Thursday, August 29, 2013

Play/School Room

I have mostly finished it. I am so pleased. There are still bugs to work out in the school area, but we are getting there one day at a time. Right now the room smells strongly of essential oils (OnGuard)... Its such a lovely smell... Here are some photos! 

I am going to enjoy its current clean state... because it is rarely this tidy :)
It feels so nice in here! 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Solid foods and the breastfed baby: Why Delay? Part 1

     Most parents start getting excited around their child's 4th month air side because its "time" to start solid foods, but I am going to tell you why I dont even think about solid foods until baby is at least 6 months air side or older. A lot of research has come out recently stating that delaying the introduction of solid foods until at least 6 months or older is preferred to the old recommendation of 4-6 months. Most health organizations have updated their standards, but the vast majority of healthcare providers have not done so. There are a number of reasons why delaying is optimal, not just for the breastfed baby but as well as the formula fed baby. 

    1. Illness protection- When baby is getting less of moms milk baby is getting less antibodies from mom. 

     2. Gut maturity- An infants gut is rarely mature before 6 months of age. There are many reasons that support this, for example, protein digestion is incomplete during those months. The pancreatic enzyme amylase doesnt reach appropriate levels for digestion of starch until the age of 6 months and carbohydrate enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, and sucrase do not reach adult levels until around 7 months. Infants have low bile salts and lipase until 6-9 months when they reach adult levels making fat digestion immature until that time. 

     3. Gut maturity continued: Allergic reactions- Infants also have what is known as an 'open gut'. The space between the cells in the small intestine easily allows nutrients and antibodies directly into the blood stream. Allow me to illustrate. Open gut- 0 0 0 Closed gut(after 4-6 months)- 000. The open gut is great at allowing the good stuff in, but it also lets in those whole proteins that could cause the body to react negatively. Exclusively breastfeeding at least until 6 months allows the breastmilk antibodies to coat the intestine and protect it passively until the gut closes reducing illness and the chance of allergic reactions. By 6 months the baby is producing the antibodies on its own, around the same time the gut closes. 

     4. Iron absorption and early solids- Studies are showing that introducing iron fortified foods and supplements early are reducing the absorption into the body. Healthy full-term infants who are exclusively breastfed for 6-9 months are able to maintain normal hemoglobin levels. Pisacane 1995 study shows babies who were EBF for 7 months and not given iron supplements or fortified foods had significantly higher levels at one year of age than breastfed babies who received solid food earlier than 7 months and concluded that EBF for 7 months reduced the risk on anemia.... I feel so lied to by doctors past because they told me my baby NEEDED the iron from the cereals because they would get enough from me... research begs to differ...

(info from
When did you start solid foods with your baby?

Coming up: Part 2 and later... Infant cereals... Perfect first food or toxic concoction... 

Blessing for a joyous week

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Griggers' Homeschool: Year at a Glance


     Last year was rough... Between my pregnancy and a child who wasn't ready for formal education we didn't get much school done... That's alright, really... We've already caught up this year... Its amazing what you can do with a child who is mentally and emotionally ready. This year looks a lot like last year truthfully. We chose to make sure we are learning well...not learning a lot... Did that make sense? :).

 I will be blending kindergarten and first grade this year because of a wonderful idea from a friend... Summers in AZ(Phoenix) are brutal... We will be doing most of our school during those 115* days when we are stuck inside and taking the winters off school because its sooo nice here during that time. I plan on doing kinder through Feb/March taking an April break then hitting first in May when the temp is creeping up.  

     I am hitting reading and writing hard this first semester. With those skills she can teach herself about anything. For history this year we are learning a little about each of our presidents. This includes a workbook I found at target for $1, color pages, and lapbook. For geography we are learning the states, doing lapbooks for each one. For Bible we are learning creation again, as well as, fruits of the spirit, and character qualities.  Lapbooks and other activities to go with them. Social studies are wrapped up within everything we are learning. Science will consist of the human body, crystals, plants, animals, life cycles, and whatever else sparks our curiosity... I love science and I am sure we will be doing a lot of it.... Math.. My sore spot... Right now I am going day by day here... We are learning to write numbers by learning our phone number and address, as well as emergency numbers.... After that perhaps money math, learning to add and subtract well, and then time... I am looking into a math curriculum for other concepts. It is kinda hard with her... silly girl has taught herself much of the math... We will be in the car going somewhere and she will yell out a math equation and its answer... 

Next year I think we are going to invest in some pretty pricey hands-on curriculum from Timberdoodle... Mainly for Hayden. He is very hands-on and I see the need for it. I am currently transforming the playroom in to a playroom/schoolroom. When I am finished( hopefully today) I will edit this post and add a picture. I'll let you know when I do. :). Well there you have it... Simple and to the point. I am unsure what next week will bring, but hang around anyways. :)

Blessings and Love

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How a well Meaning Comment Reaffirmed my Desire to Homeschool


     Most who know my family know we homeschool, but not too many know that we have a son enrolled in the public school systems special education program. We have struggled with a severe speech delay with him and the program has been wonderful and his speech development has taken a drastic turn for the better over the last year. Last Thursday was the first day of school. He goes to the special education campus three days a week for a couple of hours. I wont lie, I enjoy those couple hours because that boy can be a handful, but that is another post. ;) 

     Well, I went to pick him up and the teacher's aide handed him over to me and gave me a very wonderful comment... "Hayden is one of our favorites." As well meant as that comment was it pierced my heart... It was one of those Awesome/ouch moments for me... While my son may be one of the favorites there are others who aren't. Before you say that she says that to everyone, think about school when you were young... You know there were those who got special treatment for being a favorite...Maybe because of looks(yuck), or the sport you played, or maybe even how well you applied yourself academically...But there were the favorites...And we all know it... 
     My heart sank for all the children who weren't the favorite. I put myself in the position of the kids, the parents, and the teachers... I didn't like what I found... I found kids in depressions from not being accepted or with feelings of "I am not good enough"... The " favorite" kids now have puffed out chests and begin to bully those who are not up to their standard... I found parents who were clueless. Their kid's grades are low and they don't know why... The child is trying to tell their parents that she/he knows the teacher just doesn't like him/her and the parents just brush the notion off as an excuse... I see teachers abusing their power as roll models... Aren't they supposed to be mentors??? 

     And now I am sure you can at least partly see why I have a problem with that comment... As a mother/teacher I absolutely cannot chose favorites... They are my very own flesh and blood... each one is different and I embrace every difference. I love that it forces me as the teacher to adapt how I am teaching to fit into their needs. That simple comment sent me sailing into confidence in homeschooling... My children's education is more important than where they stand in ranking with other children.... My kids are unique....  

Join me next week as I tell you all what we are doing this year! Until then.... Blessings!