Creating Inviting Spaces with Your Little Ones

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

When my sweet friend, Misty sent me a Marco Polo (a cool video app) asking my opinion on her child’s playroom, I thought it would be a good idea to share my thoughts with all of you on creating inviting spaces for your little ones!

Everyone is worthy of feeling as if they belong, especially our children and most definitely in their own home. Before you begin designing an inviting space for your children, I suggest you get on your hands and knees and crawl around your home. YEP, literally get on your hands and knees. Spaces look so different from a child’s eye level. Ask yourself, how do things look and feel from that level. Are there enough “small” areas for your children to work, play, discover and explore?

  1. Work – Children need small ways to contribute to the family. They need work. Create spaces for their belongings on their level. Have a drawer for their cups, plates, utensils, and special cooking items. Have a bucket with basic cleaning supplies and cloths. Place hooks low enough so that children can hang up their own coats. Creating good habits at a young age pay off.
  2. Play – Children are meant to play. How easy is it to say YES to their ideas for play? Less is definitely more in this area. Children do not need 20 containers full of toys in a playroom. During the early years it is likely that everything that is in a container will end up dumped on the floor, all at once. Buy quality toys and items that inspire open-ended play. This is more engaging for the child. I suggest you keep it basic. Some quality blocks, some arts and crafts materials, something that inspires pretend play (dress up, kitchen, baby dolls, etc..) and a cozy corner with books. Put everything else in a large plastic bin and keep it for a month. During that month, move anything your child asks for into a different bin. Whatever is left in the original bin after a month, donate.

3.  Discover and Explore- Kids need permission to get outside in search of discovery and exploration. Do you have a space for them to do that? Do you have materials such as nature journals, pencils, binoculars, and bird/flower books to inspire them? Keeping these type of items handy will help you say yes!

Creating inviting spaces is worth the time and effort! Get down on your hands and knees and start crawling around your space today!

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


 

 

Preschool Essentials

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Preschool Essentials from the Brain Coach!What is it that preschoolers really need to experience to help their brains work at peak capacity when they start formal schooling?  That question has puzzled professionals in the educational field for years.  From a neurodevelopmental perspective, preschool preparation has nothing much to do with books you find at teacher supply stores, Sam’s or Cosco marked “preschool skills.”  It is not whether a child can use scissors, identify letters and numbers or write his name.  It has everything to do with the development of the central nervous system and most especially the brain.  The brain controls everything we do so if we prepare it with a good developmental foundation, it preforms like a well-oiled machine when the pressures of formal academics are presented.  In other words, all of the skills mentioned above that so many people concentrate on when trying to teach a particular skill, are really a natural result of a good development.  For example, if the pathway from the brain to the hand is mature and hand strength is good, it would be almost effortless to learn to cut with scissors.  Let’s not put the cart before the horse!

If the foundation is not solid, that is where we see the rise in sensory issues and learning challenges appearing in more than 25% of our American children.  As you learn to work at the foundational level of development, you too can avoid learning struggles in your home.

In this episode of Brain Coach Tips, learn about the six areas of development that are the foundation to function – tactile, auditory, visual, manual, language, and mobility.  Dr. Jan will expand on each of these areas with specific activities to stimulate the proper development.  She will also explain how the chemistry of the body can play a key role in function.  To discuss this further, you can receive a free metabolic consultation when you submit your request.  See details in the handout.

Don’t miss the handout attached here with key points from the podcast and links to pertinent resources and discounts.


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Raddish – a cooking club and curriculum, specially designed FOR KIDS by chefs and educators! Raddish is perfect for homeschooling families! Teach thematic cooking lessons that incorporate math, science, nutrition, geography, and culture. With Raddish, the kitchen is the tastiest place to learn! Use coupon code PODCAST at checkout for $15 off a 6 or 12 month membership. Visit RaddishKids.com/Homeschool to learn more and to download a free lesson.
Check out this info pack: Raddish One Page

Bigs, Middles, and Littles – Homeschool Children Across The Ages

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Bigs, Littles, and Middles - us how we homeschool children across the ages

Jamie, Arlene, and I had so much fun recording our podcast for last week, we decided to keep the party going and record a second one. At every conference people ask us how we homeschool children across the ages. We figured it might be something the podcast world would want us to talk about as well, so we did.

