Thursday, March 29, 2007

Wish you were here

First off, I just wanted to verify to anyone who may be wondering that, yes, Maria is as wonderful as she appears on her blog. You've gotta love when it's like seeing a long, lost best friend when you meet someone you've only "met" once before. Essie is a doll. You can see the pixie dust sparkle in her eyes. Miguel is all boy, and quite the trooper for putting up with all of Cameron's "affections," lol. He's also quite the Smartie Pants talking about ancient China and Egypt while my brainiac only wants to discuss the latest Pixar flick. ;) Anyway, Happy Birthday, Big Guy! Sorry we're going to miss your big day. Sebastian is, well, hmmmm.... sorry, I can't update you on the wee one. I was denied the pleasure of his company. But let me assure you the the Pixilateds are a genuine delight and a witty bunch, one and all. Next time it's your turn to come visit me, Chica!!

Secondly, and again directed towards the Pixilateds... sorry if we got you guys sick! Grey woke up with an almost 102 degree fever Tuesday night and then Cameron had the same on Wednesday night. Both boys have spent every evening coughing their little lungs out (not that that kept us from devouring the Magic Kingdom in its entirety and closing the place out every night!) but so far the rest of us have been spared.

And that's my mini update. I will bore you with all the details (and hopefully some pictures) when we return and get back into the swing of things.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Spring Break!

OK, I think I am officially calling this Spring Break. Today, I did laundry and I let the kids do what always filled my school vacations... watch tv all day, lol. Pathetic, I know, but at least they were watching Zoboomafoo and The Magic School Bus instead of The Love Boat. They've also been working on their Walt Disney unit study... by watching classic Mickey Mouse cartoons. That counts, right? Right??

But aside from a little brain melting in front of the tv, our regularly scheduled life-learning is always in session: LEGOs, drawing pictures (that are getting better and better every day!), various Leap Frog toys (Cassia is getting really good at identifying letters and Cameron was typing his spelling lists into the Leap Frog Library), and lots and lots and lots of running around (PE) and games of make-believe. We also have gymnastics and a field trip with the home school group coming up in the next couple days, but since we're leaving on Thursday for our Big Trip, I don't know that I'll be able to blog about it. I'm sure DH will be bringing his laptop, so I may check in with a surprise update or two but officially...

We're on vacation! See you in April!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

And the countdown begins!

Only 6 more days until we leave on our trip south which includes a fabulous Disney vacation!!! WooHooo!! Yeah Mickey! M-I-C, see you real soon, K-E-Y, why? because we like you, M-O-U-S-E!! Of course, my kids think I'm crazy when I sing that because the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song goes... MI-CK-EY-MOUSE-that's me! It's the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Come inside; it's fun inside! I never thought I would be old enough for a Generation Gap - especially with me on the Old Fogie side!

We started the day today with Cameron's spelling test. He correctly spelled hot, map, pin, and hop but misspelled hook (huk) and stop (sop). I had him write those words three times on another paper. He was pretty bummed that he didn't get foil stars on all of his words and asked if he could have stars on the wrong words once he wrote them three times. I told him that he had to cover them up and write them correctly from memory and then I would give him stars. It took a small reminder to get hook right, but he finally earned his stars.

Next we did math and the actual multiplication sign (x) was introduced. He did really well with it and we took turns making up multiplication stories. He didn't like mine unless they had his name in them though, lol. One of my stories was "I went to the store and bought five packages of pencils which each had two pencils in them" and he made me make up a new one. I had to change it to "Cameron, Cassia, Greyson, Friend X, and Friend Y each had two pencils. How many pencils did the five friends have?"

I thought about doing science as well, but we opted to go get pizza for lunch instead. We grabbed our pizza and then went to the 4-H LEGO Engineering project. They built these motorized rope rider thingies. They were pretty cool, but not nearly as exciting as some of the other projects. I think part of it may have been that they *had to* work in teams and some team members were better at working together than others. Don't get me wrong, everyone built and had a good time, but the team thing seemed a bit forced. I guess that's a skill though.

