Friday, October 31, 2008

One Bag at a Time

Over the past several years, I have personally become more and more conscious about doing my part to “save the Earth.” One way I do so is to make a conscious effort to cut down on shopping bag waste.

Shortly before I left for college, my mom made me several large canvas bags that I could use to transport groceries. I used them diligently, and it was amazing how much this one little change cut down on waste (and clutter in my pantry)!

Recently, I was told about a company called One Bag at a Time that sells 100% biodegradable mesh bags for incredibly low prices. The statistics on the site are staggering. I’ve been talking with some friends of mine about screenprinting cool designs on these bags to make “going green” hipper than it already is.

As a culture, we need to stop being so selfish about what we want now and think instead about what we are leaving behind for future generations. I encourage you to check out the site and see how you can do your part to cut down on consumer waste.



Note from Robin:  I'm not very good at this yet, but I do have a couple.  I keep them in the back of my car so I can remember to take them into the store :)  I rather enjoy having less paper and plastic bags to deal with!

Check out this article on making your own bags. "35 Reusable Grocery Bags You Can Make" (Erin has already made a few).

One suggestion was to take old tank tops, sew across the bottom.  Voila!  Instant re-usable bags!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

If I've Said it Once....

Never allow your kids’ behavior to embarrass you

Never allow anyone to speak more highly of your husband than you

Sleep in something pretty

Never date anyone you wouldn’t consider marrying

Always prefer

Always love

Never allow yourself to be offended

Never let someone steal your joy

If you are called, He will enable you.

Happiness is a choice

It may be hard, but it’s not TOO hard.

Love is not just a feeling, it’s something you do

Smile…..a lot!

What things do you say often?


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mother Knows Best

Not too long ago I developed a sinus infection. Naturally, working in
the ER my doc prescribes me an antibiotic and I start taking it,
wishing and hoping to feel better before the multitude of studying
piles up. In fact, I did get better. One week into my 14 day antibiotic
treatment I was feeling 100% better, no more sinus infection.

On that day,  I was at work, carrying on with my duties when I starting itching pretty consistently. I had just taken a patient upstairs who was, well let's
say, lacking in personal hygiene.  So I chalked the itching up to
that, washed my hands really well, and got busy working. A few hours
later I noticed red spots popping up all over me: my arms, my legs, my
stomach, my neck.  And they itched like crazy!

Not wanting to scare my patients I asked to go home early.  There’s something
about your care giver having red spots all over her body that just doesn't
send that comforting feeling. So I went home with prescriptions for
steroids and antihistamines in hand. I kept taking my antibiotic.

A few days later I still have the spots, I'm distracted at school, I
can't sleep at night, they were driving me crazy! And the medicine
prescribed for the spots made me sick so I wasn't taking that anymore.
I was still taking my antibiotic.

I called my mother one day walking home from school. I mentioned the
fact that I had spots and they weren't going away. I also mentioned
that I was taking an antibiotic for my sinus infection and that I have
been taking it for a week.   Mom replies by telling me that of
course it is the antibiotic and that none of us kids have ever been able to finish
an antibiotic without some sort of reaction. 

Apparently, this is the first antibiotic that I have had to take in my
entire adult life. So, all of that to say:  listen to your mom.   Ask your
mom.   She probably knows your body better than any doctor around, and maybe even better than you!

Aren't mom's great?



Tuesday, October 28, 2008

He's 16!

He’s 16 today, Kody Samuel Meadows.

 It’s really hard to believe.  (It's true---it goes by really fast!!)

Samuel means “asked of God”.  Kody means “cushion or pillow”…(we changed it to “comfort”.) 

He was our sixth.  Not that we were asking for more….we just weren’t NOT asking (if you know what I mean). 

I had determined in my heart, during this pregnancy, that I was going to enjoy this baby.  And it’s a good thing I did!  He was a fussy, sickly baby.  It took 5 other brothers and sisters plus 2 parents to raise him. J 

One of our favorite stories about him is when he was about 3, he would wake up really early in the morning, starving, I presume.  He would walk into our room, stand by the bed, and look me in the face (really closely) until I woke up….startled!  Then, in his forever-deep voice, he’d ask, “Can you get me some ce-rel (cereal).”  I got really good at sending him to ask a sibling.  Anna was the best at getting up, fixing Kody a bowl and then heading back to bed. 

