Saturday, June 2, 2007

Twirly Skirts revamped

After visiting a recommended website for instructions, Madison and I picked from my 'sewing closet' a fabric to make her 'twirly skirt.' I tweaked the pattern a little bit as I didn't want her skirt to look like a 'pillowcase dress gone south'. I gave the pattern a bit more contour by putting more fabric into the bottom and cutting less around the waist. Here's the result! Now Madison can actually swirl 180 degrees if she chooses to spin like a top. I'll get a picture of her wearing it...very nicely fitted with a slight elasticized waist and a naturally recurring drape or flounce all the way around her hem. Madison LOVES it because she got to choose from THE closet all the 'pretty stuff' that went into making it!
Value of material - $1.00 per yard (1.25 yards used)
Value of ribbons, rick-rack - $1.00 per package of 25 ribbons with 9 ribbons/rickrak used from package
Total time spent chosing material, trims and sewing - 2 hours
Value of Madison's lovely smile adorned with twinkly blue eyes - PRICELESS!
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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Jesus the Mathematician

Have you ever been so sick that no one really wanted to be near you? Others thought they might 'catch' what made you sick and, in turn, they would get sick, too.
Jesus and his disciples were passing by a certain city when they heard men crying out, "Jesus, please make us well." These men, ten in all who had heard about Jesus healing other people from all sorts of bad stuff, were lepers. And now they called loudly to him, for they stood far off. (When one 'caught' leprosy which is a very very bad skin disease, s/he had to live outside the city's gates until they either got well or died. Leprosy back then was very contagious!) They cried out, "Jesus, master, have mercy on us!" And Jesus heard their cries.
Always willing to help those who earnestly call out to HIM and obey HIS commandments, Jesus stopped and called back to the lepers, "Go into town and show yourselves to the priests." Moses had commanded every leper to do this when the afflicted one was healed. The ten lepers understood what Jesus meant, and they started at once to go to the priests for an examinations. And as they went the leprosy left their bodies and they were made every bit well.
One of these lepers stopped and turned back just as soon as he saw that his leprosy had gone from him. He ran to Jesus and fell down before him, worshiping him and thanking him for the miracle he had perform. And this man was not a Jew, but a Samaritan.
The other men, however, hurried on their way, never stopping to thank the great healer.
And Jesus said to the disciples, "Were there not ten lepers who were made well? But where are the nine? There is none turned back to give thanks except this stranger who is a Samaritan." Then he said to the man kneeling at his feet, "Rise up and go your way, for your faith has made you well."
Luke 17:11-17

Math-to-a-TEE Number Lines

Skills: Forming a set, counting on, ordering numerically

Materials: a large bag of golf tees - lots of color please! , 10-12 inch long strips of posterboard with 10 holes punched equal distances apart on one side, marking pens, containers to hold number lines and golf tees

1. Cut 10-12 inch by 4-6 inch strips from the posterboard. Fold lengthwise in halves like a longhouse tent.
2. On one side, punch ten equally spaced holes. Draw a line through to connect the holes. Then label above each hole with the numers 1-10.
3. On the opposite side, write numerical equations like 9 + 1 = 10 or 10 - 9 = 1.

Have your child count out and count on. Adapt if necessary using picture stories or rebuses for preschool (Child shows 1 tee on the line, counts out nine more and then counts on by adding the nine tees to the number line to demonstrate the equation 1 + 9 = 10) or open ended 'mental math equations' for your abstract thinkers....Mental math is just as its name implies - calling out the sentence with more than three procedures to be accomplished before displaying the sentence concretely....10 - 9 (pause in speech) + 6 (pause) - show me your answer (3 tees in sequence on the number line).

Modeling Manners of the Heart

"Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them leaves an impression." Haim Ginott

