What I Want My Daughter To Know About Her Weight

Daughter and Weight

You climb on the bathroom scale and smile at me. “Am I getting big, Mama?” you ask. Sometimes I have to tap the scale to make your tiny self register on it. “Yes honey, so big! I’m so proud of you!” This is a habit you picked up when we had to go in for monthly weight checks. Now you’ve been cleared from these, but we still celebrate every pound gained. Please keep this up: this attitude that the scale is not the enemy.

Focus on Truth, Not Weight

I fought with the scale for too long, H. The numbers moving up or down dictated my mood and actions for the entire day. I could tell you “fat is not a feeling” and other cheery phrases I learned during that dark time, but I have something better for you. I promise that as your mama, I will help you focus on things that are eternally important, and not fleeting. I’ll teach you how to take care of your body, but never to hate it. I want to fill your heart with actual truths, and not the world’s opinions.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14)

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

Your weight CANNOT change this fact.

 

Food doesn’t make you “good” or “bad” (Mark 7:19)

If you eat a piece of cake, you aren’t “bad.” Eating a kale salad with a side of romaine doesn’t make you “good.” Some things are good for you, and some things are not as good for you, but that doesn’t make you, as a person, good or bad. This same thought applies to exercise: your workout choices don’t make you good or bad.

 

You can enjoy sweets and other things, but don’t eat too much (Proverbs 25:16)

This verse says to not eat too much honey. You’ve inherited my sweet tooth, so I know how hard this can be! God wants us to practice self-control. Gluttony is something we tend to overlook today, but God says it’s a sin.

 

Take care of your body, because it is from God (1 Corinthians 6:19)

Not to look like the Photoshopped person on the magazine cover, or to reach or maintain the “perfect” weight. Not to get muscles like the celebrity who pays thousands of dollars a month for a personal trainer. Take care of your body because it’s a gift from God.

 

There is only one standard to hold yourself to (1 Samuel 16:7)

God sees your heart, and that is what you should focus on improving.

1 Samuel 16:7

 

Food can only fill you physically (John 6:27)

 “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

When you were dedicated, a good friend prayed that you would have a God-shaped hole in your life. There is only one thing that can fill that hole, and it isn’t food. Eating to fill emotional needs doesn’t solve any problems. It only creates new ones.

Miss H, this world is crazy and beautiful at the same time. I pray that you learn to see what true beauty is and from Whom it comes.

22 Simple Ways to Lay Down a Math Foundation

Early Math Skills

In this post, I used affiliate links to recommend some awesome math toys we love. See more about affiliate links in policies

I grew up with the idea that I wasn’t “good” at math. I hate how that label shaped my entire career as a student. When a few skills didn’t click, I was suddenly grouped with struggling students and I shut down. I didn’t put a lot of effort into catching up and figuring it out because it seemed hopeless. Fast forward 15 years later: once I started teaching math to my students, I realized that label had been wrongly and unjustly stuck on me. I wasn’t actually bad at math, but drill and kill just didn’t work for me. I don’t want my children to struggle in math, so I’ve been focusing on early math skills with Miss H.

Last week, I finished reading what Charlotte Mason had to say about arithmetic in Home Education. I have the impression that she thinks early math skills should be developed like early reading skills: through play. Helping children develop a positive attitude towards math early on is key to their future math success. Here are 22 fun ways to teach math skills, concepts, and vocabulary.

Laying a Math Foundation

Number Sense

  • Count steps when you walk up them, seconds when you wait, etc.
  • When you’re reading a story, count like objects on the page
  • Play hopscotch
  • Count backwards when a timer is almost up
  • Use Inchimalsor Cuisenaire Rods to count how many dots and inches are represented on each block (or animal.) Determine which blocks have less or more value.
  • Read counting books.  Click here for a list.
  • If your child struggles with the one-to-one relationship in counting, put dot stickers on a piece of paper, and cross out each sticker as you count it. This is also great for fine motor skills! ( I had to do this for Miss H, and counting immediately clicked!)

