Sight Words to Learn

Homeschooling, Mama Mama

Sight words.

What are they, and what are the importance of them?

Sight words are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. 

The level before reading, that’s where sight words come in handy.

Many kids learn sight words best through memorization rather than phonics. I plan to play it by ear and see how Parker takes on this challenge. If he shows me he should advance a little, we will add more phonics into our daily sight word lessons. Either way, I believe that for early readers, memorizing sight words is invaluable for literacy.

There are many words our son already knows, can recognize, spell, and write himself. However, in order to help encourage growth we are beginning a list of sight words once we start home-schooling in a few weeks. The list of words I have put together are ones that are small enough so that they are not overwhelming, but common enough to be used frequently in stories, and workbooks he may use and come across. I also added words that tie easily into biblical teachings, because for our family, that is important as well.

This is a rough list of the words I put together this morning. I say “rough” because I am sure I will adjust, and add at some point in our lessons. I am sure I have forgotten or not thought of a few important words, so those will be added in as necessary. My plan for the words is to split them up evenly through out the school year, a new letter every week. Because the school year is 43 weeks long, and there are only 26 letters, we will repeat them for review.

Parker wont be four until February, so again, the fact that I get to do these lessons with him already just blows my mind. The kid has a brain for learning. 

 

sight words

*Note that there are not many “x” words, so I added a couple that still use the letter, just not at the beginning. *

I am uncertain as to how I will utilize all the words. I have a few ideas. Either I will make flash cards, use dry erase boards, use magnet letters, or one of the many other creative ideas I will pull out of my hat! To be honest, I am sure each week will be a different strategy, to keep interest.

 

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Message 2 my Kids # 52

Mama Mama

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While you were away for the night at Grammy’s, Mama cleaned up all your toys, all your crayons, all the mess, swept and organized. An hour after you came home it looks as though the mess was never gone.

How can two tiny humans possibly be as destructive as a hurricane!?

No Such Thing as Super Mom

Mama Mama

Some days I feel like I am on fire! Chores get done, kids are fed full and balanced meals, animals around the farm are happy, one or more of the many projects around the construction zone got checked off, we did arts and crafts, and even took a nature walk, and I made it through the day alive.

Then are are days and nights like yesterday.

My threenager would not listen, and every time I either asked or told him to do something I heard “I don’t want to” or there was a gigantic break down. Then, my youngest, Avaley, she could not for the life of her sit with Daddy, snuggle Daddy, or sleep in her own bed. She had to be on mama at all times, or kicking me, or touching my face or poking at any part of me she could. And for some reason, from the hours of 1:30 am – 3:00 am she was awake and tossing and turning in bed. Half dozing, half smiley. Which means I was awake, doing the same, because she was in my bed. No cries, or discomfort, just being a turd.

My weakness comes with my overactive brain. Definitely not a super power.

Once I was awake because I was so frustrated that she was not only in my space, but wouldn’t stop moving…I irritated myself to the point I was fully awake and then my mind wouldn’t shut off. I began thinking about all the things causing stress in my life right now.

  1. House construction. If we could just get the drywall done, we could paint, and we could get moved into the bedrooms upstairs, and if the kids had their own room it would be easier to MAKE them sleep in their own beds. Then this would not be happening.
  2. Money. Everything we are doing is costing too much money.
  3. Our third baby we are growing inside me right now. I was doubting ever fiber of my being last night because this new baby means another many years of not being able to sleep next to my husband, and more chaos and more cleaning up after, and more head butting and body slamming toss and turns at night.
  4. Back to the third baby. I saw the midwife yesterday and all day I worried about everything we talked about. I am going to have to go see a specialist again, to determine whether or not I should take progesterone shots with this pregnancy since Avaley was to term. There are so many questions, factors, and honestly, I don’t even think the specialist knows, but progesterone is really THE ONLY “option” for women who have had a preterm birth in the past. I’ve been doing my research myself, and I am at a lost for how I feel about it. I am praying my gut gives me some sort of sign sometime soon.
  5. Then I began thinking about today…what should our day look like? This is Javin’s ONE DAY OFF he has with us here at the house, so I know we are going to try to cram too many projects into too little time. We will start with banana pancakes, swimming lessons, picking up the durango while we are in town because it’s been in the shop (another cost we can’t afford). We will need to go to Freddie’s because we are out of fruits and vegetables, I’d like to organize the garage enough so that I can get my gym equipment in there and out of the living room, which means I need to get that slider out! So maybe I’ll try to sell that, then the crib and a few other things can be moved upstairs to the bedrooms for storage for now, the insulation needs finished, the dining room/craft table needs cleaned, and at some point, I need to prep and put together the meatballs we are having for dinner. Which reminds me, I need to take that meat out to thaw!
  6. After this shitstorm, I realized I needed to breathe and pray. So in order to not wake Javin and Parker, who were managing to sleep through the majority of Avaley’s craziness, I whispered calm thoughts to God.
  7. I got up to pee for the second time, checked the clock, it was 3:47. Crawled into bed and FINALLY fell asleep.