How true!! Statistically, I can improve the frequency of my child's genuine outward display of gratefulness by actively practicing the saying "Thank you for ...." or the writing of thank you notes. (I also firmly believe that thank yous should be 'gift-specific' with an added note of why/how the gift is important Example: "Thank you, Momma, for the chocolate chip cookies. They are my favorite because you made them with love.")
I should show my children that I am appreciative of even the smallest kindness by verbally expressing Thank you often and with heartfelt meaning. Even the smallest toddler can see through insincerity!!
I practiced saying thank you to my kiddos for services they provided (activities they needed to perform for health's sake). My Hubby would get tickled and call it 'reverse child psychology'. "Thank you, Hayley, for brushing your hair this morning. You did a great job AND saved me some time!" "That outfit looks nice one you, Cameron, because there are no holes in the knees. Thank you for changing and bringing to my attention that I need to mend your other pair of pants." "Trae, I know you must feel better now that you have blown your nose. Thank you for picking up and disposing of the dirty tissues. You are preventing the spreading of your cold."
I thanked them for gifts - "Cameron, those roly-poly bugs make me smile. Thank you for sharing the little interesting things GOD made." I thank them for smiles, hugs, car washings, etc., anything that would leave an impression that their actions and thoughtfulness were IMPORTANT to me!
And I DID NOT WAIT for my three to spell and write sentences before teaching them how to 'write' thank yous. We personalized -everything possible - with hand prints, footprints, fingerprints as our 'signature' and confirmation of gratefulness. I made sure that each of my children had a very special place to plan, organize, and and create his/her own thank yous. (I believe I might be the "Adam" of scrap booking...each special place was stocked up colored pencils and or unusual writing utensils; pretty papers that were saved from gifts, comic sections, ends of wrapping paper rolls; glue sticks, tape, etc. Sometimes my creativity is most passionate in the wee morning hours and I wanted each of them to be creative whenever the 'mood' hit!) Helping them address envelopes and mail their creations was the culmination. It was so much fun to be thankful that I could (should) have started my own Hallmark Store!
If we are to raise thankful children, we must be thankful for the blessings of innocence and honesty, too. Your children are watching. Although it is comical, the following snippet is true.
A five-year-old said grace at family dinner one night. "Dear God, thank you for these pancakes..." When he concluded, his parents asked him why he thanked God for pancakes when they were having chicken. He smiled and said, "I thought I'd see if He was paying attention tonight."
Only 10% of the lepers had been trained and genuinely conveyed thankfulness to our LORD. And Jesus the great Mathematician was paying attention!

Sensitivity Tester

ZOOM Sensitivity Tester

Here's a great way to teach child the characteristics of their bodies' largest sense organ. PBS TV has a really cool website chockful of really really cool HANDS-ON activities!!

As A Child

And while you're at it, remember to put on your 'shopping list' the following inexpensive or free toys that please nearly all children everywhere!
  • Capes made from towels
  • Squeeze bottles for tub toys
  • Arm sling made from dish towel
  • Pretend grocery store that's stocked with clean empty boxes, cans, etc., and register receipts
  • Binoculars made from two towel cardboard rolls taped together - put pieces of celophane from large windowed envelopes for realistic effect!
  • Puppets made from stray socks that are piling up in the laundry room
  • Sewing cards made from washed meat trays and old shoelaces
  • Pretend post office stocked with junk mail
  • Bottles of bubbles - refill with 1/3 dish soap 2/3 water solution as needed
  • And, above all else - a free library card of his/her very own!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Reflecting the Inner child in Me

Picture this: Jesus surrounded by children of all shapes and sizes: Big kids, little kids, "Angel-kissed nosed" kids, sad and happy children, kids with black hair or brown hair or red hair, Children from towns nearby and far away! Jesus wanted the little children to come near so that HE could teach adults what Christians were supposed to be like.
As HE was teaching the grown-ups about love, Jesus asked the Mommies and Daddies to bring their children to be close to HIM. Friends and followers said to make the children stand back or go away. We think HE's just too busy for the kids. But Jesus said, "Oh no! Let the Little Ones COME TO ME!"
Imagine how comfortable and secure each child must have felt as Jesus hugged one, brushed the hair out of another's eyes, patted some on the shoulders, and told the adults that unless you become as one of these, you cannot go through the gates of my Kingdom.
Why did Jesus want the little children to come to HIM? Because just as we sing, Jesus LOVES the little children - ALL THE CHILDREN of the WORLD! And HE knows that the Little Ones LOVE HIM too!
Matthew 19:13-14

Pajama Ride

Today's suggestions for lessons plans will involve adult participation in a very active way. The story of Jesus surrounded by children conjures up in my mind activities that will enlighten me to become more childlike, better fit for the Kingdom. The following idea I read from another and since my children are grown, I can hardly wait for my granddaughters to come visit to experience this one firsthand! Please share your experiences when you've tried this one for yourselves!

One night, after the children are in their pajama and tucked into bed, wait about 10 minutes, race into their rooms, flip on the lights, and call out, "Pajama ride!" Wrap a blanket around each child, buckle them in their car seats, and go to your favorite drive-through ice cream joint. (Ours is DQ!) Order sundaes for all! Your kids will love the memory, they'll get to see Mom and Dad (Mimomma and Granddaddy) act crazy, and you'll have a wonderful opportunity to talk with them about what's going on in their lives.