Today, he’s a strong, healthy young man seeking God’s heart.  He plays the guitar outstandingly well, is a leader among his peers, and is a very hard worker.

We’re excited to see how God continues to grow him.  In the meantime, he still lives on cereal (and hamburgers, and chicken fried steak (when he can get it), and hot dogs, and whatever else we can find to keep him filled up!)

Happy Birthday Kody!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Guess What?

Can you guess what this picture is?

Did Jon take it in war-beaten Iraq?

Is it from an old uninhabited home?

Did I Google dust bunnies and find this gross picture?

Um . . . No . . . afraid not.  It’s in my kitchen!!! . . . or was until I went all Martha-Stewart on it.

I began noticing that a few items in my fairly new side-by-side Whirpool refrigerator were not lasting quite as long as they should.  After having to hurt my money-saving-heart way too many times by tossing old milk and deli meat I pondered as to what could be the cause of this.  In talking with my mom she suggested vacuuming out the coils.  The What??  Somehow I must have missed this lesson in our home schooling home-economics class.  Now really, I’ve read Fly Lady, I have chore lists, chore cards, and on my night stand even right now for my current reading is One Minute Cleaner.  Cleaning is just not an area I falter in.  I even vacuum my mattresses every season for crying out loud!  These kind of dust bunnies just don’t happen to me! 

So anyway, after the initial shock, embarrassment and disgust I went to work on those coils, of course after taking a snapshot to always remind me why it is important to never let the dust bunnies get the best of me.  Wow, so those coils are supposed to be silver . . . ok . . . check.  This chore is now added to my seasonal-vacuum-everything-that-isn’t-breathing category.  Now my holder of nourishment and displayer of children’s art is once again at peace, and so am I  . . . ah . . . true contentment.

Do you vacuum your coils?

What areas in your home might embarrass you?


Friday, October 24, 2008

Talking is Overrated

The following needs to be read in a “whisper voice”.

Because that’s how it was written.  See?  Today I had no voice.  None.  I can only whisper. The changing seasons got me again. 

Here are some things I’ve noticed today about whispering and having no voice.

  • If you whisper, people get very quiet. 

  • If you whisper, people get closer to hear you.

  • If you whisper, people whisper back to you!  (even the cashier at 7-11)haha

  • Men don’t mind long periods of silence (in fact, I think my guys are rather enjoying this!)

  • It is slightly difficult to teach new math concepts with no voice

  • It’s next to impossible to talk on the phone (NEXT to impossible, but not IMpossible)

  • A lot of things don’t need saying at all….hmmmm

Well, I’ve noticed these things…but I don’t necessarily enjoy them.  I’m looking forward to being able to talk again.  Hope my men enjoyed it for a bit :)

When your kids are extra loud have you ever tried whispering?

Do you ever lose your voice?  Have any tricks for getting it back?


Thursday, October 23, 2008

What Do You Think?

Most of us develop our Christianity

along the line of our temperament,

not along the line of God."


–Oswald Chambers

Discuss.   (I added my thoughts in the comments).


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Weight Watchin'

I have done Weight Watchers on and off for around five years. It's a great program because:

·         You don't really feel you're on a "diet"

·         You’re not restricted on what you can and can't eat

·         It’s really a lifestyle eating change

·         It mostly focuses on portion control

·         It works!

My husband and I have been eating this way together for the last two years. We are amazed at how much we used to eat and how little we actually need to feel full now.

If you've been thinking about starting a weight loss program this is one to consider.

Here is a good site that is free to help get you started:  Health Discovery 






4 yrs later

Ali - 33 lbs lighter

Brad 62 lbs lighter 

 Have you ever struggled with being over weight?

 Have you found a weight loss program that works for you?




Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Camping Update--Lake Skiatook

Camping actually begins with a food-planning lunch the week before we leave,  and the making (and testing) of a LARGE amount of trail mix.


This was our first time to camp at Lake Skiatook.  It's a beautiful lake, only about 1-1/2 hours from our house with a beautiful drive along Highway 33.  If you ever go, check out campsite #53 at Twin Pointe.  It's a great corner site with plenty of tent room....and it will never be the same :)


All the grands!  Many hours of fun spent at the park. Uncle Kody and Uncle Jacob took them to play many times!

Watching for mermaids.  Lily was convinced they were in the lake. 

