Two Weeks Into Our School Year!

I both look forward to and dread those first few weeks of school. Getting back into routine, introducing a new school year, finding out groove… it’s all hard and exciting! This year we have a 3rd grader, 1st grader, Pre-Kinder and I’m not sure whether to call Bear a tot-schooler or a distraction! Ha!

So far things have gone pretty well, the kids enjoy their curriculum (which I’ll post about each kid individually in the next few weeks) and we’ve only had a few temper tantrums (from the 1st grader) about getting our work done!

We’ve had several outings to our local library, we even did a day of school there! We’ve been blueberry picking, made some new videos for our YouTube channel, created playdough Stonehenge replicas, painted masterpieces and more!

I think my absolute favorite aspect of homeschooling is the freedom and flexibility to complete our work when and wherever we want. I’m looking forward to the temperatures getting cooler so we can take advantage of doing our work outside!

Something new we are trying this year is Reading Eggs. I was a little hesitant, I tend to steer away from using the computer or phone/tablet for school work. I do use Starfall for the littles when we need some quiet time for the big kids, and we utilize YouTube for videos, etc. I’m sold on the Reading Eggs program though! We’ve been trying the trial for about a week now and Bird is growing leaps and bounds with her letter and letter sound recognition. It’s such a fun way for them to learn their letters, she’s enjoying it and the older two have also enjoyed checking out some of the other work it offers as well!

I am looking forward to seeing what this year brings, I’m already impressed with how well the kids are doing. I also have a few fun and exciting things up my sleeve for this year!

Thank you for stopping by, don’t forget to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as our YouTube channel – you can find the links under my photo in the right column of this blog! God Bless!

Hands On Homeschooling with a Sensory Kid

Since we are talking about homeschooling sensory kids, this topic is also a great one to hit on! Most kids do really well with hands on learning, but sensory kids most definitely benefit from it.

I’ve realized over the past year, Bubby’s first “official” school year, that finding hands on activities, where your child can work with their hands or do physical activities are the best fit for him. Not only is he a sensory seeker, but he is a kinesthetic learner. This means that he needs a tactile learning style, one where he has to carry out physical activities instead of just sitting and listening or doing worksheets.

I struggled with how to incorporate activities like these into all of our subjects, but have learned some pretty fun ways to utilize tactile activities for Bubby. Sonlight offers some pretty cool lap books and history project kits that fit these guidelines.

History was one I thought would be pretty difficult, but taking the time to create some of the things we are learning about can be so beneficial and FUN!

Bubby loves using LEGOs to recreate some of the monuments and places we talk about. For instance, during a world history lesson we were talking about Egyptian pyramids. He set out to create one with LEGOs! I wish I had snapped a picture of it that day, but we were having so much fun learning that I didn’t even touch my phone to grab a shot!

The Sonlight Hands-On History boxes are full of activities to incorporate into your lessons. Since we just finished up studying about Egyptians, I thought the Senet game board was perfect to put together.

It’s amazing how calm he becomes when he has something to keep his hands busy, he and Boogie put together the game pieces with the clay. We baked those and painted the sticks so they could play this game that Ancient Egyptians played.

Anytime you can incorporate hands-on activities with your children, you should! My sensory kid is not the only one that benefits from it, and it’s so fun to do something different from book work and reading. Hands-on activities can be calming, physically moving around, putting things together… all of that helps Bubby learn and absorb the information we are discussing.

You can learn more about Sonlight and their hands-on history boxes HERE or by clicking the image below.

You have an opportunity to win a Sonlight Hands-On History box for your kids! I can’t recommend these kits enough, they have everything you need for each project!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking Different

Things will start looking a little different around here and on my social media pages. My website and social media names will stay Mustard Seed Mommy, as that’s who I am and I will be running my blog and social media pages. On YouTube you will see our family as Mustard Seed Adventures and see our images and photographs with that on it as well.

I wanted to create something that encompasses our whole family, our dream of someday traveling (whether that becomes full time or a frequent part time adventure is up in the air right now), homeschooling, and following God’s lead. The parable of the mustard seed is all about faith, the tiniest of faith, so that remains the focus and tag line of my blog and what this is all about. Faith is greater than fear. ALWAYS.

