Elementary - Christian Parent

Archive for the ‘Elementary’ Category

Review: Time Capsule – Medieval England Unit Study

We have just started homeschooling our boys this year, and I have been looking for some interesting and engaging ways to encourage my boys to learn.

There are a number of ways to teach your children at home, but in recent years unit studies have become very popular. You can find many unit studies to choose from all over the internet.

What is a unit study? A unit study is a creative way to combine history, social studies, language arts, math, logic, photography, drama, geography, and science all into one learning activity. Your child has fun experiencing the chosen subject from many different angles, with many hands-on projects. Studies have shown that children learn and retain more when they are actively participating in the project they are working on.

This particular unit study is about medieval England. This unit study is called Time Capsule: Medieval England by Michelle Caskey. There are daily lessons to keep your children engaged and learning for 12 weeks (300 activities in all)! For each day you also have a variety of activity options to choose from to suit your child’s interest and needs. The unit study also includes a supplies list and suggested reading list.

In this unit study your child will experience being:

  • A Peasant in Medieval England
  • A Tradesman/Tradeswoman in Medieval England
  • A Knight/Lady-in-Waiting in Medieval England
  • A Monk/Nun in Medieval England
  • A Baron/Baroness in Medieval England
  • A Knight/Queen in Medieval England

Your child will get to create and wear peasant clothing, listen to Old English, go on a field trip to a local farm, learn to whittle, make a water clock, design their own castle, make a medieval battle axe, and much more.

While these activities would be fun for boys OR girls, they are especially suited to active boys. Not only will they be reading and writing, but doing lots of fun physical activities too.

If you are looking for a fun interesting unit study, then I really recommend this one. I know that my boys are going to love it and I can’t wait to dive in.

For more information and ordering details for Time Capsule: Medieval England see http://www.homeschool-your-boys.com/unitstudies.html

Conversation Heart Crafts for Kids to Make for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day crafts are fun for kids to make. There are a number of different crafts that can be made with candy conversation hearts. Here are just a few ideas to get you and your children started.
[include file=../googlead.txt]

Conversation Heart Wreath

This is a fun craft for older kids. You will need a small round styrofoam wreath, a couple bags of conversation hearts, a hot glue gun, and some ribbon to hang the wreath up.

Using the hot glue gun, carefully glue the conversation hearts all around the styrofoam wreath, covering it completely so that no styrofoam shows through. Use additional hearts to fill in any gaps. After the glue is dry, tie a piece of ribbon through the wreath so you can hang it up.

Conversation Heart Candle Holders

There are a couple of ways that you and your children can decorate candle holders with conversation hearts.

One easy way is to fill a tall cylindrical vase about half way with conversation hearts and then place a pillar candle inside.

You can also use a hot glue gun to glue conversation hearts to the outside of small votive candle holders.

Framed Conversation Hearts

For this project you will need an old picture frame. If you are recycling an old frame, you first might want to rub it with sand paper and then spray paint it white or pink. For a shabby chic look, first paint the frame black and then paint the white or pink on top of the black. Using a piece of sand paper, gently rub away some of the top layer of paint to give the frame a weathered look.

Next carefully remove the glass from the frame and arrange candy hearts on the glass. You can use the hearts to create larger hearts of various shapes and sizes, or you can create one big heart to fill in the whole glass. Just make sure to leave room to put the frame back in place.

One by one, remove each conversation heart and glue it back in place with a bit of hot glue. After the picture is complete, place the glass back in the frame and your work of art is ready to display.

Conversation Heart Bingo Game

Use conversation hearts to create a fun bingo game for Valentine’s Day. Have your children create their own bingo cards with the sayings from conversation hearts in each box on the cards.

When they are ready to play the game, have them use conversation heart candies to use as markers for the squares.

Homemade Valentine’s Day Cards

Conversation hearts can also be used to make homemade Valentine’s Day cards. Make a card out of red or pink cardstock or scrapbook paper and glue conversation hearts onto the front of the card. If you feel creative, use the words on the hearts to create sentences on the card.

Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be the same without conversation hearts. They are a favorite holiday treat for children and adults alike. Have some fun this Valentine’s Day and share some conversation hearts with your kids while also having fun doing these simple Valentine’s Day crafts.

Hanna Griesbach is a busy mom and freelance writer  who enjoys scrapbooking. She enjoys hunting the web for great deals and freebies. One of her favorite resources is Free Gifts 4 Kids.

