Tag Archives: Mom

Easy for Mom Preschool

preschool

I couldn’t decide what words to use for this title. I wanted to say “Lazy Mom Preschool” or “Preschool for Dummies”… but I don’t want to call Moms lazy or dummies! I just mean this is an easy way to do preschool with very little cost and prep work. Easy and simple is my way of doing things now-a-days. With cleaning the home, teaching the kids, making dinner, church responsibilities and my hobbies… I need to maximize my time by doing things very simple and efficient.

Here are the general learning principles I follow:

  • Do every subject everyday
  • Be consistent & efficient
  • Get rid of distractions
  • Use a paper and pencil
  • Test knowledge

These are the subjects I try to do everyday:

  • Gospel Study
  • Handwriting
  • Scissors
  • Reading
  • Math

The only exception is that my husband is in charge of a science lesson once a week during family night. I try to add music or piano to the daily list… but I seem to never be able to get to that everyday… yet! My kids also to do crafts and art on their own so I don’t mandate that either.

I’ve seen people make weekly calendars… Monday is Math. Tuesday is Reading. Wednesday is Science… ect. The reason why I think this isn’t the most efficient way to do preschool is because preschool aged kids learn by repetition.

God tells us to read our scriptures and pray everyday. Why? It’s so we can learn his words, remember them and master them! Doing something everyday will help anyone master any skills they want to learn! I know from experience that reading my scriptures everyday has made me a better reader as well as a better person. Doing photography everyday has helped me get better at photography. So if I want my kids to get good at something… I’m going to have to help them practice it everyday.

So doing every subject everyday has helped my kids learn these various subjects really well. The repetition really works and they are mastering skills like using scissors and handwriting. We do however take a break on Sunday to go to church and do Sunday activities.

Now… you may think… “Well you must spend an awful amount of time doing this everyday!” My oldest child is 5 years old. We spend 30-45 minutes max on all the subjects. My second child is 3 years old and we spend 15 to 25 minutes. My youngest is 1 years old and we spend about 5 to 10 minutes on it! So for me I spend about 1 to 1.5 hours total in focused learning sessions with my kids.

The key is to be consistent and making the time worth it! I try to get rid of distractions and put my phone away and turn off the computer. These precious minutes are spent in one-on-one focused learning sessions. I make the time efficient by gauging their interest on the subjects. If they are bored then I changed it up. If they are wanting more I usually give them more but I eventually make them stop and say… “Sorry you have to wait to have more fun tomorrow!” “But mom! I LOVE Math… please let me do more math!” In order to be consistent, I have to make teaching a priority in my life. I try to teach even if the house is messy or my projects are not done.

Lastly, I test their knowledge. I am always asking them questions to make sure they have master the concepts I’m teaching them. I test them in all the subjects including gospel learning, reading comprehension and math.

So here is an example of what I do every time. I try to consistently do the same routine every time. I also teach every subject every time. I make things simple by just using a notebook and pencil. Everyday I just make a new page or two in the notebook. It’s really nice to use one notebook so I can see how they progress over days, weeks and months.

A preschool daily learning routine:

  • Pray
  • Book of Mormon Study
  • Writing (or tracing) their name
  • Tracing lines and shapes
  • Cutting out a shape
  • Counting & Recognizing Numbers
  • Letter & Letter Sounds

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Once my child is ready to write on their own then I add these into the curriculum.

Adjusting the way I teach for each child has been a fun challenge. My first son likes to do book work while my second son likes to play games especially computer games. No matter what the content is… the principles I follow are the same:

  • Do every subject everyday
  • Be consistent & efficient
  • Get rid of distractions
  • Use a paper and pencil
  • Test their knowledge

This all didn’t come naturally. I had to learn from my other mom friends! I also had to learn from trial and error. I get criticism sometimes… “Your kids are young… they should just play!” Yes it’s true… there’s lots of learning when they are playing. After I do the focused learning session with my kids… they get so sick of me sometimes that they run away and play the rest of the day. All I have to do after is referee and resolve conflicts with sharing toys… lol! Oh… and I guess I feed them too! So my kids do play hard and work hard.

Of course… I’m not perfect at this routine… we have good days and bad days! But I try really hard to be consistent. Over time I see that the routine is working. The repetition has really given my kids a foundation of skills and knowledge they need for future learning.

I have found great joy in teaching my children the basics and while I understand that this method may not work for all moms/kids. I would love to hear what works for you!

 

 

 

Living with Multiple Autoimmune Disorders

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I’m working on the “Define your Dash” challenge from FamilySearch.org  The challenge is writing 52 post/stories in 2017 that defines who I am. This year I plan to blog about my regulars: Temple Pictures, Kids, Family, Parenting and Photography.

In addition, I’m going to blog about something that I don’t try to focus on in my life but since I’m “defining my dash”… it’s just part of who I am! Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been diagnosed with multiple autoimmune disorders.

