Sunday 5 January 2014

Colored Pencils-Target

2012-2013 Homeschool Space

It's always fun for me to see other people's homeschool spaces.  So I will show you ours for this year.
I'm a little behind on getting school rolling.  This year my excuse is that we were derailed by national news planning to come from New York to follow us for a day.  They wanted to do a story on Miles's milk allergy.  Not only was school derailed, but so was Miles's birthday, important business meetings, harvesting the rest of our apple tree,  Labor Day weekend, our budget, stamping work, the neighborhood garage sale, a neighborhood meeting, allergy appointments, and probably more than I can remember right now.  Boy does it feel good to have our life back!  :)
So anyways, here is our special place called "school".  It's in a small area of our basement...the room where I hold stamp classes.
The boys wanted to rearrange their desks and put them facing the wall.  It was actually a brilliant idea because it allowed me to give them little cubbies next to their desks.  I love cubbies.  
I put some important charts for them at eye-level:  their names, the alphabet in upper and lower cases, a number strip, a color strip, and a shapes strip.  And we still have our wire line for clipping their papers.
On their desks are tins with pencils, glue, and pencil sharpeners....and probably Legos they are hiding from each other.

Above the display of papers, I put up three pocket charts.  These were in the Target $1 section!  And I last saw them there on clearance for 30 cents.  :)  I am going to try them out for Graham's phonics this year.
The boys love having the little characters in our space too.  This year Graham is the owl and Miles is the raccoon.
The cubbies are ITSO cubes from Target that I had already in the house.  I just had to reorganize a few things (what?! me?!) to free them up for the boys.  
Then we put together some art caddies.  Miles got a set of 50 colored pencils and 50 markers.  So he has a large caddy from Target's dollar section (or shall I say "$2.50 section").  Graham got the 8-10 packs of markers and colored pencils so he has the smaller $1 caddy.  Graham gets overwhelmed by too many choices still.  ;)  The caddies have worked out wonderfully as they can tote them to the kitchen easily when we are in the mood to do school there instead.
Then they put their school workbooks in the caddies....much better than stuffing workbooks into the small desk space.
We still love our magnetic dry erase board.  The boys put our weather card on it for the day.  And above it I have the calendar sheets I made up.  Clothes pins clipped to the side designate the correct day, month, and season.  
Below the board are our Melissa and Doug placemat maps.  They are my favorite simple maps for little kids. 
Off to the corner, I moved in my Joann's organizer from the stamp room. On top are a couple garage sale metal crates for holding bulky craft projects.We also have our flag(s) and the bucket of dry erase markers. Off to the left side is our pocket chart calendar which I will show in a later post.
I displayed Target $1 placemats from last year to serve as visuals for continents and planets.  And the boys designated Mom as the frog this year.  I also love our Pledge of Allegiance poster from
This came out sideways.  Look out Blogger, hubs is about to move me to Wordpress!  This is how I am happily utilizing the 12" slots in the Joann's organizer.  Empty trays, trays of magnetic letters, rock collections, Math-U-See blocks, felt board.  LOVE!
In another spot in our area, I have a Sterilite cart.  This is going to house the boys completed papers that aren't in workbooks this year.  Last year they had a heck of a time with folders and binders.  I'm thinking a "throw it in" system might work better for 5 and 7-year-old boys. 
   I assigned a subject to each drawer wit read more..

Saturday 4 January 2014

Ground Level Ozone-Temperatures

Some Like It Hot!

So maybe the title is a bit deceptive since there will be no mention of the famous movie by the same title that starred Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis, except for this one. What I am referring to, however, is the intense heat that is EZ-Baking the middle of the US and slowly marching east. From Denver to DC, Atlanta to Chicago, temperatures surpassing the century mark have set records in over a dozen cities this week. While a lot of us really enjoy the sun and being outdoors, +100° temps are a time when some caution should be used. Here's just a quick list of things to keep in mind while you worry about if you used enough deodorant today.

