – Homemade Pizza with Pepperoni, Hamburger, and Mushrooms
Wednesday – Creamy Baked Chicken and Steamed Veggies
Thursday – YOYO
Friday – Flounder, Corn, and Steamed Veggies
Saturday – Steak Fajitas
So, what’s on YOUR menu this week?  Feel free to share any of your favorite recipes or meal ideas.  I’m always up for new meals to try. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sign Language…Guest Post

***I have always been fascinated by sign language.  It has been a desire of mine to learn how to sign, and I can sign the alphabet and a few basic words.  When Micah was a baby, we taught him to sign “more” and “all done.”  It was so cute watching him use his signs to communicate his needs.  Below is a guest post from Emily Patterson.  I hope you enjoy reading it and learn a little bit more about sign language.  Thanks for reading!***
Early Childhood Education – Acquiring Sign Language

One of the keys to surviving in a tilted economic system in which opportunities to achieve a decent standard of living will be limited is versatility – and the ability to communicate articulately in a variety of ways with the widest possible audience. This includes bilingual ability as well as the ability to communicate in non-verbal ways for the benefit of the disabled – primarily the deaf.

At the same time, a growing shortage of qualified interpreters fluent in American Sign Language has led to more career opportunities – and if current trends continue, it's likely that skilled ASL interpreters will have little problem securing lucrative employment in a society where such a commodity is destined to be in short supply.

Signing Before They Can Speak

A great deal of research has clearly demonstrated that the early years – ages 2 to five – are the best time to educate children in different modes of communication and language. This goes beyond the spoken word (though it is an optimal time for children to learn a second language); many young children have an aptitude for signing as well.

This is not as odd as you may think. As you know, many indigenous peoples around the world, including American Indian nations, have used sign language for centuries to facilitate communication with other tribes with whom they do not share a language. Some paleontologists and anthropologists theorize that Neanderthals – who apparently lacked the vocal mechanism to produce many spoken words – depended a great deal upon hand gestures to communicate.

In fact, recent research suggests that sign language is innate. An article published in the Boulder Daily Camera in 2003 presented strong evidence that babies as young as six months old communicate with their hands:

"...by 6 to 7 months, babies can remember a sign. At eight months, children
can begin to imitate gestures and sign single words. By 24 months, children
can sign compound words and full sentences. They say sign language reduces
frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves
before they know how to talk." (Glarion, 2003)

The author also cites study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development demonstrating that young children who are taught sign language at an early age actually develop better verbal skills as they get older. The ability to sign has also helped parents in communicating with autistic children; one parent reports that "using sign language allowed her to communicate with her [autistic] son and minimized his frustration...[he now] has an advanced vocabulary and excels in math, spelling and music" (Glarion, 2003).

The Best Time To Start

Not only does early childhood education in signing give pre-verbal youngsters a way to communicate, it can also strengthen the parent-child bond – in addition to giving children a solid foundation for learning a skill that will serve them well in the future. The evidence suggests that the best time to start learning ASL is before a child can even walk – and the implications for facilitating the parent-child relationship are amazing.
Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas
Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Zionsville child care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of Indiana child care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Plan Week of October 24, 2010

Well, better late than never, right?!!?  We just got back from a weekend getaway, and I forgot to schedule this to post while we were gone.  So, here’s the menu at the Childress Household this week.
Sunday – Out of town
Monday – YOYO (returning from w-end trip)
Tuesday – Homemade Pizza with Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Pineapple
Wednesday – Sticky Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Steamed Veggies
Thursday – YOYO
Friday – Beef Tenderloin, Baked Potatoes, Salad
Saturday – Steak Fajitas
So, what’s cooking at your house this week? 
Speaking of cooking, I have a TON of apples that we brought home from Ellijay (apple city).  I’ve got 1/2 a bushel of Pink Ladies, 1/2 a peck of Golden Delicious, and 5 lbs of Arkansas Black.  Please share any and all apple recipes.  LOL!  I’ve got to use up all of the apples somehow!  I know we’ll eat some, but I’d love to bake with them, too!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Second Grade Week 18 in Review

We are done with another week of 2nd grade at Childress Academy.  While we were doing so well at staying on track, we’ve fallen slightly behind (only about 4 lessons).  However, we’ll get caught up soon.  Here’s how our week went:
Bible:  Our Bible story was on “The Bible is Our Rule”, and our memory work was First Catechism Q&A 14.  We read Acts 17:1-12 and Galatians 1:6-12 to reinforce the Bible story.
Health:  This week we’re spending time reviewing for our Unit 1 Test.
Science:  Caleb spent time learning the three parts of an insect…head, thorax, and abdomen. 
English:  We discussed the parts of a book, the dictionary, and the library.
Vocabulary:  This week we’re finishing up vocabulary with two cumulative tests.  Caleb scored well on both of them; however, he does have room for improvement.  This was our last week of vocabulary until the New Year.
Social Studies:  This week reviewed the states we’ve been studying in Geography, and in social studies we are continuing to read about the Separatists.
Reading:  This week we read the following books:
The Day the Dinosaurs Died by Charlotte Lewis Brown
All About Frogs by Jim Arnosky
Math:  This week we’re working on subtraction “-9”.  I’m really enjoying how Math U See teaches these concepts and gives the students little “tricks” for learning.
We started Co-Op classes last week, and both boys were so excited.  As some of you may remember, this is a NEW Co-Op that was started by several of my home schooling friends and myself.  We have about 23 families this session, and we are so pleased with how things are going.  Micah is actually in the Nursery all day…I took him out of his preschool class on Thursdays because I couldn’t work out a drop-off/pick-up solution.  Caleb is taking three classes…Game Time, Fun with Math, and Arts ‘n Crafts Fun.  I’m sure I’ll share some of their “creations” as we continue over the next 5 weeks.
Thanks for following our journey, and we’d love to hear how your school year is going.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Menu Plan Week of October 16, 2010

