Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And, we're back!! 12/6/11

Hurray!! I found my USB cable!  I haven't been able to upload any pics to my computer because my cable was missing! It ended up being in with the video game stuff. I probably put it there myself!  But that's not my best find of the day. Today I found the missing toilet paper roll holder! It's been missing for months. It's a wooden one that goes in the back bathroom. I found it in the playdoh toys. Apparently some darling had been using it for a rolling pin!

So . . . Here are at least the pics from today and the past few days while my cable was missing. The exciting things we have been doing during that time are:

1:  Freddie is starting a sight word program from RRSK.   He is really liking it and keeps asking for more. I was feeling like even though he doesn't know all his letter sounds yet, he is ready for a little more than that, so I wanted to start with something a little more challenging, and this program came up at just the right time. We will still keep working on our letter sounds and then move on to forming simple words, but in the mean time we'll do our site words too. Here are some pics of him working on that:

2.  Flossie has made such huge progress in the past few months! When I think about how we worked and worked on having her be able to recognize just numbers 1, 2, and 3! Today she did some work where she had to line up the numbers 1-20. She didn't ask me any questions until she got to 14! Even then, I just gave her some leading questions and she was able to figure it out on her own. She knows so many letters now too! She is funny though. She will say she doesn't know what something is or how to do it, but when I ask her a question about it, she'll prove that she really does know. For some reason, she just needs a confidence boost to get going. The more she does on her own, without Freddie looking over her shoulder, and giving her the answers or telling her what she is doing wrong, the better she is getting. I mad a conscious decision to start separating what they were doing in math and in language arts, and I can see it is making a difference. She was relying on him too much, and he was too willing to do her work for her. Now he is too busy doing his own work to help her, and she is fully able to work things out on her own and she is catching right up to him. Today he said, "Why is Flossie doing plus and minus like me?! That's my math!"   -  She caught up boy!!   :)    Well, not quite, but she's gaining on him :)  She is doing so well, and I'm really proud of her!

3.  Doing school with a new puppy is like doing school with a new baby!!  He is still teething so everything goes into his mouth! With all these kids running around, that's a lot of potential "stuff" on the ground. The worst seems to be pencils and crayons. I don't know why they are always on the ground but they are, and he loved chewing them up! Because he is potty training, he has to stay leashed to Scout or be in his crate at all times unless they are playing with hi or have him outside. Puppy under foot during school = distraction.  That and sibling rivalry with old cranky pants Isabella (the chihuahua) and the occasional (ok more than occasional) poops in the house, lead to a lot of puppy time during school. BUT, he is awfully cute :)  AND, this time will pass :)

 4.  The big kids finished their Shakespeare class at the theater. They had a great time. You can see the lapbook they completed during the class  here. My friend Kelly and I taught that portion of the class. It was a lot of fun. Homeschooled kids are great to work with. They love learning and are always interested in what you are trying to teach them. We had a total of 12 kids in the class from age 7 to age 12. We ended with an Elizabethan feast and Romeo and Juliet presentations compete with costumes. Parents were raving about how much their kids loved the class and they hope we do it again. It's so hard for the theater to be able to fund classes like that though. We'll see if it is able to go again a second time. 

5.  Jem has continued to basically teach himself how to read.  When he started Diary of a Wimpy Kid, he was determined to read it on his own. He plugged along word by word sounding each one out and going at a snail's pace. At the time he started, he was reading phonics books kind of like BOB books. When I would have him read a loud to me from the book, I didn't see what he was getting out of it because so many of the words he was sounding out were wrong, but I just encouraged him and he kept plugging along. I had purchased the IEW PALS Reading program for him for this year, but he is just blowing it out of the water. I figured he would start somewhere about a third of the way into the program but still have plenty to learn from it, but I am having a hard time finding where to place him in it because it is all just too easy for him. I have printed out word family lists of some pretty hard words, and he can read right down the whole list. When he reads aloud to me from his book now, it is with very little hesitation. He's still on the same book, but that's because he had to return it to the library a couple of times. But his reading has just skyrocketed. He has pretty much blown by all the easy reader stuff I bought for him for this year. I am pretty sure Diary of a Wimpy Kid would be considered "twaddle" by some, but I am very thankful for it and think Jem is living proof of it's value.

 6.  We made some sparkly playdoh today. Surprisingly, I am ok with glitter as long as it is in playdoh! It stays in there! I just used glitter glue and added it to the playdoh. The colors turned out more muted than I thought they would but in a way it was kind of nice. I had mini Christmas cookie cutters for them, but they mostly ended up doing sculptures. I think they came out pretty cool!

7.  We made these cute snowman hand print ornaments today. I got the idea originally here, and then saw them again here. We started out making two a piece. Good thing, because I think they all broke one! Next time I will hunt down unbreakable bulbs. I had the hardest time finding plain bulbs for this project. They didn't have them in packs like we used to get. At least not where I was looking. Anyway, they turned out cute. My attempt to seal one of them didn't work. The actual bulb coloring came off. So I'm not sure how to seal them up well. I'm afraid the paint will come off in time. But for now, they are cute.

8.  Lastly,  the termites are back at it!! We looked up one morning to see this about 8 inch length mound hanging off the ceiling!! You can't ell from the picture but it was long!  Uggh!!!

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