Thursday, December 17, 2015

Candy Canes, Christmas Fun, 2 Free Emergent Readers, AND a SURPRISE!

After having false labor all of Tuesday and Wednesday last week (26 hours of contractions, folks!), my husband and I went on a date!  We don't date often, maybe twice a year, so this was extra special to me!  Afterwards we took these maternity pictures in front of the tree.  Feeling as big as a house, I let him play photographer for the night.  I just didn't have it in me!

But Friday morning we took these:

Oliver Logan Scott.  6lbs, 11oz, and 19.69".  He looks just like my 3-yr old!

It is our third boy!  He was delivered via planned repeat c-section.  Things were supposed to go smoothly, but alas, childbirth is never smooth.  We had a very scary first 5 hours after birth that included blood in my urine, a panicking/angry nurse, a CT scan, and a threat that I was headed back into the OR for reconstructive surgery on my bladder.  Things got a little better after the doctor came to see me (he was delivering other babies while we waited) and swore up and down he and the operating doctor didn't touch my bladder.  Although I felt more confident in my surgeons, what in the world happened to me, and why was I bleeding so much?

Just as both surgeons had stated, the baby's head had broken a few blood vessels as they pushed him out.  It took a lot to flush me out, more than the few bags I was given.  Since I wasn't allowed to drink (remember, I was supposed to go back in the OR), I couldn't exactly help flush the blood out.  But that night I was told that I needed to drink before they drew my blood again, as my veins weren't very good. I drank 3 pitchers of water, not liking the idea of having difficulty giving blood!  The nurses came to do my blood and I told them I had drank a lot.  When I asked them how my urine looked, they about died laughing!  It was probably close to exploding!  And there wasn't one drop of blood in that bag!

Oliver ended up being jaundiced, so we had to stay an extra day.  That was no fun, missing all the cuddle time.  I was so glad when he was able to come off the lights.  And I was even happier when we were discharged!

Now, on to the post!

I started to send this before I had false labor for over a day, but I couldn't finish it.  In the days before Oliver was born, my goal was to keep homeschool short and sweet.  I wanted to take extra time to teach on the birth of Christ and the meaning behind the candy cane, as I might not be able to do much teaching until after Christmas (long after).  The Legend of the Candy Cane is so sweet to me!  I didn't know that the candy cane represented Jesus until I became an adult.  I want my children to remember that Jesus is why we have Christmas.  Here are some fun activities and printables we are using in our homeschool.

Candy Cane Poem Printable- I love that this printable features a picture of Baby Jesus in the manger at the bottom of the page, and that there is room to tape a candy cane to the right.  I also love that there are 2 copies of the poem on one page, as I have 2 little boys :)

This Candy Cane Poem Printable- features 4 poems to one page, if you need several.

Fingerprint Candy Cane

Book Marks  

Connect the Dots

Candy Cane Coloring Page:


Here are some other fun Christmas activities we did!

Dot Marker Mystery Pictures 

Mystery Picture (Rudolph) Hundreds Chart

Reindeer Paper Bag Puppet

Christmas Wheel Printable 

Gingerbread Templates- I used these kid silhouettes as gingerbread men.  I printed them out and let my kids color them and decorate with googly eyes, glitter glue, markers, etc.  This was fun and quick!  

Also, my 3-yr old learned all of his blend ladders well enough to move on to learning word families!  Hip hip hooray!!!  What an exciting time for us!  I wanted to be sure we started his adventure in reading before the baby came.  That way he at least had some things to practice during my postpartum time.

Because he learned his blend ladders, reading word families is a breeze.  He doesn't have to sound out each individual letter.  All he has to do is recognize the beginning blends and add on the final consonant sound.  Easy peasy!  But of course he memorizes each word with just a bit of practice.  

Since I have been down this road before, I merely pulled out the "flashcards" I had made for my 5-yr old 2 and a half years ago (I know, I can't believe he has been reading for that long!)  The flashcards are die cuts from the Dollar Tree- mostly frogs, but also leaves and fish.  I wrote a word on each frog and taught them one at a time.  If a child has a good foundation, they will learn those word families in no time.  My youngest reader learned 2 word families in just a couple of days!  I also taught a few sight words at the same time, that way I can get him reading books- which is where the emergent readers come into play.

Since my son is only 3, I need very basic emergent readers.  And because I teach phonics, I do not want a bunch of sight words in his emergent readers.  The emergent readers I found online A) had mostly sight words.  B) highlighted the END of the word- the word family.  This can teach eye regression.  When a word is typed like this: cat- the eye is FIRST drawn to the END of the word.  That is not how I want my son to learn to read.  I'm not saying those emergent readers are wrong or bad.  What I am saying is that they don't work for my teaching methods.  

But these do!  Simply print in color or black and white, cut along the dotted lines, and staple along the edges.  These took a long time to make, so I hope someone out there can benefit from these little books!  I do plan on making more as my son learns!

-Ad family book

-At family book

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