Tag Archives: COVID-19 Help

Monarch Butterflies

Good morning, everyone! Maybe this post from Anna Marie will inspire you and your kiddos to take on a Monarch butterfly project. Love, Sarah

A couple years ago, one of Gigi’s sweet friends who raises Monarch butterflies, brought some here to release and made it a mini field trip for the children. We loved it and then enjoyed reading library books about Monarch butterflies. Our very favorite is Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way, our introduction to the Smithsonian Backyard series which we like! (All the links in this post are Titus2’s Amazon affiliate links: see the Titus2 Privacy Policy for more information).

Last spring, the girls received their own copy of the book, a butterfly kit, and a collection of milkweed seeds to raise caterpillars and butterflies. It turned out to be a tremendously happy project that lasted all summer and into the fall. We learned about egg/caterpillar/butterfly life cycles along the way. (I said it was our life-cycle-summer as we also got to learn about lice life cycles… I much preferred the butterflies. 🙂 If you missed it, here’s a post from November about lice.)

We planted lots of milkweed (note: the seeds work best if you keep them in the fridge at least two weeks prior to planting in order to stratify), and the plants served their purpose well, because Monarchs passing through laid eggs on them and we all liked hunting for caterpillars. Even though the caterpillars ate down the plants before they got a chance to bloom, it was pretty interesting to watch them feed and grow so rapidly from day to day.

The girls would select a caterpillar and bring it inside to put in their butterfly net enclosure. Then we had to keep fresh milkweed leaves for it to feed on! Finally, one day, the caterpillar crawled to the top, shed its skin, and hung as a chrysalis. The chrysalis eventually turned translucent, and we saw the beautiful Monarch butterfly burst forth! Releasing it outside was always exciting, and then the children had their enclosure available for a new caterpillar. 🙂

I love this as an illustration of how God makes us into a new creature, and how He makes all things beautiful in His time! We know He is doing that with my cancer journey too, and are so grateful for your prayers along the way.

Anna Marie

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
(2 Corinthians 5:17).

Homeschool Question from a New Homeschool Mom

Schooling at home

Here’s a question from one of our readers who has just become a homeschool mom because of the coronavirus pandemic:

I understand that children in Grade 1, 3, and 6 (twins) will have different material, but how does one effectively manage different attention spans? My youngest boy was a good sport for about 30 minutes, and then he wanted to play but not alone, with me or his siblings. They had work, and I needed to help my daughter with music theory. I tried to redirect with a book and LEGOS and was successful, but I can see this becoming an issue day to day. A mom

This is where a schedule really helps. What about figuring out activities to keep the first-grader occupied? You could have each of the older children spend 1/2 hour playing with him. That gives him a playmate for 1.5 hours of academic time. They lose a 1/2 hour of school time but gain an hour of uninterrupted work time, and so do you. 

You could schedule him for play alone time. While it might not be his favorite time of the day, doing it consistently each day should eliminate his grumbling about a playtime alone because it soon is habitual—simply what he does every day. You won’t have him pestering you to play with him at that time and you feeling guilty because you can’t. I expect that he would soon be creative and able to occupy himself for whatever amount of time you scheduled for him, perhaps 1/2 hour.

If you spent 1/2 hour with him each morning and if he had another 1/2 hour of book time, you would have filled a three hour time block for him each morning if his play alone time was 1/2 hour. 

When each piece of the schedule happens at the same time every day and becomes habitual, it is easy—just like brushing your teeth. You aren’t having to tell every one what to do or telling them “no” when they ask to do something but should do school. Simplify your new homeschooling life with a schedule.

Trusting in Jesus,

Blog reader son home from school

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall
be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9 

Backyard Energy-Burning Family Activities

Today Anna Marie is sharing some new favorite outside activities to help their kiddos expend energy! We hope this is helpful to you. Love, Sarah

Christopher is amazing with thinking of games to play with the children. When I saw a comment requesting ideas for activities to burn off children’s energy, I wanted to share a couple things Christopher did with the children recently.

Hopping races.