I have friends who live with terminal illnesses such as cancer. Others live with diseases like CF which require extensive medical care. Then even other people with mental disorders that are silently endured. Friends with birth defects, special needs, heart problems… the list goes on…

Autoimmune disorders fall in it’s own category… a category which I feel like even after extensive personal research is still very much unknown and undefined. It’s about having good days and bad days. It’s about learning how to live with symptoms with an unknown cause! It’s about searching without finding solutions. It’s about going to the doctor and saying “I have all these problems… please fix me…” but all they do is send me home with more pain medications or take out another organ which is causing pain!! Please don’t take out any more of my organs!! 🙂

My hopes about writing about my autoimmune disorders is not to complain but instead to share what I’ve experience in hopes to connect with others who may have the same problems. I want to share how I cope with these illnesses and also the blessings I see from having autoimmune disorders! ❤

These are the autoimmune/immune disorders I have been officially diagnosed:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Grave’s Disease (Hyper Thyroid)
  • Still’s Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Drug induced Lupus
  • Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (Chronic Hives)
  • Allergies to cats, pollens, trees and grass (Ranked 5 on allergy tests)
  • Chronic Gastritis in Stomach

Other annoyances and symptoms:

  • Asthma
  • Recurring Bronchitis
  • Recurring Strep
  • Recurring Ear Infections
  • Recurring UTIs
  • A hernia in my diaphragm which causes acid reflex
  • Unknown GI Problem – Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Gallbladder?
  • Hypo Thyroid due to radioactive iodine treatment to kill thyroid gland
  • Pain in upper right quadrant of abdominal/back – Kidney? Gallbladder? Arthritis in Ribs?
  • Daily Headaches @ ~1-2 pm – Tension Headache? Migraine? Arthritis in neck?

Well… that’s all I can think about for now… I might add a few more symptoms later… I will try to write about a few of these disorders this year! I know I don’t always see it this way but it really has been a blessing God has given me to deal with these problems. I have a awesome hubby in medical school so it really helps to ask him lots of questions! I also know how to look up scientifically sound research on the internet which is a great skill to have because there is a lot of junk out there. I want to go about this in a very positive way and share what I’ve learned with you.

Now my question is: Do you experience any of these symptoms?!!? Or have an autoimmune or immune disorder?

 

 

 

 

3 Easy Steps to Teach a Young Child How to Read

How to Read

My oldest son, Micah, is now 3 years and 5 months old. He is starting to sound out words and reading short words! I’m seriously so proud of him. My goal is to teach him how to read before he goes into Kindergarten. I’ve been teaching my son how to read ever since he was interested in letters which was well before he was 18 months old. I definitely think this is from Dallin’s genes cause I have never been interested in reading very much at all.

I broke it down to three easy steps. I’m writing this down so I can teach my next kid how to read but may be it’ll help someone else too.

  1. Teach your child to recognize all the UPPERcase letters
  2. Then teach your child to recognize all the lowercase letters
  3. MAKE IT FUN!!! Teach your kids letter sounds as you would teach them animal sounds. (ex. What does a M say? mmmmmm) With this step I needed a little bit of help and guidance, I’ll list the resources I have used below.

After talking to my mom friends, I really think phonics is the way to begin teaching kids how to read.

First book, my neighbor suggested Teach Your Child How to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.  This book has a really boring introduction of instructions for the parents, but once we started the lessons my son seriously took the book and blossomed. Everyday you only do one lesson and it last about 20 minutes. Everything is outlined for you so I didn’t even have to plan anything. It gives you the order to teach the letter sounds, starting with the more obvious sounds like M and S and A then moving towards more complicated sounds like silent E’s… ect. Three reasons why I love the book is 1) it’s super easy for me 2) it teaches kids how to read and not just memorize the words 3) It makes reading into a game.

Another friend suggested the Three Owl’s Reading Method which unfortunately is out of press and I can’t find a copy anywhere. Micah loves these little books!!! This is more of a Montessori approach to teaching kids how to read. The first sounds that it teaches kids are the vowels sounds: a, e, ee, i, o, oo, u. Since it’s out of print, may be I’ll recreate the books and put them online. Dr. Hulda Clark who created the reading system died back in 2009. I’ll email the publisher to find out what I can do. Micah loves Owl’s Eyes more than Teach Your Child How to Read in 100 Easy Lessons because they come in little colorful books his size.

The third resource I’ve used to help my child learn how to read is Hooked on Phonics Ipad App. While I’m not a huge fan of their curriculum (mostly their story books are weird), I love love the letter sounds songs and the games they made for their app. Micah loves this app!

Of course, I don’t believe in forcing children to learn how to read but it’s been so fun for Micah that he’s forcing me to teach him how to read!

Now I’m not an expert at this but my younger son, Quentin is 18 months… I started asking him “What sound does M make?” and he replies with “mmmmmmm”. So I truly believe that when a child starts imitating animal sounds they can totally start learning letter sounds too! 🙂

I’ll end with my favorite scripture in Doctrine and Covenants:

D&C 88:118 …seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.

What tips and tricks do you have to teach kids how to read?

