Going with the Flow – Cars Style

I had my son screened for public 4K at a nearby school.  In our district, it’s only half day and I thought that it would be a great chance for him to get out of the house and have some fun after the baby comes.  Public 4K is exactly what I used to teach, so I know that most of the things that would be on the screening he could do before the age of 2, but still – a mom can hope.  Well, he didn’t qualify.  Back to Plan A it is.

I am working on some low-effort (large baby bump = need for small effort) learning notebooks that Carter will be able to use over and over for the next few months.  The first one will be based on the movie Cars.  This little guy is crazy about the movie and with Cars 2 coming out at the end of the month, the excitement continues.  What does any great teacher do with excitement and interest?  They turn it into an opportunity for learning!

We’ll be using this Cars Preschool Pack for many of our activities.  I don’t have this one ready for use yet, but once it is, pictures will follow.

I didn’t find any calendar pieces, so I made my own.  The clipart came from “Free Disney Clipart”, so I’m going to assume that it’ll be fine for me to share them with you.  I’d be glad for you to print and use them, but never to sell them or claim them as your own.

Cars Calendar Pieces

Don’t have a Cars-crazy little boy in your house?  Check out all the Preschool Packs here.  There are some fun themes – even one for Princesses.  These look like great, easy-to-assemble activities that will keep Carter learning while I am caring for a new baby in the house.

And here are the blank calendar pieces if you’d like to try your hand at making some to fit your theme.

I found some great planning forms here that I’ll adapt to work for me, but they make work for you just as they are!

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Teaching Character

Over the past few days, I’ve been pouring over my new resources and thinking about direction.  I’ve been watching my child as I try out new things with him.  In the meantime, I came across this article from Homeschool Village on FB about Preschool Giftedness.  I have to admit when I saw the title I winced a little.  I don’t want to label my child as anything aside from “wonderful son”, but he is falling into their definition of giftedness: catching on quickly to all things academic.  So, I read on.

I was expecting some direction on how to keep these children challenged, but what I read was something that I found surprising.  Their perspective is that, because these children naturally excel at academics, there really is no need to focus on them.  They will be drawn to learning without any push from me.  What is worthwhile to teach them is: good character.  Because they’re likely to outsmart you sooner than you’d hope, parents of older gifted children agree that they wish they’d spent more time developing their child’s character at a young age.

Character development?!?!  Again, my mind reels and wonders, “WHAT DO I DO WITH THAT?” where a three-year old is concerned.  Self-control, discipline, respect, kindness, love, caring, compassion, responsibility, cooperation and dependability all come to mind.  Those are all big, heavy words – even for me at times.  They are all things that I want for my child – and more.  I know that if I expect him to learn them, then I must strive to be those things and openly communicate about them as well.

One thing I realize is that character development will certainly not be fully taught within the bubble of our home.  Yes, you can read it in a book.  Yes, you can have a great conversation about them.  However, the true test of character comes through social interaction and relational challenges.  I’ll definitely need to be getting my (fairly big now) pregnant self out of this house a bit more.

How do you teach morals and good character to your child?

I woke yesterday to find Carter at the couch making words.

Cooking with Carter: Blueberry Muffins

Some days are just exceptionally wonderful.  They begin with your child sleeping until 10:00 then waking up and proclaiming, “I want to make blueberry muffins for breakfast.”  So, we printed our recipe, tossed out some ingredients and dove right in.  I’m sure you don’t want need me to say how easy and healthful it is to make your own muffins and how many bad, bad things are in box muffin mix.  I mean, you may as well have a candy bar for breakfast.  Moving on.

Here’s the original recipe.  Here’s our fun with it:

We started with the part where Carter hides in his room with the door closed while I process the oatmeal into a fine meal.  He can’t. stand. the sound of the food processor.  Once the unpleasantness is over, he pops right back in.

Carter helps measure out and mix together the dry ingredients: oats, 2 flours, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar.

Then the wet ingredients are mixed in a seperate bowl: buttermilk, canola oil, eggs and lemon zest.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and then stir, stir, stir the wet stuff in.

Last comes the much anticipated blueberries.  This recipe came with a great little trick: toss the frozen blueberries with some flour to keep them from coloring the batter all blue.  It worked like a charm.

Pour them in your own Lightning McQueen baking cups and sprinkle a little sugar over the top.  Wait 20 minutes and then you get to do this:

Yu-um-y.  They are pretty fantastic.  Because of the ultra-hearty ingredients, 2 of these will do you for about 4 hours.  Seriously.

Enjoy and thanks for your comments!