Friday, July 24, 2015

Productively Occupying 3-Year-Old Boys

Do you have a 3-year-old boy (or know someone who does) who seems to have testosterone exploding from his darling little body con-stant-ly? *smile* Does he bounce off the walls, shout spontaneously, fly from one activity to another, swipe things on to the floor on his way flying past the table, punch a sister just to see what will happen, unload the kitchen drawers because they make a great sound...but has a great laugh and smile, and is not really malicious - just needs constant supervision, guidance, and protection? We have 4 sons. Three of them have been this way at age three especially.

I've been asked this question many times, "Could you please give me ideas for ways to productively occupy my precious, but rambunctious 3-year-old little son??"  And since most all of us moms have striven to learn to do this well, I'd like to give you a thorough, detailed answer from what I've learned.  *smile*  Not that I've "arrived" by any means, but these are ideas that have worked well for us. In my post, "Productively Occupying Young Children: Inclusion in Homeschooling", I shared with you how we occupy young children in general. However a 3-year-old boy can be a different situation. *laugh!* I'll share with you:
  • Boys vs. girls
  • Keeping him safe without following him around.
  • Scheduling our 3-year-old's time on a typical day.
  • Toy/activity ideas to occupy his time.
  • Three resources for activity ideas.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Productively Occupying Young Children: Inclusion in Homeshcooling

“Moomyyy, Tyler is standing on the kitchen table and he’s poured salt all over the place!”  …The entire table which seats 10 is completely covered with salt.  I proceeded to wash this off 4 or 5 times before it was clean because I chose to use a wet sponge which turned the table top into the saltwater Puget Sound (huge mistake obviously, should have used the vacuum – mental note for next time).  This child needed a parent directed  occupation – not one that he came up with (I rarely like the choices children make when they’re bored or need attention) but one that he was guided in to.

Three of the girls having "water play" time.
In our homeschool we strive to not just occupy non-school-age children, but to include them; to not chase them away, but to draw them in.  Children need to know they are a valuable part of our family, and not just to be tolerated until they’re older.  It is also invaluable practice with focusing their attention, sitting, and having limits on their freedom in preparation to begin homeschooling with a little curriculum starting at kindergarten age (age 4-6 depending on the child).  We learned several strategies for including our littlest muffins along our homeschooling journey and many people inquire as to how we do this, so here are some of the ideas we implement regularly:

  • Towel Time (or blanket time)
  • Table Activities
  • Play Yard or Pack-n-play
  • Crib Play
  • Play Stations
  • The Jumper
  • Computer Learning
  • Nap time

    Monday, July 13, 2015

    Orderliness - A Closer Look

    Large Families On Purpose is focused on encouraging parents in the direction of orderliness in their homes, in their daily lives, finances, and in their homeschools.  This post is not so much to show parents how to teach orderliness to their children (although I do cover this in my post Character Training For Children - A Core Aspect of Discipleship).  Rather, it is to highlight for parents what orderliness is, why orderliness is valuable, and how to practice it themselves to bless their families and their make their homes a more enjoyable place for anyone who gets to be there.
    Let's look at:
    • What does God say about Orderliness?
    • The definition of Orderliness, with flexibility
    • The concept of Orderliness
    • The role of leadership
    • Gaining more time
    • Orderliness and productivity
    • Orderliness and ideas
    • Application of Orderliness

    Monday, July 6, 2015

    Family Scrapbooking

    Summer is here! And I love to capture family memories with my camera and put them into a photo book for our family to walk down memory lane with later. *smile* Is this part of your summer plans, saving your family's memories? This might be a good time between school years to learn to do so real easily using an online program! 

    I spent years using the traditional paper album method, but eventually found that I didn't have that magnitude of time or space for such a project and I couldn't keep up. It made me so sad to think that I wouldn't be able to have those memories in books any longer! However thankfully I was rescued from my scrapbooking slow death by my sister who gave me a quick tutorial of online scrapbooking - and off I went! *cheer!* Here's my journey, and my practical how-to's to share with you...
    • My experience using the traditional paper method
    • Problems I had with that method and my attempted solutions
    • My first solution:  Online scrapbooking with Shutterfly
    • My current favorite scrapbooking company - Picaboo!  
    • More online scrapbooking benefits 
    • Children learning to scrapbook 

      Monday, June 29, 2015

      Government School-At-Home Programs/Co-ops - Be Warned & Informed

      For homeschooling families, spring and summer are the big planning times for the upcoming school year. *smile* So here is some invaluable information that I hope will help guide your decisions. 

      Home-education verses government school-at-home programs (a.k.a. Government-funded alternative learning programs / Virtual schools / Parent partnership programs) is a very sensitive subject amongst the homeschool community. May I first begin by saying that we do not judge anyone who chooses to school their children differently than we do. What each family chooses to do or not do is completely between them and the Lord... But Large Families on Purpose is committed to speaking out on Biblical truth, so here is some very important information for all homeschooling families to be informed about.

      Thursday, June 25, 2015

      Fun Hair for Girls: How to Get Spirals with Rag Curlers

      Here in the United States it will be time again to celebrate the birth of our country on the 4th of July, with fireworks, food, fellowship, and crazy streamers and hats, beads, the wearing of red, white, and blue (the colors of our flag) - and our girls love to have happy hair as well!  *laugh*

      Our oldest daughter currently loves to do her own and all the sisters for some special occasions, birthdays, holidays, or just for fun! And we have also always loved the look of hair styles from movies such as Sense and Sensibility, or Pride and Prejudice. I don’t know many people who know how to do rag curls so I thought I’d share this pretty, feminine look with you friends!  It’s so fun and so beautiful! So - here we go:

      • Directions for the process, with photos and tips
      • End result photos
      • How to do them on one's self 

      Monday, June 22, 2015

      Large Family Camping (2014) - It's Very Do-Able!

      Camping season is here once again! *cheer!* And we're all over it with our large group! Have you desired to camp with young children, or with a larger group but just haven't quite taken the plunge yet? *chuckle* *smile* I invite you to catch a vision for how it can be done, nicely we think, through our photo tour and by hearing how we camp as a team for five days with 11 people... *smile*   This post might seem a little "scrapbooky", which is not what we strive for here on our blog; however the point is to give a visual into the fact that camping with lots of people or with young children is very do-able and can be enjoyable. Just takes a good plan.

      • Basic tent camping - large family style
      • Our packing list & meal planning
      • Unpacking and laundry strategies
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