  • Avoid the Heat, Avoid Ozone - Record temperatures are almost synonymous with ground level ozone and air quality warnings. A look at the national map reveals a lot of code orange dots scattered throughout the eastern part of the country. Heat mixes with emissions to create a stew of pollutants that can adversely effect everyone but specifically the elderly, children and anyone suffering from a heart condition or respiratory issue. This means asthmatics and those with COPD, among others, should take precautions to limit to their time outdoors to early mornings when ozone is at its lowest levels. If you must go out, use a mask that features carbon or charcoal in the filter.
  • Sunscreen + Water = Win! - If you are going to enjoy the sunshine, make sure to use a little sunscreen and drink plenty of water. With almost no chance of rain, not a cloud to be found and temperatures so high, it's important to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Vanicream offers a healthier sunscreen is healthier alternative to traditional sun blockers that can be laden with harmful chemicals and fragrance. Water is very important in replacing what you lose through perspiring and preventing dehydration. It's a great way to avoid looking like a sun-dried raisin!
  • Put Off Yard Work - Much to the chagrin of your significant other, you officially have a legitimate reason for putting this off. If there is work to be done in the yard, aim to complete it by 9-11am, at the latest. Depending on local conditions, there may be no dew on the ground even earlier than this, but typically dew "burns off" by the midmorning hours. You can either wait a few days until the extreme temperatures subside or use the early hours to get your outdoor chores completed (and earn brownie points for not putting it off!).
  • Take a Break - If you are outside for very long or doing physical activity, take a break! Find some shade, a cool drink and give you body some time to recover. Extreme sun and heat saps your strength, so short periods of rest can help recharge your batteries. And don't forget about eating. When the temperatures are warm and I am outside, I can be guilty of this. Heavier foods are not going to be helpful, light snacks and fruit provide the energy you need to keep going.
  • Don't Forget the Pets - Have outdoors pets? Bring them inside. If they're anything like my dog, after a hot day at work, he loves to just flop on the cool tile in our downstairs and soak up the cool. At the very least, keep an eye on outdoor pets and ensure they have plenty of fresh water and shade. Alone inside a parked car with the windows cracked? Unless you have the vehicle running, and your AC cranked, it's like a blast furnace in your car or truck. In this case, it is actually better if they are outdoors, or best still, leave them home.
  • Take a Moment for Tomatoes - If you have a garden or just a few tomato plants and landscaping like I do, the heat can wilt and damage them in fairly short order. Vulnerable, potted plants should be moved to areas where exposure to sunlight is less than normal. Water them in the early hours or after the sun has gone down to reduce the amount that is lost by evaporation. Some plants, even when not exposed to direct sunlight, will wilt simpl read more..

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Open Access Journal Bmc Plant Biology-Chronic Conditions-Endurance Athletes-Athletic Training

Can Athletic Training Cause Asthma?

An estimated 8% of Olympian athletes have asthma. In fact asthma is one of the most commonly seen chronic conditions among top athletes. It is endurance athletes who are seen to have the highest incidence of asthma. So is there any link between asthma and athletic training? And is it likely that athletic training causes [...] read more..

Pollen-Free House Plants For Hay Fever Sufferers

New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Plant Biology shows how targeting two bacterial genes into an ornamental plant (Pelargonium), can produce long-lived and pollen-free plants. Pelargoniums ('Geraniums' and 'Storkbills') have been cultivated in Europe since the 17th century and are now one of the most popular garden and house plants around the world... read more..

Sense Of Smell-Brain Changes-Mold Allergy-Summer Cold

Brain Changes After A Stuffed Nose Protect The Sense Of Smell

Has a summer cold or mold allergy stuffed up your nose and dampened your sense of smell? We take it for granted that once our nostrils clear, our sniffers will dependably rebound and alert us to a lurking neighborhood skunk or a caramel corn shop ahead. That dependability is no accident... read more..

Allergists Available to All at Aeriusa Allergy Clinic in Montreal and Laval Shopping Malls - Merck

From August 14 to August 26, the public will be able to meet allergists and ask their questions at the Allergy Clinics MONTREAL, Quebec, Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - Following the great success of the Allergy Clinics in past years, Merck Consumer Care is pleased to host for a third consecutive year, the Allergy Clinic in local shopping malls. read more..

Thursday 23 August 2012

Should Peanuts Be Banned From Schools?

Should Peanuts Be Banned From Schools?

The idea of banning peanuts from schools is not a new concept. Given that peanut allergy is common and frequently severe and life-threatening, parents of peanut-allergic children would be right to want to ban peanuts from schools. However, there are problems with such an idea....Read Full Post read more..

Scary Experience-Asthma Attack

Tips for Managing Asthma in School

Any parent who has helped their child through an asthma attack knows what a scary experience it can be and that parent will naturally be concerned about their child having an attack in school. So what can parents do to manage their child’s asthma in school? Speak to the school staff For younger children, parents [...] read more..

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology dispels fall allergy myths

American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology dispels fall allergy myths

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 25 million adults and children across the country were diagnosed with rhinitis, or hay fever, within the last 12 months, which may lead many to believe they've caught an early-season cold. read more..