Money

  • Play “store” together; designate prices, and dole out pretend money
  • Sort coins by size and color, and eventually name and value
  • Give your child a dollar or two to spend at the store (Target dollar spot!)

Measurement

  • Measure objects with hands or feet (i.e how many hands long is this chair?)
  • Grab different sized items and decide which are longer or shorter.  (We also do this with Inchimals and Miss H loves it!)
  • Bake something delicious together. Help your child level out the measuring cups. (I don’t mention fractions, I just discuss how many scoops we need.)

Patterns

  • Identify patterns in nature, fabric, and pictures
  • Use blocks or Legos to make a pattern
  • When organizing books, clothes, etc., come up with a pattern to use- if this doesn’t drive you crazy!

Geometry

  • Make shapes with Pattern Blocks
  • Discuss names of shapes you find in nature
  • Collect objects from nature and trace them on a piece of paper to observe them
  • Make designs with Imagination Magnets

Logic

  • Play Tic-tac-toe, Connect 4 , Checkers, and other games requiring strategy
  • Allow your child to participate in problem solving

There are so many components to laying a strong foundation for math.  Here is a helpful resource for knowing what math skills your preschooler needs to know.

This post is linked up with:

Hip Homeschool Moms

 

How I Handle Unhappy Endings in Children’s Classics

Unhappy Endings

There are a lot of things I like about reading classics to my children, but I think they’re especially helpful to give them a different perspective of the world. It seems like everything now is so overly filtered for children that there’s barely any substance (that’s why it’s so hard to find good, living texts!) In a Charlotte Mason education, where fairy tales and children’s classics are a huge part of the foundation, filtering ideas and language with a fine-toothed comb aren’t part of the objective. Instead, the idea is that teaching children how to handle it helps them learn how to react in real-life situations. They learn about unhappy endings.

We temper Life too much for Children.––I am not sure that we let life and its circumstances have free play about children. We temper the wind too much to the lambs; pain and sin, want and suffering, disease and death––we shield them from the knowledge of these at all hazards. I do not say that we should wantonly expose the tender souls to distress, but that we should recognise that life has a ministry for them also; and that Nature provides them with a subtle screen. (School Education, pgs. 183-184)

 

Less Than Pleasant Children’s Classics

I respect my children’s innocence, but I would rather that they learn about certain things cuddled up next to me with a book in hand. When we read something that is unpleasant or tragic, we stop and discuss the Christian perspective. We stop and pray. There is so much value in that.

Fairy tales with endings involving an ax and a wolf; poisonous apples; tales about bunnies who are threatened to be baked in pies; these things tend to make us uncomfortable. I recently read that Americans prefer happy endings in movies. I can think of a few books where the endings were completely changed in the movie so it would all work out nicely! While things end happily in Hollywood, they don’t always end up so perfectly in real-life. Our children will learn this eventually.

Recently, Nate read Jack and the Beanstalk to Miss H before she went to bed. He came downstairs scratching his head and said, “I just don’t get the point of that story! He lied, stole, and it ended up being a good thing!” When there’s something I don’t agree with in a book, I don’t skip over it. I use it as an opportunity to discuss right and wrong.

What I do “Temper”

Like Charlotte Mason said in the above quote, my goal is not to expose my children to stressful situations that they aren’t mature enough to handle. Sometimes, if the news comes on, Miss H says, “Mommy, why are you watching the bad news?” I want to tell her that it’s all bad news. But I don’t. I turn it off, and try to explain it gently. There are just some things that I don’t want her to witness yet. With this in mind, I do tend to filter some things in stories.

  • Words I don’t want her to repeat
  • An idea that will be too stressful
  • When it distracts her from learning

The Bottom Line

When we view children as persons, we understand that they are capable of more than society assumes. By reading fairy tales and children’s classics that are less than ideal, we give them a gentle introduction to the harsh realities of the world.