Throwing rocks at the mermaids?  Oh, and notice the shoes.  Perfect for a princess on a campout!



Our kids love games.  A few games of cards and dominoes.....until it was time to eat again!

Grandpa showing off his campfire making skills.


 Drinking coffee (and hot chocolate and apple cider) around the fire.  It was pretty cool on Saturday morning.

Gotta have that flavored creamer with our coffee....even on a campout!


One of our camping favorites....biscuits on a stick.

Oooo...they're good!


Camping as a family is a great time of focus.  No outside interruptions, plenty of campfire talks when the kids are asleep, lots of playing time, great food, reading and napping. 

Does your family camp? 

Monday, October 20, 2008

Who is Deciding for You?

Socialism is the idea of collectivism.  Everything is done from a central location so everyone can be equal.  It completely takes out free will and individuality.

Communism is the form of government that embodies socialism.  It's the forcing of those socialist thoughts on the people.

As kids, we saw it at work.  There was an Iron Curtain.  On the other side of that "curtain" people lived in fear of their lives unless they obeyed the mandates of their government.  If they tried to leave, they were shot.  Christians had to live in obscurity.  We heard all about it. The people had the jobs their government chose for them.  There was no incentive to work harder....everyone made the same amount of money.  It was a sad existence for those people.  And we always saw it on their faces during the Olympics.  We teased that if the Soviets and East Germans didn't win gold, they would be sent to Siberia.  But it really wasn't a joke.   Their government owned them.  And we were sad for them, but happy that we lived in a free nation, the USA.

We got a tiny taste of that during this past Olympics.  Our newscasts softened the hard-edge of Communist/Socialist control of China, but it was there and not pretty.

For many years we have seen some of these same ideals creep into our own American government.  The government wants to tell you where to go to the doctor, wants to take almost ½ of your income to spend on things you would never agree to.  They want to take more money from corporations and job providers and give it to people who don't have as much.  And then prices escalate and guess who gets to pay more?  You. And me.  They have put limits on how much money you can save and then choose where they want to invest your money.  They want your money to go to someone who can't pay his own bills.  It's pure socialistic thought and process.

Are we really aware?  Or are we the frog in the soup pot and don't even know the temperature is getting hot until it's too late?

We still vote people into office to represent us in law and policy making.  Do you know who is making those choices for you?


Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Break Weekend Plans

Friday, the ManyMeadows leave on our 2nd Annual Family Camping Trip!

Last year, Jon was in Iraq,  and Abbi wasn't yet a part of our family.

Read about last year's trip here and here.

There are 18 of us going this year.  Not quite all the ones in this recent family picture.

It looks to be great weather.  And even if it's not it will be a GREAT time!

Have any special Fall Break weekend plans?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Staying in Focus

In a devotional this week, I read this statement by Oswald Chambers:

"...sin is not wrong doing, it is wrong being, deliberate and emphatic independence of God."

Now, this may not be any new information for you, but it has been great help in explaining some things to my boys this week, and has brought some renewed clarity in my thinking.

It's not about what we do or don't do; it's about where we stand.

This distinction helps me to know that I don't teach my boys to focus on staying away from pornography, drugs, alcohol, swearing, deceit, sexual promiscuity, etc., although we do talk about those things.

Instead, it reminds me to focus their attention on the connection they have with God.  On the relationship that is severed by sin.  The choice of deliberate independence of God and the resulting consequences.

In the past, I think I directed my kid's focus too much on what not to do, rather than on having a relationship with a loving, living Christ.

I hope this truth will bring the same clarity to your own thoughts!

Make sense?

Do you read "My Utmost for His Highest"?


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Secret of Workout Buddies (Part 2 of 2)

After busting our humps (and lumps!) for another week, Erin and I are starting to feed off each other’s energy and enthusiasm. I am convinced that having a compatible workout buddy is the secret to fitness success. Use the steps below to find a buddy that’s perfect for you.


Steps to Finding a Good Workout Buddy


1.  Choose Someone with a Comparable Schedule

Obviously, if one of you has a 9-5 job and the other is on the night shift, scheduling workouts will be difficult at best. Find someone with a similar schedule so you can get together on a regular basis. You might even be able to share a babysitter if you both have children!


