Thursday, June 20, 2013

Max’s “D” School

Max is 3 years, 9 months old.  We are using Little Hands To Heaven preschool program that’s adjustable for ages 2 – 5 by Heart of Dakota.  I’m trying to post enough to give you an accurate idea of what is covered in Little Hands To Heaven, yet leave it vague enough that you can’t use this post as a replacement for the teacher’s manual.  It’s full of fun ideas and activities to fill 20 – 30 minutes per day with active, creative learning that is centered on Christ.

making a macaroni D
& reviewing that the D says /d/


Max & big brother Alex both LOVE to make the hands-on alphabet letters!


doing the Hide and Seek D page – finding the Ds in the Bible poem for the week,
and then tracing the line to connect uppercase D to lowercase D.


Our Bible stories in this unit focused on Jacob.  On this counting page, Max had to draw 5 “ladders” and count them.  I wrote the numbers for him while he counted.

IMG_8787 IMG_8789

We used this page from my Counting 1 – 5 (FREE) pack to practice the number 4…
which was our number of the week.

He drew 4 smiling faces.


We talked about how Jacob tried to hide who he was.  He pretended to be Esau.
We “hid” who we were by coloring over our names.
Then we talked about how, while our names might look pretty when covered up,
it’s ALWAYS better to BE YOURSELF!


We read the story of how Jacob wrestled with the angel (God), and the angel touched Jacob’s leg so that it wouldn’t work well.  Then we tried playing the game where you keep the balloon off the floor…first while standing, and then without using our legs.  (I played, too…I just took a step back a few times to get a picture.) 

It sure is a lot harder with no legs! Smile


Max finished his “About Three” book, and he’s now starting on his “Bigger Steps” activity book.  These are Rod & Staff preschool workbooks, which are helping him with fine motor skills and thinking skills.



Max also did a maze and made a wagon in his Never Bored Kid book.


There’s a little bit more, but I never want to share too much.  Though this is a very SIMPLE curriculum, it really does a nice job of covering the basic preschool skills in a hands-on way!  Adding in R&S workbooks give him a little writing practice, but the LHTH program itself is very hands-on and fun for a little one!

Who Taped Jensyn’s Eyes Shut?


Words I never thought I'd speak: "Hey, who taped Jensyn's eyes shut?!"

The culprit was Alex. He didn't want Jensyn to play in the blanket tent with him & Max, so he figured she'd leave them alone if she couldn't see. Sigh.

It was quite a site, watching my 2 yr old wander into the room with just one slit of vision in one eye, saying, “Mama?  Mama?  Mama?”


Poor Baby girl…at least she wasn’t too traumatized by the event, and they DID allow her back in the tent! Smile

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pig Adventure!

If you’ve ever driven through NW Indiana down I-65, you may have noticed the signs for the Fair Oaks Farms.  Currently, they have an AMAZING dairy adventure center where you can learn all about cows, the modern milking process, how cheese is made, watch a 4D movie about cow, visit the birthing barn to witness the birth of a calf, and have other dairy-themed adventures.  You can get the yummiest grilled cheese sandwich in the world, eat delicious ice cream, and taste the BEST chocolate milk EVER.  (Seriously.  It is AMAZING milk!)

Fair Oaks Farms is currently working on a Pig Adventure, which is scheduled to open in August 2013, but a friend share with us a FREE pass to visit the Pig Adventure pre-opening weekend.  This event gave the farm and the employees a ‘test run’ of how everything was going, and guests were able to leave feedback about their experience.  We VERY MUCH enjoyed our visit!

Only a few weeks ago, Max said something that made all of us laugh.  He and Alex were playing farm together, and I overheard this little conversation.

Alex asked, “Max, what are you growing in YOUR fields?”

Max answered, “Corn. Tomatoes. Lettuce. And meat. Cook-ed meat and Not Cook-ed meat.”

Only a few days later, my friend Angie offered me the free family pass to the Pig Adventure.  Talk about good timing!  We enjoyed a terrific Saturday afternoon checking out the pigs and gently breaking it to Max that meat does NOT grow in a field. Smile


watching the pregnant mama pigs (sows)


I’d still prefer to imagine a pig in an outdoor pig pen, eating from a trough.  It’s interesting to see how that isn’t the reality in these days of technology.  Each pig is tagged with a microchip.  the metal contraption with red squares on top is the feeder.  The pig walks in through the narrow opening on the right side, and the microchip reader determines how much food to dispense for the pig.  When the pig is finished eating, one of the two doors on the left side of the feeder will open.  It will either release the pig back into the pen where it started, or it will release it into a hallway because it’s been determined that it is time for the pig to move to a new area to prepare for birth.  (At least, that’s how I understood it.)



When the mama pig is ready to deliver her babies, she moves to a new room.  Looking through glass, we were able to watch mama pigs and their sweet new babies.  We were able to see a piglet born, as well!  At the time we were there, the employees working with the pigs were quite busy.  There is a small room, though, where they will bring a newborn pig right up to the glass so you can see it close up.

The tour guides were able to answer any questions we had, so we learned lots of new little facts!


There is also a learning center/play area where you can learn some facts about pigs and use interactive learning resources.  More plans are in the works, according to one of the employees, and I look forward to taking the kids again next summer when everything is fully completed!  (Their grand opening is August 2013, but we will likely wait until next year.  If what this employee said was true, there’s even more to come!)



After visiting the pigs, we enjoyed a little playtime at the Dairy Adventure play area:

battery powered tractors


jumping pillow



string cheese maze
(which isn’t terribly difficult when you’re shorter than the ropes, ha ha!)


Train Ride!


Thank you, Miss Angie, for the free pass.  We enjoyed a fun afternoon as a family!