Here’s what’s cooking at the Childress household this week:
Sunday – Kielbasa Vegetable Saute’ with Egg Noodles and Gravy
Monday – Homemade Beef Taquitos, Mexican Rice, and Salad
Tuesday – Homemade Pizza with Pepperoni, Mushroom, and Pineapple
Wednesday – Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, and Salad
Thursday – YOYO
Friday – Out of town with friends
Saturday – Out of town with friends
So, what’s on your menu this week? 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Second Grade Week 17 in Review

We finished up week 17 a few days ago, but I’m just now getting around to posting our review.  This has been a busy week for us, so that explains a little of it.  Here’s how the week went:
Bible:  Our Bible story this week was on “God’s Law”, and we read Exodus 20:1-23.  Our memory work for the week was Galatians 3:24.
Health:  This week we learned how to prevent communicable diseases. 
Science:  This week we began studying insects.  We learned how God designed them all with a purpose and plan.
English:  Caleb took his test over the poetry chapter, and we began a new English chapter.  We talked about tips for good listening, and we worked on listening for the main idea.
Vocabulary:  Caleb was tested over the words he’s been studying for two weeks, and he scored 100%.
Social Studies:  In Geography, we added California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming to our states study.  In Social Studies, we continued to study The Separatists.  We learned how the men were taken over, and the boat with the women and children got left behind.  The judge heard the case of the women, and then sent them to Holland to be with their husbands.  Then, the Separatists were getting upset because the children were forgetting their English ways.
Reading:  This week we read the following books:
Scooby Doo!  The Big Bad Blizzard by Gail Herman
Volcanoes! by Anne Schreiber
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Math:  We worked on subtraction –2 this week.
Thanks for following our home school adventure.  We started Co-Op classes yesterday, so I’m sure I’ll be posting about that soon.  I hope you all have a FABULOUS weekend!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu Plan Week of October 10, 2010

As my faithful readers will remember, I went through a phase when I participated in Menu Plan Monday.  However, I soon got off track, and well…menu planning went out the door. 
We’re trying to get back into menu planning so we can save some money at the store and from eating out.  With that said, I plan to post my menu each Sunday for the upcoming week.  If you do menu planning, feel free to share yours with me.  If not, maybe I’ll provide a little inspiration.
Sunday – Noodles and Eggs (this is a family favorite)
Monday – YOYO (You’re on Your Own…not really, but it’s a nicer way of saying “leftovers”)
Tuesday – Homemade Mexican Pizza
Wednesday – Taco Fiesta Soup
Thursday – Homemade Pizza w/Pepperoni, Mushroom, Pepper, and Pineapple
Friday – YOYO (mommy has a Girl’s Night Out)
Saturday – Homemade Beef Chimichangas, Salad
***Most Tuesdays and Thursdays will be pizza night since Caleb has gymnastics.  I can prep a pizza in 5-10 minutes, and it’s ready in about the same.  So, that makes for an easy, fast meal instead of eating out***
What’s on YOUR menu this week?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blogging Perks and Laptop Bags

One of the perks of blogging is getting the opportunity to review products.  While I haven’t accepted many of these opportunities, I did agree to one recently.  One of the owners of Simply-Bags asked me if I would be willing to review one of their embroidered laptop bags.  Being as I have had a laptop for almost two years now and have yet to purchase a laptop bag, I graciously agreed. 
I was so excited today when the package arrived.  The bag is BEAUTIFUL.  It’s a lovely chocolate brown with turquoise accents (the pictures do not do the bag justice).  The turquoise is a nice patent leather, and it really accentuates the bag.  The inside has several handy pockets…one side has pockets for pens or pencils, and the other side has pockets for credit cards or even your license.  I cannot wait to be able to use this sleek and stylish bag.
So, if you’re in need of a laptop bag, I encourage you to click on the above link and check out Simply Bags.  I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

laptop bagIMG_6416 pockets for pens or pencilsIMG_6421 pockets for credit cards or licenseIMG_6422 monogramIMG_6423

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Second Grade Week 16 in Review

We’ve done a fairly decent job of staying on track thus far this year.  It is such a wonderful feeling knowing that we still have plenty of wiggle room in our schedule should we need it.  Here’s how last week went for us:
Bible:  Our Bible story was on “God Can Do Anything”, and our memory work was First Catechism Q&A #13.  We read Joshua 10:6-15 to reinforce the bible story and memory work.
Health:  This week we discussed our ears, and we learned some important rules for ear care.
Science:  This week we discussed how animals are equipped for survival and protection.
English:  We finished up our writing chapter.  Caleb finished up his shape poem.  Here’s his couplet and his shape poem (click on the picture to enlarge them).  I think he did a GREAT job!

Caleb’s coupletIMG_6409 Caleb’s shape poemIMG_6410
Vocabulary:  This week Caleb was introduced to the following words:  aquarium, cage, club, faucet, flood, gift, icicle, imitate, pearl, and valley.  We did several activities to reinforce the definition of each word.
Social Studies:  In Geography, we learned the location of England and Holland (the Netherlands).  In Social Studies, we started a new unit, and we began learning about the people who built America.  Our studies started with The Separatists.
Reading:  This week we read the following stories:
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Panda Whispers by Mary Beth Owens
The Principal’s On the Roof by Elizabeth Levy
Math:  This week we started subtracting –1 and –0.  Caleb is doing fairly well with subtraction, and I hope he’s able to retain the facts using Math U See.  Only time will tell…
As always, thanks for following our home school adventure.  We’ll share week 17’s activities towards the end of the week.  Until then…happy schooling to all of you!

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