2.  Choose Someone with Similar Goals

If one of you wants to train for a marathon, and the other wants to lose weight and build muscle, your workouts will be very different. Find someone with goals that match your own. It’s much easier to encourage and motivate your buddy when you are working towards a common goal.


3.  Choose Someone Who’s in Better Shape Than You

Working out with someone who is a step or two ahead of you pushes you to work harder, rather than slack off or make excuses. They’ve chartered the course and know firsthand how hard it can be to reach goals. Their support and encouragement will help you strive further than you would on your own.


4.  Choose Someone You Respect and Trust

Sometimes getting in shape requires tough love. You need to be able to ask questions and feel vulnerable with your buddy if you want to reach big goals. It’s important to choose a workout partner who can honestly (but gently!) point out areas that could use improvement. It’s crucial that you respect your buddy enough to listen to their advice without getting defensive or hurt.

 Do you have a workout buddy? If so, tell us about them! If not, what are you waiting for?    





Monday, October 13, 2008


  • no internet until after noon

  • major headache for me

  • the power supply to my lap-top quit working

  • we bought a new power supply

  • we got Kody a cell phone (he turns 16 on 10/28)

  • Anna was mentioned at!

  • tacos for dinner

  • Ali does my hair tomorrow!

Life is good!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Curse Breaking....A Cry for Help

If you've kept up with this blog or gotten to know the people of the Many Meadows, you've probably figured out that we kids just don't have much baggage from the past or curses to break that Grandpa (Dirk) and Mimi (Robin) Meadows have passed down to us.

But it's just time to come clean about something.

There is a nasty little thing that Mimi Meadows has cursed the future generations with.  This addiction, if found in the genes of one of the Meadows, will take over and consume many a moment.  (And I know Mimi Meadows just doesn't want us to air our dirty laundry on this blog - I mean I had to hack into the system to even get this little story posted.  So please read this as fast as you can and tell everyone to get over here quick before she deletes this very important cry for help.)  Ok, here it is . . . this bothers me to even say it because yes, I am a partaker in and carrier of the curse as well.

We are a family of  . . . hold your breath . . . nail biters.  There. I've said it.  I feel better now.  We have tried many conventional and unconventional techniques in trying to break this disgraceful little habit.  Many a triumph has occurred for periods of time only to fall off the wagon and right back into the nibbling addiction.  I am happy to say that personally I have been doing quite well and only pick at my cuticles now and then and only bite when a nail "needs it" if you know what I mean.  Oh, and only if I've washed my hands recently, because over all, that's really the worst of it, the germy nature of this habit . . . eww!!  Now if you were to take a look at Mimi Meadows' nails you would see those poor things just chewed down to the nub . . . it is quite a problem.

 Recently I've become aware of the ghastly horror that my children are now nail biters.  At first I thought, "Oh they've played outside a lot that's why the weekly nail clipping has not been necessary.  Or maybe they're just not growing as fast since they've gotten older."  But no, I have now caught them in the act of gnawing unmercifully on those unfortunate little protectors-of-fingertips.  Just the other day one of my little guys said his toe was hurting.  When asked for the cause of this pain he answered that he had been biting his toenail and hurt it in the act!  Horror of Horrors!!!  What do I do?

Do you have any help for breaking this chewing curse?


Friday, October 10, 2008

Back it Up!

Support Your Spine!

Start now, you can still save your spine!

This week I did my clinical rotation in a cath lab.  A cath lab that also does a lot of interventional radiology, spinal stimulation and kyphoplasty.

Kyphoplasty is a surgical procedure that involves insertion of a balloon into your spine and then cementing portions of your vertebra together, a very cool procedure to watch, but trust me, you don't want to have it done if you don't have to!

The spine is one of the most important parts of your body. It hold you up, supports you, lets you go about your daily business. How do you treat it?

Think of your spine as a wife, to you, the husband (work with me here).  She helps you, is always there with you, reminds you when you're getting tired ;) But, if you treat her poorly for years and years, she's gonna give up on you.  So I'm writing to keep you off of the surgical table and help you restore your relationship with your spine.

This happens more commonly in women, because we already have trouble with bone density as we age. But whatever age you are it's never too early to start these practices to keep your spine healthy as you get older

1.      Your mom has told you since you were little.  Listen to her! Sit up straight! We often slouch over when we are at work or school and guess what, over time it sticks that way!