And though I got VERY. LITTLE. SLEEP. last night, and woke up before the sun did this morning, the first thing I wanted to put on my list of to-dos, was a workout.

Taking care of me, is more important some days than anything else because If i don’t take care of Mom, Mom can’t properly take care of everyone else. So even though there’s a list of to-dos a mile long that I made mental note of in the middle of the night, I am changing the game plan and making me a priority today so that I can feel my best and hopefully be as productive as possible. That’s how I have to do it.

And I remind myself:

supermom

There’s no such thing as super mom. And today, I’m going to wing it like every other day.

Preschool Home-school Themes

Homeschooling, Mama Mama

Being mama full time definitely is a lot of work. Emotionally, as well as physically, it’s very demanding of me. But, I wouldn’t want my “job” to be anything other than this. This is the most important job I could ever have. And since our oldest, Parker, is somehow almost at school age, I begin a new adventure!

Parker will be four years old in February, so this September, when school season begins, we will start a preschool routine. I think I might be more excited about this than anyone else, mostly because I know I now have more excuses to get creative and be a kid and learn myself.

Preschool…usually fun stuff. 

However, still very educational.

Our boy is ahead of the game in a sense that he has been learning for the past two years, and to him, “school work” has always been fun.

A few days ago, while my husband was home, I had a chance to actually put together a full school year of weekly preschool themes in which I plan to schedule my weekly and daily work around. I figured for the youngsters, themes are something to look forward to every Monday morning. (Heck, even us adults like themes, am I right?!)

I figured I would share our list of weekly themes, in case there are any other mamas out there who are stumped at where to begin with homeschooling a preschooler, or even a kiddo at an older age.

Preschool Homeschooling Themes rainbow

We are teaching based on our core values, Biblical references, and Oregon guidelines for early learning and kindergarten through the Department of Education.

Each day of the week will be broken up into individual lessons based around the overall theme. In addition to the weekly themes, I will be creating a list of sight words that will be learned alphabetically as the year progresses. 

As for Avaley, she will be two at the end of December, so we will come up with a “younger” version of many of the same activities Parker will be doing. She is still learning shapes, colors, animals, and things like that.

I now have a month to finish getting everything in order, and I know August is going to fly by! This is a new thing to me, homeschooling. So if there are any other moms with any pointers and/or advice, it would be very much appreciated! 

 

A Third Tiny Little Poppy Seed

Mama Mama

As you know, our family has been discussing the idea of a third baby for the last eight months. Before our second, Avaley, had her first birthday we decided it wasn’t time. (My husband actually decided, he was certain he was not ready. Which is quite alright, I don’t think I was ready either.) And after our positive test a few months ago that didn’t hold, we made plans to wait until the end of summer and then decide if or when we should have another baby.

Well, here we are, not quite at the end of July, a couple months ahead of schedule and we found out over a week ago that without any planning, God decided we were ready for that third baby!

When life gives you lemons…or a tiny little poppy seed…you fill your heart with so much love that any nerves, confusion, and stress just melts away.

The nerves. Emotionally, maternally, I have wanted another baby for a while. Logically, sometimes I think I am crazy.

