Read This BEFORE You Boycott Beauty and the Beast

Image result for beauty and the beast movie

Beauty and the Beast will be released in theaters March 17, 2017. Photo credit: Screen Rant

 

I am a huge lover of Walt Disney. The Coach and I went to the “Happiest Place on Earth” for our honeymoon, I own no fewer than 50 animated Disney films, and we have gone to see several Disney Broadway tours (and one Broadway show).

One of my favorite Disney movies (and Broadway productions) was Beauty and the Beast. That is why I was so excited to see that it was being made into a live action film.

However, it seems that it has caused quite the uproar among my Christian friends on Facebook after the announcement that there will be a gay character in the film.  I have seen several comments about boycotting Disney, indoctrination of children, and Disney is no longer family friendly. All of which, I have found to be rather confusing.

WHY THIS FILM? WHY THIS SIN?

Beauty and the Beast is not indoctrinating children to sin any more than most films do.

Galatians 5:19 tells us “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar.

Would anyone have boycotted Beauty in the Beast for showing Gaston’s jealousy of the Beast? Why isn’t there an outcry against LeFou’s idolatry of Gaston? Or the Beast’s outbursts of anger? There is an entire bar scene where the town decides to go off and kill the beast after a lot of drunkenness and carousing.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the ENTIRE MOVIE is about sorcery! I mean, there is an enchanted rose that turned an entire castle’s wait staff into inanimate objects.

Why, then did everyone decide to boycott the film when homosexuality was included?

I believe that one major reason Christians are upset about this particular sin because it is not one they themselves suffer from. It is very easy to point out the speck in your neighbor’s eye without removing the plank in your own.

Will I be allowing my kids to see this film? Absolutely not! But I would not allow them to see it even without a trace of homosexuality.

Image result for beauty and the beast movie

Advertisements

Curriculum Choices: K4 Edition

Abeka Homeschool K4

This is the curriculum we are currently using. We are using the parent kit, child kit, one-vowel and two-vowel word cards, Readiness Skills, and Bible Activity Book.

We are only about 40 lessons in, but so far I do love this program.

I do feel like the Curriculum book is critical. Very little of the program is based on worksheets (maybe two per day on average). Most of the lesson plans involve discussing concepts with your child, playing games, and using the flashcards. The Curriculum Guide tells you exactly which cards and games to use and how to introduce materials.

You could probably get by without some of the cards and games if you want to spend time designing your own. I do enjoy having all of them because I can prep my lessons in five minutes by pulling out the called for game. You could save money by purchasing older editions of these used.

We did stop using the ABC Writing Tablet because the Champ is not quite ready for it. We will pick up handwriting later in the fall. We may even save the handwriting until we start K5. Even while we were doing handwriting, I did not find the Manuscript Lesson Plans necessary.

The Readiness Skills book is also non-essential. It introduces skills such as following directions, coloring, cutting, etc. You could easily work on those skills in other ways. However, I do not regret buying this book because it was around the same cost as similar workbooks and is brightly colored and well designed.

The Bible Activity Book is more or less a coloring book. You do one page per week. I do not use Abeka for Bible, so it does not line up with our Bible curriculum. This might be a better purchase if you use their Bible program as well.

We will be doing a blend of Abeka and a few other programs for K5.

The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Children’s Stories

We have the Beginner’s Bible, a Beginner’s Bible devotional, a Beginner’s Bible coloring book, and a couple of Beginner’s Bible activity books. I love all of these materials because they coordinate well with one another.

We also have begun reading a Psalm at lunchtime each day from a Children’s Bible.

Arts and Crafts

We do Pinterest crafts and open ended art activities throughout the week.

Miscellaneous Workbooks

We are using My Book of Easy Mazes (Kumon Workbooks) and a few map skills books that we found at a thrift store because the Champ loves mazes and maps. I also purchased Melissa & Doug Scissor Skills Activity Padto use later in the year. It comes with a pair of preschool scissors that only cut paper.

I am sure between now and the end of the year, we will discover some more workbooks to use for enrichment.

My Own Activitys

I have created several activities on my own for additional enrichment. Check back on Tuesday’s for FREE PRINTABLES for preschool and kindergarten.

Cow Appreciation Day

July 12th is COW APPRECIATION DAY!!

I worked at a Chick-fil-a in high school. While it was not my first job, it was one of my favorite.

I loved my team members and I loved the atmosphere of working there. I was physically exhausted by the end of every shift, but I always left work with a smile on my face.

