Monday, September 28, 2015

BEST DIY Tub/Shower Cleaner!

As I said in my last post, we are taking advantage of our fall break week by doing some home blessing! :)

Today I want to share a simple, 2 ingredient do-it-yourself tub/shower cleaner that has got our tub looking better than it has looked in over 3 years! :) It is totally safe, and does not have that agonizing smell of store bought tub cleaners. And best of all: it works wonders!!



BEST DIY Tub/Shower Cleaner!

What you will need:

* 1 cup of Blue Dawn dish soap
* 1 cup of white distilled vinegar
* Plastic spray bottle
* Sponge, scrub brush, or rag

Step 1 - Pour the cup of vinegar into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Step 2 - Pour the warm vinegar into your spray bottle (if you happen to have a funnel it would make this step easier!).

Step 3 - Put the cup of Blue Dawn dish soap into the spray bottle and shake to mix.

Step 4 - Spray this lovely blue mixture all inside your tub/shower and let it sit for about 1 hour.

Step 5 - Rinse your tub/shower out with warm water. If it was pretty dirty, you may want to use a sponge, brush, and/or rag to wipe it out as well.

This little homemade cleaner got our tub sparkling clean! No harsh chemicals or ammonia smell to deal with either!

Have you ever tried making your own cleaning supplies? Tell me about it! I love comments! And don't forget to follow my Homemaking board on Pinterest for more great ideas!

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Baking Soda & Vinegar: The Dynamic Duo!

We are taking fall break this week! Big Brother is loving some time off from school and Daddy is off from work. We have a little vacation and some fun family activities planned for later on in the week, but right now I am taking this time to do some much-needed housecleaning home blessing! ;)

I feel like I am a horrible housekeeper most of the time. I am one of those creative messy types who can always dream up better things to do than clean my house.

Plus, with a toddler underfoot making 2 or 3 new messes for every one I clean up, housecleaning can sometimes seem as pointless as trying to brush your teeth while eating Oreos...

BUT...I love my family, and I want them to have a home that is at least clean enough to live and eat in. So I try. :) I make an effort to learn simple ways to clean that even I can do. I read books and search Pinterest often in hopes of finding ways to be a better "keeper at home."

So I want to take a few posts here during our fall break and share some of the knowledge I have gained with you! :)

Baking Soda & Vinegar: The Dynamic Duo!



OK, so I am probably the last woman on earth to make this discovery; but did you know that you can really do some serious cleaning with baking soda and vinegar?! (And they make this really nice "fizz" when you mix them together that makes it kinda fun! Little boys might even be ready to help out with cleaning if you show them the "fizz!" It would make a neat little science lesson!)

For example, my stove had some pretty serious burned on food stains on and around the burners that I had never in 3 years been able to get to come clean. I try to give my stove a good wipe down after cooking, but I had tried soapy water and every kind of cleaner I could think of all to no avail. I had resigned that these ugly brown stains were there to stay. But then I read about the cleaning power of paste made from baking soda and vinegar, and I figured it couldn't hurt to give it a try!

So I first removed the worst stained burner from the stove. I sprinkled a light coating of baking soda on the circle of food gunk that had built up around it. Then I added some droplets of vinegar (fizz!) Then I took a dish rag and started scrubbing.

Over three years worth of ugly burned on food gunk disappeared with very little effort!

My husband heard me exclaiming "OOOOHHH YEAH!" from the living room and came to see what I was so excited about. He was pretty impressed when he saw how clean the stovetop was! :) It had not looked that good since we moved in!

The burners were also pretty bad. I soaked them in the sink for a while with warm water and vinegar. I scrubbed them down with the baking soda/vinegar paste. Then I rinsed them off with warm soapy water. They still are not perfect, but they look 10 times better than before!

I got a little excited after my success in the kitchen and used this fizzy dynamic duo to clean the gunk out around the faucet on our bathroom sink. It worked great!

Two awesome things about cleaning with baking soda and vinegar:

1.) It's Natural! No weird or smelly chemicals. We use both for cooking, so they are totally safe!

2.) It's CHEAP! You can easily buy enough baking soda and vinger to last a very long time for just a couple $!

I hope you have found this post informative! How have you used baking soda & vinegar around the house? Leave your tips in the comments! For more helpful articles, be sure to follow my Homemaking board on Pinterest!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Resources for Teaching the Books of the Bible

One of Big Brother's goals for this year is to learn all 66 books of the Bible in order.

As a child, I learned the books of the Bible on my own by simply reading the names out of my Bible's table of contents and reciting them over and over. But Big Brother does not learn or retain material very well that way.