On the way home from the 4-H center, we ended up doing science anyway! We were talking about our upcoming trip to Grandma C's house and Disneyland and I was describing what we had planned for each day. Suddenly Cameron said, "Hey that's an icicle!" What? Please remember that we live in California about 30 miles from the coast. We do NOT have icicles... especially when it's 75 degrees out and we are wearing shorts and tank tops! He said again, "An icicle! The days of the week, they're an icicle!" OOOOHHHHHH, a life cycle!! Yes, the days of the week are, indeed, a cycle. And so we spent the next twenty minutes talking about different things that made cycles. Science accomplished.

While we were at the LEGO project, I got to talk to one of the "I Can Never Remember the Title"s from the charter school. I really love her attitude and if I had to go that direction, she is definitely someone I would want to be on my side. The thing is though, I don't have to go in that direction. No one is forcing me to do this under the guidance of another organization. I am not feeling insecure about my abilities to provide adequate tutelage, instruction, and/or educational depth and breadth to my children (discipline maybe, lol, but I wouldn't consider that the school's business either way!). I really have had no urge to have anyone else "help" me - aside from my myriad of friends (internet and *real* life) and resources - so the only thing that is tempting me is the free money. But nothing is really free, is it. To move in this direction would be giving up many of the reasons that I originally chose homeschooling - even if my reasons and principles would not be directly compromised or changed, in my heart they would be tainted.

I did talk to DH about it and he straight up said what my heart has been telling me all along: don't involve the public school system if you don't have to. Don't get involved in their red tape when it isn't necessary. We can provide an education for our children without subjecting them to ridiculous STAR and other tests. We don't need to check in with someone to know that we're making progress. We don't need them to tell us that x must learned at y age and before z can even be attempted. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! Sure, the extra money would be nice, but we don't need it and it would probably end up causing more stress than it alleviated. Now if my friends who are using this charter school happen to be shelving things that we may want to be borrowing.... ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

just when I thought I knew what I was doing

Isn't that always how it is? Just when you think you know what you're doing and how you're going to be doing it for a while, someone throws a wrench in the works.

I'm big on chronology lately so I'll start with our morning. We've all been sleeping about an hour later than usual since the time change, gee I wonder why, lol, so our morning started late. I didn't get everyone fed and showered and dressed until about 11:30 so we went with "school lite" for the day. Cameron finished the workbook pages for this week's spelling. He's still having some trouble with a couple of the words. He's pronouncing hot as "hoot" and hook as "who-k." We'll see if he can spell them on Friday - even if he can't read them. ;)

The Writing & Spelling project in this lesson was to write directions for someone to follow to get to your house. He didn't quite get it. His version of directions was to just tell people our city and our street. So I tried to get him to draw a map. He drew a map of the US, lol. I guess he hasn't really looked at a street map? He knows how to read a trail map, but I guess we just don't use street maps too often. At least not on paper. I use Google Maps all the time. Anyway, I suddenly remembered an activity in TOPS Lentil Science where you make a topographical map out of lentils, so I decided to give that a try. We made a lentil map of our neighborhood and the park that we were going to go to that afternoon. We stacked up little paper cylinders and DUPLO slides to represent the park and an empty jar to represent our house. Suddenly Cameron started adding more houses, like Grandma C's and S5's, and more parks and each lentil represented a person in the place, lol. Anyway, we had a good time discussing NSEW direction and scale... we never did get around to giving directions, but we had fun. And that was school. Cassia continued on playing with the lentils (guess I'm going to have to put that job box back on the curriculum list!) and Cameron went back to his Zoobs. (Oh, a side not - we heard from the Zoob people and they are going to add one of Cameron's creations to their online gallery! We're so proud. I'll let you know when it's up.)

We were just about to leave for Park Day when the phone rings. It was my best friend from high school. We're trying to find time to get together at the end of the month, but are having quite the time coordinating! We're going to be in her area for 10 days and we can't find a time to meet! That's pretty bad when even your vacations are overscheduled, lol. (Which reminds me, ahem, MEESH, cye!)

We finally made it to the park, an hour late - and not because of the time change, lol - and it was so worth it! There were lots of our friends there, friends who don't usually come to this park day. The kids and I really had a great time. And my stalker was there. ;) Here is where my world was rocked. StalkerMom and I were having a really nice conversation about this and that and the other thing and I mention that I'm going at the homeschool thing on my own. It turns out that everyone else goes through this local charter school. I knew a lot of people did, but I didn't know that they all get $900 per student per year to spend on curriculum and supplies. And they get reimbursed for art and music classes. And they have horseback riding and karate. And I'm missing out on all these freebies because, basically, I'm being stubborn.