Every homeschooling family is unique. Some people homeschool year round, some 3 days a week, some 8-12 everyday. It is hard to tell others exactly HOW to homeschool, but we all agreed on the following for those homeschooling different ages at the same time.

  1. Find the rhythm for YOUR family, don’t compare.
  2. Make sure your youngest gets some quality time by creating an engaging environment for them.
  3. Partner children up to work together. For example, while you are working with the middle child, have the oldest and youngest work together. While you work with the oldest, have the middle and youngest work together, etc…
  4. Don’t be afraid to seek the help of tutors, enroll some children in a hybrid, or partner up with other homeschooling families to meet the needs of your children.
  5. Take advantage of early mornings and naptime. Be willing to change your schedule and remember this is just a season. Flexibility is KEY.

 

 

You’ve got this!

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

Activities that Guarantee a Great Summer

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Activities that Guarantee a Great SummerI can’t believe that the first official day of summer was last week. Here in Georgia, it has been HOT for a couple of months now. While I love summer, sometimes I feel it throws me off my game because I am out of my routine. If you are like me, try some of these fun summer activities to spice up your day. Your kids will thank you and your evenings will be much more relaxing because they will be tired from “working” all day.

 

1. Bubble Station – This is one of my favorite summertime activities. In fact, I just bought all of the necessary items to take to the beach next week. The grandbabies will enjoy the bubbles soooooo much. Yes, I will post pics! 🙂

 

Recipe:

3 quarts water

2/3 cups Dawn Dish Soap

2/3 cups corn starch

2 tsp. baking powder

 

Mix well and put in a plastic drink dispenser. Provide unique tools such as, strawberry baskets, glasses without lens, rings around drink bottles, etc…

2.  Mud Kitchen – You can find a kitchen set for next to nothing at any thrift store. Go through your kitchen and gather old utensils, pans, measuring cups, etc… for your mud chefs. Don’t be surprised if they try and serve you mud pie for dinner. 😉

 

3.  Buckets of Water – This is a super easy activity that keeps children engaged! Just grab some buckets, squeegees, paint brushes and let them clean windows, the house, the car, etc…

Don’t forget to try the squirt bottle idea too. Simply fill the bottle with water and add a few drops of liquid watercolor.  Clip a large piece of paper to a fence outside and let them squirt their way to a masterpiece.

4.  Scavenger Hunts – Pick any five items and have them go on a hunt. This can be nature items, items at the house or even items in the store.

Backyard Scavenger Hunt

****Used with permission from A Year of Playing Skillfully by Kathy Lee and Lesli Richards****

5.  Bath Tub Fun – Let’s be honest, some days are just tooooo hot to be outside, even with water. On those days, have your kids grab their bathing suit and get in the tub. Offer them colored water to mix, shaving cream with liquid water coloring and paintbrushes or even whipping cream. Simply “swimming” in the tub is fun, too!

The main thing is to give your children permission to be children.

All of these activities can be found the following books:

101 Easy Wacky Crazy Activities by Kathy Lee and Carole Dibble

The Homegrown Preschoolers by Kathy Lee and Lesli Richards

A Year of Playing Skillfully by Kathy Lee and Lesli Richards

——–

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

Why NO and MINE are good words for Toddlers

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Why NO and MINE are good words for Toddlers (and a few other toddler tips)

I often get asked how to deal with NO and MINE in toddler world. I see them both as positive words for this age. Toddlers are realizing that they are indeed human and separate from their parents. Isn’t what we hope all of our children realize! 😉 Up until this point someone has made all the decisions for them and they FINALLY have a voice. NO, they don’t want peas for dinner. NO, they don’t want to take a bath. NO, they don’t want to go to bed. I bet some toddlers are sooooo excited that they can finally state their opinion. ON this episode, we will talk about this world of toddlers and the many reasons that no and mine are their favorite words. It really is a good thing.

Also in this episode, I will quickly address some other toddler topics… potty training, biting, and pitching fits. I know for many parents, this toddler stage is challenging. I often suggest that parents try and approach this time with a lighthearted spirit. I always encourage gentle, playful parenting whenever possible, especially during the young years.