So we are using a fun, multisensory approach to learning the books of the Bible! Today I want to share some free resources and activities that have been helpful to us so far!




Music

Songs always make memorizing easier! There are all kinds of songs out there with the books of the Bible. We have been using this one I found on YouTube for learning the books of the Old Testament and their divisions. I love it because the tune is simple and familiar, and I like the way it shows how the books of the Old Teatament are divided into groups.

There are several songs out there also for the New Testament books. Right now we are still finishing up the Old, but I am working on choosing a New Testament song that we can use.

Movement

Adding a movement aspect to learning anything always helps the information stick! I found these free printables from ABC Jesus Loves Me that list detailed hand motions for every book of the Bible!

We use these motions as we sing our song, and it definitely helps Big Brother's memory. And it makes reciting the books way more fun and interesting. The motions for each book have something to do with the book itself, so along the way he is actually learning more about each book of the Bible instead of simply memorizing a list.

Games

We use several different games and activities to help him practice the books of the Bible:

* Write each book name on an index card (or on a LEGO brick using a dry erase marker). Have him arrange or stack them in order.

*Using the index cards or LEGO bricks above, have him put books under the correct division. (Example: Isaiah would go under Major Prophets)

*Call off a book title and have him give the hand motion.

*Show him a hand motion and have him give the book title.

* Call off a book and have him tell the books that come immediately before and after it.

Learning the order of the books of the Bible is very important to being able to study the Bible on his own, find particular verses quickly, or follow along in church.

I hope you have found these resources and ideas helpful! Do you have any others you could share? Please leave a comment!!

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Science "Go Fish" Game

Yesterday I posted about the Memory Match Games I had made to use for reviewing material Big Brother is learning in science and history.



Well this afternoon, I had planned for us to play the Memory Match game with our science cards. But then Big Brother had a really neat idea!

We can use these same cards to play "Go Fish!" :)

To start I mixed the cards and dealt 5 cards to each of us. The remaining cards were placed in the center of the table face down for a draw pile.

Then we took turns asking the other player if he/she had a match for a particular card in our hand.

For example, if Big Brother had the card that said "the process by which plants make food," he might ask me, "Do you have 'photosynthesis?'" If I had the card he requested, I had to give it to him and he got to lay down the matching pair and ask for another card. If I did not have the card he wanted, I would say "Go Fish!" Then he would draw one card from the draw pile and his turn would be over.

The player with the most matched pairs at the end of the game (when someone runs out of cards in their hand or the draw pile is emptied) is the winner!

These games have been a great, painless way for us to review important information. Apparently they are working, too! Big Brother had quizzes in both his ABeka history and ABeka science classes today, and he scored 100% on both! :)

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Memory Match Review Games

We are into our 7th week of homeschool for this year. We have kinda gotten into our routine now, and I am always trying to come up with ways to make our days more fun and Big Brother's lessons more engaging. I have also been looking for ways to work with Big Brother on improving his working memory (something he struggles with). So I have made some simple games for this purpose.




I have created a Memory Match Review Game for science and another one for history. These are Big Brother's favorite subjects.

I went through his textbooks and found important vocabulary words, facts, dates, people, etc. and wrote them with marker on index cards.



I used green marker on our science cards and red marker for history so I can keep the games separate. The games will fit nicely in a card box or ziploc bag.

The games are easy to play! First mix the cards well. Then lay out all the cards face down on a table or the floor. The first player turns over two cards. If they are a match, he keeps them. If they are not a match, he turns them back over. Then the next player (or the teacher) takes a turn. Play continues until all the cards have been matched. The player with the most matching sets wins the game.

This could also be played by the student on his own as just a fun way to review concepts or study for a test.

Big Brother loves reviewing what he has learned this way! And he is building up his memory muscles as he plays, too.

A game like this could work for reviewing basically any academic subject on any level.

Have you ever used games to teach or review in your homeschool? Tell me about it!!!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Studying Acts - Chapters 1 & 2

Good Morning Girls are studying the Book of Acts right now! We have read the first two chapters so far, and I am enjoying the study and interacting with my email GMG study group made up of other homeschool moms around the country!



I just want to share a few brief thoughts from these first couple chapters with you! :)

Acts 1

Verses 10 & 11 were a real blessing to me. The promise that "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner..." is such a sweet promise indeed! The apostles were no doubt comforted by these words as we also can be today. Looking at all the evil that this world is coming to these days makes me ready to say "Even so, come Lord Jesus!"

I want to make sure I am ready for His coming, and I also want to find ways to help others get ready.

