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“The Mitten” storytelling fun and a simple mitten art piece via @simplylearning ❤️ Love this story. Snow play dough is a huge hit right now, by the way! #simplylearningkids #lettermunit

i love the @simplylearning literature based curriculum we use for preschool. this was my week to teach seven kids "goodnight goodnight construction site". we did watercolor painting over a hand drawn page of the verse for the week, mega blok puzzles, digging trays and practiced writing the letter "D". all days don't go smoothly but I am thankful for the opportunity to love and teach these little ones. #simplylearning #homeschoolmama #fornownotforever #goodnightgoodnightconstructionsite

Yesterday I overwhelmed him with a stick counting game late in the day when he was already too tired. Today we are slowing things down and reviewing the basics, with stickers of course! // Q: do you find yourself having difficulty differentiating what your close in age kiddos can accomplish. Sometimes I get the skill level all wrong. I don't mind starting over, but I'm surprised how often I find myself repeating this mistake. #schreiberschooling #hudsonmark #simplylearning Thanks @alund14 for the idea!

Back at it this week with letter B 🐰 we squeezed it in between visiting my brothers new kittens and Everly spending the afternoon throwing up 💆🏻 #neveradullmoment #simplylearning

Rhyming words! So cool to watch my kiddos learn! #totschool #notahomeschoolfamily #justplay #simplylearning #thisis3

Lots of fun today since we skipped Wednesday this week. We used our playdoh and made bug imprints while identifying them with the A-Z Bug Book. Then we sorted blueberries using #simplylearning printables and transferred them to our "tin" like Little Sal #kirplinkkurplankkurplunk #peacefulpreschool

Started letter B today and Easton woke up soo excited to begin! I love doing @thepeacefulpress and also using the amazing resources from @simplylearning. I will say I definitely don't stick exactly to the curriculum. I like having the freedom to add or remove something that just doesn't fit with us. Easton is loving it and I'm really enjoying stretching my teacher muscle while getting to stay home with my babies! 💛😀
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#2acresinthecity #homeschoolmom #homeschool #preschool #simplylearning #peacefulpreschool

Me: "D is for..." Declan: "rubber ducky!" #closeenough #simplylearning

MOST RECENT

Sewing 'snowballs' - inspired by the book "Before Morning"
I used to make these threaded cotton ball strings to hand in my classroom windows in England, since we didn't get snow very often. I had been planning on doing the same all of November, since snow was so late arriving in Canada this year. Of course by the time we are finally getting around to doing it, snow is everywhere! But that doesn't make it any less pretty.

I used an embroidery needle because they are thicker and less sharp for E to handle. I was also particular about the type of cotton ball (from years of experience!). Some cotton balls are wound up almost like a little roll, which makes it hard to thread a needle into from certain angles. You need a slightly fluffier cotton ball - if you are cotton ball connoisseur like me. Otherwise, if you find your cotton is too tricky to get the needle through, you can always use a bit of glue on the back and just stick them to yarn (we did this to finish off the rest since threading does take a lot of time and patience which a toddler doesn't always have!). Although this isn't a craft that has much room to be creative, the needle and thread part is a great fine motor skills activity for little hands. After you are finished you can allow creativity with all the left over cotton balls! Ours are currently being scooped up by a toy snowplow.

Hard to believe Christmas is just 1 0 days away! The wood shop is still open so there’s still time to snag our wooden evergreen puzzle for under your tree too... 🎅🏼🌲#pineandpeak

Inspired by the book "Before Morning" - scratch paper art

The illustrations in this book are some of my favourite. Straight away I thought of art projects I used to do in school where we made our own scratch paper. You can buy them from the dollar store these days, but what fun is that?

So I started by colouring a thick sheet in with crayons - the thicker the better! We started by using the side of the crayon, but that doesn't leave the wax thick enough on the paper. You really need to press hard. Both kids got tired before we had finished, so I had to fill in the space.
Next step is to cover the paper in a mixture of black paint and dish soap. Then dry and scratch away! I used the image from the back cover of the book to do a practise run. It was so much fun! The kids just enjoyed scratching away all the paint and didn't really make any sort of picture...but if they enjoy it, I am happy!
Swipe to see the process! Also please check out my poetry unit plan aimed at primary ages, on both TES and TPT. Link in bio above!

