Monday, January 28, 2019

Behavior Punch Cards

We are always working on improving our behavior, because, well toddlers live in this house lol I made these punching cards and they are working so well that I wanted to share them with you as a free printable.

I am very cautious with incentives. Food is never used as a reward to encourage behavior because I don't want to enable an unhealthy relationship with food. Also I don't want to initiate a token economy where my kids are only doing behaviors (or not doing) for a reward/punishment. Anyone can be trained to say something, but does that change their heart? Usually not. According to the Bible, our behavior is an outpouring of our heart, so we have A LOT of conversations in our home to ensure our kids learn right from wrong and develop internal motivation.

In the past we have used colored Popsicle sticks and a ticket jar to help us with character & behavior training.  Both have worked well, but I wanted to try out something new.  No matter how we are training our children, we know that they are very visual, so they need to be able to see their progress.

I printed these behavior cards in color on cardstock paper so that they would hold-up with the punching.  Every time one of my kids uses their manners, is kind, shares, listens well, cleans up without being asked, is respectful and obedient, and has a generous spirit and demonstrates a servants heart, they get to punch their card.  They usually like to pick the color that they want, and then punch the hole.  Dutch can punch his card by himself, but Ellis needs help or she tells Dutch what color she wants and he helps her.

I get the kids to punch their own cards, because I want them to know that this is all about THEIR behavior and they need to take responsibility for their own actions.  When their card is completed, they earn special activities (i.e. a field trip, go feed the ducks, they get to pick the book before bed, etc.)

This is all about positive reinforcement.  If they are disrespectful or do not use their manners, nothing happens to the card, they just don't get to punch it.  Since they are working towards completing their card, poor behavior sets them back from their goal.  Withholding a hole punch is a really big deal to them.

This has been working really well in our home lately so I thought I would share it with you (free printable).
xoxo Darby

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Astronomy & Geography Books

I mentioned on Instagram that we were going to be spending the month of February studying the solar system.  I have gathered supplies since last summer, and today I want to share with you the books that we will be using this month.  We will be studying the solar system, constellations, phases of the moon, land forms, layers of the earth, and these books have already been great resources. 

Because of the super blood wolf moon earlier this week, I figured it was the perfect time to start this unit, even if it was a little early.  We have been having a lot of fun discovering the amazing earth the Lord created!  It delights me to watch the excitement and curiosity my children have towards these subjects.
Of course it is no surprise that I am starting with Gail Gibbons; y'all know I love her books!

If you have other books on these topics, please send me your suggestions!
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Hanger Hack

I feel slightly ridiculous writing a post about this, but I'm going to do it anyways.  Because I have tried to figure this out for quite some time, so if this silly little tip helps even one person, my day will be made :-)  And if you're laughing to yourself because I wrote a post about this, let me just tell you, what you should be laughing at is the fact that it took me X decades to figure this out.  Really, that is what is truly funny.Hanger Hack- Life with the Hawleys
Okay, I'm a hanger person.  I hang all of my clothes in the closet.  I like to see everything I have to decide what I'm going to wear (yes, I'm aware how very first world this sounds).  If I can't see it, then I don't wear it, which is no good.  This means that a dresser doesn't work for me (also I just don't want another piece of furniture in my room).

But if you hang your winter sweaters on hangers, and some other shirts too, they get those weird fabric bumps from the hanger.  Then when you go to wear the shirt it looks like you have two giant lumps on your shoulders.  Not attractive.

It took me decades to figure this trick out so I'm going to share it with you so that you don't have those funny shoulder bumps.  And if you have known this forever, please don't tell me ;-)

First, fold your shirt in half.20190106_163914
Lay the hanger upside down at the armpit of the shirt, with the hook pointing towards the folded arms (this will help when you hang the shirt to see which shirt it is, and not just the arm of the shirt).20190106_163941
Fold the arms over the top rung of the hanger, and under the bottom bar.20190106_163958
Do this again with the abdominal portion of the shirt (over the top rung, and under the bottom bar).20190106_164135
Now you are ready to hang your shirt in the closet so that you can see it without getting fabric indentations at the shoulders.  See, super easy trick!  No go forth and update your closet ;-)20190106_164223
xoxo Darby

