Friday, November 30, 2012

Homeschool Hobbies and Handicrafts - Preschool Christmas Crafts

Welcome to Homeschool Hobbies and Handicrafts. Woodworking, knitting, crochet, weaving, paper airplane design, painting, drawing and so many more...... During school time, or when kids are finished - what are they spending their time on? Are they practicing instruments? Constantly crafting? Writing plays? Inventing new things? There are many blog-hops to share pre-school crafts, and many for adults. This one is for kids. Show-off their projects and talents!

Hand constructed furniture, needlepointed pillows, hand-made baskets, beautiful and creative photos, homemade videos...... Kid made items of any type are fair game and they don't need to be homeschooled. This is their chance to shine. What did they choose to make? What patterns/books/tools did they use? How did they get the idea? What inspired them?


Feel free to link-up a post you've already written and comment on the posts of others! I’m excited to see what your kids have created.

  • Link-up to your post URL
  • Include a link back to this page in your post – You can grab the button below
  • Check out what others have seen
THE LINK IS OPEN EACH WEEK FRIDAY-THURSDAY

Are you busy getting ready for Christmas? My kids have begun their Christmas crafts. They love making ornaments.

 Sometimes they make simple ornaments from paper like this Christmas present.

 This is an angel made by fan folding two half sheets of paper, adding a bow and a needle felted head.

 They often sew a cookie cutter design onto a piece of felt then sew on a back and stuff it.

 We haven't made salt dough ornaments yet this year, but they keep asking.

 Strings were added to pom-poms to create ornaments.

This lamb came from the pre-school. It's a circle of blue card paper, some white fiber, stars and a lamb's head.

If you have kids on your gift list this year, here are some educational gift ideas.


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What have your kids been up to?




Thursday, November 29, 2012

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 165

Jemma is now part of another study. This study has to do with anti-biotic resistant bacteria. She is still taking the anti-biotic Vancomycin to treat the anti-biotic resistant bacteria which caused her diarrhea. Unfortunately, not much is known about the effect of this bacteria on children other that the varying strains seem to have different effects on severity of symptoms.

Her symptoms are relatively mild, so the bacteria from her body is being preserved until scientists have enough samples from other patients to perform the tests for their study.

The diarrhea she had last week caused the loss of skin on two orange-slice sized sores on her bottom. They are being treated with water-barrier and healing cream which comes off with olive oil. Interesting huh? Anyways, these sores seem to bother me much more than they bother her. She has been happy and playing all week.

Leukemia - Jemma's Older Sister


When I was growing up I remember all the attention children received when they came to school with a broken leg or sprained ankle. I was somewhat jealous of that attention. I'm not sure I fully understood the trade off between illness and attention until I damaged my knee in high school and required surgery. During that time I learned about all the things I couldn't do, and would have to change due to my injury.

My oldest daughter seems to be struggling with a similar thought process. She feels that Jemma is receiving special treatment because she has Leukemia, and that her life is significantly worse. This is a continuous issue for her. Despite the fact that I have talked to my daughter about this, as has my husband, both sets of grandparents, and several aunts and uncles nothing in her mind seems to be changing.

When I was young and had jealousy over other children's injuries, I only saw the attention they received. Since I did not live with them I didn't see all the difficulty they were going through. I would think that by living in the same house with Jemma, my daughter would see that Jemma's illness is not all fun and games. Jemma cannot dance, cannot go to school, cannot go to friend's houses, cannot visit the grocery store. Jemma has a tube in her chest, has lost her hair, has open sores on her bottom, must take several pills per day, needs to change her bandages and has to visit the hospital several times per week. But none of this seems to make any difference to her.

So my conclusion is that I need to try another method to change her way of thinking.

This week I'm trying a few things differently. Although my eleven year old sees some of the bad things about having Leukemia, I think she has missed a large portion. When Jemma spent 35 continuous days in the hospital she was far away on vacation. Out of sight, out of mind? Now that she's back she still misses a lot of the bad stuff. When I change Jemma's bandages, she is downstairs enjoying a book. When I get up in the middle of the night because Jemma has a fever, she's tucked snugly in her bed. Again - Out of sight, out of mind? When she visits Jemma in the hospital, the doctors and nurses try to stay away. They respect family time and will gladly come back 30 minutes later to check blood pressure. Therefore, during visits, my eleven year old sees, Jemma playing cards, doing crafts, eating and playing her iPad. She misses all the medical stuff.

One thing I am now doing is bringing her to the hospital each and every time I can. I think she needs to see more of what is actually going on. She needs to spend the day in the outpatient room in the hospital while Jemma has blood drawn, waits for the results, receives a transfusion or is poked and prodded in other ways.

