We’re Moving!

In order to continue to give you valuable resources, ideas, and inspiration in a efficient manner, feathers from my nest will be moving to:

http://www.thefeathersfrommynest.com/

The new website is still in progress, so you may see many updates and changes in the near future. All the content and resources you have been enjoying are available on the new site.

Thanks!

Candi

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Reading Together- Homeschool Preschool Ideas

As I shared in my last post, over the month of March I will be giving you many ideas to get started doing homeschool preschool in your home. The ideas I am giving you this week focus on activities to do with your child while you read aloud together. Consider putting some of these into your calendar. Continue to follow along with me through the month of March for more ideas!

Read 20 Minutes a Day

The children’s reading foundation recommends reading with your child at least 20 minutes per day, ages birth and up. I remember reading with my oldest when she was a newborn. We would lay on the floor together and I would hold the book up and read to her, it was a wonderful way to bond!

The Children's Reading Foundation

Take the Reading Pledge

Use Local Resources

Where we live now we have access to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. The Imagination Library sends us 1 book for each registered child ages birth through 5 EVERY month! My children LOVE getting a book every month in the mail. This is a free program, but is not available everywhere. See if your town has access to the imagination library. One thing I love about many (but not all) of the books that come from the imagination library is that they have questions and activities to go with each book on the inside flap, these help us teach our children reading comprehension.

Here are some more reading ideas for you to work on this week:

As You Read:

  • Let your child pick the book off the shelf, if they want to read it over and over again try these ideas:
    • read the same book different ways, one time make all the voices different, one time just look at the pictures, one time talk about the feelings or what everyone is doing
  • Ask your child about the cover of the book
    • have them identify the cover
    • ask them where the author is (read it to them)
    • ask them where the title is (read it to them)
  • Before reading a book, ask your child what they think the book will be about by looking at the cover
  • While reading together, clap the syllables of a few words or pictures
  • Point to a picture in a book, work with your child to come up with rhyming words (remember, nonsensical words are okay)
  • Talk about how the characters in the story feel
  • Relate any activities your child has experienced with the story

Relate To The Story:

  • Do something related to the story
    • After the book Blueberries for Sal, go pick blueberries together, or can blueberries, or make blueberry jam
    • After the book I am Bunny, talk about what season it is, go and do what bunny does in that season
  • Act out the Story
    • After the story, put on a play, acting out what happened in the story
  • Draw a picture of what happened in the story, let your child draw whatever they want, do not direct it
    • after they draw, ask them what character they liked best, have them draw the character
  • Make food relating to the book

Make it Fun:

  • Talk to your child about being their own author, make a book out of paper and have them illustrate a page or 2 each day,  ask them what they drew and narrate the book for them
    • read the story together when it is finished
    • We usually use something like this:

  • Start a chapter book at meal time or bedtime
  • Get some non-fiction books from the library
  • Focus on some books that relate to something your child enjoys (horses, tea, tractors, dogs etc.)
  • Try to find an interactive book at the library
    • One of our favorites:

Getting Your Child READY! for Kindergarten-Homeschool Preschool Ideas

READY! for Kindergarten is a national program through The Children’s Reading Foundation, originating in Washington State we have family members that teach and participate in this program. The thing I love about READY is they focus on ages birth through Kindergarten and give parents tools, resources, and ideas to use in every day life or in a more focused “homeschool” preschool atmosphere. I highly recommend finding a local READY! for Kindergarten program if there is one near you.

One of the recent tools I have from them is a calendar with 2-3 activities per week. Some of these activities are simple things we already do every day, others are new things that focus on a skill my children are learning. What a great way to work home school preschool into your schedule if you have not already! Make a list (or use one of mine) and plug 2-3 activities for the week into your calendar. I love using the reminder function in Google Calendar, it emails me a reminder for the day to prep and incorporate the activity.

Here are some more ideas:

  • Work on learning a song or finger play this week
    • think of a rhyme, song, or poem from your childhood you enjoyed
    • Check out Dr. Becky Bailey’s book I Love You Rituals
  • Have child match up numbers 1-9 with another number set (think of a puzzle, numbering 2 sets of spoons, numbers on a calendar etc.)
  • Roll 1 foam dice and turn another foam dice to match the dots
  • When reading a book ask your child “What will happen next” or “what was the story about” or “what did ____ do in the story”?
  • Sort coins or buttons into piles (start with 2 piles of likeness then do more)
  • Count stairs when walking up or down in your home, library, or community center
  • Name an item and take turns saying rhyming words (nonsensical words count too!)
  • Sing the ABC song while brushing teeth
  • Roll 2 dice, put a bear on top of each dot, ask “which has more? less?”
  • Make a two color pattern with counting bears or buttons (ababab pattern)
  • Find a book of Rhymes at the library, memorize one
    • try acting it out together for fun connecting time
  • Show several objects, take away one while child closes eyes. Ask “What is missing?”
  • Ask child open ended questions while reading “what would you do if”, “How do you think ___ feels”?
  • Talk with child about schedule for the day, at bedtime review what they did
  • At bedtime ask child what their favorite activity was
  • Check out a non-fiction book from the library, learn the meaning of some new words, have your child repeat the words back to you

For more ideas check these out:

Over the next month I will also be posting several ideas each week to try. I have also found that once I get my homeschool preschool supplies established and a schedule going, it becomes easier to come up with my own ideas to help my child grow their skills where they are at.