The Five Best Surprises A Kid Ever Had

Along with emphasizing how important we teach our children that GOD loves us and wants only the best for each of us, I thought it would be 'fun' to rediscover the 'child' in myself. That's an excellent way to demonstrate to my offspring that I can have fun and be a little crazy (in a good sense) while still following GOD's way. It's also a way to reconnect with the qualities GOD wants me to possess in order to enter HIS eternal Kingdom.
There are numerous methods of achieving this; I've collected a few here to share in the place of ordinary lesson plans and learning strategies as posted earlier.

1. Build a fort - Take time to build something with your kids...a tree house, a backyard tent, or even a living room fort made from couch cushions. There is something about the memory of working together and building something that stays with children.

2. Water fights - When was the last time you asked the children to help wash the car and and everyone ended up in a huge water fight? Is it dumb? A little silly? You BET! And an absolute riot!! The chance for t hem to see their parents have fun WITH THEM makes it memorable.

3. Scavenger hunt - Wake up the kiddos one morning and announce they've got an important task. After breakfast, they will have (include yourself, too) two hours to find everything on a random list (the sillier the better - a red button, a yellow, an Ace from a pack of playing cards, a coin from the 70s, a mattress advertisement, etc) The fun is in the hunt - and in the chance to let everyone tell their stories at the end of the game.

4. Surprise party - Throw a surprise party. Hang decorations; bake a cake; send invitations to friends, but tell them not to tell! Make it truly a surprise - not for any special event such as a birthday or graduation - just a SURPRISE party. Just the thought of you going to all the trouble of creating a surprise will be enough to make i t memorable.

5. Kids-in-Charge night - Put the children "in charge" some Saturday. Let them choose what will be done in the afternoon. Ask them to prepare simple recipes for dinner, set the table, and clean up afterwards. (Use easy menus like pancakes or spaghetti - the lessons learned will be worth the messes created!) After dinner, guide them through the common Saturday evening chores, i.e. washing dishes, sorting laundry, sewing buttons on, emptying trash cans. During these activities discuss the importance of fulfilling responsibilities and obligations.

Have fun! Please send in other ideas that can be passed on to readers. Strengthening family cohesiveness and remembering to nurture the kid in us will help us to remember 'how' to be like the little children that were brought to Jesus!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

So Why This Blog?

In August of '06, our local Preacher Boy (hence PB), challenged the saints to use viable media to enlarge the mission fields of harvest. I had recently retired from elementary school employment as a third grade teacher/technology supervisor/web designer from a local school, so the challenge was something I looked forward to initiating. I mentioned to him as I left that evening that I thought I could work something up for parents of small children seeking strategies and methods of training their young ones.
Since then, I mentally have been planning how and what I was going to do to accomplish this goal. I first started by claiming a small spot on the WWW as my own - a place where I could "park my stuff!" Next, I began researching and perusing other 'blogs' to see "how" I needed to present materials and curriculum and "what" I should teach. I've even tried to cozy up to some of you out there in Internet land, but ultimately have decided that the devil was directing quite effectively through the art of procrastination.
So here I am - ready to soar but fearing a major crash - wipe out supreme! I will do my best to be my best -technically speaking - and pray a whole heap that GOD will be glorified through Mimomma's Lemonade Stand, a blog spot dedicated to the assistance of parents training their children in HIS nurture and admonition.
If you are reading and wanting something to be specifically addressed, send me an email with your request. I may not have the answer but will work fervently to find techniques and/or information that I believe will help you!I look forward to hearing from you!
Marsha (Mimomma)
Ask, seek, and knock!

Speckled Spots of Selfish Chicken Pox

Jesus wants to to be 'in HIS image' (Gen. 1:25-26; Gen. 5:1; 1 Cor. 11:7; Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10); HE wants me to be like HIM.

If I follow HIM, Jesus will transform me to be more like HIMSELF.

But what if I do not love and keep HIS commandments? Does any of me look like Jesus? Or am I covered in speckled spots of selfishness as if I was covered with chicken pox?

Jesus wants to heal me - all of me! Jesus needs to stay in my heart and on my mind for me to be more like HIM.

So like Phillip and the newly converted apostles were answered, I want the MASTER of all to answer my question, "Teacher, where are you staying?" with "Come and see...."John 1:35-50

Science lesson from John 1:35-50

Science lesson on John 1:35-50

Demonstration on Reflection

Vocabulary: Jesus, image, reflect, reflection, relationship

You will need: an adult or friend, a flashlight, a mirror, a pencil, a piece of paper, and a protractor.