I had given myself goals, that I hadn’t fully accomplished. We are not fully living in our house, and wont be for months still. My husbands schedule at work is beyond inconsistent and makes it so he doesn’t get to join us for dinners or many important family times. We have a big house, but the layout isn’t ideal for three children so now we have to get even more creative with space. Do we need a bigger car? Holy cow, I do not want to take progesterone shots again! And how in the world am I ever going to grocery shop with three babies!? Some days getting by with two that are so close in age and still young is challenging enough.

First thing’s first. For me, I need to stay sane and feel healthy. 

My goal was to get back into tip-top shape before getting pregnant again so that not only can the pregnancy also be active and healthy, and labor be smooth, but I can bounce back like I did after both my others. I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be, but I know my body can still gain strength even during this time. I lifted all the way through my second pregnancy and Ava’s birth was perfect.

Not a horrible starting point.

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Fit pregnancy here I come!

As far as getting creative goes, I’m good at that. And thankfully, so are many many others on Pinterest.

We are in fact going to need a new vehicle in the near future, but not only because of a third baby, it’s just about time. Not sure how we are going to pull that one off though.

The shots. Dreaded and hated and literally the one thing that makes me angry about being pregnant. I already know the midwives are going to strongly suggest them, which means I will have a little time to research and try to come up with an alternative, but when it comes down to it, a healthy and to term baby is important.

Everything else, the day-to-day, we will figure it out. A little time, a little prayer, and a lot of love. We will find what works for us, there’s no doubt.

There’s only a million and a half things going on right now, but you know what?!

We are having a third baby. Another blessing. And we are super excited about that!

**Note: I am not sure exactly how far along I am. I wont see the midwife for another ten days.** 

 

 

 

Message 2 my Kids #5

Mama Mama

Parker and Avaley,

The two of you share so much laughter and so many snuggles that it warms my heart.

Thank you for loving each other the way you do.

I’ll always remind you of these moments when the day comes that you think you can’t stand each other.

You were born to be not only brother and sister, but playmates, and friends.

 

My Secrets to abs After Babies

Mama Mama, Workin' Out

I am 28 years old. I have two littles, ages 3 1/2 and 1 1/2. I am a very busy stay-at-home mama, juggling enough projects I couldn’t count on all my fingers. And I have abs.

I don’t work overly hard at keeping my tummy tight, I don’t take any supplements, or use any miracle products. I don’t do hundreds of crunches and I don’t workout every single day.

Want to know my secrets??

It’s actually very easy.

1. Eat smart. Food is fuel. I listen to my body and have finally found a happy place where I no longer crave junk. I know what foods my body responds best to and I have become a creature of habit because of foods that my body has not responded well too. I spread my meals out throughout the day. Some days I have 3 full meals and 3 snacks in between, and others days I have 5 small, unstructured meals. Either way, I’m eating all day.

2. The majoriry of the time, I do compound exercises while working out. I also vary my exercises enough so that all areas of my core are activated. I make sure to use my range of motion to the best of my capabilities. No half reps or poor form.

3. If I feel I must do cardio, I make it short and sweaty. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times nothing has felt better than a long, torturous run…but that’s not how you get a tight and strong tum. Especially after having babies. I was a long distance runner in the past, and never had abs like I do now.

Lately my workouts have been far and few in between, so I rely mostly on my number one rule, eating smart. I don’t weight myself, or care what the scale has to say because I follow what my body is saying. When I let down my guard and I slip on that number one rule, I feel the changes. And I don’t like those changes, so I rarely slip.

Slip. Makes it sound like I’m following a strict diet or being overly harsh on myself, but in fact, I still eat a wide range of foods, including chocolate and cabernet! And I never feel deprived.

I suppose an honorary number 4 could be established since there is one more thing I am adamant about.

4. Sleep. I don’t care if the dishes don’t get done or if it’s still light outside, I put my sleep high on my priorities. Eight hours is ALWAYS a goal, and with children, we all know there’s never a perfect, uninterrupted stretch of sleep that long. But regardless, that alarm is never set unless I’ve got my 8 hours clocked. Some lucky nights, we get 9! (Again, usually interrupted from various babies and/or dogs and/or contractors beginning work at 6:30am)

If abs are a goal of yours, your first step is in the kitchen. It doesn’t take much to start seeing and feeling the differences once you begin a healthier routine.

Goes to show, mamas are strong too!