Every year, Chick-fil-a hosts Cow Appreciation Day! Anyone who dresses in full cow attire receives a full meal! Partial cow attire, such as a cow print hat, receives a free entrée.

It was fun to dress up like a cow for a free meal when I was in college! It was more fun to dress up like a cow and be silly with the Coach when we were newlyweds! Now that we have the Champ and the Rookie, Cow Appreciation Day is more fun than ever!

It is great for our kids to see us get a little silly and creative every once in a while.

Not to mention, most Chick-fil-as will offer fun activities for the kids and have the mascot cows walking around the store to entertain them while we wait half an hour to receive our free meal.

If you do not have a cow costume laying around (I mean who doesn’t?), then head over to www.cowappreciationday.com to get  a printable cow costume starter kit.

Dress your whole herd up and “Eat More Chicken”!

Curriculum Choices: Preschool Edition

Every homeschool blogger is obligated to post her curriculum choices each year. We are “year-round” schoolers, so our new school year began mid-March.

Last summer through February we were using preschool curriculum. We kind of floated around with preschool. I just followed the Champ’s lead on when we did school and how much we did.

Here is what we used for preschool!

Confessions of a Homeschooler’s Letter of the Week

This was our core curriculum. I only printed off part of the curriculum because it is a ridiculous number of pages. We started by using most of the activities, but I ended up getting very frustrated with the Champ because I did not know how to explain the pattern activities. We then decided to hold off on those (as well as a few other activities) until January. When we came back to them, they clicked with him!

So, we did all of the letters (one per week) to begin with and then did all of the letters again to review (one per day). Doing the program this way took us a total of 32 weeks.

The Rhyme Bible

This children’s Bible is perfect for two year olds. The stories are told in rhyme form, so they tend to hold young children’s attention more than a narrative form. We attempted to read one story daily for a couple of days until it sank in.

Art and Pinterest Crafts

We tried to find one craft each day that related to either the letter we were working on or the Bible story we were reading. I also gave the Champ plenty of creative opportunities by allowing him to finger paint, color with crayons, paint with a large brush, and play with play dough.

Miscellaneous Workbooks

When we finished the Letter of the Week program, we worked through the Big Preschool Workbook. The book is around 300 pages, but the Champ finished it in about four weeks. However, if I had limited the number of pages he worked each day, this could have easily made it an entire school year. This was one of the best workbooks that we found. The concepts were for the most part on his level and went along perfectly with the concepts I wanted to teach.

I also used several workbooks from the Dollar Tree including Disney’s “I Can Learn With Pooh” Early Skills Workbooks, Disney’s Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Learning Workbooks, and Playskool’s Pre-K Workbooks. These were used sparingly throughout the year when the Champ demanded “MORE SCHOOL.”

Free Printables and My Own Games

I made up a lot of games for the Champ and I relied on the internet to create other learning opportunities for him. It is possible to teach preschool and kindergarten without buying a single thing!

Check back on Tuesday’s for FREE PRINTABLES that you can use with your preschooler and kindergartner!

School Before Age 3

We started “formally” homeschooling a few months before my son hit his third birthday! I heard some criticism about starting him too young. Of course, no one would criticize starting preschool at that age.

If you were to ask when I started teaching the Champ, I would reply “at birth.” Children are always learning. And, while worksheets and textbooks are not necessary at a young age, you can teach your child a lot through play.

So, how do you “School” before the age of three?

Count Everything

When I changed the Champ’s diapers as a newborn, I counted the buttons on his pajama’s. Count everyday objects such as toys, place settings at the dinner table, or ducks at the park. When the Coach would swing the Champ on our porch, he would hold the swing and count “1, 2, 3…” before letting the swing go. The Champ was proudly imitating him within weeks.

Read Everything

It is never too early to read to your child. You can introduce books to your baby from the moment he arrives, and babies love to hear their parent’s voices. As your child gets older, you can point out words on buildings, signs, and brochures.

Sing and Dance

Gross motor skills are important to learn. Dancing is a great way for your child to learn how to control his body. Children’s songs are another way to introduce vocabulary and language skills.

Create a Literature Rich Environment

Make sure there are letters and words everywhere around your child. Have children’s books readily available. Hang up letter activities they created in the hallway or their room. Hang up an alphabet chart, calendar, or number chart next to the dinner table so they can ask questions while you are eating.

Go to Activities

Mommy and me classes are great if you can afford them. Many of these classes work on gross motor skills and social skills. If there are none in your area, or you don’t want to pay for them, start a mom’s group or set up play dates.  Story time at the library is a great opportunity for your child to work on social behaviors and be introduced to new books. Some libraries even offer puppet shows and craft time.