I don't want anyone to tell me how to run my little homeschool. I love the idea of us being a very exclusive private school. I love that what we do is my business and my business alone. I love that I can get a whole curriculum going based on a children's encyclopedia or two and a whole bunch of library books. I don't love that I can't really afford piano lessons. I'm dreading the future costs of Latin and Spanish. I'm wishing I could afford a really great art program and the supplies that go with it. It would be nice to be able to get full color reprints of some masterpieces, but I'm probably going to rely on internet viewing instead. It is a total DREAM to be able to give the children riding lessons. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.

I've got a lot of people to start hounding. The few I've talked to so far say that the paperwork is minimal and lenient. They say that if you get the right coordinator, they will totally let you call the shots on your educational goals. But several people I know are not continuing with this school next year and I need to find out why. I tried to look at their website last night but a guest login won't allow you to see much - not sure if I like that. Anyone have any experience or advice about charter schools? Anyone?

PS, I'm just kidding about having a stalker. I think. ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

insert clever title here

No clever title today, sorry. Nothing very interesting going on either.

We went to the 4-H business meeting today. It was a pretty long one full of trying to get our county's annual fundraiser organized. Cameron, of course, volunteered for things that put us there ALL day. Since he's a Sergeant at Arms he has to be in a parade at 11 and then he volunteered for this trash pick up duty in the late afternoon. I don't mind too much, but DH doesn't like having to be somewhere like that all day, especially since we're probably bringing my mom. If worse comes to worse, we can take two cars and he can leave early with Cassia and Grammie and I'll stay with Cam and the baby.

They also gave us a list of jobs for next year. We are supposed to "nominate" ourselves for the jobs we want and then I guess a committee votes on it? Cameron pretty much wants to do everything he's doing this year (although I'm trying to talk him out of the sweeping and garbage detail) and then we decided to add one new thing - which I'm not telling, just in case there are spies reading! ;)

Then we came home and did a little bit of school. We continued on in the math chapter about grouping things in such a way as to introduce multiplication. Cameron is really getting the fact that you need to learn to "count by __s" to do these problems easier. He mentioned something about knowing a song for 2s. It's something he saw on tv and I have no idea what he is talking about, but it gave me a great opportunity to bring out my favorite Schoolhouse Rock DVD and force him to watch all of the math ones, lol. He said, "but I don't like those" and I said, "if you watch them all I will count it as your second subject today" and he said, "oh, ok." LOL. He ended up watching all the math ones (some of those are much weirder than I remember!!) and then we watched most of the science ones too.

And that was our day. I told you it wasn't very exciting. :)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Forward

The time change may have come early this year, but it sure feels like springtime here! It was 85 degrees today and I felt perfectly comfortable in capris and a tank top (my favorite uniform). We spent Saturday using up some tickets to Train Town that our neighbor had given us for Christmas. We only spent about an hour and a half there, but all the kids really had a blast. We rode the train. Cameron rode the Ferris Wheel all by himself. Greyson put his feet into a cold stream. Cassia rode the Merry-Go-Round with her Daddy. It was a nice day. Sunday we were supposed to go hiking with 4-H but, um, well... we got delayed. OK, I'll admit it - we forgot about the time change and showed up an hour late. D'OH! I have never done that before. I feel so stupid. Oh well. At least it wasn't just me... DH forgot too. He's actually a bigger dufus than I am because he knew it was last weekend but thought that "Sunday at 2 am" meant the night in between Sunday and Monday, not the one between Saturday and Sunday. Anyway, we're both idiots, I suppose. *blush*

Monday the plan was to get school done nice and early, go grocery shopping, have lunch, and then take my mom to a doctor's appointment. Cameron ended up with a debilitating stomach ache all morning instead. So we skipped all that other stuff and just read a Star Wars book, had lunch (once he was finally feeling better), and then took my mom to her doctor. My secondary plan was to do schoolwork in the car while we waited for her, but two words into the phonics lesson Mom comes out and says that she had written her appointment down wrong and it was really next week instead. Looks like everyone is having a bad week with times and dates! So we dropped her off, went to the store and then FINALLY came home and did schoolwork.

