Friday, September 30, 2011

The 'Tie A Bow' Book - A Reading and Tutorial

'Tie a Bow' book is read and demonstrated by my sweet Kennedy girl!

Stay tuned!! Monday I'll be hosting a fun giveaway!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Homeschooling and the 18 Month Old

Last year schooling with a baby was pretty easy. He was just a few months old when we started up for the year. He slept a lot. He was easily contained. He slept a lot.

Now, he isn't so easily contained. Very occasionally I can get him to play in the exersaucer (which he is by far too tall for) and sometimes I can lure him into his room, put up the baby gate and sneak out while he is playing. He still naps really well but not as long. He seems to have transitioned to an hour morning nap and a couple hours afternoon nap.

This week I've been working more on having the girls work somewhat independently. I will set them up with what they need to do and then sit down and work with Hurricane Haden.

He really likes to color and look at books. Here we have Haden and the Purple Crayon and him looking at an Usborne book, Telling Time.

He really, really likes to color. I bought him a cute monkey pencil pouch and a pack of his very own crayons last week. He really appreciated it.

After coloring today (we are really working on where he is allowed to color and where he isn't) I got out the 'gummy bears' and we practiced sorting. He was doing pretty good to begin with, putting each bear in the cup that I pointed to. Then he got a little bored with it which is fine with me. He played with the bears for a bit longer putting them in the cups and dumping them out. Then he started throwing them all over the living room and 'drinking' out of the cups.

Coloring and sorting lasted for a little more than 30 minutes. That was enough time for Kennedy to do her grammar lesson and for Aubrey to do her Get Ready for the Code lesson. I try to always save any read alouds for when he is in bed.

What do you do to keep your toddler entertained during school time?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Discovering the Americas

This year we are using "The Story of the U.S" and "Pilgrims and Patriots" from My Father's World for history. History was probably my favorite subject in school. Up until high school anyways. It wasn't as much fun in the AP classes for some reason. It derailed me from any interest in majoring in history in college that's for sure. Anyways, relearning US history has been a lot of fun for me and my girls seem to be enjoying it, too.

We started off learning about those fierce Vikings ... Leif the Lucky, Eric the Red, Lyle the Friendly.

After the Vikings we moved on to Spaniards. My printer is temporarily (better only be temporary!) out of order .... acting as a wireless router and not a printer so I had to draw out the map for Columbus' journeys. I drew it on card stock and then mod poged it to a piece of foam board. The girls sat outside and painted them with water colors.

check out aubrey's mermaid outfit

Then we went in search of acorn caps to make the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. We used little pieces of paper for the sails and toothpicks for the masts. Then I hot glued the sails into the acorn cap and then hot glued the ships in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

The next day we finished up our reading on Christopher Columbus and marked his trip on the maps using push pins and embroidery floss.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

We Miss Her

It's hard to believe 4 years have gone by since we buried our daughter, our sister. Sometimes I feel like it is harder now than it was then. It is hard to see pictures of our family because I know that there is a face missing. I miss that her brother will never know her the way her sisters did. I miss that we don't get to see her, hear her, feel her. No Christmases, no ballet classes. The girls miss her, too. Often times when we are the store Aubrey will pick out an outfit, "Can we get this for baby Joslyn?" It must be her age because I remember Kennedy doing the same thing a couple years ago.

We always celebrate her birthday. This year was a little different since Adam could not get off work. When he got home we went to see the Winnie the Pooh Movie (actually, I slept through the entire thing!) and then went to Abeulos for dinner. I didn't make a cake this year ... I still feel guilty about it. It had rained more in the days leading up to her birthday than it had all year long so we waited until the weekend after her birthday to take new flowers to her grave. I'm doing better about not feeling like I need to go by there weekly and change the flowers monthly. I forgot my camera that day so I didn't have any pictures.

We've been working on our Christopher Columbus project for history and needed acorns. There is a massive oak tree in our neighbors yard but it produces the tiniest acorns I've ever seen. The girls knew where to find gigantic ones so we headed over to the cemetary to harvest a crop of acorn caps. We weren't dissappointed. It's kind of wierd but the kids have fun there. They ask questions about those buried around Joslyn. There are several other babies, many born within weeks of her. There are a lot of older graves, too.

Anyways, tonight I was putting the girls to bed. The conversation some how turned to Joslyn and Aubrey asked why she died in my tummy. I told her I didn't know. I told her we had lots and lots of tests done and that the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me or the baby. Kennedy spoke boldly and said, "I know why she died. God didn't make her for this world. God made her for heaven." Oh the tears!! She is so right. And I've never thought about it like that! Then Aubrey asked to pray again .. "Dear Jesus, please come quickly so we can see Joslyn. We love her and want to play with her." She didn't ask for Jesus to send her back, she asked that He would come soon! I am so very blessed! I only wish I possessed half their wisdom!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Back to School, Back to School

We've been back to schooling for a while now. April and August are probably the busiest months of my year and some times it spills over into the following months. I had lots of 'back to school' things planned to do with the kids but I either forget or we haven't had time to get it in. I wanted to do first day pictures, but things happened. I even have the outfits but it may be too chilly to use them now. I have little gifts for the girls that I wanted to have sitting on the school table on their first official day back but they are still in the top of my closet ... I only remember them at bedtime. I want to make stepping stones with the girls hand prints like we did last year. I bought the stuff back in the summer so I would be prepared but the stuff is still in the Hobby Lobby bag.

So here is a quick catch up of the things we've been doing. In August we started the Little House series and read Little House in the Big Woods. I decided to try working through the Prairie Primer I ordered it from eBay and it took a very long time to get so we are trying to quickly work through some of the activities for the first book but I think we'll wrap it up by the end of this month and start fresh with Farmer Boy. Our first activity was to make Snow Candy using molasses. It was a flop. I think we burned it even though I took it off the eye as soon as it hit hard crack stage. If it happens to snow again this winter the way it did last winter then we'll try it again.

Ready to start!

1 cup molasses, 1 cup brown sugar

Not nearly as attractive as I imagine the Ingalls' would have been!

The general consensus!!
More catching up later ... blogger isn't being nice about pictures =)