2.      Lifting wrong is the fastest way to mess up your spine. I'm guilty of it too.  There is no one around and I just need to move this very large item a few feet. DON'T DO IT! Get some help! Even if you are lifting light things in the wrong way you can damage your spine.  So be careful and always be cautious of the alignment of your spine.

3.      Build up your bone. Ladies, our bones are degenerating.  Let's do something about it before it's too late! Older women may need to take a calcium supplement to maintain their bone density. Younger women start with drinking a glass of milk or adding calcium fortified products in your daily diet. You will be thankful for this later!

It is important to invest in your relationship with your spine now. If you take care of her, she will be with you for the rest of your life.

What other techniques do you use for spine health?

How many of you are already experiencing back pain?


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Family Business

It's this girl's birthday today!  Hop on over and leave her a message. :)

This girl is starting her own business.

Ali (Meadows) Ruhman brings her 6 years of experience as a stylist to:

Sherri & Company

109 South Broadway


Call for an appointment:  (405)808-4256 or (405)340-6135
She can turn this:

Into this

She keeps us all looking good!

When's the last time you had a new hair style?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

What We are Reading

The ManyMeadows Plus like to read.  Some are reading for school, others for fun and life.   Here's a sampling of what we have going right now.


Brisingr- Christopher Paolini (a homeschooler) ( Book 3) Inheritance Series (fantasy)--This is brand new and I'm just starting it this week. The first 2 books were very exciting to read. Books I would definately recommend for anyone.

Elsewhere - Gabrielle Zevin-- A fictional book about a 2nd life after you die on Earth in a place called Elsewhere. A very interesting, funny book and an easy read. Good for young adults.


 I just finished The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher- Rob Stennett.  A quirky, fun  story about a man who decides to start a church....only problem is, he isn't a Christian.

Trading Places by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott - a good look at the idea of putting yourself in your mate's shoes to understand his/her point of view.


I am reading Medical Surgical Nursing 7th edition by Sharon Lewis and
Mental Health Nursing by Karen Lee Fontaine.  They are really exciting although I don't think I would recommend themfor light reading.   They weigh about 8 lbs each.


I am reading: Quantitative Chemical Analysis, 7th Edition by Daniel C. Harris,and Physics Demystified by Stan Gibilisco and Kaplan MCAT 2008-2009.

Darn school. :)


I haven't really been reading as much as I would like to right now, but did find time this week to read a chapter out of a book that my friend Nicole loaned me called Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Chauncey and McDonald.. I just flipped through it and one chapter caught my eye called "Weary Women". I thought,  well that sounds like me so I read it and just reading that small little bit really revived me in a area that I struggle with.

It talks about how we women feel pressured to have an actual quiet time and feel guilty when we don't accomplish this. One part that really jumped out to me was 

"If you have little ones, accept that this is your "noisy season" of life.

It suggests instead of feeling stressed to sit down one time a day and have a quiet time or prayer time, to pray in droplets throughout the day. It's refreshing that we can spend time with God in our own special ways.


Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki ---a fascinating book that I can't believe I haven't read before about the differences between  working for money as opposed to money working for us.  Recommended by Anna's boyfriend, Cody Light (even more reason to read it!)


Mozart's Sister by Rita Charbonnier
This is a fiction novel based on the true story of, you guessed it - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's sister.  It is actually a very interesting read that has led me into further research to see how accurate it is in its portrayal of the barely-mentioned Mozart girl.  She did a good job of making the story entertaining while giving a close-to-accurate account (with as little information as there is to draw from) while also teaching a fair amount of historical significance.  It is unfortunately rated "R" for one "scene" in the book.

Love in the House by Chris and Wendy Jeub
This is a non-fiction book about the true story of a christian homeschooling family of 15 kids who were featured on a reality show on TLC about large families.  I can closely relate to this book for obvious reasons, and while there are some things in the book that for now God is not calling our family in, I respect them for being so passionate about the way they believe.  It has given me some things to think about and can help any family large or small.


For my Early Childhood Education graduate course, I am currently reading Pianta & Cox's "School Readiness & the Transition to Kindergarten in the Era of Accountability" (sounds fascinating, huh?). Although the style of writing is similar to 'legalese' and often hard to follow, the content is quite interesting (and good for a heated debate!). The book discusses the strict standards and assessments that now face early childhood education in settings such as public schools and Head Start programs. Children as young as 3 are affected by federal mandates requiring testing and assessment, upon which efficacy of school programs is judged and funding is subsequently based. All this talk of governmental requirements makes me wonder: 'What happened to the days when a kid could be a kid?!'