Natural Cough and Cold Home Remedies

If you are trying to live a healthy lifestyle, you are probably making good choices about what you eat. One of the goals of eating well is good health, however, everyone gets a cough or cold once in awhile. These home remedies will help you avoid the doctor and over the counter medicines and help to get you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.

[include file=../googlead.txt]

Drink Lots of Fluids

Drinking lots of water or hot tea will help to keep you hydrated and sooth an irritated throat. Try to avoid milk and drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee and cola. Instead, try an herbal tea made with ginger. Ginger is known to be a natural decongestant and gentle pain reliever. Peppermint tea is also a good choice. Peppermint can help control a cough.

homemade cough syrup

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier will add moisture to the air and help make it easier to breathe. Place one in the room where you sit the most during the day and then move it to your bedroom when you go to bed. The steam from a hot shower will also help to open clogged nasal passages.

Use a Nasal Rinse

If you suspect you may be getting a sinus infection, then a nasal rinse will help keep your sinus passages open. You can buy over the counter nasal rinse kits, but you can also make your own natural solution at home very inexpensively.

Mix 1/4 teaspoon non-iodized salt, 1/4 tsp. baking soda, and 8 ounces of warm distilled water together. With a bulb syringe filled with the solution, lean over the sink with your head tilted down and your mouth open. Squirt the nasal rinse solution into one nostril and let the solution drain out the other nostril. Keeping your mouth open will prevent the solution from going down your throat.

Even doctors recommend this home remedy for preventing sinus infections. Using this solution twice a day at the beginning of a cold will greatly reduce the chance of further infection.

Natural Cough Remedies

Gargling with warm salt water will help control stubborn coughs. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in a cup of warm water and gargle with it several times a day until your cough symptoms subside.

A sore throat and cough can also be soothed with a hot tea made from fresh lemon juice and honey.

You can make homemade cough syrup by combining 1 cup raw honey, 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger, and the juice of one lemon together in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. A teaspoon of this homemade cough syrup is a great home remedy for kids since now it is recommended that over the counter cough syrup not be given to children under 4 years of age. Just keep in mind that children under the age of 1 should not be given honey.

Eating Right

When you have a cold there are foods that you can eat that will help you recover more quickly. Make sure you are getting lots of Vitamin C by eating food high in Vitamin C, such as oranges.

Try to avoid high fat and processed foods as much as possible. Eating unhealthy foods can actually slow the recovery process. Foods with high fiber content such as oatmeal, whole grains, and fresh vegetables are all good choices.

Plenty of Rest

There’s no denying that just resting and getting lots of sleep is the best home remedy of all. It is hard in this day and age to get the extra sleep we need when we are not well, but not only does getting enough sleep help our body to heal itself faster, it also helps keep us from getting sick in the first place.

Jen Atkins is a copywriter with Mountainside Medical Equipment in Marcy, NY. Well-versed in marketing, Jen enjoys researching and writing about current health-related topics and sharing information about medical supplies with Mountainside Medical’s online community.

The Five Minute Bedwetting Guide

Bedwetting isn’t a highlight of childhood. Or parenthood. But it’s something that most families have to deal with. Here are some tips to overcoming bedwetting and making the process easier for the whole family.

[include file=../googlead.txt]

When is bedwetting a problem?

Up to the age of 5, bedwetting is considered completely normal. There are some things you can do to increase your child’s odds of staying dry, such as avoiding any sugary or caffeinated drinks after dinner and having them urinate twice during the hour before bed. And there are some things you can do to make nighttime cleanups quicker, such as using waterproof bedding and pull-ups. But you probably don’t need to start a bedwetting treatment just yet.

However, if your 6-year-old is still frequently wetting the bed (not just having an occasional accident) the chances of them reaching dryness without intervention are much slimmer. In fact, the spontaneous remission rate for bedwetting is only 15% a year, meaning that if your child wets the bed currently they’ll probably still be wetting a year from now.

What causes bedwetting?

A variety of factors can lead to bedwetting. Most of the time it’s simply that the child’s brain has not yet learned to respond to the sensation of a full bladder. Sometimes bedwetting is caused by stress triggers. Sometimes it has a medical cause.

