Archives for May 2012

Summer Reading Plan


Summer Reading Plan

We were at the library yesterday and saw the advertising for the summer reading program. I am always shocked how a sheet of paper, a strip of stickers and a chance for a prize motivates my kids to want to spend some of their summer reading!

So fast-forward to this morning, since our bible reading comes from our school curriculum and we are finishing that up. I told my 7 year old, go read you bible. He was immediately lost on what he should read and slumped on the couch. Hmm might need to offer some guidance here.

Summer Reading Plan for His Glory
A Family Challenge

I then remembered I had some great family activity coupons lying in a drawer, the kind of coupons that can get you ice cream for dinner or a special outing with dad. I grabbed a lovely red gift bag and added the coupons to it.

At the end of June, July and August if your reading chart is filled with stickers you can grab a coupon out of the bag! Hmm I might need to come up with a coupon my husband and I can strive towards. It always makes things fun when the kids can check to see how WE parents are doing.


DIY Science Board Game

Health Matters
DIY Science board game: Health Matters

My favorite way to end our science co-op; design a board game! Since we just finished our unit on the Human Body that became the theme for our game.

We decided to base our game on the actual game of “Life.” The goal: acquire a medical profession, buy a medical building and retire with the most money.

We choose 6 medical jobs: Surgeon, Doctor, Nurse, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist and Medical Clerk.

We choose 6 medical buildings: Hospital, Nursing Home, Medical Clinic, Doctor’s Office, Pharmacy, and Urgent Care.

If you roll a 1 or a 6 you can switch salaries with any player.

The kids came up with 24 medical ideas for the Health tiles. For instance, “Find a cure for cancer, earn $100.” The tiles will be collected traveling the board and they can’t be read until the player reaches the retirement community.

Then came the real hard work, thinking of different things to write on the squares on the board. A few of my favorite: Lead the group in singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, For a healthy heart do 10 jumping jacks or Leave scalpel in patient pay $30.

Supplies for DIY Science Board Game:

  • We modge podged some Google images to the cards.
  • Typed up the words onto address labels to make the different cards.
  • Then used a black Sharpie pen and neat handwriting completed the board.

If you want to read about last years game “Journey to the Abyss” hop over to my blog post at Bright Ideas Press 

If you need some help in getting started with making your own DIY Science board game:

Math Formulas in Color

Math Formulas

When my son started adding instead of multiplying when doing area, and couldn’t remember to take ½ of the number when doing triangles; I knew we needed to stop and help his mind sort out the information rolling around in there.

First thing I did to help him is color code the math formulas, this really helps form a picture in his mind.

Since he was counting numbers into the trillions I wanted to review place value. It is a great math concept to color code. Place value cups can be a hands on way to learning place value.

Then we discussed what items in life that he could picture in his mind that had perpendicular and parallel lines.  We added the compass rose to help with perpendicular and railroad tracks to help with parallel.

To remember that perimeter is adding the numbers I used addition signs in the corners.

Then when we moved into area problems I shaded the problems to help him remember that area is the inside of the shape.

We did make the h in the triangle formula a little different, but in his mind angling the H and putting the right angle line on it helps him remember.

Now we have reference sheets for when we are teaching the lesson for the 20th time and it all “seems new” to us.

Take a risk and try adding color to math formulas and extra pictures to help remember how things are supposed to work.

Math Formulas2

How to Prioritize the Important Stuff


How I prioritize the important stuff. For the last few years of juggling all the hats I wear in life, I usually visualized my priorities on a long checklist. Of course God should be first, and then my husband…. This usually led to guilt by lunchtime when I realized I had not prayed or thought of my husband.  Maybe you have been in my shoes?

Instead of visualizing that rectangle of a priority list, try a circle! Hopefully, you are familiar with the word circles that make the words larger for more usage and smaller for less. Really sometimes it can be the simple thought adjustments that help relieve me up the guilt in life.

Order 2

Now the other big thought, don’t analyze this list everyday! That weekly date night goes a long way to keeping my husband high on the list, that morning bible study gives me nuggets of truth for days, and the kids completing a huge school project. We tend to forget yesterday’s events when the stress of today is staring us down. Even worse we forget when we start comparing our inside moments to people’s outside moments. Comparison kills happiness.

OH and to remind myself to give myself grace when the washing machine breaks, the children get sick, and I haven’t showered in days. (Yeah that was my week)

Now my Priority Circle can allow the words to grow big or get smaller based on time over the week. So if my circle looks like this….better reevaluate fast!

Order 3