Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Love is Patient Butterfly Character Trait Homeschool Unit Study

I based this homeschool study on the first character trait of Love in 1 Corinthians 13: Patience. Look up the passage. In fact, I challenge you to read 1 Corinthians 13 with your family for Valentine's Day (check out my 1 Corinthians 13 Valentine's day wreath for a pretty decoration idea). If Valentine's day is about love, then it's especially important for my children to understand what real love is and 1 Corinthians 13 nicely lays it out for us.
It's interesting the more we study character traits, the more homeschooling has been refining my character as well as my children's! My patience is definitely something I could tinker for the better! What about yours? 
Originally, my sister inspired me to include Character First Education in our homeschooling. It's where you learn about an animal and a character trait that ties in with that animal. Here is a post about the resources we use for our character trait study. Plus until Sunday evening, you can still leave a comment on that blog post to win this character trait book Achieving True Success: How to Build Character As a Family
Character First Education provides some free resources on their website that have been helpful and you can include that in this homeschool study as well.

To kick off our Love is Patient Butterfly Character study, we read 1 Corinthians 13 (and made this wreath). We read this book about butterflies: Grow with Me: Butterfly that we picked up at the library. We talked about how caterpillars have to patiently grow in their chrysalis until they become butterflies and how waiting can make things better (i.e. food to cool off so it doesn't burn our tongue). Also how showing patience with our friends, family, and siblings shows them love. So if we truly love our neighbor, we must embrace patience!

Because my daughter is part kinesthetic learner, we role-played each stage of the butterfly. We rolled up like an egg, inched around on the ground like a caterpillar, stood very still like a chrysalis, then opened and fluttered our wings like a butterfly. (A great introduction to life cycles)

We then did a word search that I made with most of the vocabulary used in the book Grow with Me: Butterfly. You can print that word search here (for free!): Butterfly Word Search

To have some bonding time, I created a copy and trace coloring page for young kids and a "Mommy Meditation" page on 1 Corinthians 13 (also great for bigger kids who can read). The Mommy Meditation is a way you can lead by example! Get your color on and face-time with your children all while focusing on the word of God!

This Love is Patient Butterfly Trace, Copy and Color Butterfly Page (for young kids): write your name, copy and trace Love is Patient (after reading 1 Corinthians 13), and then color in your butterfly.

For the Mommy Meditation page: color as you like! I also suggest highlighting the word LOVE, then underlining in one color (I used gold) what love is, and underlining in another color (I used red to signify "stop") what love isn't.

Here is Big Blue Eyes and I after we colored our pages!
Love this girl! And learning together!
We also read page 70 "Monarch Miracle" in the book My Big Book of 5-minute Devotions and page 54 "Patience vs Restlessness" in Achieving True Success: How to Build Character As a Family (you can still win this book - details here).
Here is an outline of our unit study and resources below.
Language Arts
Butterfly Life Cycle Craft from Buggy and Buddy
Life Cycle of a Butterfly pasta activity from the Hildebrands
Comparing Types of Butterflies (or make a Venn diagram with 2 different types of butterflies)
Painting B Butterflies: A lesson in Symmetry (I'll post this tomorrow)
(I'll update this with a blog post tomorrow as well)
Character First Education for Patience page includes a poem, nature story, and song along with a few activity pages and a story of George Washington Carver. Check them out for some more free resources.

And a bible!
(Purchasing through the book links above can monetarily help/fund support Sweet Roots! I'm thankful to be an amazon affiliate!)

Please comment below if you decide to partake! I'd love to hear your thoughts and any other butterfly-related activities!

Thanks again, my dear readers!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Souping Kindle book on sale for $0.99

My Mom sent me the info that this Souping cookbook by Alison Velazquez was for sale on kindle for $0.99. I love the idea of juicing but am more prone to souping which the book explains is "the idea of integrating fresh, nutrient-dense soups into your daily diet to provide additional nutrition and hydration." The book has the soups divided by season and several suggested groupings of soups to complete different sorts of cleanse.

The book has a great range of blender soups. I'm looking forward to making the Beet, Orange & Basil Soup, Red Pepper Romesco Soup, and Watermelon Aloe Mint Soup. Who wants to go Souping with me?

Thanks Mom!

Friday, February 5, 2016

1 Corinthians 13 "Love is..." Wreath (Homeschooling craft and Valentine's Decoration)

 Big Blue Eyes is all about decorating the house lately. She wants the house to look pretty (wait, so it doesn't already?). When I told her I came up with a decoration idea for Valentine's Day, she was thrilled. And it involved washi tape - one of our favorite crafting tools.

I think it does pretty up the house a bit! What do you think?