A second thing I did this week was ask her to create a few lists. What is good about being healthy, bad about being healthy, good about having Leukemia and bad about having Leukemia?  What does she get to do with me, and what does Jemma get to do with me? Here are some of her answers:

Good Things About Being Healthy
play with friends
dance during fasching
go to the park alone
go on cruise ships
go swimming
go on vacation
have pets

Bad Things About Being Healthy
school
shots
plenty of cleaning

Good Things About Having Leukemia
can choose out of almost anything to eat
treated almost like a God
receive no slappings or spankings (she doesn't either?)
hardly ever receive time-outs
hardly have to do any cleaning
get the best kitchen clean-up job (Jemma's job is to dry the dishes)
only have to bathe every other day

Bad Things About Having Leukemia
can't have friends over
can't go to the park
have to take tons of pills
lose hair
can't dance at fasching
get poked and prodded a lot

Things Jemma gets to do with Mom
craft
cook
read
change bandages

Things she gets to do with Mom
craft
cook
read
play games
clean
get groceries


After reading her lists I told her that the following week for three days she could choose to pretend to have Leukemia. We would do everything possible on her lists of the good and bad things about having Leukemia. Not only that, I would go above and beyond her list to make things more agreeable to her. She could eat anything she wants, not participate in any cleaning activities, would not be required to bathe, would have no school work and I would stay with her crafting, reading to her and playing games with her. She might even get a get well gift. Unfortunately, she would lose her hair. I would put bandages on her and change them. She would not participate in any activities such as dance, piano and violin. She would swallow a few whole dry beans per day (pills).  I would attach her to the music stand with yarn to represent being attached to the iv cart.

After the three days, if she decided she liked having Leukemia, we could continue to pretend she had it.

Well she considered it for a few days and then decided she didn't want to have Leukemia. She didn't want to lose her hair. She thought she could deal with the other things, but thought that being connected to the music stand for three days sounded like a pain.

Since we have had this conversation she hasn't complained about much. I hope she feels heard and understood, and starts to believe that her life is pretty good.

This post is linked to:
Mums Make Lists

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Independent Learning

My older two children, ages 9 and 11, have become very independent learners this year.  I currently spend five days every two weeks in the hospital with my 5 year old who has Leukemia. Therefore, I am simply not there everyday for school. Since we wanted to continuing homeschooling I had to find some new ways to teach.

All of the kids, even the five year old, have email accounts. When I'm in the hospital I send the kids emails with lists of things to do. The lists are organized by subject with one or two things to do for each subject.

History - My son is very visual, so I found several youtube videos on Ancient Greece (which is what we are currently studying for history). I email the kids the links and they watch the videos. When I am home we read and do activities connected with the history.

Language - We have Rosetta Stone, so they learn language very independently. In addition, they watch movies and read books in the foreign language they are learning. Sometimes I have them copy sentences from the books in the foreign language.

Math - I usually have my son work in a workbook or play an iPad math app game while I'm gone. When I am here we do one chapter per day in the Life of Fred series. My daughter does Math-U-See and is currently reviewing previous lessons. I have her do the lessons completely on her own.

Reading - They each have a shelf on the bookshelf which contains books I think would be good for them to read. When I am gone (and when I'm here) they select books from the shelf and read for 1/2 hour each day. They like this because they are in control of what they are reading.

Science - I found some wonderful free Human Body science videos. My kids have been watching them while I'm gone. Last year I had them doing the Discover and Do Science video-experiment series. Although I was there, they rarely needed me for science.

Science/Engineering - They have been using the free computer program Scratch to create programs. I have them watch a tutorial movie then open the tool and create something on their own.


Writing - There are several different types of writing assignments my children work on while I'm away.
- Last week I had my daughter start a blog. She likes to write about her sewing projects. If you check it out please leave her a comment. That would provide her so much encouragement.
- They write about topics related to our history studies.
- They write letters to friends.
- All of my kids have email accounts, and frequently exchange emails with family. They also exchange email with each other.
- Sometimes I will ask them to write fictional stories. I usually give time a title such as "The time I built my first roller coaster" and see what they come up with.

Music - They independently practice the piano each day.


Although this was a forced change, it is working well. Ironically, this school year is going better than any before.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Jelly Beans For Sale - Counting Money


The book Jelly Beans for Sale by Bruce McMillan is an excellent companion for introducing counting money to children. In the book jelly beans are sold for 1 cent each. More and more jelly beans are sold together until 25 are sold. Then several different combinations of money are given to pay for the 25 jelly beans being purchased.


Counting money is a fun skill for young children to work on. It's always a shock when they learn dimes are worth more than nickels, and they can trade 1 quarter and receive 25 pennies. This book is a great way to learn different ways to count to 25 with coins, and if you buy a bag a jelly beans to go with it, the activity would be hard to beat.

