It's Deaf History Month!

Last week I braved the library with all four kids so our 9yo Doodlebug could attend Homeschooler’s Day. They had invited the principal of the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in to show us a little sign language and teach us about what it is like to be deaf. His ‘lecture’ was wonderfully entertaining and educational!
Since it is Deaf History Month I thought I would share with you some of the videos we will be exploring today!
Starting with our ABC’s!
YouTube – ABC song/ASL alphabet – American version.

Here Ashley Michele starts her five part lessons in sign language. She lost her hearing at two years old. has great video lessons! The first set is free, then other modules are only $5 each! You have access to the module for 180 days, making it a great idea for summer learning.
Do you know of a fun sign language resource or craft? Link up in the comments!

Rainbow Meal Planning

I realized at dinner last weekend that we needed a new way to eat. I, as mom and Chief Lunchlady, needed to find a way to get healthier foods on our table and in our mouths.
I did a little research on foods of different colors and created a little chart for us to use to see how well we do.
The goal is to eat on food of each color of the rainbow every day. Here is our chart (click the picture to download it for yourself!)

Eat The Rainbow Chart
I’m printing one for each member of the family so we can mark off every time we eat a color. The person who can fill up the entire rainbow (7 colors X 7 days = 49 check marks) will win a prize at the end of the week.
To help me choose foods I printed off the pdf on the NDSU site : “What Color is Your Food?
Ask Dr Sears’ website has some great information on what nutrients come from what colors (natural colors of course!) and a few fun ideas to get the kids interested in eating colorful foods!
I also stumbled upon some fun info about food and colors 🙂
Color Matters has me on the hunt for a blue light for my fridge!  Seems blue is an appetite suppressant!
From Color Psychology:

Food for Thought

While blue is one of the most popular colors it is one of the least appetizing. Blue food is rare in nature. Food researchers say that when humans searched for food, they learned to avoid toxic or spoiled objects, which were often blue, black, or purple. When food dyed blue is served to study subjects, they lose appetite.Green, brown, and red are the most popular food colors. Red is often used in restaurant decorating schemes because it is an appetite stimulant.
Read more: Color Psychology —

This doesn’t explain the absolute deliciousness that are Blueberry Muffins but there is an exception to every rule right?
Maybe I’ll start participating in Muffin Tin Monday again!  A color in each spot!
Are you trying to eat healthier in the New Year?  Do you have any special plans to get you there?

Passing Down the Machine

14 years ago…
(I feel a little Abe Lincoln here…)
my very new hubby did a very stupid thing and took his Sears card for a drive, buying me fancy schmancy sewing machine. (The gift was nice… using the credit card was stooooopid)
Five years ago, he sprung for a serger.
This past Mother’s Day, he upgraded me to a Singer Futura Embroidery Machine.
Yea, he’s a keeper.
Since the new machine is also a sewing machine, a fancy schmancy one at that, my poor little Kenmore machine is wrapped in plastic on the shelf waiting for someone to love it again.
The someone is here, in the house, I have just been waiting for her to grow up enough to sit still and pay attention.
This week, I let her sit and practice (on my new machine! *gasp*) sewing straight lines.  She’s going to make me crazy asking to do it again.  I need to sit with her this time, because she got excited and started stitching all my scraps together willy nilly like and stopped paying attention to what she was doing.
I might be crazy, but she really wants to learn.  So for Christmas, in her stocking, she will be getting her first measuring tape, some pins, a pin cushion, and a seam ripper.  She will also get full on access to Momma’s Sewing Machine… the first one.
I think I might print her off some of these starter projects and put them in a binder for her.

Did you teach your kid to sew? How old were they? Do you know of a fun/easy sewing idea?

Yes, we have a tv in our school…

I do try to do the right thing.  I do try to NOT let the television be a babysitter.  I fail a lot. Sometimes I just need the two year old to be distracted long enough for me to explain basic division (again) to the nine year old.  Sometimes, however, we make a day of it….
Don’t you remember those days when you’d get to class, sit at your desk, and notice the tv cart in your classroom?  The thrill of knowing you didn’t have to listen to some boring teacher, you would get to listen to some boring guy on tv instead!  At least the boring tv person had visual aids.
We don’t have satellite or cable and I’m really bad about making it back to the library to return videos, so we rely on our Netflix account to supplement our homeschool with fun stuff.
Here are some of our favorite shows that we can stream right to the tv or computer:

  • National Geographic – most of these are great, some my kids are too young to pay attention too
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Super WHY
  • Little House on the Prairie (won’t stream, but you can get the DVD’s)
  • Discovery Channel documentaries
  • Mythbusters
  • The History Channel documentaries
  • BBC Science shows
  • PBS documentaries (we love the one on National Parks)
  • Musicals like Oliver and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Sometimes I can’t get them to agree to sit and watch but if I leave it playing, they seem to gather near and start watching.
Do you use Netflix or Blockbuster in your school?  What shows do you enjoy watching?

