Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I've been tagged!!

Four jobs you have had in your life:
  • I worked at a tiny bookstore when I was 14, organizing books and checking out customers. The owner paid me $20 cash and $20 book credit per week - I loved it!!
  • I worked checking groceries at a fancy grocery store where the customers probably paid 50% more for their groceries than at a regular store simply because it's a status symbol to shop at Petty's! I met my husband there, though!
  • I worked at a day care center
  • I worked as a physical therapist assistant at a hospital

Four Movies you would watch over and over:

  • "Sliding Doors"
  • Any of the Lord of the Rings trilogy - I pretty much count those as one LOOOONG movie!
  • "Rat Race"
  • "Gone with the Wind"
Four Places You’ve Lived: I've only ever lived in one city! Is that pathetic?

Four TV Shows you love to watch:
  • "Scrubs"
  • "The Apprentice"
  • "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
  • "Survivor"
Four websites I visit daily:
Four of my favorite foods:
  • Mexican food
  • Bacon, tomato, peanut butter, and mayo sandwiches
  • Libby Lou's chicken salad
  • Cheesecake - any flavor!
Four places I’d rather be right now:
  • On a cruise with my hubby!
  • At Disney World with The Family!
  • Anyplace where The Family is!
Four bloggers I am tagging: Unfortunately, I don't know enough other bloggers yet to tag anyone! Someday, though, someday!!

Tuesday, January 31st

This was a really great day because we are finally getting to things in Horizon that Bear doesn't know! So I feel like she's really learning something! We did Lesson 17, which really talked about the concept of "larger". Not that we've never talked about that, and she can (fairly) easily tell you which number is the largest in a group, but we really spent some time discussing it today. I have chick peas that I use for counting, and I'd grab a few in each hand and have her say which group was larger. What's funny is, while this was such a simple exercise, she LOVED it and didn't want to stop!
In Lesson 18, we talked about "ordinal numbers" - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. - I didn't even know they were called that! The book related them to the days of the week which made it easy to explain. Then she did a worksheet that had her doing things like "Color the 3rd duck green and the 5th duck red". What was really awesome was that I explained the first one to her and then she was able to do the others by herself, which meant she was reading the color names independently!!! This was such a rush for me to hear! It almost makes my eyes tear up just writing about it!!

Monday, January 30th

Today we played one of Bear's favorite "school games" which I call "Feed the Pilgrim and Indian". On little cards, I have all of the letters and diagraphs, as well as the "sight family" blends that we've worked on so far. She pulls one out of a paper bag and if she can say the sound of the letter or blend, she gets to "feed" the Pilgrim or Indian a "piece" of pumpkin, bread, or venison. (I made this game back at Thanksgiving, when we were learning about the first Thanksgiving and what they ate and things like that.) I've always intended to update the game or make a "generic" one, but I've never gotten around to it! I got the idea for this game from a book that I was using to teach reading and she really loves playing it! I've got to figure out a way to use it for OTHER learning things!

We're plugging on in Horizons math and beginning to cover some things that we haven't really gone over much yet. Today, part of the lesson talked about pennies and what the "cent" sign looks like, and some simple graphing (color the squares to match the number). She did miss a couple of problems, not because she didn't know the answer, but because she wasn't paying attention. I guided her in correcting the mistakes, but this was the first time I put a "-2" at the top of her page and not just a star! :(

Friday, January 27, 2006

Friday, January 27th

We played a game today that it's been a long time since we played. I call it the "Roll Over Bears" game, and originally I use it for practice recognizing the numbers 1-12. Now, however, we use it for practice in subtracting, I guess. It goes with the song "...and they all rolled over and one fell out, there were ___ in the bed and the little one said 'Roll over, roll over..." We start with 12 (because that's how many bears I made originally!) and Bear finds the number, puts it in the right place, we sing the song, she takes one away and figures out which number comes next. She really enjoys it and, today, she and Deco had fun taking turns removing the bear that had rolled out of bed! (Although I did have to referee just a couple of arguments over whose turn it was !)

We did 5 exercises in Horizons math and I had Bear work on reading the instructions, so I was able to combine reading practice with math! Yay! I love it when I can combine stuff like that!

I wanted to finish up with something that was pure "fun" so I got out a couple of puzzles for The Kids - Strawberry
Shortcake for Bear and a letter puzzle for Deco. They both needed help, Deco more than Bear, of course, but it was fun. I'm always amazed at how well Bear can DO puzzles because I'm so BAD at them! I must say, however, that I've gotten better since helping Bear! Of course, they're all kids puzzles, but, hey, I'm proud of myself! We listened to "Frog and Toad all Year" on tape while we did the puzzles

It hasn't been a terrible exciting week, but I realized this week that I can't imagine NOT doing this. I'm so excited to watch them BOTH learn and to know that I have "done" that - with God's help, of course! I certainly couldn't do it without Him!