"Before Morning" by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Beth Krommes

During the autumn months, I slowly perused libraries and book stores looking for stories with a winter theme to use. I sifted through a few hundred probably. Old classics, modern ones and totally new to me stories. This book, by far, has been my absolute favourite.
If you do not know it, I really encourage you to find it and have a look. The illustrations are stunning. I read up a bit on Krommes and her work. She uses wood engraving to print on Japanese paper (her general artwork at least - I am assuming the books use the same style). However she does it - I am in awe. I could stare at the pages for hours.
The story, or poem rather, is an invocation. It is only 4 stanzas spread across the pages. The words and art work blend perfectly together to explain the sweet wishes of a child. All the young girl wants is a snow day and a little bit of extra family time. It is simple and beautiful. It makes me feel that same longing I felt as a child for life to just be cancelled and to spend a day out playing together.

It inspired me to post my first real set of lesson plans online, a poetry unit to accompany the book. Find the link to it in my bio above.
F loves the idea presented in this book, of an invocation or the power of words. I hear him mumbling under his breath at night now and want to sneak up and listen to what he asking for. E loves this book because he spots air planes and diggers and snowplows, as well as numerous details hiding in the show throughout.
Although I originally found this at our local library, it now has a permanent place on our bookshelf. My first Christmas present to myself!

Author @joycesidman

Illustrator @bethkrommes

Publisher @hmhkids

This tree puzzle toy was inspired by my son. He has a great love for nature and exploring. I hope he never loses his wonder of this beautiful world...🌲#pineandpeak #simplylearning #woodenstory

Back again after a nice, (somewhat) relaxing, Thanksgiving break. Skipping ahead to "N" since it is the start of the Christmas units. Glad to be back to our regular schedule!

Me: "D is for..." Declan: "rubber ducky!" #closeenough #simplylearning

we started our morning working on these simple letter crafts today. ellerie said they are dippy duck and eddy elephant 😝
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materials used: D duck and E elephant craft printables from @simplylearning, glue stick
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#funlearningathome #elleriePLAYnLEARN #ellerielearnsabc #elleriesdiary #25monthsold #printable #simplylearning #learningletterD #learningletterE #learningalphabet #alphabetactivities #alphabetcraft #lettercraft #handeyecoordination #finemotorskills #learningthroughplay #learnandplay #hkbaby #hongkongbaby #acolorstory

D is for Declan!! And dog. Water and chalk tracing, reading and q-tip painting Harry the Dirty Dog's spots on, dot art and glitter glue ✨ #peacefulpreschool #simplylearning

Scavenger hunt in the grass! Credit to Daddy who threw a bunch of her balls in the grass. 🤣 she had fun running around looking for them, even though we lost 1 tiny one. Maybe finding it will make some other kid's day! #littlemuslimah #earlylearning101 #simplylearning #preschoolmom #preschooler #childhoodunplugged #Alhamdulillah

We dabbed in some geography this morning as she wanted a big book to use as a stretcher for her doll, from doctor to geography to dress up! #littlemuslimah #earlylearning101 #preschoolmom #pretendplay #simplylearning #childhoodunplugged #Alhamdulillah #bigsister #mommythings #mommylife

You are going to want to head on over to my blog.....IF you want to see what brought our day to a sudden halt. 🙄 Plus, see more interviews we did, that get cut off here on instagram. .
We sure wish we could have met more of our favorite authors! Thanks to the ones we did......
@monicabrownbks @macbarnett @steven_draws @itsandrewclements @katkronenberg .
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The whole video doesn’t show here, but it does on my blog.
#itwasfunwheitlasted #suchagreatfestival #atxbooks #texasbookfest #texasbookfestival #texasbookfestival2017

Started letter B today and Easton woke up soo excited to begin! I love doing @thepeacefulpress and also using the amazing resources from @simplylearning. I will say I definitely don't stick exactly to the curriculum. I like having the freedom to add or remove something that just doesn't fit with us. Easton is loving it and I'm really enjoying stretching my teacher muscle while getting to stay home with my babies! 💛😀
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#2acresinthecity #homeschoolmom #homeschool #preschool #simplylearning #peacefulpreschool

Love homeschooling bc u can nurture your child's interests and go at their own pace but today she wanted to play school 🤣 so i snuck in some time telling, spanish, arabic, "gym" and math 👍🏻#homeschooler #homeschoolmom #childhoodunplugged #pretendplay #earlylearning101 #simplylearning

