How to Make a Hat (Awana Hat)

I love when I have a simple recipe for a project that can be finished in a dozen different ways. By using aluminum foil, duck tape and masking tape, I was able to make the base for a hat. The nice thing about finishing with the masking tape, it provides a paintable surface.
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First take a few sheets of aluminum foil and mold it over the child’s head. I followed the hairline to make a rim for the extra foil. Then I covered the foil with duck tape to reinforce the shape and folded under to protect the edge. Next I covered the duck tape with masking tape. At this point we had a nice hat that fit on my son’s head.

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Since in a few days at Awana it will be crazy hat night, my son wanted to decorate his hat like Sparky on the cover of his book. We cut a few shapes out of cardboard, covered them in masking tape and taped them to the hat. Follow up with some paint and the hat is done.

My other son is now planning a theme for his hat. I think he is going to skip painting the masking tape and finish with camouflage duck tape, cause every army man needs a protective hat.
www.LayeredSoul.com Awana Sparky Hat

This took us less then an hour to do, my boy helped with the taping and loved painting it.

Bonus: Super Sparky wears his hat to recite his Bible verses.
stacey

Pastel Art Lessons

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We did it! We did our first pastel lesson. We have been reading and marveling over the pastel art lessons at Hodge Podge. I have to say I was a little hesitant on whether or not our pictures would turn out.

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The directions were easy to follow; the pictures of the steps were great. Having baby wipes on hand totally saved the experience of how messy our hands got.

We finished the first pastel lesson on a Pathway-to-the-Beach.

We begin our art lessons watching The World’s Greatest Paintings by The Great Courses.  This gives us 45 minutes of art history. Then we move to creating our own pictures. On our second lesson we did a picture of Noah’s Ark. The girls had to decide what the sea and the sky would look like. I had a replica of the ark on hand for them to copy. This tied in nicely with our lesson on the Bible and art.
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At the library this week, we decided to pick up some books on pastels. The books showed us different techniques. We plan to put those techniques to use by creating our own fall pictures.

Are you adding art into your school lessons this year?

stacey

How to Design a Lab Coat

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My boys convinced me that they “needed” lab coats for chemistry class. My first stop was Good Will to find 2  large, white, button-up shirts. Woo Hoo, five minutes in the store and I had two white shirts that would work. Next stop was the craft store for some iron-on letters, fabric paint and heat bond.

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While looking for the heat bond, I found some great oversized, primary colored buttons. (Big Basic Buttons, 6/Pkg, Primary)
I couldn’t resist the urge to continue our button sewing history lesson into this week’s science lesson. It was a great review and the larger buttons were easier for my youngest to sew.

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Since one of the shirts was long sleeved, I cut off the sleeves and taught my son to hem the new length. Since I was using the heat bond for the hem, my son thought this was the easiest thing to do.

Now if you can handle some simple stich sewing, use some of the left over sleeve material to make a second pocket. Then we ironed on their names and used the fabric paint for some decorations.

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stacey

Just “Mom”

Sometimes you need to just be “MOM”

I won’t even list all the hats I wear; it would probably overwhelm both of us. Since the homeschool hat ranks at the top of my job lists, sometimes I need to close the books and just be “mom.”
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Leave the lesson planning, grading papers, organizing books, and take a day to love on your kids. I think every 6 weeks this should be a holiday on the calendar.

No guilt allowed here. I know the math lessons need to be done, but nurturing that bond with your child will carry on long past the multiplication problems.

Grab your planners or log into your Google calendar, and tell the kids that (pick a date) will be a day of no school lessons. Yes, tell the kids, they will hold you accountable.

If you need a certificate for this holiday print this one out and hang it on the refrigerator.
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Homeschool Mom Inservice (246)

 

Since my oldest receives my blog updates in his email, I am anticipating a shout of glee when he reads this and shares it with his siblings.
stacey

Unplanned Chemistry Labs

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Grab the chemistry supplies and safety glasses and let the kids pretend. This week’s chemistry lesson involved learning the names of the apparatuses used in a chemistry lab.