Thursday, January 26th

Since we had Bible study this morning we didn't have school. Well, actually, I planned to have school this afternoon after we had some friends over, but we just ran out of time! Our friends brought their jupiter jump which all the kids had a blast playing on! It was a great time for all of us!

Wednesday, January 25th

I bought a set of "Magnetic Poetry for Kids" which is made up of fairly easy words to read on tiles that are a little larger than the other sets. Bear had a blast today picking out words and trying to arrange them into a sentence that made sense!
One "story" that she came up with (with a little help!) was "Did you play dad? What will the boy sing? Monkey sun." (At which point I began singing "Oh, monkey sun, doo, doo, doo, doo" to the tune of "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles!)
She also practiced handwriting today, but that was just a review because her handwriting is great! I just needed some time to copy some things out of a book that I had to return to a friend and that was a good way to keep her busy!

Tuesday, January 24th

Today Bear did a lot of "seat work" type stuff, mainly worksheets from a workbook, which she really seems to enjoy. I have a book called The Pencil Pal Big K Workbook, which covers a lot of subjects, and we're trying to finish the entire book. It wasn't a very exciting day, but Bear seems to get a lot of pleasure from completing a page and getting a star at the top!
Our memory verse this week is Colossians 3:17, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Bear knows it pretty well, which is exciting, and it's cute to hear Deco repeat it as I guide him!

Monday, January 23rd

On Monday, we went to visit some friends of ours who also homeschool, so it was a pretty short day. I introduced some new sight families: "oy", "igh", "ur", "er", and "ir" - Bear got a kick out of the fact that the last three of those make the same sound. Then we read a simple book called Car Wash Kid.
I really enjoyed getting together with our friends. She has 3 kids, ages 2, 4, and 5-ish (maybe 6), and homeschools the older ones. It's nice to talk to someone who has been HS-ing exactly as long as we have because we've got the same concerns over whether or not we're missing something. We were able to compare activities and curriculum and things like that. Plus, The Kids got to play a lot and I got some adult conversation!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

SafeSide SuperChick!

We got this FANTASTIC video called "The Safe Side! Don't Knows and Kinda Knows". It's produced by the woman who created the Baby Einstein stuff and by John Walsh, the host of "America's Most Wanted". The girl who hosts the video (the Safe Side Super Chick!) is so funny and The Kids really love it - in fact, they asked to watch it at least twice a day for the first four days we owned it! (Not that I let them watch it each time they asked!)
The video really covers a lot of information about how kids should respond to people that they don't know and to people that they only know a little, like their soccer coach or their friends parents. And it talks about it in a way that Bear really remembers and enjoys! I love it because it covers things that I might not have thought to emphasize. For example, Safe Side Super Chick talks about your "safe side super circle" which is basically your personal space, only a lot bigger, and how you should always be aware of who is in your circle, especially if they are a Don't Know.
It's a great video!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Friday, January 20th

Well, we didn't really do anything too exciting today. I got out the letter flash cards and we had some fun doing "speed drill" type activities with them. I mixed up the upper and lower case letters and laid them down very quickly and Bear shouted out the letter. She loved this because she got to yell! Deco was yelling right along with her, even though he doesn't know his letters!

We started in the Horizon Mathematics Book 1 this morning. It was super-easy for Bear because she already knew the things that the book was covering (count 1-10, write #1, etc.) but I figured that it wouldn't hurt for her to have some lessons in following directions. Plus, that way I'm not skipping around, trying to find the lessons that are more challenging and possibly missing something key. We did 3 lessons in the book.

It was a quiet day!

Last night, when I was reading Bear's devotion to her at bed time and she asked me to read the title of the story to her, which was "Poochie's Lost". She pointed to the word "Poochie's" and said, "Look, Mom, they took out the 'i', and threw it away and added that little thing....what's that called? (an apostrophe, I told her). It was 'Poochie is...' now it's 'Poochie's'!" I was really excited because contractions are something I explained to her once when we came upon one while I was helping her read a book. It amazed me that she recognized one a few days later!