Stress triggers for children are often the result of family changes such as the birth of a sibling, the death of a family member, or parental fighting/divorce. Starting a new school or moving can also be a major stressor for children.

Probably the most common medical cause of bedwetting is constipation. Sometimes children can be constipated without them or their parents realizing it. If you think this is the problem, make sure your child eats lots of fibrous fruits and veggies. Other medical causes include sleep disorders (the child is a “deep sleeper”), urinary tract infections and juvenile diabetes.

How do you treat bedwetting?

Bedwetting alarms have the highest success rate and lowest relapse rate of any bedwetting treatment. Typically, a moisture sensor is clipped to your child’s underwear so the alarm can go off as soon as wetting occurs. Over time, this will condition your child’s brain to respond the feeling of a full bladder. This speeds up the process your body naturally uses to overcome bedwetting.

The three main types of bedwetting alarms are wearable alarms, wireless alarms, and bell and pad alarms. With bed and pad alarms, children lay on a moisture sensitive bad that goes off after they wet. Because this type of alarm can’t be clipped to the underwear, its response is delayed. These alarms are no longer recommended, though parents who used them as a child may prefer them.

Wearable alarms are the best for deep sleepers as they sound and vibrate, which will wake just about anyone. Some light up too, for good measure.

Wireless alarms are best for children who don’t want to wear an alarm. Parents have the option of an alarm with dual receivers, so they can put one in their child’s room and one in their room. This allows parents to wake up with their child to take care of any nighttime cleanups.

Austin Sheeley is a passionate blogger who spends his time researching and writing about health care, specifically enuresis. He is an online producer for the bedwetting alarms supplier bedwettingstore.com.

Signs that a Child Needs Glasses

It is often difficult to detect when a young child needs glasses, especially before they are old enough to read an eye chart. 

[include file=../googlead.txt]

Many parents wonder at what age they should start taking their child to the eye doctor. Many pediatricians perform eye tests when a child comes in for his or her annual well child check. The pediatrician will let the parent know if they think a child should also see an optometrist about possibly needing eyeglasses. Even babies can be afflicted with conditions such as “lazy eye”. This type of condition can easily be identified by the child’s pediatrician, and corrected if necessary. Here are some tell tale signs that a child might need glasses.
Sometimes the first indication that a child might need glasses occurs in school. If a child is having a hard time reading the board or is having a hard time focusing on his or her school work, there may be undetected eye problems that will require a trip to the eye doctor. Often a young child will not be able to express to a parent that eye problems are to blame, sometimes frustration on the part of the child may be the only indication that there is a problem.
Squinting while reading is a common sign that a child is showing signs of being farsighted.
A child may tilt the head to the side if he or she is experiencing double vision.
If a child is sitting too close to the television, this is a possible sign of nearsightedness.
A child who is experiencing frequent headaches should have his or her eyes checked right away. This could be a sign of uncorrected farsightedness.
Crossing of the eyes, frequent tearing of the eyes, and sensitivity to light are also signs that a child needs his or her eyes checked.
If a child is holding objects away from his or her face in order to focus on them, this is a sign of farsightedness. 
Covering one eye while reading or watching television is a sign that a child is seeing better out of one eye than the other.
At a child’s first trip to the optometrist’s office, the eye doctor will be looking for signs of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astygmatism.
If it is determined that a child needs glasses, there will be an adjustment period. Children don’t adjust to wearing glasses overnight. However, most children who have been having vision problems are happy when they can see with their new glasses. A parent should also make sure that the child’s glasses are always clean so that he or she can see clearly.
Kids can be hard on eyeglasses, but these days there are many types of children’s glasses from which to choose. Titanium frames with spring hinges are a popular choice for many parents. These types of frames bend easily without breaking. For children under the age of 3, there are frames available that have a wraparound earpiece to help keep the glasses in place, and glasses for babies have a strap that fits around the back of the baby’s head.
When choosing a frame for a child, it is important to keep in mind that round frames look better on angular faces, and square frames look better on round faces. A good eye doctor will also make sure that the glasses are comfortable and fit well.
And glasses are not the only option. By middle school, most children are ready to try out contact lenses.
In order to do well in school it imperative that a child’s eyesight be at its best. Starting at about kindergarten age, a child should have a yearly visit to the optometrist, as well as to the pediatrician. Prevention is the best medicine, it is best to get a child’s vision checked before there is a problem.