Find a way to #sayyes today.

 

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

Little Ones CAN (and SHOULD) Do It!

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Little Ones CAN (and Should) Do it! Jan Smith is a rock star when it comes to parenting and homeschooling! She is a mother, grandmother, homeschooling advocate, businesswoman, jazz band member and mentor to many! I first met Jan after she heard one of my talks and invited me to speak at the Louisiana State Homeschool conference a few years ago. I immediately fell in love with Jan (and Roger) and you will too after this episode.

In this episode Jan and I talk about the benefits of letting (encouraging) little ones to get involved in home life. We share how this builds confidence, work ethic, and a willingness to take risks, all great things for our children as they grow and mature. Jan shares some personal stories that will inspire you to let go and get your little ones involoved. They CAN do it!

 

 

 

 

 

Jan and Roger Smith

Watch this video on the benefits of little ones doing chores, it is powerful!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

When Does Homeschool Begin?

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

When does Homeschooling Begin?  With Dr. Jan Bedell, the Brain Coach!Most people don’t think about educating their children until pre-school age. In this episode, the Brain Coach lets you in on some tips that will save you hours of effort in later years.  When children go through ALL the developmental steps that God intended, the foundation for successful education is laid.  Children will then be ready for more formal education.  It is our belief that these steps are so strategic that learning challenges and even labels like ADD, ADHD and reading difficulties can be avoided when the developmental foundation is fully functional.

Between birth and two years of age, a child’s brain grows at explosive rates.  Learning to “input” information in the form of sensory involvement (auditory, visual, tactile, smells and tastes) can accelerate brain growth. This causes the development/formation of proper neurological pathways, which resemble super highways.  When the networks of super highways exist, the brain is able to take the most efficient route in accomplishing a task.  You will learn to use those strategic moments in your day to help your infant be “home schooled” from birth.

The attached handout will help guide you through this episode and give you links to pertinent information and discounts. Click to download here!

Teaching Early Learners with Cheryl Bastian

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Teaching Early Learner imgTeaching Early Learners with Cheryl Bastian

Podcast #23

How do you teach early learners? In this episode,  Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn talks with Cheryl Bastian about ideas and thoughts on homeschooling preschoolers.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida. If you are interested in homeschooling our convention is every year in May during Memorial Day weekend.

Please visit www.fpea.com to learn more about who we are!

Preschoolers (3-, 4- and 5-year-old little learners) gain knowledge and understanding from experiential learning, educational moments that involve seeing, hearing, tasting, feeling and making. These experiences occur while playing and it is from that play preschoolers learn essential foundational skills and vocabulary needed for later learning. In addition, these experiences nurture a love for and a method of discovery, cultivating excitement and wonder in the process.

Preschoolers are natural questioners. From their questions, discovery occurs; discovery of self, others and the world. And, because of their innate inquisitiveness they come to understand cause and effect learning—ask a question, find an answer. The process perpetuates a learning cycle, fueling a love of learning. Hence, children whose questions are encouraged are more likely to become life-long learners.

First thoughts of home educating a preschooler tend toward colors, numbers,
shapes and letters. Yet, intellectual necessities are just one slice of the preschool learning pie. Considering the total development of the preschool child allows learning potential—today and tomorrow— to soar.

Excerpt by Cheryl Bastian. Read more in the Guide to Homeschooling here

 

 

 

The Wonder of Childhood

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

The Wonder of ChildhoodThe Wonder of Childhood

Podcast #22

In this episode,  Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Chairwoman, Suzanne Nunn looks at learning and growing during the early preschool years. Early childhood is full of opportunity for exploration and learning. Growing during the early years, is a building block of the foundation of education.

Children learn through play, exploration, story time, questioning and examining the world around them. Take time to enjoy the little things and watch your little ones grow through experimentation and curiosity. Early childhood learning is often fun and unexpected.

Please join us as we travel along this journey on our podcast adventure. Let’s get connected! Learn more about the Florida Parent Educator’s Association and homeschooling in the beautiful state of Florida. If you are interested in homeschooling our convention is every year in May during Memorial Day weekend.

 

Please visit www.fpea.com to learn more about who we are!

 

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