Verbal Gems: 11/3/17
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Stella (age 6): “At school today kids were getting crazy and I was like, “I DON’T have time for this.”
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Martin (age 2): “I love my baby!”
Callaghan (age3): “Martin, Lois is only Mom’s baby, because she popped her out of her tummy. But we can all hold her, right Mom....?”
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Callaghan (age 3): “Mom, I wanted a crazy family.” Mom: “Did you get one?”
Callaghan: “Yes, I just saw a crazy family and said, “I like that family.” Then I started living with the crazy family.”
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Two things, but first let me introduce you to the newest member of our family👆🏻🤦🏼‍♀️😂 .......our 12 passenger van. It took Marc months to convince me this was the only car that fit our family. We test drove EVERY SUV and Minivan under the sun. I was certain that something would fit all of car seats and not feel completely crowded. Looks like I lost that battle.😆 The van has actually grown on me. It’s not a hard car to drive. I can stand up in it while loading kids in the car and it’s going to make a fun road trip car.😊
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So, first: our weather is finally cooling down and we are feeling like Fall has arrived. Second we took a trip to the Pumpkin Patch and that always makes Fall feel more Fall-ish. 😁 Here is a little video of our day at the Pumpkin Patch. To see the FULL VIDEO head over to my blog (link in my profile).
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✨Do you like seeing videos like this? Let me know my tapping that like button!✨ @ford

After 2 weeks off due to vacation and fall break, we are back at it! Declan has been wanting to draw pumpkin faces so that's what we started with. I cut, he glued. My favorite is his witch 🖤 also, counting using pumpkin pasta, cutting and tracing (thanks @preschoolonpurpose!) #simplylearning #peacefulpreschool

Afternoon school for O after having a slower morning. Still recovering from a crazy weekend so it's nice to be able to do things at our own pace.

Added a few @bitty_beginnings printables to our room and curriculum. Just recently purchased a few digital downloads since they're 10% off until Wednesday. Lots of cute learning resources for the littles!

Letter D this week! The first thing Daddy said when he found out is, "D is for donuts." Not sure who is more excited for this week's theme...

Inspired by autumn - "Little Boo" by Stephen Wunderli

This was another lovely surprise of a book from a large stack of Halloween tales we picked up from the library. I think this was my favourite of them all. It follows little Boo, who is a seed that is desperate to fulfill its destiny of scaring everyone. It tries to scare leaves, but they aren't scared. It tries to scare bees, but they aren't scared. It keeps trying and trying!
The wind advises him to wait a bit longer and eventually he sleeps for the winter and wakes up in spring. As soon as the seed shoots out of the ground, he starts trying again. And again. He is in such a hurry to scare people! Eventually the time comes that he grows into a pumpkin and is picked, carved and placed on a doorstep ready to BOO at all passer-bys.
For every parent with a child who can't wait to grow up, this story will strike a chord. Slow down little people! You will get there eventually.

The author also manages to sneak in the life cycle of a plant, almost unknowingly. For any teachers or homeschoolers out there, this book is a must have!

A fun and fitting #bookfacefriday for October and all of its pumpkin goodness.🎃 Happy Friday! If you need a little Friday afternoon laugh, see my post from this morning. It had a few great verbal gems from the week😂

We are JUMPING for joy on this Friday! So happy to see the weekend. .
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A few of my favorite Verbal Gems from the week:
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Callaghan (age 3): “Mom, when big kids get home from school, I am going to ask them who’s this is. Because I have been enjoying it—SO MUCH!” ✨Said as he pulled plastic Halloween fangs, DRIPPING in slobber, out of his mouth. 👌🏻 I am fairly certain you can keep them now buddy.😬
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Stella (age 6): “Ugh Mom, you don’t even get it! It’s hard being a six year old! And I can say that now, because I AM SIX!” .

O has actually been asking to do copywork. The notebook has been sitting in her box since we started school and she would ask every day to use it, so I finally gave her a few words to work on and she did pretty well!

Worked on our fine motor skills this morning using tweezers to pick up pumpkin seeds, pumpkin math, and worked on our cutting and gluing by making a pumpkin mosaic. Afternoon activities included our annual pumpkin patch trip where we did our veggie and pumpkin picking!

Inspired by autumn leaves - Leaf painting

We are wrapping up our leaf playing, so we can move on to some books about Halloween. It is less than 2 weeks away now! Is there any better method to transition away from the beauty of autumn leaves than covering them in plain white paint and turning them into little ghosts?

My toddler has loved ghosts ever since he first got a shirt stuck on his rather large melon head and his brother said, "You're a ghost! Ooooooooh!". Since that day, if there is something slightly drapable, it will end up on his head. And he will 'boo' you. And then walk into a wall.