At the end of this chapter, the disciples cast lots to determine who should replace Judas Iscariot as an apostle. This practice was brought up in my study group, and the question was asked as to whether we should cast lots to make our decisions today. My answer was that we are never specifically told in Scripture to do this. There are no instructions for exactly how it was done either. If we were supposed to cast lots to make decisions, God would have given clear instructions. Prayer, reading the Word, and staying in a close personal relationship with the Lord so that we can be led by His Spirit are the things I believe we need to be doing in order to make wise decisions in our lives.

Acts 2

In chapter 1, Jesus promised His disciples that they would receive power to witness for Him after the Holy Ghost fell on them (Acts 1:8) This promise came true in a big way in chapter 2! One hundred twenty people coming together for one purpose and all of them being filled with the Holy Ghost brought 3,000 people to the Lord in one day!!! And in the days that followed more and more people were saved every day.

I especially notice the amazing boldness to witness that Peter has now! Before the crucifixion, Peter was too scared to admit that he even knew Jesus. Now, he is loudly declaring that Jesus is Lord! What a miraculous change!

I pray that I may also be bold in my witness for the Lord!

Are you studying through the Book of Acts with Good Morning Girls right now, too? What are your thoughts from the first chapters? I would love to hear from you in the comments section!

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

First Day of Homeschool Co-op 2015

Today was our first day of homeschool co-op for this year! We are blessed with a small group of friends who get together for fun activities and field trips throughout the school year.



We have 1 hour of class activities one afternoon each week. I happen to be leading the activities this semester. We have 7 children involved in the weekly classes right now between the ages of 7 and 10. (We have more families who will just join in for field trips.)

Today's class activities went really well! The children were excited to be together. We have some awesome activities for them this semester!

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For the first 30 minutes of our co-op we are doing Scripture Talk, a Bible memory program on DVD. Over the course of this program, we will be memorizing 10 KJV Scripture passages (79 individual verses!) using fun hand motions and interesting lessons.

I LOVE this program because it really helps students with all learning styles to be able to enjoy memorizing God's Word! We watch and listen to the children and teacher on the screen demonstrate each verse. The words appear on the screen to read along as we practice together. The biggest help is the hand motions that really make the words stick!

This afternoon we began learning Psalm 1. We will be committing the whole chapter to memory. Today we watched as the teacher on the DVD explained how the children can apply Psalm 1 to their lives. I asked a few simple questions just to double check their comprehension of the lesson. Then we began working on the first 2 verses.

We practiced quoting the verses with the motions along with the DVD several times over and over. We practiced on our own slowly several times, too. I was really proud of how quickly the children were able to quote the verses on their own! I had the girls quote the verses and do the movements together, then the boys took a turn. They really had fun with it! The movements kept their attention and gave us a good work out, too. They were all super excited to go home and practice with their families. Who says Bible memory has to be boring? Not me! :)

Click here to see a short trailer about the Scripture Talk program.

You can order your own copy of the DVD from Scripture Talk Ministries or it is also available from Amazon

I highly recommend this program for all ages! (Even my 1 year old has picked up a few words and motions from seeing the DVD!) This program works great as a homeschool co-op class; but it could also be used by individual families, Sunday Schools, VBS, Youth Groups, or Christian schools!


Our second half hour activity is Speed Cup Stacking (also known as Sport Stacking). This is a fun P.E. activity!

We have 2 Speed Stacks sets that we set up for the children to use. I started off by showing them how to do a basic 3 cup stack. Everyone practiced using both hands to upstack and downstack 3 cups quickly. They learned the proper way to handle the cups, basic stacking rules, and how to use the timers.

The simplest official stacking pattern is called the 3-3-3 stack. Three stacks of three cups each must be stacked up and back down as quickly as possible. This afternoon we did 3 rounds during which each child timed him/herself doing the 3-3-3 stack. I must say, we have some pretty fast cup stackers among us!

I made clear that we are stacking for FUN, and that good sportsmanship is expected. Each child's stacking times are written down each round, and their goal is to beat their own best times. It was good to see the children applauding and encouraging one another as they cup stacked today.

Some weeks we may do relay races or other fun games with our speed stacks. This activity is great for building hand-eye coordination, concentration, and so much more.

Never heard of Speed Cup Stacking? Neither had I until I attended an A.C.E. Student Convention with my brother a few years ago. Our family has been hooked ever since!

Check out the World Sport Stacking Association for more information on this interesting sport! Get your own set of Speed Stacks here!

So after a fun, busy afternoon at co-op, we were thoroughly exhausted! I scored some "Super-Mommy" points with the boys by stopping by McDonald's on our way home for supper since Daddy was working late.

Does your family participate in a homeschool co-op and/or support group? What kind of classes or activities do your children enjoy?

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