Identifying Areas To Improve Upon. Reflections, Paul’s Pre-K, Week 3

Week three done already!  It feels like we’ve been at this for much longer than that!  Paul is into it, he asks to do his “homework” just as sister had to do her’s during the school year.  I love that … Continue reading

Back To It! Reflections, Paul’s Pre-K, Weeks 1 & 2

I am so excited!  I have decided to homeschool Paul for pre-k and we started last week! He is old enough that he would be entering pre-k for the 2017-2018 year, but I just don’t think he is ready to be in school all day.  … Continue reading

Happy 1 Year Homeschooling! And Reflections, Week 48

Today, July 28, 2015, marks one year homeschooling Elizabeth!  Today I will count as the official first day of kindergarten, we are all done with pre-k!  Oh my – my little girl is growing up! Even though we have now commenced with … Continue reading

Elizabeth’s Bright Idea: A Nature Scavenger Hunt!

Just about every day, Elizabeth decides what she’s got for school for that day, in addition to what I have for school.  These ideas usually involve mixing colors, something that she is really intrigued with, and often involve food coloring, … Continue reading

How to Get by as a Single Homeschooling Parent (Hopefully). Reflections, Week 47

I feel much more positive this week than last.  I have had some encouraging contacts and have made some decisions that I believe I will stick with; indecision is very hard.  I feel more positive that I am making the … Continue reading

The Proper Pet. Reflections, Week 46

I could hardly say that this week counts as a week of school, Elizabeth and I only did organized school on Tuesday, and again on Saturday night.  I’ve been so crazy running around with getting job applications completed and talking … Continue reading

Determining Priorities. Reflections, Week 45

Thank you to those that voted in the poll and commented on my last reflections post, T-Ball Mamma!  I gave serious weight to your votes, to my current situation (I’m facing separation and divorce), and my priorities.  I asked myself if … Continue reading

‘How Does it Feel to Sleep’ Meditation for Kids

Here’s the word-for-word meditation that I did with Elizabeth on how it feels to sleep that I described in my Week 43 Reflections.  As she is all ready experienced in laying down for a guided mediation, that made it easier.  She pulled out my yoga mat, and I put on some night sounds off YouTube for full effect.  I read it in a soothing voice at a medium-slow speed so as not to lose her by going either too fast nor too slow.  Feel free to use my guided meditation, modifying it for you/your child.

How Does it Feel to Sleep?

Lay on your back in a comfortable position.  Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, and let it out slowly.  Take another deep breath in, and let it out slowly.  Take another one, let it out slowly.  Feel your body become heavy on the floor as you breathe out.  Breathe in, breathe out.

Now tune into your feet, let them relax and feel heavy.  Take a deep breath in, breathe out.  Let your legs relax as you breathe in and out.  Relax your belly, relax your back, relax your chest, relax your shoulders.  Relax your arms, relax your hands.  Now relax your face, your eyes, and mouth.  Take a deep breath in, let it out slowly.

Imagine you are snuggled up in your bed with your soft blankets.  You feel so warm, you feel safe and happy.  Your fan is whirring softly.  It is dark in your room, but your nightlight casts a green light on all of the things you love and keep in your bedroom.  Your bedroom is a place you love.  It is a place where you go to play and learn, it is where you go to calm down when you get mad, and a place to cheer you up when you are sad.  You love your room, and your room loves you.

You are snuggled up at nighttime in your bed.  Your light is off, and it is dark.  Doggie is in your arms.  You close your eyes and relax your whole body to fall asleep.

A dream appears in your mind.  It is something happy that makes you feel good.  Follow it and allow it to take you to a warm place where you feel love.  You love your dream; it is like Mommy’s arms around you in a big hug, Brother sitting next to you in the armchair, or Daddy carrying you into the house from the car if you are too tired to walk.  What do you do in your dream that makes you have fun and feel happy?

Go ahead and play.

Your dream decides that it is time to go and you need to wake up soon.  Let your dream go and start to feel your body again.  It is laying on it’s back.  Feel our fingers and arms.  Feel your stomach and legs.  Wiggle your toes and move your mouth.  Keep moving a little more.  Do you know where you are?  Open your eyes.  Sit up and stretch up to the ceiling with your arms and to the wall with your toes.  Smile and know I love you.

