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Homeschool Mosaics has now published two wonderful e-books full of so many blessings for you and your family. The first is called Sanity Savers, and it is full of ways to save your sanity in household tasks, homeschool tasks, and more. The other is called Christmas Blessings, and that is certainly what you will get plenty of from this e-book, lots of blessings. You really need to check them out. You can find them at Amazon right now. You will always be able to find them on Amazon.com by searching for Homeschool Mosaics. For now, I have the link for you here.

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There are a lot of awesome things on Homeschool Mosaics this month about the holidays in regards to giving, remembering the importance of family, and including the Special Needs members. My column is all about how to include them in the upcoming festivities including the DeafBlind, so please check it out and think about those you may need to think about and how you need to do that to have the best holiday season for everyone!

http://homeschoolmosaics.com/include-your-special-needs-family-friends-in-your-holiday-gatherings/

Great fun is to be had while learning about the greatest story ever told. The One 2 Believe Nativity figurine set is a beautiful tool for young children and even adults  to play and learn about the Christmas story. The play set is boldly colored and made of durable, but slightly flexible plastic. Preparing to present it to my seven year old DeafBlind student, I took each piece with my own hands and felt each piece carefully. Without working eyes and ears, I was an ideal testor for this activity. I only see some colors, so the variously colored pieces grabbed my attention. I ran my fingers across each piece feeling any tactile information that I could. I readily could tell the purpose of each figurine with the various outlines of a shepherd’s crook, treasure box, crown, headband, ram’s horn, and even Joseph’s beard to distinguish him from Mary. Aftewards, I did my best to act as a young DeafBlind child just learning how to access the world and banged the pieces on the table, yanked the star hard, and dropped the pieces onto the hardwood floor. Nothing broke, chipped, or bent. Some others of The Old SchoolHouse Crew have reviewed that they had pieces break, but those might have had defective plastic from manufacturing such as an air bubble inside a piece making it easy to fracture. Fortunately, I found the set to be quite durable.

Upon presenting it to my precious student who I love almost as much as my own, I signed in ASL with his hands laying on top of mine the pupose of each piece. He shuddered with excitement as I signed and placed gently in his hands the baby Jesus. He signed, ” Jesus, baby” gleeming with delight. As I was touching his hands to “read” his words, he raised  to his mouth the  hand with Jesus cradled in it and kissed it gently. Together, we signed the story of Baby Jesus and placed the pieces in the stable and around it as we went.  We signed the colors of each piece and practiced the signs for angel and mama and Daddy and learned the new signs for shepherd and king. This sweet child was enthralled in making the scene come alive.

As you can see, the nativity was a success. Several of my other students who are older also found the set enticing. I left it on the table as they entered. They all went straight to it and began to look and play with the pieces. I used it as an opportuntiy to teach signs to my non-signing students and learn if they believed in Jesus in a non-threatening way. My school is Christian and most of my homeschoolers profess to be Christian, but not all of my on-site students do. The nativitiy became a great witnessing tool as well as a learning tool. The One 2 Believe Nativity is a great way to put Christ first this Christmas in a world that is becoming so commercialized and secular.

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