Monday, February 27, 2012

Make Your Own Family Chalice

Recently my congregation held a family event, a soup, salad and bread dinner that focused on the history of the chalice, and the symbolism
of the chalice.

If you visit the UUA website, and type in chalice history, you will find several good articles.

After you have shared the story and history with your family, create your own chalice by turning a clay pot upside down, and putting the
saucer on top. Some glitter glue and paint and you will have a beautiful family center piece for your table.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Back Again

After a very long break, I am back to blogging. What has kept me busy? Well, besides being active with the kids, I have been very involved with my church.

We are continuing to incorporate our religion in our daily lives through discussions, readings, and activities. Our church is hosting a Sources Supper, which will focus on the Chalice (the actual Sources Supper is geared for older children, and will take place later in the spring).
Each family will create their own chalice to take home. We also purchased the book Chalice, from the UUA bookstore.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Health, Safety, and Teaching Required Subjects

In NY State, we are required, as homeschoolers to teach health, safety, and the typical reading, writing, math, science, social studies. So far, I have found fitting the basics in, not only to be easy, but fun but health and safety on the other hand- well, lets just say, I have a love/dislike relationship with it.

Sure, I believe that we should be teaching our children about health and safety. In fact, I find it very important. My beef seems to be about finding good, factual information on drugs/alochol and sexuality. Thankfully, the UUA has a great program for the latter, and we will begin to use it this spring. (Our Whole Lives, OWL)

For the time being, I am focusing on germs, illness and body functions. My family is rather fond of The Magic School Bus series, so we will use it as a jumping off point to study about germs. I also found a few PBS resources useful, as well as a Dover publication.

I found a lapbook, not sure how helpful it will be, as I only scrolled through it.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Explorers: A UU Perspecitve

As a UU family, we approach subjects such as the exploration of North America by Lewis and Clarke, tentatively. We try to see what truth we can find, we try to see both sides of the story, we try to see the bad and the good.

It gets frustrating seeing the glossed over accounts of history being retold, when there is more than one truth to be told.

As we move forward, what account of history will our current events shape?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Taking Time Off: Do You Follow the Public School Calendar?

Many of our local schools took time off in addition to Thursday and Friday this week and so did this family. Often times, when schools are off, we are in session. Homeschooling (yes, I prefer that spelling)offers us the opportunity to take time off when it makes sense for our family, which usually doesn't involve the major holidays but this Thanksgiving, I noticed that the kids were a little run down, so it seemed to make sense to take a few days off.

Was that a run on sentence?

I find that when I listen to the kids and follow their lead, we all tend to feel better, have less stress and less arguments. Of course, as a family of five, sometimes it isn't possible to go with what one child needs, when the other two need something else but taking mental health days, time to spend with family, or just a day to ourselves, really does make for a happier family.

Right now, on our day off, the kids are watching tv, browsing magazines, and eating breakfast. Later in the day they will help me start the dough for our Thanksgiving rolls. Sure, chores will still need to be done, and we need to pick up groceries, but we will take time to just relax.

Happy Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Building Community- Literally

Our blocks area took a mini-vacation back in the summer and then we got very involved in magnets, and science experiments but they have been missed, so out they come again.

The block area is a key part of children's developing sense of size, weight, space, structure, form, architecture, and exploration.

Blocks of varying sizes, shapes, and texture add to the child's building experience. We will add sticks to our block area.

I also plan to add letter/word blocks in the coming weeks.

If you put your blocks away to make room for other areas/play, consider bringing them back out. Your children will create, build and play all day.

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Ideas for UU families

Are you looking for new ideas and rituals for your homeschooling day? The UUA has printable materials on their website. UUA can be found with the link provided. From their, you can choose from sections, such as family, or meditations or various other links.

I was thrilled to find meditations and reflections that we can use as a blessing. I tried to either find ones that fit our current theme or the current season. Tonight, when we light our chalice, we will say our monthly blessing.

I also printed out the inserts from the UU magazine and added them to my planner by season.

As a UU family, you may feel like their aren't guidelines or resources available, but there really are so many from the UUA.

Check it out!