I am currently reading The Shack, and have been trying to finish it for the last four months!

Are you an avid reader? 

What do you have open right now? 

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Principles of the Principal

The boys weren't getting along.  In fact, the worst atrocity that could ever happen in the history of all mankind had happened.  One of the boys sat in the other boy's usual school place!  You know....he made a power-play.  He pushed his brother's buttons.  He knew just what would make him frustrated.  And it worked.

Words and attitudes escalated to the point that it was just easier to bring Principal Meadows in to help work things out.  Besides, he was still home.


Principal Meadows sat down at the table with both boys, one, with a smirk on his face and the other, visibly frustrated.  This is what I overheard:

 "Right now you are in competition with one another.  But one of these days, I think there will come a time where you will fight for and take up for one another.  It's not there right now, because everything is "what can I get over you" ? That will change over time, because I hope you'll see that isn't worthwhile.  When you learn to prefer each other, that's what will make the difference.  When you know that you love each other enough to sacrifice for the other and learn that not everything is about you; that you're not centered on yourself.  Like Jesus was---He wanted what was best for everyone beside himself.  I hope you'll choose to prefer and uphold the honor of your brother."

Their response?  They listened.  It looked like gears were clicking.  Maybe it was just was nearing lunch time.

 Whatever it was, there hasn't been any school-place stealing since that day.  Not a whole lot of extra-special-brother-love, either.

 But, they're learning.  They're growing.  We're not done yet.  I'm sure glad I'm not at it alone.

That Principal Meadows sure has good principles. And I think he's pretty darn cute, too!


Monday, October 06, 2008

This is School? A Look at Unit Studies

I teach a 3 and 5 year old at home (ok, sometimes it 's more like attempting to do activities with my 5 year old while the 3 year old is either jumping off me or the walls - take your pick).  What I've discovered works well for this varied age group, and makes it fun for me too:   unit studies.  We even did some of this with my 9 & 6 year old nieces this summer and the same "study" worked for all ages. 


I'm not a creative person by nature.  More like a copy-cat-gone-crazy, i.e., I come across an idea that's a starting point, then I can "go crazy" with ideas.  One of my "copy-cat" resources is Five in a Row.  Also, along the same copy-cat lines, this wonderful home schooling mom, Deliese,  was doing FIAR as well and began with Night of the Moon Jellies.  Therefore I decided, "what the heck?", I'll start there too. 


 So this is how our unit study looked.  It took about 3 weeks to get through this since we only spend about 3-4 days a week sitting down and only 30 minutes to an hour with actual structured school time each of these days. 


 We read Night of the Moonjellies.


We talked about everything in this book from the setting (New England), to the structuring of a restaurant, to ocean things.  Of course my little guys were most fascinated with the ocean part, so this was our area of focus. 


We got several books at the library about jellyfish, looked at the pictures and talked about them.  We made paper plate and crepe paper jellyfish.  As they were cutting and gluing the tentacles we counted them and engaged in different addition and subtraction-type games with tentacles.  We wrote the letter "J".  We talked about what other types of words start with "J".  We talked about how many syllables were in the word jellyfish and how many other words had three syllables as well.  We talked about other words that rhymed with "fish".



We made paper sack and crepe paper octopus' another day and did many of the same math and word games as above.




For a science experiment we made a bowl of saltwater and tested different objects to see whether they would float or not.  They loved this one - anything involving water and young boys is a hit!






Other activities included painting sharks and whales, tracing fish and making "scales" with the end of a pencil eraser and an ink pad, drawing what they thought the beach looked like from the book, and a discussion of the book's setting in New England and the fact that this is where the pilgrims came from in leading up to things we will be doing for Thanksgiving.


If you are looking for some ideas and struggling with teaching several levels at once, unit studies are definitely worth a try.  Any subject could turn into a unit study.  Just think of a subject that interests your children, think of what goals you have for their learning, and "go crazy" with ideas all focused around this subject.  And don't be afraid to copy-cat.  There are tons of resources for people like me :-) that just don't want to have to come up with everything from scratch.

Have you ever tried unit studies?

Are you a naturally creative person, or a "borrower" like me?