Monday, January 14, 2019

Linger & Battle

Maybe this is trendy, I'm not sure and I don't even care if it is (ha!), but the past couple of years I have picked a word to focus on; kind of my own new years resolution.  It has worked for me.  The past 2 years I feel like "more" was my word (other years: "perseverance" & "rerooting").  Honestly, I still think that "more" will continue to be my word for a long time; the Lord is using that word as a mantra to teach me and grow me.  But this year two more words (pun not intended) seem to be continually presenting themselves in my mind: linger & battle.  I have prayed about these words for a couple months now and I think I am going to add these as my words for 2019 to focus on. At first linger and battle might seem completely contradictory, but for me they go together perfectly.Linger and Battle- Life with the Hawleys
Towards the end of that last year I knew that I was reaching my limits.  I have said "yes" to ev-er-y-thing for several years (like an entire decade); I cannot even list it all because it is just too much.  I have not had a vacation in over five years (I have not even taken maternity leave), and I am so weary.  I knew going into the fall that some serious changes needed to be made; I needed BALANCE.  People say, "you can't do it all" but that is wrong, or maybe I should say that it is an incomplete statement.  You can do it all, just not all at the same time.  I want to do all the things and enjoy all the wonderful things that life presents, just not all at the same time.   Additionally, I don't have to give 200% of myself to everything (and numerically, that isn't even possible).  I do not want to rush through life just checking off lists.  I want to be present.  I want to sit in the present, and not be taunted by my thoughts about what else I should be or could be doing.  I want to sit on the couch and be fully engaged in the story I'm reading.  I want to have a conversation fully engaged.  I don't want to kill myself trying to check off a list, and completely overwhelm my body by constantly going and never sleeping.  I want to be rested so that I can give of myself more completely.

So to linger this year means to me that I want to slow down, significantly.  I do not mean linger, as in to loiter, to be lazy, or to dismiss my daily obligations.  Instead what I mean by linger is to be fully engaged in the present.  I want to sit in the present and allow it to happen instead of hurrying through it.  I want to be led by my interests, not by a to do list or accomplishments or to do all the things at the same time. I want to follow the interests of my husband and kids.   I want to engage the gifts God has graced me with. I want to listen as well as to lead.   I want to not only eat three meals a day (which in and of itself hardly happens), but I want to enjoy the people and conversation around that table with me.  I want to make more time for tea parties and books with my kids than to do lists.  I want to use the gift of time and flexibility that God has given me to focus on my family.  I want to linger with my family so that they get my best, not my left-overs.  My family deserves more from me than a sleep deprived, overworked, weary woman.  All of this is me desiring to linger in the present.

In order to linger throughout the year, and to make that lifestyle change, I will have to battle to protect and fiercely defend my time and my choices.  I do not want to be catching up on emails at 2 am while my family sleeps and then completely dependent upon caffeine to get me through the next day, every day.  I want to say "no" or "not now" more.  Why do we applaud the person that stresses themselves out and seems to do it all?! They are running their bodies into the ground to accomplish everything.  I know, because I have been that person for the last 15 years.  Not only that, I have researched this topic for 15 years, yet I hypocritically do the opposite of my scientific conclusions.  Why?!  I always advise friends and colleagues to "be selfish with their time" (not in a pompous way, but to be guarded with your choices), and I NEVER follow my own advise.  This year I am.  I will be focused on my family more than others, and I will battle to protect my time to linger, to be present, to sleep more than 3 hours a night, to read a book for fun, to not be perfect and still be okay with that, to hustle for joy over business and accomplishments, to enjoy the life God has given me.

So this year, I am moving slower, I am going to battle to protect my time to linger in the present.  I will joyfully embrace the life God has given me in 2019Romans 12_2 Life with the Hawleys
xoxo Darby

Friday, January 11, 2019

Shepherd's Dinner

The first time I heard about this was last fall (2018) and I knew immediately that I wanted to make this a new Christmas tradition in our home.  One night the week before Christmas we dressed up like shepherds, & ate on the floor with only the light of candles & the Christmas tree. We ate the meal a shepherd might have eaten in the time of Jesus, we read about the shepherds from our Bible & focused on the anticipation of the Christ's birth, and ultimate return.
What might that night have been like for the shepherds?
How will we act as we wait on the return?
Christmas extends far past Christ's birth and that night we took time to focus on the experience the Shepherds might have experienced and recognized that God felt it important that even the lowly shepherds hear The Good News.  This first Shepherd's dinner was such a treasure for us, and something my kids are still talking about.  This is definitely a new Hawley Christmas tradition.DSC_0136
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Too Late for Santa? Never!

Yea yea yea, I know it's January, but I just did not have a chance to jot anything down in December. The month was so busy, as I'm sure that you know, & sitting down to write and document the season just didn't happen.  So I'm playing a little bit of catch up because I want to make sure that these moments are chronicled for later. 