My daughter and I recently got this book and the change container out. We separated the coins into four piles, pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, then counted the money in each pile. Next we made piles of equivalent amounts, and followed up the activity with the story.

There are lots more hands-on math activities on my Math Page, so be sure to visit.



This post is linked to: 
Kids Math Teacher
Tuesday Tots
It's Playtime
Teaching Blog Addict
Sun Scholars 
123 Homeschool 4 Me 

* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 162

Well the doctors figured out the cause of Jemma's diarrhea, she has been chosen to be a part of the L'asparaginase study, my son has a cold and my car was not keyed, but knifed while I spent the week with my daughter in the hospital during her chemotherapy. All in all - things are alright. That's the short version. Keep reading for the long version.

Jemma has an intestinal bacteria that is the cause of her diarrhea. She probably got it because she was on antibiotics last week due to her fever. As many of you know, diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotics because they not only kill the good bacteria, but also the bad. The cure for this bacteria is a 10 day course of a different antibiotic. She has been taking three pills per day for two days now and the diarrhea is beginning to slow down. These pills are both large and expensive. Her 10 day course is going to cost a record 420 euros - $550. Luckily she can take them at home and continue her Leukemia treatment plan while on them. I hope they start working soon.

Because she has had diarrhea for five days now, she has a very sore bottom which includes some open cuts. Thank goodness it only seems to bother her when I clean it. She has been very happy since returning home yesterday.

A few weeks ago I mentioned a Leukemia study involving the drug L'Asparaginase. Jemma has been selected to participate in that study and will receive ten doses of the drug instead of the standard single dose. This means that the intensive portion of her treatment will last about nine months instead of six. Her catheter will remain in her a bit longer and hopefully the results of the study will determine that this drug does indeed reduce the relapse rate for Leukemia.

My son has a runny nose and seems to be developing a cough. This is his third cold since Jemma began Leukemia treatment. Her blood and ability to fight infection is much stronger at the moment than it was during his previous colds, but he is still being confined to his bedroom until his nose stops running. He is a wonderful child who likes to touch everything and doesn't want to wear a mask. Unfortunately we need to take every precaution to maintain the health of Jemma and the rest of the family.

Although he has been in his room all day, he seems to be enjoying it. His cold got him out of cleaning the house this morning and he has a computer. I think he has watched every possible video of "How it's Made". Once when I was in his room he was learning about honey and bees, and another time he was watching a bread factory in action. Hopefully he recovers quickly and can join us again at meals.

Last on today's update is my car. Normally I drive to the hospital, unload and drop Jemma off at the cancer ward and then park my car in a lot away from the building. I do this so visitors and patients can use the near by parking spots. Unfortunately, sometime while my car was parked in the building 6 lot for four nights it sustained $5,000 worth of damage. Somebody scraped it with something much harder than a key, and most likely a knife. It was scratched both down and back on the hood, passenger door, rear passenger side door and passenger window.

To the person who damaged my car ----

I doubt you will ever read this, but I am annoyed by what you did. Perhaps I parked my car too close to yours. In the past I've had to climb through the passenger door of my car to reach the driver's seat. It takes time and isn't usually that fun. Perhaps you were injured and this task was even more difficult for you? Perhaps you were dealing with the loss or devastating condition of a loved one and couldn't control yourself. Maybe you were just out looking for trouble?

Whatever your reason, your minute or two of anger is resulting in a bunch of work for my family. My husband has spent his entire day off getting quotes and visiting with the insurance company. We will have to pay financially for what you did, and I will be without my vehicle while the damage is repaired. All because of why?????????

Think - maybe somebody made a mistake and didn't do something to intentionally make your life difficult. Maybe their mind was busy with life and death issues of their own. Maybe they were just absentminded when parking, but good intentioned in helping others? After all, you did choose to do your damage in a hospital parking lot. Anyway, I hope you get beyond whatever it is that's making you angry. and never choose to do something like this again. It's not nearly as bad as dealing with Leukemia, but it is truely a pain.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kathe Wohlfahrt

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the home to the Kathe Wohlfahrt Christmas Store. The store sells traditional German Christmas decorations and the choices seem endless. They carry over 30,000 different items.

My mom started a tradition of giving each child one new Christmas ornament per year. The Kathe Wohlfahrt is a perfect store for me to visit in carrying on this tradition.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ancient Greece History Co-op - Week 6 - Greek Myths

Week 6: We made a Greek God Family Tree mobile.


Greek Mythology is the religion of the Ancient Greeks and they believed in many Gods. The gods often took on human traits, but could perform superhuman feats.

My three kids all have very different knowledge bases for the Greek Gods, yet they all fully participated and learned from this activity. My 11 year old must have been Greek in a former life. She can tell me the names of Cronus's children, who was the father of Pan, and how Pandora was created in a single breath. My 9 year old son is slowly learning about the Gods, and my 5 year old has only heard a few names in passing.