Cameron did a phonics review on vowel pairs that make the long /e/ sound. He did good with it and only complained once or twice. All day long he had been pretending that he was 17 years old and his version of 17 is VERY mature, responsible, and helpful. His 17 year old self also already knows how to read, so there was no point in him saying that it was too hard. I really liked his 17. Next he did half a spelling lesson. Remind me never to do spelling right after phonics again. Bad mix. He was way too tired out from reading his phonics lesson to even read the word "hot" correctly. But he struggled through it, like a 17-yr old trooper should, lol. I was going to have him do math too, but I let him be done. He had spent all more learning science anyway (read: watching Magic School Bus, lol).

Now I'm off to see if I can book myself a Disney vacation... WOO HOO!!! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I have a dream...

I dreamt about blogging last night. The plot of my dream, which I cannot remember now, unfolded via blog entries and comments. I am, apparently, obsessed.

Friday, March 09, 2007


Before we get to the butterflies, I just have to brag about Cameron's first spelling test... 100%!! He sat down with his spelling book open to the blank pages in the back and I dictated the words to him: tub, bat, bus, see, sit, us. He didn't even hesitate. I thought, for sure, he would get stuck on see, but when I said it he got a huge smile on his face and said, "I remember that one!" I celebrated his success by putting a foil star next to every word. He added a bunch of other stickers to help celebrate too. I wanted to make a big deal about his success. I hope I'm not putting too much stress/importance on this whole "test" thing though. Hmmm. I guess I'll find out when it's too much.

Next we moved on to science. We did a page in the activity book on the chicken life cycle. First we cracked a raw egg into a bowl and then he washed his hands. We examined the different parts. He washed his hands. We talked about the special properties of egg shell and how it is strong enough to withstand a chicken sitting on it, but fragile enough for the chick to be able to break himself out. We talked about the membrane and felt its unique texture. Then he washed his hands again. We talked about the white and the yolk - it was funny, he didn't recognize the uncooked egg white. I stuck my finger in and talked about the consistency (and tried not to think about fertility, lol). He wouldn't touch it though - said it was gross and he had already washed his hands enough. Funny how some people are like that. I just wiped my hands on a towel and never thought twice about it! Anyway, then we labeled the parts of the egg in the book and numbered the growth stages.

The next page in the activity book was on the life cycle of a butterfly. We rearranged the different stages, which were labeled with letters, to form the word "changes." And then we made these.
Cameron had so much fun that he made two of them (and then washed his hands again, lol). I think the best part was that I let them glue googly eyes on them. As you can see, they really liked the eyes. (OK, you can't really see very well, but all those dots on the yellow one are eyes!) I'm sure we will end up reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar soon.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention how we started our school day today. We read! We just sat on the couch and read about 10 different fairy tales from this old 1944 book of "Nursery Tales" that I have. It started just because Cassia wanted me to read her a story and I refused to read Dora's Super Silly Fiesta one more time. But Cameron rushed over and eagerly listened to every word. We read The Country Mouse and the City Mouse; The Lion and the Mouse; The Gingerbread Boy; Chicken Licken; The Straw, the Coal, and the Bean (odd story); The Tortoise and the Hare; and The Pot That Would Not Stop Boiling (another strange one). I think I have been putting too much stock in asking the kids before we do something. I seem to have much better luck when I just say, "We're going to do X now" or just start reading a story or making some project by myself than if I ask them if they want to do something.

So there was our Friday. Nowhere special to be. Fun schooling. And I even managed to clean the kitchen and get a couple loads of laundry done.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Google rocks!

Gosh, I miss one day of blogging and I feel so irresponsible! LOL, I really take this seriously. ;)

Wednesday: I can't believe that I already can't remember what we did yesterday. Umm, umm...oh yeah! Duh, we had the best day ever. We toured yet another local gem that I had never been to before: Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Factory. It was way up there as one of, if not the, best tours ever. It was cool, kid-friendly, and full of fun freebies. At the end of the tour they gave everyone baggies of stickers and a post card to decorate. Then, of course, the tour drops you off in the factory store...OMG, let's just say I'm thankful that I only had $10 on me. Where was this place when I was 8 years old??? We decided that we are definitely going back to this one at least once a year. I let the kids each pick out one pack of stickers and one little discount grab bag. That totaled about a million stickers once we got home. They fulfilled their stereotypical roles as Cameron got pirate stickers and Cassia picked out the princess/castle/unicorn set. Personally, I wanted the camping ones and the Klutz book of Art History (and the fancy letters and the laser-cut flowers and the birthday decorations and the endangered species and, and, and...). You should've seen our dining room table when we got home, lol. I should've taken a picture.