Thursday, January 19th

I started the women's Bible study at our church this morning, so we didn't have school. (I figure this counts as the "socialization" that people are worried that homeschooled kids don't get!) The study is "The Patriarchs: Encountering the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" by Beth Moore and I'm SUPER excited about it.
Today I received the Horizons Mathematics curriculum I ordered, so we'll start that tomorrow. I was worried that I was unintentionally missing some basic elements of math, so, after lots of research, we chose this particular curriculum. It is affordable and I read lots of positive reviews. The books look great and I can't wait to start!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wednesday, January 18th

We started our day off with "Show & Tell", which The Kids love and request often! I just have them pick something from their room and tell what they picked and what they like about the toy that they picked. Bear chose the wooden dress-up dolls that she got for Christmas and said that she liked the clothed that they were wearing and she liked the one that had brown hair like her. She liked the other dolls braids! (We discussed NOT dressing the dolls with their bellies showing!) Deco picked his "Wheels on the Bus" book and said that he liked it because it was "bweaking on de fwont" and he liked the tabs that could be pulled and make the pictures move! He also likes that it plays the song when you push a button on the front - or at least it USED to play a song until the button reached its 40-millionth push! Now it just sounds sick! It might seem silly to do "show & tell" with toys that we've all seen a million times, but I figure it exercises their powers of observation and their verbal skills. At least that's how I justify it!

Bear worked on some workbook pages that reviewed writing some of the letters. I had noticed yesterday that she was asking me, "How do I make a 'g'?" so I figured that a little review wouldn't hurt! She really seems to enjoy workbooks and always asks me to make a star at the top when she's finished.

Both of The Kids had fun playing with "Shape Shuffle" which is just making different figures our of colored, cardboard shapes. I'm not sure if it counts as an official tangram because there are circles, semicircles, and quarter circles, but it's the same basic principle. Bear was able to do hers on her own while Deco required a little help.
Bear's favorite activity, by far today, was when I let her write letters and numbers in vanilla pudding!!
Any excuse at all to play with her food goes over REALLY big! (Deco just ate his with a spoon.)

Tuesday, January 17th

We really didn't do anything TOO interesting on
Tuesday - I think that all my creative juices
had been emptied on Monday!
I introduced three "sight word families" to Bear - "all", "ay", and "ar". I had her write the families with different beginning letters to make different words. Then we read a simple book called Shine, Sun! It was a pretty simple day, but low in frustration, which is a GREAT thing!!

This is a picture of our schoolroom/diningroom! (Don't look too closely or you might notice that I haven't changed the calendar from December to January yet!)

Monday, January 16th

Bear & Deco in The New Wagon!

On Monday, I decided to have school at the Zoo since: a.) We haven't been there in awhile b.) We haven't done anything "fun" in awhile c.) We haven't gotten a chance to use Deco's new wagon for any long outings yet (he got it for Christmas from Nani.) d.) We needed to get out of the house! e.) And the weather was going to be perfect! So, off we headed, backpack full of PB&J sandwiches, wagon in tow! Since it was school and not just a "fun" trip, I decided to have do a Zoo Animal Scavenger Hunt. Before we left, I picked three animals that I wanted Bear to find, wrote four clues (that she could read) about each animal on index cards, and put those cards into three envelopes. She would have to read the clues, figure out the animal, find it, take a picture of it (I love digital cameras!) and then tell me some things that she noticed about the animal. I was dutifully taking notes about her obsercations so that we can turn the whole thing into some sort of craft once I get the pictures developed! The animals I chose were: 1.) Penguin - clues: small, black & white, swims, bird 2.) Sea Otter - clues: barks, does tricks, swims, has flippers 3.) Flamingo - clues: two long legs, eats fish, bird, pink (I was pretty sure that flamingos eat fish - I might be wrong on that one!) It was a BLAST! Of course, we saw a ton of other animals, too. We got to see them feeding the Aldabra tortoises, which was neat - although not very exciting, really. The tortoises are HUGE, however, and one of them is almost 100 years old! (It's amazing the things you'll learn if you listen to the Zoo volunteers!) The funniest thing that we saw was happening while the keepers were cleaning the tigers enclosure, which is right by the lions enclosure. The lions and tigers pens are separated by a rock wall and two very deep trenches. One keeper was down in the tigers trench, raking leaves and such, and I looked across and noticed that the male lion was sitting at the VERY edge of his pen, looking very interestedly at the keepers. I asked the keeper if it made him nervous, knowing that the lion was over there, wishing he could get across and have lunch! Then the female came over and started roaring at the keepers - it was awesome!!

(I titled this picture : "That keeper would be SO TASTY!")

So, that was school for yesterday! If only every day could be a field trip day!