 

Seeking Sources for Natural Knowledge

Mama Mama, Nutrition & Good Eats, Our Homely Farm

Natural Living.

We’ve been building our natural life for a while now. I am thankful to have a husband who (for the most part) agrees, encourages, and supports my decisions when it comes to keeping our family healthy and protected. It’s taken many years, and countless hours of scouring books, websites, and asking thousands of questions to get to the point where I am now.

Where is this point exactly?

Just past everyone in the family thinking I am on the crazy side, and almost to the point of I know too much, so it just doesn’t matter what they think.

Truthfully.

The way I see it, our society has been too-far gone from natural living for too long and something needs to change. Food isn’t food anymore. Harmful chemicals infuse and attack our homes, and in turn, our bodies. Medication and medical treatment has become over-prescribed, wrongly-prescribed, and poorly regulated. All for profit. And to be honest, I truly believe that the majority of people have lost touch of knowing their bodies, and what they are capable of if taken care of.

One day I decided I wasn’t made to follow the rules, and conform to what society thought was an acceptable life. There was a yearning inside me that ached for more knowledge, because I knew that I wanted to see changes in my life, and the world in which my family and are a part of. So began the process.

One of the very first books I stumbled upon that pushed me towards a more natural life was “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” by Weston A. Price, D.D.S. At the time, I was only just curious, and I hadn’t began to scratch my itch for adjusting my lifestyle. However, within the foreword alone, suggestions were made based on thirty-five years of clinical experience that I feel are now worth sharing.

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(1) Reduce the volume of industrial effluence, including fluorides, now contaminating our air, water and food supply as rapidly as possible, through federal, state and local controls. 

(2) Ban the use of untested food additives immediately. Reduce the number of those tested, considered harmless, and approved for use to an absolute minimum.

(3) Rapidly phase out the use of long-acting pesticides and herbicides, unless proven harmless, except for emergency situations such as malaria control. Ban the sale of these pesticides for household use. Seek control of insect pests and weeds through other means, including soil improvement. Well nourished plants are most resistance to insects and fungi than deficient ones. 

(4) Warn the public that all petrochemicals, whether in food, water, air, pesticides, cosmetics, detergents, drugs or other environmental contacts, are potentially dangerous to many, and probably to all, individuals. Tell them that the least contact is best. 

(5) Give the public access to fundamental knowledge of good nutrition. If we are to survive, this must be taught in every school grade from kindergarten through college. Primitive wisdom tells us that the production of healthy, normal babies depends on optimum parental nutrition before conception, as well as during pregnancy. Breast-feeding is most important, and should be followed by a diet high in raw and unprocessed foods. Most birth deformities are unnecessary. Good bones, good muscles, attractive skin, normal endocrines, a healthy liver, good reproductive capacity, good intelligence, and good looks depend upon good food. Our people must know food values—and nourishing food is not necessarily expensive.

(6) Compost city wastes for use of fertilizers: return organic materials, minerals, and trace elements to help rebuild our plundering soil; and reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers high in nitrogen content which are contaminating our water and food supplies. Demonstrate to farmers that this approach is economically feasible. 

(7) Raise foods for quality rather than quantity. High protein, high vitamin and high mineral foods have much higher survival value than those with more calories but less essential nutrients. Calories alone are not enough. 

Dr. Price simply helped opened my eyes…maybe he even initiated my passion for living based on these suggestions, and more. I do, however, see things in a different light only in the sense that I trust God, and His creations. I do not trust man, and his intention from his creations. God created this earth with a purpose for every living thing on it. Food, fuel, family, and fixes, there is always a natural remedy.

Before I knew it, I was eager to see what others had to say. So I came across a few other [now my “go-to”] names when I have something to look up, or am in a research mood.

Dr. Mercola being the first name that comes to mind because I simply love his site. I find him both encouraging, and educational. www.mercola.com 

Katie, also known as “Wellness Mama” is a great read! www.wellnessmama.com

When it comes to building our life on our little farm, Mother Earth News is where I check first for up-to-date, organic homesteading. www.motherearthnews.com

Being a mama of two, and of two totally contrasting experiences as far as births go, I recommend reading the following books: “Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way” by Susan McCutcheon and “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth” by Henci Goer.