I know I had Cameron do some schoolwork too. I think it was phonics, "ie" as long /e/ and... I guess that was it. See? This is why I have to blog every day. I would not remember a darn thing we did if I didn't blog it! Thank God we don't have to do any sort of record-keeping to homeschool here.

Thursday I had to go get my temporary crown replaced. Yes, the one that I just got on Tuesday. It wasn't as badly cracked as I thought, but a piece of the top had broken off making the tooth sensitive. Anyway, I had to rearrange gymnastics classes and drag all the kiddos down to the dentist's with me, but they were perfect. Yay! C&C just watched a video in the waiting room and Greyson sat on my lap the whole time pulling the dentist's hair, lol. Luckily she has a good sense of humor about the whole thing.

When we got home, I wasn't much in the mood to struggle through phonics so I just pulled out the science text and we read a chapter on life cycles. We learned about the life cycles of chickens, butterflies, and cockroaches. Interesting mix, I know. The kids were both very interested in learning the life cycles and Cameron even read the titles of the butterfly cycle diagram: egg, larva, pupa, adult. Even more impressive is that he remembered that the pupa casing is called a chrysalis. Next we did the one and only workbook exercise for the chapter which mostly involved a lot of remembering and comparing the different life cycles. The activity book has a ton of activities for this chapter though. Lots of dissecting chicken eggs and looking up butterflies on Enchanted Learning. I can't wait to do some of those. We did learn in the workbook that the beetle has a similarly staged life cycle as a butterfly and that a grasshopper's is similar to a cockroach's. This prompted us to try and look up what a beetle pupa looked like, since we didn't even know that they went through that stage!

And this brings me to my title. First we looked in the Kingfisher First Animal Encyclopedia. We found some butterfly pupa. Then we looked in the DK First Animal Encyclopedia and found several pages on insect life cycles and butterflies and moths and another couple on beetles, but no beetle pupa. Then it was time for my friend and yours, Google. Go ahead and Google an image search for "beetle life cycle" and you will not be disappointed. Cam was so into it. After we finished the workbook exercise he started asking if he could play video games but I made him wait to see if we could find a beetle pupa first. Once he found out that we were going to search via internet, he stuck to me like glue through the whole investigation. We looked at just about every link on that first page and he would've sat through more, I'm sure.

So let me just say again, the Information Age is awesome and Google rocks. Maybe we should call this the Google Age. Back in the Google Age, students could find information on any random concept that happened to enter their little minds, and it was good. Knowledge is Power. Rock on, my little nymphs. Rock. On.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It's the little things...

I started the day off with trip to the dentist to have an old crown replaced. Yippee. I don't have a big fear of dentists or anything, but it's not really my favorite place to be. They offered something new this time that did make it a little nicer. No, not laughing gas, lol. It was just a pair of headphones with some Mozart. First they started me off with some new age cd named Spa but that didn't relax me, it just annoyed me. ;) I requested anything classical instead and so she brought my good friend, Amadeus. I did frequently find myself annoyed that they were interrupting my music with Please turn your head this way, Jennifer, or Open wider, please, and it was a bit hard to hear over the whine of the drill, but it did make it an overall nicer experience. And with no kids to worry about, I almost fell asleep a few times...

I got home and Greyson was crying. Sitting on the couch, by himself, crying. Gotta love that particular "parenting" technique... leave the room. *roll eyes* Apparently though, he wanted milk and nothing else was going to do. I guess Daddies are at a disadvantage there. Anyway, after he was fed and happily asleep we got down to schoolwork.