A few Saturday Christmas crafts

I was trying to find a few easy Christmas crafts I might could do with the kids this weekend that wouldn’t end with me wanting to stuff them all in a box and ship them to my aunt in New Mexico.  (She lives the farthest away)
I thought I’d share them with you since most are easy paper projects with things you might already have laying around….or you can easily substitute with something else.
Paper Sphere Ornaments
Paper Ball Ornaments
Coffee Filter Christmas Trees
3D Stars
Origami Boxes… great for gifts or for decorations!
I’ll post pics if we get anything finished!

Stolen from Public School…. it’s Math Blitz Week!

Salt Tray Math

My friend Laurie tweeted this morning about her local school system having a Math Blitz Week and how she was going to do the same thing with her kids this week.  Being the total copycat mom that I am I have stolen her idea and the school’s idea and am having a math blitz week of our own!

Today, made up some basic addition facts flash cards and practiced them, both grades (3rd and 1st) together.  Then we drew a giant number 10 on a piece of art paper and decorated all around it with the many facts that equal ten.  The girls earned a tootsie roll for remembering all of them without my help.  I pulled out some old workbooks and set Tader up at the kitchen table to work through the fun pages while Doodlebug and I sat on the floor to formally introduce her to multiplication.

My NON math child now knows how to multiply and filled in a multiplication table up to the nines!!  I couldn’t be more excited!

Here are some links to the resources we’ll be using this week!

Won’t you join us!?

10 Ways to Make Your Tweets Stand out in the Crowd :Blog Tour 2010

This post is a stop along Tanya Peterson’s Blog Tour 2010. Tanya is the blogger behind Blogelina, where she writes about blogging your way to success. Be sure to check out all the other stops along the tour and enter to win $100 to use in improving your own blog!
10 Ways to Make Your Tweets Stand out in the Crowd
With the thousands of tweets happening each day on Twitter, it can be very difficult to get your own tweets noticed. Succeeding on Twitter is really about building relationships with other “Tweeps”. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Don’t spam. Don’t always be tweeting to advertise yourself, what you’re doing, or what you’re selling. Instead – give, give, give. Think of your readers when you tweet – what do they want or need?
Add value. Tweet about relevant things – things that you yourself would want to read. Link to blog posts and articles that you have found helpful. More than likely, your followers will find them helpful, too.
Know your purpose. Why are you tweeting? Is it to just have fun? Is it to network with other people? Is it to promote your blog, website, or business? Decide your reason for tweeting and then start tweeting like you mean it!
Ask questions. Everyone likes to share their opinion. Ask for input on a decision you need to make. Ask what people need. Ask how you can help.
Pay it forward. Retweet as much as you can. If someone tweets something that touches you or helps you, click the retweet button. Share with your followers how great the people are that you are following.
Build a relationship, a connection. Connections and relationships is what Twitter is about. Take the time to let someone know you appreciate what they’re doing. Ask others how you can help them. It only takes a minute or two to type out 140 characters!
Network with people like you. Find others on Twitter who are interested in the same things that you are. Already, you’ll have something in common on which to base a future networking relationship.
Tweet regularly. I don’t know about you but I notice the tweets of people I see tweeting consistently. If you are regularly adding tweets that are helpful and valuable, people will start associating your ID with great content.
Pick the right Twitter ID. If you’re trying to get noticed on Twitter for a particular reason, work that reason into your Twitter ID somehow. I started out as @Blogelina but have since changed to @MomsWithBlogs. I did this because, at least for the time being, the name Blogelina isn’t very recognizable (hopefully that will change soon!). @MomsWithBlogs gives others a bit of an idea about what I’m writing about.
Make your tweets retweetable. Don’t use up all 140 of your characters. Remember that when people retweet you, RT@YourTwitterId will be added to the front of your tweet. Plan accordingly. Include a link in your tweet – somewhere for people to go for more information. Add your own perspective. Again, it’s all about adding value to everything you do.
What tweets do you tend to notice? Why do you think you notice them? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!

A Thanksgiving Coloring Prompt: Food

What food are you thankful for?
Today we are coloring plates full of our favorite foods!

Join in by downloading our Thankful for our Food Coloring Page


Here is what my girls are thankful for:
This is Taderbug’s. She is thankful for chicken nuggets, oranges, spaghetti, peas, and hmmm… maybe those are raisins.
My Doodlebug is thankful for green beans, chicken, oranges and juice.  There is more on this plate but she ran off before I could get the details.
If your little ones would like to share what they are thankful for link up with the Mr. Linky below!  I’d love to see what they doodle!

Observe, Compare, Contrast: A Science Worksheet

One of the easiest ways to “do” science is to just use your eyes and observe the world around you!
Look at fruit, trees, bugs.
Examine types of floors, colors of flowers, smells from the spice rack.
Here is a simple chart we print and use to fill in our findings.

Observe, Compare and Contrast Science Worksheet
In column one we simply write (or draw) what we see.  What color is the apple?  What shape is the cinnamon stick?
In the second column we compare how they are alike.  The apple and orange are both round.  The tree and the bush are both green.
In the last column we show how they are different.  Red vs. Orange.  Tall vs. Short. Strong smell vs. No smell.
Please feel free to download our simple spreadsheet and add to your collection of fun worksheets!
Come back and let us know what you observed.