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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Have Fun Creating Art with Your Child!

Providing sensory experiences for your child is positive for his or her development.  Creating art allows your child to use his senses and build his brain.  Playing with play dough, painting, drawing and making collages all spark connections in the brain.  Having these experiences will help your child be more successful in school.  Summer time gives us many creative project ideas which may be tied to the season.

You may help your child get the most benefit from creating art by:

·         Encouraging him or her to enjoy the process of making art.  The most important part of the creative process is that the child should interpret what the project should look like.  Your child will be more apt to explore his creative desires if we accept his finished project without any criticism.

·         Providing materials.  It’s great if your child has access to crayons, paints and paper.  Household items such as fabric scraps and catalogs or magazines are also fun to use when making art.

·         Say something specific about your child’s artwork.  “You used a lot of yellow and blue in your picture.”  Your comment could also sound like, “It’s great how you incorporated Santa’s reindeer into your picture,” or “The sculpture of the penguin has a nice long beak and big feet.”

·         Hanging his or her creation on your refrigerator, setting a sculpture out on a counter or giving the results of an art project to a favorite relative will make your child feel appreciated.  By displaying the artistic creation your child will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.

By encouraging your child to be creative he or she will benefit by increased brain activity and a higher level of self-esteem.  Your attention to a project which he or she is proud of will help to spark his or her sense of ownership and will encourage him or her to experiment with his or her creative side to a greater degree.  Don’t forget the most important thing: Have fun creating art with your child!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mid-Summer Math

Speaking of Education

Mid-Summer Math

During the summer many of us load our children into the car and go on vacation.  The trip in the car gives you a great chance to work on your child’s math skills and keep them occupied all at the same time! 
  • Work on their math computation skills.  Fill a plastic bag with pennies and give them out as your children answer math questions correctly.  If they answer incorrectly, you may want to take a penny back from your child.  If you have children on different levels, you may alternate the difficulty of the questions with the children.  Beyond asking questions such as ‘6+4= what,” you can make longer math sentences filled with addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.
  • Work on clock math.  Ask your children questions based upon the question, “when are we going to get there?”  The question would be phrased similar to, “It is 5:49, what time will it be in 27 minutes?” You may want to give out pennies for correct answers during the clock math “game.”
  • Work on graphing.  While playing the license plate game, graph the results.  A favorite type for the license plate game would be a bar graph.  You may choose to graph the results by player – you can play too, or by state.
  • Build their basic algebraic skills.  Talk about the ratio of miles per hour, miles per minute and how to compute gas mileage.  On some maps the exits are indicated by “mile markers” so you can teach your children how to figure out the answer to “how long will it take,” based upon the rate of speed you are traveling.

The math games will help to teach your children that math is fun and it is all around us.  As you travel the games will help keep your children occupied as they earn “spending money” for the next rest stop.

Cruising the Lake!

Last week my husband and I went on a pontoon boat ride around the lake. When we drove around the end of a cove, there was a pair of beautiful swans. As we moved closer, I noticed that there was a lot of seaweed just below the surface of the lake. It was such an inviting scene with the swans swimming along the edge of the lake, back and forth through the lily pads, but because of the seaweed, it was not where we should be; the motor would eventually become clogged and possibly damaged. This scene is similar in our walk with Christ. Sometimes we are distracted by a pretty thing or engaging activity and deviate from our course, only to find that we are in danger of getting "our motor clogged with seaweed."

Please join me in prayer this week asking for God’s guidance so as we navigate our walk with Christ that we will not become distracted.
Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

God's Reach!

It is amazing how far God can reach to bring His children to Him.  In the book The Faith of Condoleezza Rice she relates an incident where she had moved to California to teach at Stamford and hadn’t yet found a church to attend.  She was in Lucky’s grocery store on a Sunday morning when a gentleman walked up to her and told her he was purchasing food for his church picnic.  When he noticed she had long slender fingers, and no wedding band, he asked if she played the piano, because his church needed a pianist.  She agreed to help out and was amazed that God would reach out and touch her life when she was in Lucky’s Supermarket!
Please join me in praying that as God reaches out to us, we will recognize his call.  Romans 11:29, "For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable."
Have a blessed day!