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Before beginning this, we read 1 Corinthians 13 and discussed the definition of love according the bible. What it looks like to our friends and family.

Originally I thought ribbon and hot glue gun but that wasn't 5-year-old-friendly. Back to the drawing board (I mean, craft table)... and I thought of an alternative - washi tape!

We were both pleased with the end result! A sweet, little decoration just in time for Valentine's Day!

After reading Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life, I've been attempting to use what we have on hand. This forces us to be more creative! Originally, I had a different idea for our Valentine's decoration but this turned out great (and also taught both of us an important lesson, God provides!).

1 Corinthians 13 Valentine's Day Wreath
What you'll need:
Wire hanger
Washi tape   (alternatively you can use ribbon and glue gun)
Letter Stickers (we used felt stickers)
Mini clothespins
Paper + Printer (for the cut-out hearts)

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1. Form your wire hanger into a heart. Pull down on bottom til a "V" forms then curve the upper pieces. Twirl the hanger head with pliers into a curlyque to hang (and it looks less like a clothes hanger that way).

2. With washi tape, cover the whole heart. (For the straight bottom sides, we laid out washi tape length-wise and laid hanger on top of it then folded it around the metal). For the curves, we wound the tape around.

3. Cut out triangles from cardstock (need about 3" triangles). We used pink cardstock. Punch holes out of the top of the cardstock. Put stickers on banner then string ribbon through, tying it to the top sides of the heart.

4. Print out these free paper hearts I created available here. Cut outside the red hearts to leave the border.

5. Read 1 Corinthians 13 and as you read, hang up each "description of love" with your mini clothespins.

6. Hang the Wreath and enjoy!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Secret Garden Coloring Calendar 75% off - Great for homeschooling and quiet time

I was thrilled to see this coloring calendar on sale for $3.74 (75%)! Yes, it is a month late but late is better than never! I had forgotten to buy a calendar for our bonus room and thought this would be perfect for some Mommy - daughter time. Plus, it adds an opportunity to talk about months, weeks, and days. Because homeschooling can be fun!

We like to color with gel pens. They look pretty. And it seems the best while we have a one year old because he can't as easily eat them or draw on himself as he can with crayons and markers.
Looking forward to coloring each month and building our knowledge about time with Big Blue Eyes!
Question of the Day: Adult coloring has become a trend - for good reasons (art therapy anyone?). Are you joining the trend? And if so, what have you been coloring? 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Resources our Homeschool uses for Character Trait Study + Book Giveaway

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My sister turned me on to Character First Education. You can read her post here Character Curriculum and how they organize their character learning into binders. Character First Education has free resources for each animal - a song, poem, and nature story. We enjoy all the free downloads offered for each trait, particularly the family connection.

In addition to Character First's free curriculum resources, I've found these other resources below to be extremely helpful. I wanted to share them with you before I jump into our Week of Love because the Homeschool Study will be focusing on one particular character trait.

Primarily, I believe this is important:
Achieving True Success: How to Build Character As a Family (WIN THIS!!)

My sister bought this for me and I'm enthralled. It's a great resource and we'll be using it for years to come. It's just one page for each character trait - a little blurb about each animal, what each trait looks like in the home, "I will ___" statements to better understand how to implement the trait, and a Hero of Character where an actual person who has demonstrated that trait is featured.

Eventually, I would like to buy this book The Power for True Success: How to Build Character in Your Life. From my understanding, it comes from a Christian viewpoint.

Also, leave a comment below on what character trait you would like to work on first for a chance to win a used copy of this book! Like Sweet Roots on facebook and leave a comment there for an extra chance (each) to win! (must enter before Feb 14th at 11:59 pm PST for chance to win).

My Big Book of 5-minute Devotions

We often revert back to this devotional for additional learning if the animal is featured or if I can find another animal with a similar trait. For example, we read "Fleecy Fighters: (p 36) about rams and anger when we talked about self control (Character First Education uses Black Bears as the animal for self-control).

World of Animals

An animal encyclopedia perfect for learning more about each animal. Each time we introduce a character trait, we look up the animal in this encyclopedia.

For us, I've also found that Character Trait Studies involve numerous trips to the library for resource books on each animal and searching youtube for short documentaries. Learning together (pair up with another family or homeschool group) is always advantageous.

I'll update this as I find other helpful resources we enjoy. For now, these three books have laid out a major foundation for our homeschool. We learn about God's creatures, real-life Heroes, and most importantly we learn character traits that will help my children (and myself) be better people.