Happy learning!

Living in the World

We live in a world where people have different spiritual views, many have turned away from God. So how do we prepare our children to be a light in the world, to show love, while still keeping a holy life? Here are some thoughts.

in-the-world-but-not-of-the-world

I believe that since my job is to prepare my children to be adults in the world, shining a light for Christ, I need to show them how to handle the world. This means I do not “hide” them from the “evils” of this world. However, I also do not throw them into it and say “good luck”. If you have read through many of my articles, I am very intentional about the books we read, people we interact with, shows we watch etc.

What I Do

Identifying Sin

I believe a solid foundation starts with a strong spiritual foundation at home. We talk about sin, what sin is, what people might do that is a sin. We focus on age appropriate sins–sins they may encounter.  Much of this comes up organically, but I don’t hold back when the topic comes up, I say what the truth is, I do not try to make “everyone feel happy”, because sin is sin and the result without Christ is death, this is a SERIOUS matter. Continue reading

Scheduling Your Toddler’s Day

When my daughter was 3, she began asking me “what’s next”, followed by “then what”, and “what’s after that”…? Day after day I began to be worn out by the interrogation. It was understandable that she wanted to know what I had planned for the day, but I didn’t always know myself.

I sat down and wrote out a recurring weekly schedule. This is a picture/paper schedule I hang on the fridge for my little ones. As my children get older and start to have separate schedules I have switched to Google calendar so that I can input several events at the same time. In the summers, we usually go back to the picture/paper schedule.

Make Your Own Schedule

To get started on a schedule for your littlest of people:

  1. Break each day into time chunks. I started by breaking each day of the week into chunks of time, early morning, late morning, lunch, early afternoon, late afternoon, dinner, evening. There are many options on how to break up your time, start simple and pick something that will work for your family.
  2. Plug in your commitments. Remember this schedule is for your toddler/preschooler and yourself. I do not put school pickup and drop off for other siblings on this schedule.
  3. Look at your goals and list out what you want to accomplish. Some things that fall on my list are: bible lesson, homeschool preschool, discipleship night, library, game night, family walk, nature center etc.
  4. Plug your list of activities into your time chunks for the week. I also find pictures to represent each activity since my little ones can’t read. I then print and laminate this schedule for the fridge.

Continue reading

The Treasure Tree

One of my absolute favorite books (and the kids’ favorite) was a gift from a dear friend of ours, The Treasure Tree. The Treasure Tree is all about understanding who God created you to be and how your uniqueness is important.

About the Book

There are 4 friends in the book, 1 representing a different personality. These friends go on an adventure together throughout the book, they learn that it takes all of them, each different, to accomplish their goals.

I believe that our personalities are tendencies that God has created us with, then with experience and nurturing different tendencies may come out in our lives as we grow, learn, and change. It is fun to see what the personalities each of my children have a tendency towards. Understanding who God created them to be also helps me lead and teach them and give them grace.

You can read more in-depth about the 4 animal personalities on the Smalley Personality Inventory. You can also take a free online test on the Smalley Institute Website.

Application

This book is a great introduction to helping your child understand their personality tendencies. You can talk about the strengths and weaknesses of each character. Ask them which character they like best, which one they relate to or think they are most like and why. Talk about their siblings or yourself, ask them who they think you are most like. This discussion can be a great starting point for learning that God made everyone different and discussing how we can all work together towards God’s goal to accomplish something great.

Spiritual Leadership Plan

Your responsibility as a parent is to raise your child and shape their spiritual development.

You are your child's first teacher, teach them something vaulable.png


“Start children off on the way they should go,
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6


“5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:5-9


“9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.10 Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb,when he said to me, “Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.”” Deuteronomy 4:9-10


 

As parents we are ALL shaping our children’s spiritual view whether or not we know it. In our house we know what our spiritual beliefs are, we are passionate about them and we have decided we want our children to have a strong spiritual foundation in Christ. We therefore setup a spiritual leadership plan. This will look different in every home and family, I am going to share what we have done and are doing in our family. If you need help getting started, at the very end of this post is a worksheet you can print out (or just edit on your computer) to help you get your plan going.

Format

The spiritual leadership plan we use has two parts. The first part is the foundation. The starts with the end in mind-your goals, knowing where you want to go so that you can make a plan to get there. Once you have your goals set in place you look at what time you have available in your schedule, and then what traditions (spiritual and non-spiritual) are important to you and your spouse.

Once the foundation is laid, it is time to take that information and create an action plan for each person in your family, including yourself. When your children are very young you will create their action plan for them, as they grow, the amount they are involved will increase, until they create their own action plan for their spiritual growth. I would advise you to continue to make a plan for them as their guide and mentor.

The important thing to remember is that this is a living and changing plan. While you sit down to commit time to make it initially, you will change it as you and your family change and grow.  Continue reading