Questions to ask post-meditation:

What did sleep feel like?

What was the dream that took you into sleep?

What did you play?

Did it seem like you were in our room and in your bed even though you were on the floor in the living room?

To my readers:  Enjoy!

A Week in the Country. Reflections, Week 43

I’m over taking naps in the afternoons; actually, I forgot to mention in my last post that I had been getting migraine/stress headaches too, which was the main reason I was napping – when I get a migraine my only choice is sleeping it off.  But I feel a bit better this week.  I let myself be depressed, but I’m a resilient person and now I am swinging in the other direction, and I am determined!  This week I’ve been collecting important paperwork I to fill out, moving forward with starting my own housekeeping business (there’s actually a pretty good amount of money in it, particularly for the area I live in), and putting out some applications.

As well, Elizabeth are I were back to school.  We started our unit last Thursday and are reading A Night in the Country, by Cynthia Rylant.  I think Cynthia Rylant is one of my favorite children’s book authors.  Her books include the Henry and Mudge series, as well as one called The Wonderful Happens, and another about cat heaven that we read at the vet soon after my cat that had lived here with us for a while before going back to live with my Mom was put to sleep.  Her books are so calm and gentle, I just absolutely love them all and keep looking for them whenever we go to the library.

Night in the Country is no different, and in it she describes some of the behaviors and sounds of night animals and things that are about if one were to be awake during the night somewhere in the country.  I really enjoy my modifications for this unit, which include discussing and listening to some of the noises of night animals and what happens to things at night, such as plants and kids growing.  We also made a dot graph of the change in night length across the seasons, and took a ‘listening walk’ one evening after Brother went to bed (unfortunately it was kind of chilly and none of the crickets or frogs were trilling, but we did see a cottontail).  We have also done some day- and nighttime-focused art as well.

Actually, as I look back over what we’ve done, it appears as though most of the activities this unit are modifications I have made.  I added in discussing why we need darkness, and we are growing some mung bean sprouts in a paper bag to demonstrate how plants need darkness.

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Mung bean sprouts (we will eat them in a few days!)

As we are focusing on what plants do at night, I decided to focus on sleep as well, and wrote out a “How does it feel to sleep” meditation.  Elizabeth enjoys my Denis Austin yoga VHS tape that I have had since I was in the 8th grade.  Her favorite part is the guided meditation at the end with the nature sounds behind Ms. Austin’s voice, so I decided to write up my own in the same style.  I think she enjoyed it.

Discussing country living should also involve touching on city living, so today we stopped at the library and got out a bunch of supplemental books on farming and life in rural communities, as well as some fictional stories about life in a city.  A few of my choices were Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña to illustrate life in a city, and Community Helpers: Farmers by Cari Meister to continue on the country theme.

Lastly, no unit study about the country would be complete without a trip to the farm, so we made one!  Chepe said the kittens were old enough to be held, so Elizabeth rode over with him when he left for work in the morning on Tuesday, and Paul and I went over a little later.  We got to see the kittens and calves, as well as watch the cows getting milked.  Luckily, another co-worker of Chepe’s had his 4-year-old daughter there with him that day, so she and Elizabeth got to play together all morning.

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One of the kittens

 

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The only black this calf had on it was this one spot and on the tips of it’s ears, and looks like maybe some on it’s lips. It was so cute!

So, when one lives in the country, it’s not hard to observe things that happen in the country, but teaching a 5-year-old that observation is important is necessary.  I have read that young children are very observant, because their life is in the here and now, as in they are present most, if not all, of the time.  But if the adults in their lives dismiss their special observations, by the time they are nearing ten, their attention to the details of life surrounding them significantly reduces.  I am trying my hardest to keep that keen observation alive for as long as possible in my amazing little girl.  I am reminded of that meme that was being passed around on Facebook too:  that most kids can identify more logos and brand names of products than trees and plants and animals.  Not my kid, she’s a nature wiz.

Share your thoughts:  What are some interesting ways you have studied life in the country?