Question of the Day: What are you learning with your family right now?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Banana Bread Chia Donuts (gluten-free, vegan)

Mornings are precious to me. The brightness of the angled sunshine gently tiptoeing into your window at first. Then the sun's shyness melts away and it promenades through your curtains, through the crack in your doors. I think if the sun were a dancer, she'd start as a ballerina then twirl into a silent tap dancer in the morning, ecstatically drumming out the glory of the light, rousing you from slumber with gentle, quick tiptoes and soft gestures then ending her announcement with a wild, proud finish.
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Mornings are when I try to read my bible. My little boy wakes with me and I read him the bible while he toddles around. My daughter comes down and we have a good morning hug then we start breakfast (if you can tell that is my favorite meal of the day) and then we wake Daddy.
That is my ideal morning, anyways. Not that it always happens. I'll admit sometimes Mom wakes on the wrong side of the bed or I sleep in because I was up late editing or dealing with a teething toddler.

But doesn't it sound simply glorious? If only, I could start every morning this way.

Speaking of my little boy - Monkey Toes - he loves these donuts! He ate two and a half this morning! Normally, he's been a little bit more my pickier eater so I was super pleased.

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I wanted to make Angela 's Chia donuts from her latest The Oh She Glows Cookbook but I had a plethora of overripe bananas. Banana bread donuts it is! Complete with simple coconut butter frosting. They are a denser, moister donut. Full of banana flavor and crunch from chia seeds. They are really simply (and healthily) decadent dipped in berry sauce. But if you're on a time crunch, you can add 1/2 cup frozen blueberries to the batter (they will need to cook around 6 minutes longer).

These are not like normal donuts, of course. Expect a moist center yet crunchy with the addition of chia seeds. Banana bread-esque just in donut form. These pack wonderfully after they've cooled. A great and economically-wise alternative to power bar snacks. I think I'll try to find a bigger donut pan (or make them in my muffin pan) to freeze for future.
And thank you to my friend Alisa who dropped her donut pan off at my house after my silly post on facebook. You're a dear!
Banana Bread Chia Donuts
1/4 + 2 TB cup chia seeds
1 cup oats
3 bananas (enough for at least 3/4 cups), overly ripe
Vanilla Stevia 15-20 drops *
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

*If you don't have vanilla stevia, you can substitute half of the coconut milk with maple syrup. I used Sweet Leaf Vanilla Crème.

1. Mash your ripe bananas in a bowl.
2. Add the coconut milk, cinnamon, vanilla stevia drops, sea salt, and baking powder. Mix well.
3. Add chia seeds and oats, stirring well.
4. Preheat oven to 300 degrees while you oil donut pan (like this fellow Wilton Nonstick donut pan) with coconut oil. Place batter in donut oils. This will fill about 8 holes so either fill a 6 donut pan and use a ramekin for the remainder or bake another batch.
5. Bake at 300 degrees for 20-25 minutes (extra if you added frozen blueberries as mentioned in text). Let cool for 5-8 minutes and then enjoy!

To make coconut frosting, mix equal parts coconut butter and coconut cream with a couple drops vanilla stevia. Alternatively, you can use Daiya cream cheese for a vegan topping.

And for berry sauce, I just add 2 cups frozen berries to a pan with 1/2 cup water (or herbal tea for interesting twist), and couple drops stevia or a large dollop of honey at the end. Let water boil then mix on low for 15 minutes.
Enjoy, my sweet readers!

And btw, I'm looking forward to next week! We start our Week of Love! A weeklong journey celebrating Valentines and love. This year, we have some homeschooling fun and a DIY Galentine's spa day! I'm looking forward to sharing it all with you!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Lights Decor Art Activity

After we attended our weekly swim lesson, we dressed in our warmest pajamas and hopped in our car for a Christmas Light display adventure. I had made popcorn (with just a little salt and dill) and we brought cups of So Delicious coconut milk eggnog and mint chocolate (mixed with mostly coconut milk because we didn't need the sugar that late).

We drove downtown, oohing and ahing over all the lights and colors. We then drove through a couple neighborhoods, trying to spy more. It became a little bit of a scavenger hunt at the end.

My five year old kept exclaiming, "I'm so excited. Wow! There's one! There's one!"

At the end of the night, her and I were laughing and exclaiming loudly, "WOW!" whenever we saw more lights then bursting into giggles. The bigger the display, the bigger the Wow!

All in all, it was a fun time. Relatively inexpensive (we made our own snacks and drinks) good, family-bonding time.

This morning, I woke up thinking "How can I carry this into our school/craft time?"

So, this is my answer. Black paper. Washi tape (she used this for the roads). Gel pens. Christmas stickers leftover from last year.

I left the activity pretty open. I told her she could create and decorate her own house or a neighborhood. She chose a neighborhood.

An easy Christmas craft!


Also through December 14th, I highlighted some books because Amazon is having a rare 25% off coupon. Details here.

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