I introduced the name of each apparatus and placed in on the table. Then I allowed them to measure water in the graduated cylinder. Move water back and forth with a pipette. I heated a class of water in the microwave to measure the temperature. Every few moments I would ask them the name of the apparatus they were using. Then I would leave them alone to pretend what experiment they were performing. Since I have boys there was a lot of explosive reactions happening.

My boys are begging to do this again, so I think tomorrow afternoon I will add food color to some of the water, throw a few spices on the table, and let them pretend our kitchen table is the best chemistry lab on the planet. Besides I am sure the teacher in me will ask a few times, “What is the name of that piece of equipment you are using?”

Sometimes you don’t need a fancy science experiment to have fun ☺
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stacey

Sewing Buttons with Boys

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We are studying the civil war this marking period. My boys are engrossed with anything soldier and army. I brought them to the table to discuss the necessary skills a soldier needs. The boys were quick to mention marching, battle strategies, and necessary weapons.

I interrupted my boys and asked them, “Did mothers follow their boys to war? Did wives go with their husbands?”
“No” they replied. They were only aware of women nurses and spies.

Well, what happened when a soldier’s button fell off, or he got a hole in his pants? That soldier had to know how to sew a button and mend a hole.

I have now convinced my boys that to further their learning on becoming a good soldier, they must learn to sew on buttons. They were eager to try.

stacey

Teaching the Lord Prayer to Non-Readers

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I have the privilege of co-teaching Sunday school to a group of 3 to 7 year olds. The beauty of the class is the mix of ages and abilities. Our kids don’t have to move up to the next class until they are ready. Since I have been doing this for a few years, it is great joy to watch our special need students blossom in their knowledge of God’s word.

For the first half of the year, we are going to spend a week on each verse of the Lord’s Prayer. Since I am a visual thinker, I like to place pictures above words to help the non-readers in the class recite their scripture verse. Our goal, that they understand the concepts and don’t get hung up on unfamiliar words.

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My pictures are simple clip art and I chose ones that I think this age group would understand. Here is the PDF of the whole prayer.

Lord's Prayer Part 1 (2004)

Lord's Prayer Part 2 (1250)

Lord's Prayer Part 3 (1104)

The size will fit onto the sentence strips that are sold at the Dollar Tree. I matted one set of strips onto a foam board with corner mounts. That way we can add the new strip each week.

I just read a great blog post on using moveable visual schedules over at The Inclusive Church blog. I think this will be a great help to our class. If you are looking for a few more activities for the Lord’s Prayer, I found some sites with lapbooks, mini books  and coloring pages. I think I have a few more verses I want to work on for them.

Here is how our church re-did Jr. Church to better serve the needs of all children.

 

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry Planning Session

If you read my post on planning All American History Jr, then you understand how overworked my printer is right now :)

ChemistryThis week I am laying out our (affiliate link)  Christian Kids Explore Chemistry notebooks. I am pretty excited to be teaching chemistry this year! Although I love the experiments in the book, I am planning on adding two or three more to our class each week.

I chose to keep the notebook divided by the units outlined in the book. Thankfully the cd that came with the book helped to print out the student pages. I did make a section for vocabulary. My boys are already doing a lot of writing in their other subjects, so I typed up the vocabulary to be printed out on address labels. Since the labels are white, I chose to print the blank boxes on yellow paper. Layered Soul

My oldest does have an extra section for the elements. I found an extra book A guide to the Elements that gives a brief history about each element. Choosing 3 a week, he will do a notebook page on each element. My youngest will do the element cards as outlined in Lesson 4.

If you would like a cover page for your chemistry notebook here is the one I made for my boys, Chemistry Cover Page (353)  Cover Page
Since I was on a roll with planning, your students might enjoy a little hangman with their chemistry vocabulary. This was a hit for our first class!  Chemistry Hangman (361)

If you are looking for more information,  The Homeschool Scientist did a product review of Christian Kids Explore Chemistry or Spell OutLoud did one showing how molecules work.

 

stacey