Cameron insisted on doing Spelling again, even though I had wanted to wait until Wednesday to do it again. We did some exercises with the ending sounds of the words and then he designed a sign that would be appropriate to hang in a bus. The assignment was to write a rule that would be good for a bus. He said, "sit down," and Cassia said, "stay in your seat." He wanted both of them on his sign until he realized that he was going to have to write it himself. Suddenly, "Sit down" was enough. LOL. After he wrote it in the workbook, I decided to go a little Hands On on him and told him to make a real sign that we could hang in the minivan, since that was our bus. First he just wrote "SIT DOWN" in yellow pen, but then I encouraged him to make it a little more readable and embellish a little. I'm happy with the result. Of course, not so happy that I actually remembered to put it in the car, but you know.

Next came math and that was just another two page exercise on grouping. There are x groups of y pencils. He did a great job counting by 2s and 3s though. I wanted to do science also, but it was time to go to 4-H.

Today was Arts & Crafts day at 4-H and they were making books. We used some paper that they made last month in tie dye class (which we were unfortunately sick for) for the covers and then accordion-folded pages to fit within. Cameron was a little concerned that his pages weren't folding quite exactly to the cover size, but the group leader graciously told him that it was perfect and that that was what made his homemade book unique. I love that. There turned out to be some extra supplies so Cassia was also able to make a book, with another mom's help. I didn't even ask her to help us; she just jumped in and made a book for Cassia, letting Cassia help just enough so that she felt it was her own. I love that too. Do public school moms do that? I hope so (for their sake), but it is that attitude which will keep me homeschooling for as long as humanly possible.

Anyway, we lingered there for a long time coloring in our new books and playing with our friends. The leader was really happy to see Cameron and his friend C.O. filling up their books with drawings right away. I guess older kids tend to save their special works for special writings - poems or drawings - and sometimes they never even get used. I find that happening with my "special" books and journals... you just never want to "ruin" them with something unworthy. Anyway, it was a refreshing change to see children just using them and making them beautiful NOW.

And the final treat - which I could NOT leave unmentioned - CUPCAKES!!! Our friend C.J. from preschool park day, brought cupcakes to yet another activity to celebrate her birthday this past weekend. Sadly, there were a lot of kids this time and we had to suffer with only one each. I wasn't even sure I would get mine, but they seemed to save the last one for me... which I did truly appreciate. ;) But like I said in my title, it's the little things that make a day good.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Isn't it Just Ducky?

We were at Arby's yesterday for lunch (shhh!) and this elderly lady came up to our table and starts cooing at Greyson. Then she pushes my food out of the way, lol, and tells the kids that she wants to show them something. She then goes into this huge production about how to draw a ducky from a number two. She's obviously given this demonstration to more than a couple kids. She's having a blast. The kids are enthralled. Life is good. This morning, the first thing Cameron did was draw an entire page full of duckies. I wish I had some way of letting her know that, but she was just a random stranger committing a random act of kindness. I have no idea who she is or if we will ever see her again, but I think I will always remember her. :)

Today for school, Cassia insisted that we start out with music. It had been a while since we did Poco a Poco, but they remembered it all. We learned about the dotted half note and read a story about the neighbors who live on Beat Street. Cameron played his recorder to the beat and Cassia strummed the guitar.

Afterward, Cameron got out his slot car track, Greyson took a nap, and Cassia got comfortable in front of Starfall while I took a shower. The rest of the morning was filled with playing and a couple chores and some errands and some general life stuff. We watched Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest. I always wondered why that movie never hit it big - it sounded so good - now I know, lol. Then Cameron went on a gigantic slot-car race track building frenzy. I finally stopped him so that we could do some schoolwork and he was quite cooperative with the whole thing! In fact, he was downright happy to oblige.

So we sat on the floor in the dining room - because the table was covered in race track - and started his first official spelling list. We read the words and did a page and a half of related activities (half the lesson) and then I had him write the words in his new Spelling Notebook. I bought him a little 4-1/2" x 3-1/4" notebook to write all his words in that he can carry around with him for quick reference and study. Like that's going to happen, lol, but really, you never know! If nothing else, it made the words "special." In case you are curious, here are the words: tub, bus, bat, see, sit, and us.