1. Shine the flashlight beam into a mirror and observe the light path as it approaches the mirror and again as it moves away from the mirror. This is the way in which you can measure the angle of the light as it approaches and leaves the mirror.

2. With the point of your pencil, touch the mirror at the point where the reflection is occurring. You may need to adjust your pencil so that it is perpendicular to the mirror's surface. You will now measure the angle which is between the pencil and the beam of light hitting the mirror. You will also need to measure the angle between the pencil and the beam of light leaving the mirror.

What happened? You may wish to try having the flashlight beam hit the mirror at different angles. You will need to measure the hitting angle and the reflecting angle for each one. Did you discover the relationship between the two angles?


How is my relationship with Jesus like that of the flashlight in the mirror?

What am I supposed to reflect and why?

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall

Creative Motion Art- Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

The following mirror exercises will help your child develop his/her observational and listening skills so that s/he learns how to catch nuances of body movements and facial clues from others and appropriately respond to them. This collaborative effort can then translate into creative expression.

Full-length mirror(s)

Vocabulary: mirror, mirror image, reflection, movement, expression

What to do:

  1. Discuss with your child various uses of mirrors. Point out, when necessary, that a mirror lets one see one's self the way others see him/her by way of reflection.
  2. Have your child stand in front of a mirror and describe what s/he sees. Encourage him/her to go beyond his/her own reflection and to observe what s/he sees in the background.
  3. Have him/her move closer and then farther away from the mirror and note the differences.
    Now have him/her stand before a mirror and make simple movements, such as patting his/her heads with left hand, pretending to clean a window with right hand, and so forth.
  4. Call his/her attention to the way a mirror reverses things; that is, though the person may be moving his or her right hand, the mirror image appears to be using his or her left hand. To demonstrate, have a student pretend to be a mirror image of you and do the same motions. You will be using your right hand, s/he will be using his.her left hand.
  5. Finally, try a series of movements - 2-3 movements at a time for very young children, but this time tell your child to copy (mirror) the exact sequence of your movements after you have finished the sequence.

The last exercise is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding. It's one that your child can improve on listening skills as s/he becomes accustomed to the concentration and collaborative effort.

Beginning Literacy Techniques

  • Question:
    What are some ways to help little ones learn the names and sounds of letters without using flashcards?
    There are several things you can do to help your child remain interested in learning her letters. Try using a multi-sensory approach. Your child may be a tactile learner instead of an auditory or visual learner, or she may just need a variety of sensory input to learn best. Help her to identify how each sound feels on her mouth.
  • Use a mirror to help. For example your lips come together for /m/.
  • You may want to try coming up with a rhyme or song about each letter.
  • Use alphabet magnets or alphabet cookie cutters with clay in lieu of flash cards. These activities may be more fun and engaging than flashcards and help your daughter develop her oral communication.
  • Use pictures. Give your child a picture (e.g. a cat) and have her sound out the name while placing marbles, drawing marks, or tapping her fingers for each of the individual sounds in the word (e.g., /c/.../a/.../t/ is composed of 3 sounds, thus the child would use 3 marbles, marks, or taps.) Stick with short words with a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern, like bat, top, pen, dad, etc.
  • You can also clap or tap out the number of syllables in a word.

Just remember that the more involved the sensory organs (ears, eyes, nose, tongue, skin) are, the more likely literacy foundations will stick to the grey matter!

Math lessons using mirrors

Math objectives explored: symmetry, grouping, same/different, compare/contrast, categories

Practical Activities for teaching the concept of 'same' (image is conformed to) and categories. Emphasize while teaching that for one to be like Jesus, one has to have similar characteristics.

What makes each item belong to the group?

Vocabulary: belong, characteristics, symmetry, compare, contrast, groups, categories, same, different
  1. Classify blocks by size
  2. Sort crayons, markers, and pencils into containers
  3. Compare sets using more and less
  4. Sorting buttons, keys, coins, pasta, cereal, fabric or paper scraps, marbles, balls, stamps, postcards, jar lids, leaves, shells, playing cards, etc. and explaining why
  5. Sorting zoo and farm animals for storage
  6. Going on a shape or color hunt.
  7. Give children a small card with a number on it. Put a large number card on the floor and ask your child to hop. jump. etc.,to the matching card number, then place his/her small number card on top of the big one. Continue until all numbers are matched.

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