He tied their legs together with velcro straps he has for work projects, but you could easily use strips of an old t-shirt or something. As you can see, everyone got really into it, including Elizabeth who wanted me to “hop” her across the yard, too!

Three-legged races produced lots of giggles and helped to encourage team effort.

A new spin on freeze tag: tag with the ball!

There was so much laughter and running, and I was impressed with how good the children’s aim was while running and tossing at moving parents and siblings! 🙂 (Obviously, you want to use balls that are soft and won’t hurt their targets.)

I hope that’s helpful and maybe will jog your brain for some ways you could implement similar ideas if cool weather is keeping you indoors!

Anna Marie

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving”
(Colossians 4:2).

A Great Learning Opportunity

We just wanted to let you all know of an exciting opportunity. During this time, many companies are offering special opportunities and discounts. I noticed that Comptia is offering a month of free access to their CertMaster training for the IT Fundamentals+ certification. This certification is geared for middle schoolers on up. Don’t let that fool you; it’s not an easy test. It covers everything from basic functionality of a computer, hardware, software, coding, databases, operating systems, and more. It was a fantastic test, and their goal in creating it was to give you a taste of many different IT areas so you can see which you enjoy best. 

I took the test last January. This is a semi-new certification, and it wasn’t around when I was in school, so I took the opportunity to take it. It is a good stepping stone for A+ or other certifications. To find out more details, visit this link


“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one
of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.”
1 Peter 3:8

More Help for Coronavirus-Induced Homeschool Moms

Start with a Schedule

May I again encourage you on the importance of a schedule? Don’t make it complicated, but get it down on paper where everyone can see it. I guarantee you that it will eliminate many decisions and distractions and help you accomplish what you need to do each day during these circumstances.

If your children were sent home with schoolwork or your school is doing it online, the schedule will eliminate getting to the end of the day with school or other tasks not accomplished and piling up for the next day.

Ideas for Academic Work If You Don’t Have Any

If you weren’t sent home with your children’s school books and you are winging it, here are some ideas for academic work:

  • Have your child read aloud to you. That will develop your child’s reading skills immensely, no matter how good a reader he is already.
  • Have your child write an email or letter. Then go over it with him for spelling, grammar, handwriting (if handwritten), and interesting content. This covers several subjects in one and connects the child with grandparents or friends.
  • Have your child keep a journal. Again you will be covering writing skills plus grammar and spelling if you go over that with him.
  • Look for math facts worksheets online. Knowing the basic math facts equips your child for furthering his math knowledge throughout the grades. 

You might be surprised if you had your child do those 3 things each day: read aloud, write something, and complete math facts worksheets, where he would be academically when he is allowed to go back to school compared to his classmates who didn’t have direction and structure in their days.

No matter what your child was or wasn’t sent home with for school, it is likely that their academic work won’t take as long as the hours they were at school each day. If you schedule time for them to play together, play alone, play outside, do chores, play games, and do craft projects, you will help to fill that extra time without having bickering, destructive children on your hands. Remember, keep the schedule simple.

Trusting in Jesus,

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
(Matthew 5:16). 

How to Make Slime

We want to share a great activity to do with kids: SLIME! It’s quite easy, although it may take a time or two to get the perfect combo.

Homemade Slime

  • 1 cup Elmer’s glue (can be purchased in big jugs)
  • Food coloring
  • About a teaspoon of baking soda
  • Contact solution (can be purchased from stores like Walmart)

Warning: do not make this anywhere near carpet, because it will be a forever reminder.

First, find containers of some kind to mix it up in and measure in Elmer’s glue. Add some food coloring (to your liking) and stir. Next, add a teaspoon (or a small spoonful) of baking soda. All the while, stir. And stir some more.

Add less than a tablespoon of the contact solution. Stir and stir. When it starts to glob up and you can try to get it in your hands, go ahead. Knead it back and forth. You can add more contact solution if needed, but a fair warning. If you put too much in, it’s irreversible. It’s better to knead it a lot in your hands. If it flops, don’t worry. It’s probably too much contact solution. Go for it again.

Your kids will love stretching and do all kinds of creative things with their slime.

“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the
earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice,
and sing praise” (Psalm 98:4).