Next we started Chapter 4 in math... multiplication! I never would have thought to teach my 5 year old multiplication, but there it is. At this point, it is just illustrating the concept that 4+4+4 is 3 fours. He seems to get it. Cassia was very interested too. She was laying on the ground with us, counting all the apples and bananas right along with him. It was SO nice to just have her there watching and joining in rather than fighting for attention. Perhaps my little girl is finally gaining a little bit of maturity? (*knock on wood*)

And that brings us to now. Greyson is happily strumming/thumping away on the guitar. Cameron and Cassia are out in the backyard enjoying an unseasonably beautiful day. (We're actually wearing shorts and sundresses today! It's supposed to rain again on Wednesday though so we are taking advantage of it while we can.) The house is reasonably clean and for some reason I feel like we got an extra couple hours today. How did that happen?? :)

Friday, March 02, 2007

Sunny Days

The sun did, in fact, come out today for our park day. It was GORGEOUS! Warm, sunny, not a cloud in the sky! This meant that we were able to share cupcakes with one of our park friends to celebrate her 4th birthday. Yippee!! We love cupcakes, as I've mentioned more than once. ;) Unfortunately, only a couple other families were there so that meant that each kid ended up eating like 4 cupcakes each! :O Yes, you read that right. Four EACH. I think we might need to do a unit study on moderation, lol.

I didn't manage to get us organized enough to get any schoolwork done before we left, but I did manage to print out a Basic Facts Worksheet for Cameron to do in the car. I even remembered to bring it, a clipboard, and a pencil along! He did pretty well on it too. At one point he asked me what six plus six was and I answered him by asking what five plus five was. He said, "Well, five plus five is ten so one more on each makes it twelve, right?" By George, I think he's got it.

After we got home from the park, I had him do some reading. It was a little rough going, since it was so late and everyone was so tired (everyone fell asleep on the way home!) but we got through an entire two page lesson reviewing the different sounds for "ea" and then learning the sight words "to," "do," and "who."

And that makes two weeks in a row where we've done school all five days in the week. Yay us!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Is it bedtime yet?

Ah, the vicious cycle of sleep-deprivation. Not enough sleep = more coffee = more awake at night = not enough sleep because the kids are still waking up at 6:30 = even more coffee = wanting a nap in the middle of gymnastics = caffeinated tea in the late afternoon = probably up late again tonight because I've gotta finish the book I'm reading too. (Oh so "Greyson" comes up on my spell check but not "gotta"? LOL)

Yeah, so, I dawdled the morning away while the kids played and then we went to gymnastics. Cassia made a friend in class and they were so sweet together.

Girl poke-tickles Cassia out of the blue. Cassia giggles. Cassia poke-tickles back. Girl giggles.
Cassia: Guess what? I'm three and a half!
Girl:REALLY??? Wow! I'm three too!
Cassia:No, I'm three and a half.
Girl:I'm three and three... quarters.
Cassia:Yeah? Well, I'm three and a half quarters.
Girl:Oh. OK!
Both girls start jumping up and down over and over and over and over and giggling and jumping and giggling and jumping. I think they were MFEO. ;) (That's "made for each other" just in case you don't speak girly-girl.)

She got pretty whiny during Cameron's class though and I chalked it up to tiredness and trying to fight off dh's cold. I must've been right because she fell asleep on the way home - and it's less than 10 minutes away! - and then slept for almost 3 hours. During that time Cameron did his schoolwork.

He did a spelling lesson on ending sounds. Easy cheesy. The next lesson is the first one with an actual word list! I tried to hype it a bit and we glanced through it and he proved to himself that he could really read all the words already. Next he did science (not in the mood for reading and 'rithmetic today) and I was very sorry to discover that the workbook lesson for this chapter was only one page long! Usually the workbook sections are like 6 and I have to break them up into a couple days. This we had done in about 3 minutes and barely counted as a subject in my book. We really should've done it the other day when we did science so we could start a new chapter today. Oh well. I was too tired to care too much so I just had him practice the recorder for about 15 minutes to make up the time instead. He really liked having that as make up work. Now that I think about it, I probably should've had him play the geography game, but I think I needed a light day today.

Hopefully I will be able to go to sleep early tonight and sleep ALL NIGHT without all my strange assorted kicking, coughing, nursing, and nightmaring bedfellows keeping me up. Hopefully we have a park date tomorrow, if the weather holds up, and we'll have to get school done BEFORE we go.