I hope you enjoy following our adventures, whether it be when we travel, as we homeschool and raise our children. It’s my hope that even just one person comes across my blog, social media sites or our videos and learns how faithful and AWESOME our God is! Thank you to all of you who have been following my blogging journey since 2008 and those of you who are new, it’s been a long road and I’m so excited to see where these new adventures take us!

Homeschooling a Sensory Kid – Part 1

Let me start this by saying that I am not an expert, in fact I am the furthest thing from that. Everyday I learn something new, everyday I have to find new ways to parent and teach my sensory kiddo. This is only part 1 of this series, as I learn and as Bubby grows I’ll post new strategies and information we learn. So, let’s start with the basics.

What does it mean when I say I have a sensory kid? Bubby, our 6 year old, was diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder in Spring of 2016. He was 3 1/2 years old and we had known for a while that something was up. There’s nothing wrong with him, he just does things a little differently than most kids. Bubby is sensory seeker, so he needs everything to be louder, more intense, rough… he has to jump and move constantly, he stems with his hands when he is craving sensory input. It’s intense and crazy and loud most days, so we are learning how to not only raise him and help him with day to day life, but I’m also having to learn the best way to teach him.

It hasn’t been easy, he’s a tough kid to figure out. We’ve been out of occupational therapy for over a year now and waiting to be re-evaluated by a new facility here in NC. As sensory kiddos age, you find that their sensory needs change and that you need new ways to help them. That’s our biggest struggle right now, most days I have no idea what to do to help him.

My main goal right now is to help Bubby with focusing and learning to read, he wants SO badly to read like his big sister. However, he struggles with focusing and doesn’t like to work on something for very long periods of time. I have to keep things short and sweet, so my strategies that I used with Boogie do not work for Bubby.

We are trying some new curriculum in the next few months, I’m going to try some active games and tasks to help him with sight words and phonics. We are moving away from The Good & the Beautiful curriculum, and I may post more about that another time. I’m looking into going more towards Masterbooks and possibly trying All About Reading with him as well, but the price of that one isn’t my favorite!

What strategies and tips do you have to share? I’d love to hear what worked for your sensory kids! Leave a comment below!

Dreaming and Planning

As I’ve said a few times in my posts this past year, I’ve got big plans for this little site of mine. Changes, updates, a remodel if you will. J and I have some big dreams and we are doing some big planning for the future of our family.

We just got back from a week long adventure to Charleston, SC. We tent camped in the Mount Pleasant KOA and it was absolutely beautiful. It was our first time in Charleston and we loved just about everything about it there. I loved the history of the downtown area, the beauty of the waterfront parks, and the beaches… just gorgeous.

Sullivan’s Island was our absolute favorite beach there, it was quiet, not crowded, and it had a lighthouse at the tail end of the beach. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Charleston and it sparked a dream we’ve had for years. Maybe not a dream really, more like a casual idea we have mentioned to each other over the years.

We love to travel, we love exploring new places and finding hidden gems in small towns. When we lived in Tennessee we had so much fun exploring our new town and the surrounding areas. Back home in North Carolina we’ve been doing more of that and exploring areas we have never been before. For a long time we’ve talked about how amazing it would be to travel full time, to find jobs where we could work on the road and just be with our family. Full time family. That’s what we want. No more 9-5 work, no more constant busyness, no more.

So what does that mean exactly? We aren’t going anywhere right now, but we are planning. We are dreaming. I’m hoping through my blog and possibly my social media channels and YouTube we can start blogging and vlogging our journey. This will be a journey to living debt free, to finding our way to being a full time family and all the details in between. I would love to see us be debt free in less than 3 years, and full time traveling in 4-5. Our kids would be ages 6-13ish by then.

I’m excited to see where God takes us, I’m excited to see what God does with our lives and the lives of our family. There’s always that chance that he’ll change the course in the next few years, but we are ready to follow His lead.