Woah, I am digressing today. So we painted leaves. Or rather I lay out a flat dish full of wait paint and the kids dipped the leaves into them. Despite a few drips, it was actually a lot less messy than painting. It was a bit different for them too, so they were really quite careful and gentle as they pressed the leaves down.
It took a good day for the leaves to dry, as dipping into paint gives them a thick layer. Once they were good to go, I handed over the sharpies and they dotted and scribbled away. Ghost faces are wonderfully easy for toddlers to draw. A few dots and there you go.
If they survive long enough, I think we will try to string them up as decoration, as our inspiration for the leaf painting over at @mothernatured did.

Grasshopper by Addie (age 5). During our morning time a few days a week we have been reading a Beatrix Potter tale along with a chapter from this lovely biography on the author/illustrator. Today it inspired this drawing and I was happy to let her #chasethespark rather than jumping in to her curriculum. She drew This grasshopper straight from her little mind, but wanted to see an example to see "what color the wings are". This biography is a gem and so encouraging to me as a homeschool mama.Beatrix was educated predominantly by a governess. However, she also had an art teacher who took her on nature walks and to museums. Employees in her household helped her collect a menagerie of animals, which she studied through drawing. Her family took summer visits to the countryside where her long conversations with the Vicar taught her about animals. Conversation, nature, art . . . And look what she became! .
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#charlottemasonirl #charlottlemasoninspired #charlottemasoneducation
#simplylearning
#homeschoolingbyheart
#morningtime #naturestudy #mybesthomeschooltip #icanteachmychild

Love the printables from @thepeacefulpress and @simplylearning and @treehouse_schoolhouse they are simple to print and are so versatile! We love glue/glitter and stickers the most :) the 3-part cards are so useful! I hang them above our workspace, use them for matching, crafts and sensory bins. Check out these lovely accounts for more ideas! #thepeacefulpreschool #simplylearning #treehouseschoolhouse #mywildcubs #letterc

Even though it's currently 90 degrees out where we are, all these pumpkin activities have made us really excited for fall! Today's activities: still life pumpkin painting and a simple pumpkin board game. Found out that L can already cheat with the dice. 😐

When all in the world can feel so topsy-turvy and scary to be raising kids in, quotes like this help me. They help me remember that we teach our children kindness, love, faith, goodness etc. .
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The influence of righteous, conscientious, persistent, daily parenting is among the most powerful and sustaining forces for good in the world.”
--L. Tom Perry
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Parenting has to be one of the hardest jobs on earth. Raising kids takes all you have emotionally and physically. But to be persistent and try a little harder or be a little more present on the job is one of the best things we can do. We are shaping these sweet little tiny humans into adults who can make a difference for good. .
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We love this new book! The sequel to Leonardo the Terrible Monster, comes Sam The Most Scaredy-Cat Kid In The Whole World. It’s a winner! .
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#bookface #bookfacefriday #mowillems #disneybooks

C for Corduroy, and a button lacing activity.

Cat craft today from #simplylearning turned out so cute! We used what we had around the house, which was tissue paper for the fur. Declan tore, crinkled and glued along the C. Also worked on cutting skills for the ears (notice the rainbow ear- both our favorite part 🌈) I'm being a little more low-key lately, letting him initiate our day and am taking our time with the lesson plans I follow. It's so important that this work not be work, but play. #peacefulpreschool

Capital and lowercase matching for O, and drawing a palm tree with alphabet stickers (Target dollar spot). Can you guess what book we read?? 🌴

Some reading time led by O, and cookies -- since C is for cookie!

"God takes good care of me" is our biblical truth this week and boy did we need it. My hometown of Santa Rosa is burning down. Whole neighborhoods and main parts of the city have been burned. My parents home is in harm's way. So much loss has occurred with over 1500 homes destroyed in less than 24 hours and fires still raging. Our curriculum reminded us that "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" Psalm 91:1-2

I'm thinking of setting up something like the Texas @adoptahomeschool so stay tuned for ways you can help through that. 📷: My girls making up their own activity based on what we studied about nests this morning.
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#adoptahomeschool #wildandfreechildren #naturepalexchange #myfathersworldkindergarten #athomereallearning #simplylearning #learningwell #homeschoolingbyheart

Worried about what your kids are or aren’t reading? Head on over to @mydayswithkids to read my thoughts on this.

"Caps for sale! Fifty cents per cap!" Started our letter C unit today!

O had a bit of congestion this morning so I offered to let her rest but she still wanted to do schoolwork! Hoping they're still this excited about school later on in life!

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