We used D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths to help with the family tree mobile as it contains a Greek God family tree.

Then we simply wrote the name of the Gods on the index cards, and drew pictures of them.


What I enjoyed most about this activity was the spontaneous retellings and discussions of the myths that occurred while the kids were coloring.

D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths book is a great overview book. It explains who all the Gods are, how they are related and major events in their lives. The pictures are wonderful. I would recommend this book for third grade and up as a few of the stories are a bit scary.

Tales of Ancient Greece (Enid Byton, Myths and Legends) by Enid Blyton is suitable for much younger children. I just finished reading it with my six year old. The stories are entertaining and easy to follow.







The Children's Bookshelf

* I did not receive any compensation for this recommendation. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 
** I am an Amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Educational Christmas Gifts

Growing-up the gifts I received from my mother were always educational. Many of the gifts were also very crafty. She continues the tradition by giving educational and crafty gifts to her grandchildren, and I have followed in her footsteps. Here are some of my favorite gift ideas. They range in price from about $5 up to $75 or so, but most are and in the $15-$20 range.

Ages 3 and up


Perler Beads and Twisted Critters are crafty gifts for little ones. They can learn about the United States while doing a puzzle with the Talking USA puzzle. There are so many wonderful Educational Videos. The Letter Factory is a great one to get kids started reading. Who doesn't love books? If you're having trouble deciding which one to get, the 20th Century Children's Book Treasury is packed full of many wonderful stories.

Ages 4 and up


There are many Sticky Mosaics by the Orb Factory to choose from. These crafty kits make a good gift for boys or girls. Kids can have a lot of fun gathering leaves and flowers to place in a Leaf Press.
Uno or a regular deck of cards can provide hours of educational entertainment.

Ages 5 and up


Crafters will love creating potholders with this quality Potholder Loom. Megna Tiles
are a magnetic building toy. Kids playing with these will quickly learn different flat patterns that become 3-dimensional shapes. What's Gnu is a learn to read game. A State Quarter Map can teach kids about money and geography at the same time, while developing a hobby that could last a lifetime.

 

Ages 7 and up


Speed! is a fun skip counting game which helps kids learn to multiply. Cribbage is a classic game which is fun and teaches kids strategy while they work on their addition skills. Bananagrams is a Scrabble like word game. The 26 Fairmount Avenue book series by Tomie DePaola is a wonderful chapter book series for this age.

 

Ages 8 and up


Kid's Paper Airplane Book by Ken Blackburn teaches kids how to make several different paper airplanes and suggests activities for the planes. Snap Circuits is an electrical kit with lots of activities. Kids learn about resisters, and capacitors while putting together circuits that do things like play music when hands are clapped. Wire Jewelry making supplies are a fun crafty activity that kids can explore.

Have a Merry Christmas!


* Speed! is produced by Highhill Educational Supplies which is my company.
** I do not receive any compensation for any other product recommendations on this blog. I'm just a homeschooling mom who has found many products that I like. If you're interested in the products I recommend on this blog I want to make it easy for you to find them. 

*** I am an amazon associate and receive a small portion of the sales on orders made after clicking in from this site, which I promptly spend on homeschooling books and supplies for my children.

Homeschool Hobbies and Handicrafts - Week 9

What have your kids been doing? "Homeschool Hobbies and Handicrafts" is a weekly link-up to share and show-off your kid's projects. Woodworking, knitting, crochet, weaving, paper airplane design, painting, drawing and so many more...... During school time, or when kids are finished - what are they spending their time on? Are they practicing instruments? Constantly crafting? Writing plays? Inventing new things? There are many blog-hops to share pre-school crafts, and many for adults. This one is for kids. Show-off their projects and talents!

Hand constructed furniture, needlepointed pillows, hand-made baskets, beautiful and creative photos, homemade videos...... Kid made items of any type are fair game and they don't need to be homeschooled. This is their chance to shine. What did they choose to make? What patterns/books/tools did they use? How did they get the idea? What inspired them?


Feel free to link-up a post you've already written and comment on the posts of others! I’m excited to see what your kids have created.

  • Link-up to your post URL
  • Include a link back to this page in your post – You can grab the button below
  • Check out what others have seen
THE LINK IS OPEN EACH WEEK FRIDAY-THURSDAY


Usually I write about my daughter's hobbies. They have many and are mostly pretty crafty. My son is now developing a hobby. He's really into metal detecting. There is a group through my husband's work that likes to go out together looking for things. They have found coins, bullets, musket balls, buttons from military uniforms, and last year they even found a body. It was the body of an American from World War II. So far my son has found lots of aluminum foil, an old wrench, and a few coins that weren't too old, but were in pretty bad shape. He's still hoping for some good finds in the future.
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What have your kids been up to?



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