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I have moved Shepherding Kind Hearts to a new home; please visit me at Shepherding Kind Hearts. Blessings!!

Memories are something I treasure dearly and hold close to my heart. With that in mind I thought I’d share my favorite Christmas memory with all of you.

My favorite Christmas memory isn’t one specific event or year. Rather it is a collection of years that came to become treasured memories. Growing up we did not live near extended family so when I was young my parents started an annual tradition with two other families that also did not have extended family close for the Holidays. In total there were 5 children and 3 sets of parents. Each year we all met for not only Thanksgiving but also Christmas. Through the years my favorite memories include the turkey leftover from Thanksgiving became homemade turkey noodle soup for Christmas. Each year the kids also got to all tear into a homemade and beautifully decorated gingerbread house. We feasted on snacks and stuffed ourselves on amazing food; all of us commiserating later that we were stuffed. There were gift exchanges and treasured presents. Most of all though the magic of the season wasn’t food or presents it was the joys that we all experienced by simply coming together every year. We have all grown and gone our separate ways and started Holiday traditions with our own family. One treasured member of our group has also gone home to be with God in Heaven. While the group will never be together as it was when we were kids, everyone of us hold those years close to our hearts. Laughs and love abound within our group and lifelong friendships were set in stone.

My boys and I started this school year with a “big boxed” curriculum. I had high hopes but unfortunately the history portion just wasn’t up to my standards. After reading lots of reviews and seeking advice from my homeschool friends I decided to go with My Father’s World From A to Z Kindergarten (MFWK) for my youngest son. We just finished our second week and we both absolutely love it!!

My kids and I love the library and love having ample books around the house that relate to what we are studying. So as a result I have compiled a list of additional reading books for the first 2 weeks of MFWK. I did this mainly for myself as I have a preschooler who is chomping at the bit to do school with her older brothers. Some of the resources listed below are non-fictional while others are fun reads about the Sun and Moon from a fictional perspective. If you are using or have used MFWK and can recommend additional resources please let me know, I’d love to add more to my lists.

Letter S – Sun

The Sun by Scholastic News

Exploring The Sun by Rebecca Olien

Who Likes the Sun by Etta Kaner

Sunshine Makes the Seasons by Franklyn Branley

Sun Up, Sun Down The Story of Day and Night by Jacqui Bailey

Letter M – Moon (and space)

Reaching for the Moon by Buzz Aldrin

Space Heroes Amazing Astronauts by James Buckley Jr.

Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy

Astronauts and other Space Heroes by Smithsonian

Moon by DK Eyewitness Books

If you Decide to go to the Moon by Faith McNulty

Look at the Stars by Buzz Aldrin

Mission to the Moon by Alan Dyer

Exploring the Moon by Rebecca Olien

The Magic School Bus takes a Moonwalk by Scholastic

Kingfisher Voyages Space with Sally Ride

The Moon by Seymour Simon

Whether it be during homework after school or during school time for homeschoolers, younger siblings are typically disruptive and distracting because they are bored. In an effort to keep my young preschooler busy while her older brothers do school I have been searching for activities she can do on her own or with little supervision. Not only are these activities a sanity saver for me but it also teaches her to work independently.

Clothespin counting activities have been around for a long time. As I was searching the internet for free printable clothespin cards I was disappointed in the lack of color and creativity. So I decided to just make my own. My version not only teaches numeral recognition and number word reading, but I have also added color recognition.  You will see that each smiley face on my cards are a different color of the rainbow. You can purchase inexpensive clothespins at your local discount store if you don’t have any laying around the house. Also, today I used colored bingo markers and they worked just as well. Both the clothespins and bingo markers help your preschoolers fine motor skills. As I mention in the file below I recommend printing on card stock and laminating for durability.

Clothespin Counting Acitivity

If you use these sheets with your preschooler please let me know. I’d love to hear if you enjoy them or have suggestions for improvement.

A parenting-related e-mail in my inbox today caught my attention. The article was entitled Bullies May Intimidate Siblings, too and was authored by Robert Preidt of HealthDay News. My first reaction to this article was “well then the schools need to do something about it”. But after thinking about it for a brief moment I realized that no, in fact the primary responsibility does not lie on the shoulders of the public school system, in fact undeniably the issue of bullying has it’s deepest roots at home. Where do kids first learn to bully? Where do they see their first examples of anger and intimidation? At home of course!

Kids absorb the anger from their parents and other adults that may be in their household. Children watch how adults interact and emulate what they see. Parents of bullies need to look inward before casting blame on others (such as the school system). Of course it goes without saying that kids who bully at school are going to bring that same behavior home and bully siblings. Kids who act one way at school more times than not act the same way at home.

Shepherding Kind Hearts would solve the problem of bullies not only in our schools but also in the work place. If children see tolerance, patience, love, respect, and honesty (among other positive virtues) then they will grow into that positive mold. Children need to be nurtured, loved, and cared for. Most of all children need to KNOW that they are loved and accepted by adults in their family. When a young child doesn’t feel the love and acceptance their little hearts yearn for they will act out in the only way that they know how; bullying at school (among other sinful acts).  Bullying and disrespect should not be tolerated anywhere. It starts in the home though.

Just another reason to teach and model towards kind hearts in our children.

Read more here about how to correct teasing behavior in your school age child. There are also articles on the same site for toddler and preschool aged teasing behavior.