Super Easy Kid-Friendly Macaroni

Kid Friendly Mac

I feel a little silly posting this. I’ve been going through my 2014 pictures and I took this picture 1 year ago. My little boys eat this at least once a week… cause it’s super easy for me. Lately, I’ve been minimizing the time I spend cooking so I can maximize the time I get to do my hobbies and teach my boys new things.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cook and drain macaroni according to package then put macaroni back into pot. Turn heat down to medium-low
  2. Put the butter on top of the macaroni in the pot. Stir until melted.
  3. Stir and sprinkle Italian bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese until desired coverage (~1/4 cup each)
  4. Enjoy! Or….
  5. FOR OVER ACHIEVERS: Put macaroni on a baking sheet and broil until a little crispy on the edges (~2 minutes)

Hi, I’m a mom!… and indulging myself today.

I’m a mom who loves social media.

I’m a mom who loves taking pictures. I take way more pictures than I can keep up with.

I’m a mom who enjoys blogging and reading blogs.

I’m a mom who really doesn’t have time for blogging.

I’m a mom who blogs anyways usually in place of housework.

When I’m blogging my kids are probably asleep or watching TV.

The funny thing is that I’m usually blogging about my kids.

I usually don’t blog unless my chores are done. That’s why, you see, I haven’t been blogging.

Guess what? My chores are not done today.

… and I guess I’m still blogging today.

There’s probably a lot of better things I could do right now… Oh well.

My absolute favorite quote from general conference was from Sister Reeves called Protection from Pornography – a Christ-Focused Home.

“It is OK if the house is a mess and the children are still in their pajamas and some responsibilities are left undone. The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening.”

The apartment is not clean.

My kids and I are still in my PJs.

But I did do my personal scripture and personal prayer today.

We also did our family scripture study and family prayer.

And we planted our garden yesterday for Family Home Evening.

So I guess the essentials are done.

So right now, I’m indulging myself by blogging before my kids wake up from nap.

… oh wait … I hear a kid crying.

I guess nap time is over! 🙂

Enjoy cute pictures of Micah and Quentin. It’s a rare occasion to get a picture of both of them looking at the camera at the same time. My mother-in-law hand knit them matching sweaters.

I would love to hear about you!

Who are you? Why do you blog or read other people’s blogs?

 

Quentin FAQ

I spend so much time talking about Micah but I have another kid named Quentin. He’s 6 months almost 7 months old. He is a very very good baby. He eats well and sleeps well. He has such a tender and gentle personality. Quentin gets frighten really easily which doesn’t help having a loud two year old around. Micah really likes to scare Quentin. Quentin is also very tough because he has to withstand wrestles and toys being thrown at him. Poor little guy. He can sit but has no desire to start crawling.

  1. Is it a girl? No, Quentin is a boy with a lot of hair. Here’s a picture of Quentin’s hair at birth.
  2. Was Quentin born with that much hair? Yes, he was born with a lot of hair! He has already had 2 hair cuts! I’ve cut off about 3.5 inches of hair already. He had hair down past his shoulders. Here are his new born pictures.
  3. Did Micah have that much hair? No, Micah was baud. See picture here.
  4. Where was Quentin Born? He was born in Ireland at the National Maternity Hospital on Holles street. [Side note: He was born on the fourth of July!… oh the irony] Here’s his birth announcement.
  5. So can he still be president of the USA? We have gotten this question so many times! But yes he can because he is solely American… no other country has claimed him to be a citizen.
  6. Is Quentin an Irish citizen? Unfortunately, no. He has an Irish birth certificate. We’d would have to go back for 2 to 3 more years before he becomes an Irish citizen.
  7. Did you plan on having a baby in Ireland? Originally, we wanted to come back to Utah to have the baby but then we fell in love with Ireland and their maternity care so decided to stay. Also, they wouldn’t let me fly internationally after I was 26 week pregnant.
  8. Did you have good maternity care in Ireland? Amazing!!! My opinion is that I had better maternity care in Ireland than in the US.
  9. Was it hard to get Quentin back to the USA? It all worked out. You can read about the miracle here.
  10. Is Quentin big for his age? Yes, he’s almost 29 inches which makes him about 100+% in height. He weighs about 20.5 pounds which is about 80%. He is the size of Micah at 1 years old! I guess we also have to take in account that he was almost 2 weeks late!
  11. Why did you name him Quentin? or Did you name him after Quentin Terrantino? It was the only name Dallin and I liked! I’ve always liked the name. There was also a store in Ireland named Super Quinn and a city name Quin in Co. Clare Ireland. We thought we would call him Quin but when Quentin came we have stuck with Quentin. No, we didn’t name him after Quentin Terrantino. Sometimes we tell people that we named him after Quentin L. Cook.
  12. Why is Quentin’s middle name Liam? I really like the name Liam. Dallin wasn’t too happy about it at first but then we found out the Liam is the Irish word for William. William is the name of Dallin’s dad. We already have a lot of nephews with the middle name of William so we went with Liam. 🙂
  13. Who does Quentin look like? Right now we don’t think Quentin looks like Micah at all. He kinda looks like Dallin but we think he mostly looks like May Bo.