 

Recently I’ve come across the name “Aviva Romm” via social media, and I hope to dig in a little deeper to see where that leads me.

Sometimes I feel like I know too much, that if I had never began my research escapades, life would be so much easier. I wouldn’t worry about literally everything. I wouldn’t want to teach and inspire my children to live better lives, so that one day they would live in a more natural world. Sometimes the fact that there are still SO. MANY. MORE. FACTS out there scares the living hell out of me. But guess what?! I’m willing to take them on.  Being a natural mama means always researching, so you know you are prepared when tough questions or decisions come your way. And as we know, life continually does just that.

Knowledge is so powerful. And though I may not be supermom, my quest for “power” continues. And maybe you can help me with that…

What is your favorite website, book, blog, podcast, or any other form of information that relates to natural living? (Essential oils, organic gardening, vaccines and other medical pros and cons, fitness and exercise, natural remedies for athletes, homemade household products, gluten free or paleo recipes, living simple etc.)

Please comment and add your favorite source to the list! 

Wild & Free

Mama Mama

About a month ago, I came across a book that struck me right away as intriguing. I found it on Amazon, and put it in my “save for later” cart. I know we’ve all been taught to never judge a book by it’s cover… but the title alone whispered to my soul and the tag line felt like something pulling on my heart strings. Still, I knew we financially couldn’t just buy whatever we felt we wanted, so I didn’t purchase the book.

With everything that’s been going on in our crazy lives, this book has been in the back of my mind and a few days ago I decided, that after the emotional break-downs, confusion, chaos, and uncertainty, this was no longer just a book I wanted, but maybe it was just what I needed.

Sometimes God works in funny ways. His timing is never wrong.

The forward, introduction, and first half of chapter one is all I could get in this morning and if it wasn’t for a couple hungry munchkins, I would have not put it down. As soon as the kids went down for a nap, I finished chapter one.

40 pages.

That’s all it took to really sink in that maybe all this confusion, chaos, and uncertainty is happening for a reason. Maybe this is just the beginning of a journey God has me on to find my “Eden identity”.

To quote a brief section that connected with me today:

“When a horse is finally tamed and trained, bearing the burden of saddle and human expectations alike, she is called broken. It is only then that she performs the duties expected of her.”

“I don’t think that’s what God ever had in mind for Eve. And I don’t think that’s what God ever had in mind for you and for me.”

Broken. 

Not in a “She can’t be fixed”.

or a “She doesn’t work properly”. kind of way.

More like a “She isn’t her pure, wild self”. 

All my confusion, and all my uncertainty lately has been about an identity crisis. I’ve felt I am too much, and not enough, all at once, just as this book states. I am not sure who I am supposed to be, as a professional, as a wife, as a mother, and as a daughter of God. There have been so many changes in my life the last couple years that I am left to filter, prioritize, and accept where I am today. And pray that God reveals my path forward before I go too crazy.

Who am I meant to be? Who is the wild, most pure version of myself?

I am not the professional manager of a busy 24-hour gym anymore. I am not the well-dressed hostess at a local, fine-dining restaurant. I am not the personal trainer gone bikini competitor in her heels and spray tan on stage.

What I am is Mama. And though it is the ONE thing I WANT to be, I am having a hard time accepting that this is all I am meant for in my life. I am having a hard time knowing I am not doing more to help our family financially. I am having a hard time feeling like I should be doing more. 

I feel I am expected to achieve more as a stay-at-home mother, Lord knows dishes are my weakness. I feel I am expected to do more financially, though what I have done in the past doesn’t settle well with my heart anymore. I feel my emotions have been out of control and I should be able to contain them a little easier. That would be more acceptable. I feel I am expecting too much of myself, as well. I expect myself to have full control over what happens with our babies, with my fitness, with our little farm we are creating, and it’s exhausting! Is this what being broken feels like? If so, I want nothing more to be wild and free.

I am anxious to dig further into reading this book, because I know now that it was a perfect choice for me at this point of time in my life. I cannot wait to uncover what it helps me open up and reveal about myself, and where God might lead me.

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Sometimes all it takes to feel a little better is a good book that truly connects with you.