This post is linked up with:

Hip Homeschool Moms

Mom Blogs I’m Loving Right Now

One of my favorite things about blogging so far is the group of sweet mamas I’ve met. There’s an amazing blogging community out there, and I am so thankful for my little corner of it. There are a few blogs that I think you’ll love, so I wanted to share them with you.

Blogs I Love

Mom Blogs You’ll Love

Early Childhood

Jules and Co

Julie was a teacher like me, and now that she stays at home, she creates great ways to teach her child. Not only does she have great ideas on her blog, but she offers curricula and an ebook to inspire you to help your little ones learn.

Christian Living

Glorious Mom Blog

Susan and I have been blogging for about the same amount of time. She writes to encourage moms towards spiritual growth and sanity on this crazy journey of motherhood. I love her humor and her perspective on life!

Whatsoever Is Lovely Living

This is a Christian living blog full of so many great ideas and resources! Rhiannon sure does challenge my thinking! She also has an Etsy shop full of inspiring designs.

Grow Family Love

Heidi writes to encourage moms to help strengthen family bonds. I love that she keeps a list of prayer requests on her sidebar!

Homeschool

Intentional In Life

Jessica was my very first blogging friend. She had this amazing blog launch that left me wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” She is truly intentional in all that she does! Since then, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Jessica better. She is truly encouraging and wise! She writes about homeschooling and I bet will encourage you to live life more intentionally.

 

Mom Life

Solace in a Small Town

Lacey just did a redesign of her blog, and it is amazing! I love her style, and her posts that encourage you to have fun with motherhood!

Mama Curtiss

I love sharing posts and stories with Suzanne from Mama Curtiss, as she has a little one almost the same age as Baby E!

Short Sweet Mom

Tiffany has lots of natural and healthy living ideas- including gluten free recipes! Plus, she’s in Hawaii right now, so reading her posts is so much fun!

Hop on over to some of these wonderful blogs right now! Let me know what you think!

 

Keeping a Nature Study Calendar (Printable)

Nature Study Calendar

I’ve intentionally encouraged Miss H’s love of nature this year. We play outside, go on nature walks, and do nature observations. I had planned on letting her learn through observation without directly teaching her, but a little seed of an idea changed that for me. Miss H recently learned that a Ponderosa pine has a sweet, butterscotch aroma. Now she wants to smell every single tree she comes across. This knowledge made nature so much more interesting to her! I decided to include a little more detail in our nature study times.

When I was a teacher, my students kept nature copybooks, but I recently came across Charlotte Mason’s idea of keeping a nature calendar. This is an actual calendar that children can record when they see certain things in nature.

“It is a capital plan for children to keep a calendar- the first oak-leaf, the first tadpole, the first cowslip, the first catkin, the first ripe blackberries, where seen, and when. The next year they will know when and where to look out for their favorites, and will, every year, be in a condition to add new observations.” Home Education, pg 54.

Nature Study Calendar for Little Ones

I love this idea! Children can hold onto it year after year to see when flowers, butterflies, etc. are first seen. Older students can write down the information in a calendar: an inexpensive wall calendar, or a little pocket calendar. If you can find one with bigger squares, it would allow them to also draw a picture. That would be valuable for their habits of careful work, remembering, and keeping a picture in their minds.

I made a printable for younger children, since writing dates and species’ names isn’t practical. It has four squares for them to draw four pictures of what they have seen. A grown-up can write in the date and object seen. Miss H keeps a blank art notebook to draw in, so I can paste it in there for her. We’ll fill out one each month to record what we see. I think this will seem like play for Miss H!

mylittlerobins-com
Green acorns showed up in our area in early September.

Last week we went on a nature walk, and we noticed some green acorns growing on trees. This is the perfect thing to add to our nature calendar! I think keeping a nature calendar will also really help me. Every year, I wonder when our peonies will bloom (it’s always later than I think!)

Get your printable here!

Nature Chart

Have you ever helped your child keep a nature calendar like this? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

This post is linked up with:

Sandy's P.O.V.
Chaotic Bliss Homeschooling
Mummascribbles
Hip Homeschool Moms
Joyful Homemaking