At the beginning of December we went to go see Santa.  Dutch asked for a knight helmet and Ellis asked for a pink bicycle helmet (not the bike, just the head gear. haha)  I treasure these photos because they truly capture the magic of Christmas.  I want to cherish these special years as much as I can, for as long as I can.  I know that I don't have many years with little ones at Christmas so these photos are extra special to me.  Thank you bestie for these!

xoxo Darby

Monday, January 7, 2019

Winter Sleigh {Free Printable}

Morning friends!  Last week I shared my winter pack & winter book list with you.  I forgot to add this to the pack, so I want to share this fun math & handwriting tool with you today.Roll Write Count Winter Sleigh- Light with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
I am a big fan of having one activity that can be used to teach multiple objectives. It’s a big perk, if that activity will grow with my child & I can use it at multiple stages of cognitive development. And if it is seasonally exciting, well then I. Am. Sold. This is one of those activities, and I have it for you today FREE!  Let me share with you all of the ways we use this in our home.DSC_0137
First get the FREE download, print, & laminate (or put into a page protector). We like to use white pom pom balls, cotton balls or marshmallows as snow balls. We have also used small pine trees and mittens to help us count.DSC_0138
Roll. Use foam dice to roll a number in the top 2 boxes. If your child is not counting above 6 yet, you can use a single dice.
Add. Ask your child to count up the dots, or to add them together for a sum. If you’re past addition, try subtraction. Comparisons also work great here (write greater than or less than on the sheet, or “write the number of the dice with more dots”).
Write. Your child could write the sum as a digit or a word, both numbers presented on each dice, or trace the digit or word. We use dry erase markers since they erase well on the laminated material.
Count. Using manipulatives, get your child to count out the number that was presented on the dice.
Fun. Enjoy!!!!DSC_0134
If you think that your little one would enjoy learning with this, get your copy here for FREE!
xoxo Darby

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Winter Book Collection

Hello! I hope everyone has had a great first week of the year!  We have!  It has been cold and rainy, which is my favorite weather because that means lots of time snuggling with books.  I have not made a book list in a while so I thought I would share our winter books for the beginning of January.Winter Book Collection- Life with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
I've got my eyes on some new books I want to get to add to our stash (thank you Amazon Prime!)
Please tell me what are YOUR favorite winter books?!
What new books do I need to add to our collection?DSC_0013
xoxo Darby

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Winter Activity Pack: Free Printable!

What better way to start the year than with FREE?! I am seeing a lot of families dive into all things winter, and while I probably would not normally start the year with a pack (maybe a year-end recap, or resolution or something like that), I really want to get this in your hands as fast as possible.  If your family enjoyed my autumn and Christmas pack, then I am hoping you really like this winter pack as well! My philosophy is to teach as much as I can with as little prep as possible, and that is exactly what I tried to do with this pack.  Literally there are 20+ activities that you can get out of this, and I'm giving it to you for FREE!!!!  You can use this single printable, to teach so many subjects at various stages of cognitive development.Winter Activity Pack- Life with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
I am a big fan of having one activity that can be used to teach multiple objectives. It’s a big perk, if that activity will grow with my child & I can use it at multiple stages of cognitive development. And if it is seasonally exciting, well then I. Am. Sold. This is one of those activities, and I have it for you today FREE!  There are SO many ways that you can use this as a learning tool with your kiddos.  There is minimal prep for 20+ unique activities!DSC_0046
First get the FREE download, print, laminate, & cut. You can use this activity for learning the alphabet, matching uppercase and lowercase letter, sorting, counting .... and so so so so much more.  Let me give you some ideas!

Alphabet. Ask your child to recognize the letters & put them in alphabetical order.
Magnetic Pick-Up. Attach a paper clip to each image, & using a magnetic wand pick up specific letters (all vowels or consonants, spelling sight words, or call out a phonetic sound & ask your child to find the letters that make that sound).
Matching. Practice pairing uppercase & lowercase letters.DSC_0048
Memory. Flip the cards over, and play memory by matching the uppercase & lowercase letters or by matching the seasonal images.
Handwriting. Using a dry erase marker, practice letter and number recognition & tracing each letter or digit.
Spelling. Using the large sled, ask your child to collect letters to spell words (sight words, CVC words, their name). If your child is not ready for spelling, using a dry erase marker, write out a word on the large sled and ask your child to recreate what you wrote with the letters.
Sort. Group all of the similar images (or by color), and then talk about the different aspects of the season. Compare the amount of images sorted (more versus less). Place the numbers in piles of even & odd numbersDSC_0044DSC_0049
Count. Put the numbers in chronological order (1-20). Use marshmallows, chocolate chips, or cotton balls to count by 10’s up to 100.DSC_0039
Add. Count all of the sorted images, and use them for basic addition and subtraction (“if you have 2 mittens & you add 2 socks, how many do you have?”). Use the numbers to create mathematical equations.DSC_0043
Graph. Make a bar graph for the amount of differing images. Compare which bars are the largest.
There are so many ways that you can use this pack of activities for fun & engaging learning.  We are enjoying how festive & fun this activity is, and I am enjoying the minimal prep to cover so many topics!  If you think your child would enjoy learning with this activity set, click here for the FREE download!
xoxo Darby
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