Now We Are Four!

KW joined us on November 10, 2010. Thanks for following our journey as a family!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Do Not Deviate

One great thing about homeschooling these days is that many have gone before me. They have written entire books describing activities and experiments, what steps to follow, and what materials to use. So I don't have to learn the hard way. Right?

Last week, we were doing a simple pouring activity with KW. A couple of plastic bottles, a funnel, and some rice. Well, the book said to use rice. Little Miss Smartie Pants (that's me) thought she would change it up a bit and use something else I had on hand. I didn't think I would use it in a meal, but I will definitely use my rice. Save money and clean out the pantry cabinets. Badda-bing, badda-boom.

My grain of choice? Millet.

Did you know?  Millet somehow channels a lot of static electricity. I remembered as soon as I opened the canister and the little pellets started climbing the wall. No matter. I was still thinking of how I would be able to use this millet again and again. I am SO smart!

Did you also know? Millet is round. As in, it rolls. As in, when you do a pouring lesson on a hard wood floor with millet, you will end up with millet in the far reaches of your kitchen.
Which leads to a practical life training in... vacuuming!

Friday, September 14, 2012

All Up In Her Business

The Tot School I have going for KW is really very simple - we are doing activities from Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready by J. Oberlander. There is one activity a week for every week between birth and five years. Since we fell behind last year, I just skim through where we left off until I see something I am not sure if KW has mastered yet.

The hardest lesson I am having to teach during this time is to Lee. It is to please stay out of the activity. Don't encourage her to do it any other way then I have showed her. Don't introduce new elements to the activity. You already know how to do this; this is just playing for you. I have an activity for you next. Need I go on?

She loves having him there. She certainly loves to follow his direction more than mine (much more fun). He is getting better at staying quiet and being patient each week, but - wow! - he is happy when he can complete the activity. I let him do it in the spirit of "showing her how it's done".

Here we are stacking spools. The goal was to stack them by two's. To begin to understand the concept of 1-2. Then we tapped them to the rhythm on 1-2. She really got into this and danced a jig around the kitchen. Then we built tall towers and knocked them down - much more fun.

Finally, we (Lee) brought an old favorite, "Where is the spool?" She continues to love this game and squeal each time we reveal the spool. Remember when learning was so much fun?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Day

We started school about two and a half weeks ago, which is why I am not posting much lately. Definitely no time for deep thoughts until later. I know some probably think I have started schooling early, but I am learning some good things about myself during these "test" years.

The first is how I like to schedule our days, weeks, and year. I haven't fully decided on this, but I do know I don't want to go into the summer, if possible. We can do something light upon request, but wen everyone else gets out, I want to get out, too! This year, I started the week before Labor Day, and I am just going to see how long it takes to hit 180 days. Or, how many days we have completed by Memorial Day. This should help me lay things out more easily next year, I think.

The second is when to start thinking about and planning what I want to include in our year. (FYI, that would be earlier than July if you are me.) So, as we have begun, I am teaching, planning, and making school stuff. I really do enjoy it, but I am a little tired.

You may ask, "Why are you working on things you won't need for months?" Because I learned that lesson last year - I really don't like to be continually preparing materials through the year. Why do tomorrow what you can finish up today?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Her First

If you are from Memphis, then you understand the Pronto Pup (it's NOT a corn dog). If you are from my family, you grew up with Pronto Pups all around. Somewhere along the way, my great-uncle or cousin or someone bought the exclusive rights to Pronto Pups east of the Mississippi. So sorry to everyone outside the mid-south; they don't sell them there. All I can say is, we need a food truck.

Lee doesn't like Pronto Pups (!). Cannot figure out why, for the life of me. He is missing out.

So, when Chloe found me snapping one picture after another in the backyard on our last trip home, I did not think it at all odd when she said, "Yea, I took a lot of pictures of Arden's first, too."