Friday, May 6, 2011

T is for Trees (Part 1) and Tall Towers - 5/2/11

This morning I put out my Waldorf Trees.  I have a whole bunch of these. I love Waldorf stuff. In this day of plastic everything, it's nice to play with some wooden toys now and then.  It's just so expensive! I bought some little by little over the years. Turns out I have a pretty good forest going now. Worked out well on our tree day :) We walked about trees and their parts and what animals live in them.  I put out a few animals with them and also some little people.

At some point Jem decided he wanted to play a game with Freddie. I don't know why but he got out Money Sense. I figured it would be too hard for both of them. Boy was I wrong. When you land on a space, it tells you which coins to take from the pot. First, Freddie was able to do that just by matching the pictures, then to my surprise, Jem was actually counting money. I heard him saying, "That says pay 17 cents. So you need one dime, one nickel, and two pennies."  I asked, "How do you know that?? I've never taught you counting money?"  And he just said he knew how much each coin was worth and he added them up in his head. He keeps surprising me with how easy he finds math concepts. The other two weren't like that.

I also put out some stacking blocks with some pictures of high rise buildings. We talked about how T was for Tall Towers and we tried to see who could build the tallest tower.

The other thing I put out for free play was a Ravensburger game I found called "Rivers, Roads, and Rails." It's a type of cooperative matching game where each card has either a train track, a river, or a road, or any combination of the three, and you match them up to make a long trail. It can be pretty challenging to find the perfect pieces, but it is fun too. You can do it alone or work together.  Freddie worked alone for awhile, and when he got frustrated, Jem or I would step in and get him past the place where he was stuck. He seemed to enjoy the challenge. 

 For school the little guys worked on the tracing table tracing big and small Ts, traced Ts on a beginning letter T worksheet from Raising Rock Stars, used the letter trains and consonant card pictures to for sorting and working on beginning word sounds, made a Triangle collage, and did some ipod school! I found some good preschool apps for my ipod touch so when there was some down time for one of them, they could sit quietly and review their numbers, letters, colors, etc. on the ipod. They thought this was pretty cool!

While the little kids were busy with all of that, the big kids worked on their Calculadders . These are just daily 2 minute math drills to help them get faster and more at ease with math facts. They also both did handwriting and online geography quizzes. Jem also worked on his sight words with a matching game I found online. He usually uses flash cards for his sight words but I thought he was getting a bit bored with that so I looked for something to liven that up. Both then had free-reading time. Scout is reading Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins , and Jem "read" his Ranger Rick magazine. 

After lunchtime and naps we went out to look for trees. We found lots in our neighborhood and especially down at the grass park. We took lots of pictures so we could make a tree book tomorrow.

T is for Trains (Part 2) - 4/29/11

Thursday's train work did not go how I hoped it would. We just didn't have enough time, and although
Friday was also a short morning, I was a little better prepared, so we were able to do more on trains that day. I put the Fisher-Price trains out again and they loved building tracks all over the living room.

Then I found some shape pattern trains. The activity was basically about being able to look at a picture and follow the pattern. I gave them colored shapes and they had to look at the pattern card to see how to build their train using the shapes. They both did pretty good with it once they understood the idea, and were excited to see their final product.

Next we had some Train cars with numbers written on them from 1 to 10. I had them put the cards in order. Then I called out numbers and asked them to find them. After that, I put some Unifix Cubes out and Freddie started counting them out on each numbered train.

About this time it was time to head out for Scout's Girl Scout meeting. The little kids went home from there and we were off to little Jem's endochronology appointment. The good news was that his A1c was down to 8.7 from 9.7 just 3 months ago. That means we're doing something right :)

T is for Trains (Part 1) - 4/28/11

Thursday was a busy day out. We had a little time at home before we left for lunch with Gramps so I put the Fisher-Price Trains out (luckily the batteries still worked!)  and also the Montessori cylinders (Flossie seems to like them) among a few of our usual other activities.

It was our cousin's turn to pick the lunch place today and he wanted pancakes! So we went to IHOP  :).  Everyone was happy with that choice and the kids all had fun.

After lunch we had to take Bella to her doctors appointment so we went to the park while we waited for her. When we got home it was time for naps, and then it was off to the theater for rehearsals. Since we didn't have a lot of time for school, I brought some with us, and the little kids were able to work on a few things while the big kids rehearsed for their play.

Here's Jem in his Turtle make-up. He was all excited. Bet he get tired of it pretty quick!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Falling Behind!! - 5/5/11

Yikes! I have been falling behind on my posting! Bella's computer is on the blink so she has been using mine to do her schoolwork (on top of her socializing), add to that that I can't seem to stay up into the wee hours of the morning anymore and we are having daily afternoon rehearsals for our upcoming theater show, and there just has been no time for me to get on the computer to do my blogging unless I do it during the day and that would take time away from school, so I have been avoiding doing that. I am going to go back and try to get caught up on the days I have missed since I still have lots of great pictures and want to catalogue everything. But, it looks like this blog will still put everything in on the date that I publish them, so they will be out of order :( Hate that. Oh, well. At least I will have the correct dates in the titles.  Sorry for the backlog. I'll get caught up as soon as I can (and as soon as Bella gets caught up on her homework!).

Easter Party - 4/22/11

We didn't have much time on this morning to get school done. Today was our Easter party at the park with our homeschool group, and we would need to leave early to get treats and eggs to bring with us, but we did have time for a few Easter activities and crafts before we left. The kids played some Easter computer games on the Webkinz site with J's help and then we made some sock bunnies. During a quite moment I caught K playing "Duck, Duck, Goose" with the little Duplo people. I  thought this was pretty cute because when we were at our Ten and Under group playing old fashioned games, she was the littlest kid and would sit in the circle but wouldn't otherwise participate, but she obviously was watching how the game was played, because she was doing it correctly with her little people.

After that it was time to head to the park. Everyone seemed to have a blast at the party. We had three-legged races, tug-of war, an Easter egg hunt, an egg toss game where they could win prizes, and of course lots of good stuff to eat. But the most fun came at the end when one of the dads brought out his air compressor and did water bottle rockets with the kids. That was a big hit! Fun day :)