Creative Play

Playing dress up, toy cookware, toy tools, and other pretend toys are great ways for your child to learn about the world around them. Creative art such as drawing, coloring, painting, and playing with play dough is great for working on fine motor development. Sensory boxes can also help your child work on fine motor skills.

Cook and Clean Together

Assist your child as they work on skills such as pouring and mixing when you are working in the kitchen. Let them help you put clothes in the dryer and fold washcloths when you are folding towels. You can also let them think they are helping. Give them a miniature dust pan and broom while you are cleaning or fill the sink with water and let them “wash” a few dishes. They will slow you down, and they will make a mess. But they are learning and will actually be helping you one day.

Create Independence Learning Opportunities

As soon as your child can dump out a box of toys, you can begin to work on independence skills. Chores such as cleaning up toys, taking clothes to the laundry basket, cleaning up water spills with a towel, and taking dishes to the sink can all be introduced to two year olds. Other skills such as getting dressed, washing hands, and taking off shoes can also be introduced. Do not expect these skills to be mastered, but simply allow your child to have the opportunity to work on them.

World Ocean’s Day!

Today is World Oceans Day!

Play with an ocean themed sensory box, make ocean themed crafts, and watch the movie Oceans.

Fake Aquarium

A craft we made a few years ago that has been a huge hit was our fake aquarium!

We found a fishbowl jar (different candies and other items that are sold in these or pick up a cheap one in the fish aisle of a pet store).

We cut out a piece of paper in the shape of one flat side of the fishbowl and glued it to the back side of the bowl.

You can use decorative stones or shells from the floral department or decorative gravel from the pet store to fill the bottom of the bowl.

Then we placed cardboard strips of “sea grass” in the decorative stones at the bottom. (See further down for a free template download).

We punched out holes in the lid of the bowl and ran string through the holes. We attached our pet fish to the other end of the string.

Two years later, we still have our pet fish that we never have to feed!

Octopus Handprint

Cover your child’s hand with finger paint. Then have them press their hand down on a piece of construction paper. Flip the paper over and glue on google eyes and decorate the “ocean” around your octopus.

Paper Bowl Turtle

Color or paint a paper bowl green. Tear up pieces of green and brown construction paper and glue to the bowl. Then cut out four turtle feet, a tail and head. Glue these pieces to the inside lip of the bowl. Attach google eyes to your turtle’s head.

Download Free World Ocean Day Craft Templates for the Fake Aquarium and Paper Bowl Turtle.

The Walmart Challenge

Ask anyone which store they frequent that they dislike going to the most. It seems like the most popular answer will be “Walmart!” or whichever grocery store they happen to use.

So, I decided to create a challenge for myself this morning to get through the mundane task of grocery shopping.

This challenge can be done anywhere: Walmart, the dentist, the DMV, church…

The Rules:

Be Positively Positive! Go in with the right attitude. There is no reason we cannot find JOY in shopping for our families. We are “like the ships of the merchant; [we bring our] food from afar” (Proverbs 31:14).

Go in with the knowledge that a lot of people in the store do not want to be there and want to get out as soon as possible.

Smile at everyone (or at least most people)!

Find small ways to brighten the day of the people around you!

Bonus points if you do this while shopping with your kids (I didn’t)!

The Results:

As I drove to the store, I realized that I was driving with a little less impatience. I didn’t mind letting someone cut in front of me. I drove the speed limit and took time to notice the world around me.

The first person I came to in the parking lot, I felt really awkward smiling at. But as soon as I smiled, a funny thing happened: she smiled back! Each time I smiled at someone and got a return smile, I noticed that my facial expressions were no longer forced. I was actually giving people a moment of happiness.

At the checkout counter, I let the man behind me check out first. He looked completely confused but gratefully accepted. And, it turns out he was in the store buying a slow cooker on his lunch break and was trying to rush home to start supper for his family after theirs would not turn on. I am sure those 10 extra minutes that I saved him really blessed him.

Then, I took the time to talk to the cashier. She was bored with her morning and seemed to enjoy having someone to laugh with for a few minutes.

In the span of ten minutes, I was able to talk to two complete strangers and had the opportunity to serve them in the smallest of ways.

Was anything I did difficult: Absolutely not.

Was anything I did life changing: For others, probably not. For me, maybe. It helped me to see the difference that a positive attitude can have on the people around me. I also think having a willing and open heart allows me to see where God wants me to move. Perhaps having more of these “Positivity Challenges” will allow others to see the light in me and seek Him.