Monday, May 26, 2014

Ethan's Quilt ~ A Memorial Day Special

As per tradition at Christmas, we draw names for giving gifts.  This past Christmas, I drew Ethan's name, my sister's boyfriend.  I was at a bit of a loss, for quite some time.  It wasn't until I got the idea of a quilt, that my panic started to subside.  I had already made t-shirt quilts for my sister, brother, husband and myself.  Why not see if Ethan wants one too? 

I got the best surprise when asking if he wanted one.  He did and had been saving his old military uniforms for just that reason.  YES!  I told them to send me the uniforms and I would see what I could come up with.  It turned out better than I hoped for!

 Here it is; the finished quilt.  It is a queen size quilt.  The backing is black flannel.  It is a really warm, heavy quilt!  (My boys didn't want to give this one up either.  They have a harder time parting with quilts than I do.)

 Ethan kept a lot of his patches and I just started playing with them, piecing them together in different designs.  I knew I wanted to use them, and this one stuck.  I love the way it turned out.

Ethan seeing it for the first time! 

And just to give you an idea of how big it really is; Ethan is holding it up and my dad is sitting in the chair next to it!

This has been my favorite quilt to make so far.  Thank you Ethan, for serving our country and keeping us safe!

And thank you to all the service members and their families for sacrificing so much to ensure our freedoms! 

God Bless America!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Schooling through the Summer

I have never wanted to school through the summer.  This year though, I have had a change of heart.  Well, I have to do it since we are a little behind from our 2 month winter break.  I took time off during and after our move to get settled and re-evaluate our curriculum.  The kids and I are enjoying our new, living books.  It is nice having my busy boys excited to learn!

As the summer gets closer and closer, I am beginning to get more excited about schooling through the summer season.  First of all, it will be a good indoor distraction from the heat.  Everyone keeps telling us that once the temperatures get over 100, it's all the same.  Yikes!  Secondly, it has never been easy for my kids to get back into the school year after the long summer break.  I'm thinking the shorter breaks during the summer will keep them motivated and having fun.  Lastly, my kids learn daily, with or without school, so adding to their play will not only enrich them, but keep their minds sharp and yearning for more.  Learning should be fun and I am praying that my kids will continue to view it that way!

The type of learning we encounter at our house is through play, life experiences and living books.  I was struggling with thoughts of failure for a few days.  I didn't think my first grader was reading enough, working on spelling words enough, or getting grammar concepts down.  It was a waste of my time to entertain these thoughts.  Each child is unique and learns in different ways and at different speeds.  I am not failing.  When I see him get excited during his lessons, it makes my heart feel much better.

To help ease my mind, I did start a new writing journal for him.  I write him a short letter, a few days a week, and leave space for him to write his response to my questions.  I don't help him spell the words.  I ask him to sound them out.  He did not like this the first couple of times, but now he just jumps right into it.  He is having fun while working on his reading, penmanship, spelling and creative writing.  It is a win-win!

I had to put Dash from "The Incredibles" on the cover.  I created the cover in Microsoft Word.  It took me all of 5 minutes to pick the font, color, picture and print it.  He had the biggest grin when he first saw it.  Something a little extra to make it special for him!

Here is a sample of one of the letters I have written to him.  (I made the picture huge so you can read it all!) I go over his spelling with him when he is finished.  I don't make it a big deal if he spells a word wrong.  I praise him for sounding them out so well and then show him the letters he missed.

The few of the topics I have written about so far are summer trips, summer activities, birthday gifts for siblings, and movie characters.  It is fun to read his answers too!

Enjoy your summer, whether you are schooling, unschooling or just playing!


Follow by Email