Saturday, March 31, 2007
So, I decided that I'd post one of my quotes from the thread. Because, hey, if you're gonna quote someone, why not quote yourself? (ha ha ha!)
"As for it being fun, I would say it is. Is it "fun" in that they give you 50 different ideas of how to learn your +8 math facts and your child comes away from their math lesson feeling like they've been at the circus? No. But I told my husband today that it just feels like it's not work at all. We watch the lesson on the DVD and we use the blocks and we do problems for 15 or 20 minutes a day and - BOOM! Two weeks later I can ask Reilly "What's 8+5?" and she says "13!" And I feel like I didn't have to do anything. And I NEVER thought that teaching math would feel that way for me, so it's like heaven."
I'm amazed, constantly amazed at the strides Reilly has made with math since we started MUS. I know that there are many parts of Alpha that we will skip because this level teaches shapes and telling time, which she knows, so I imagine we'll move onto the next level pretty quickly. But I'm just excited that she's understanding it and enjoying it.
As for Declan, here's a story about him. We were sitting on my bed this morning and I had Troy's computer on my lap. Declan looked over my shoulder and started saying, "Look! There's a K! There's a T! There's a U!" I realized that he knows every letter. He learned them all in a week. He's like a little sponge, and it all started with his Kumon mazes book!
Friday, March 30, 2007
My kids are learning that if Mommy is surrounded by filth day after day, she gets cranky and crabby and when Mommy is cranky and crabby, she gets snappish, which makes everyone else cranky and crabby and thus starts the vicious cycle that can lead to Mommy losing her mind and ending up in the corner, moaning and rocking and sucking her thumb.
Note for the truant officer: We did math fact review on the way to the tag office. So there!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
I was a little freaked out when Declan started asking, day after day, to do schoolwork. See, I never did any official preschool with Reilly. She just learned as we did life. I honestly don't remember actually sitting down and teaching her the letters, at least not until kindergarten, when I realized that she knew the uppercase and not the lowercase letters. So I was a little but at a loss as to how to go about teaching Declan letters.
Well, I knew just where to turn - my friends over at the JustMommies homeschooling forum! The ladies over there rallied gave me tons of hints - websites for games and printouts, games that I can play, things like that. The best tip I got, however, was the video "Leapfrog Letter Factory" which is the worlds silliest cartoon movie that teaches each of the letters and the sounds that they make, using little mnemonics. The j's are jumping on trampolines, the h's are hot, the e's can't hear and say "Eeeeh?" Declan LOVES watching it and, as a result of seeing it several times this week, can now identify probably 10 letters and their sounds. Today I was doing a little bit of "reading" with him, just writing simple three-letter words on the white board and showing him how the sounds worked together.
It so much fun, watching him learn!
On a side note, Reilly loves the video just as much as he does! *snicker, snicker!*
Friday, March 23, 2007
Declan chose his Playmobil pirate ship and he could have talked for hours about how he liked it because it was a Christmas present and how Mama and Papa know what he likes and picked it out for him and showing off all the "features" - the deck, the cannons, etc. Reilly chose her American Girl doll (Kirsten) and said she liked it because she had gotten it from her Nani and it was really fun to play with and look at. It was fun!
We didn't do anything spectacular in school today, but I did take some pictures, mainly because I've not taken any "regular school" pictures in awhile.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Luckily, though, I did have the presence of mind to quit that exercise and move onto something else before it got too bad. I think the problem stemmed on her end from the fact that she heard me on the phone, inviting her friend Sophie over to play, and that got her all verklempt and excited and she couldn't concentrate. We moved onto math, but that wasn't going to well either, so we ditched everything and came back to it after Sophie left. Things were MUCH smoother later in the day...and I apologized to reilly for being such a bear. I don't know what my excuse is!
I did quite a few things with Declan today, too. He did some of his Kumon mazes and some other worksheets where he was following a path or a dotted line with his pencil. Then he did a page about red things and colored some things red. His favorite thing was making patterns with these colored linking cubes that we have. I've mainly been doing two-color patterns, just alternating between the colors. I get it started and then he builds on it. Today he was so funny because he was doing a red/yellow pattern and was showing it to me and realized that he'd left out a yellow at one point, so he had two reds in a row. Well, this just about gave him the biggest laugh of his life! THEN he started making patterns and leaving out blocks on purpose, just so he could show me and say, "OH, look at that! I left out one!" and then laugh and laugh. He's such a goof!
The week before last, since St. Patrick's Day was coming up, I got a CD of Irish kids songs from the library. I had also gotten a bunch of books about Ireland and St. Patrick's Day, so we read few of those. But it's amazed me how much Reilly loves the music! She asks for me to play it in the car, she'll play it in her room on the CD player in there, I find us singing some of the songs at random times during the day. It's so funny! I never though she'd be so taken by the music!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
So we went and ran around a bit, picking up the title to The Pepper and making a trip to Barnes & Noble. Declan got a Kumon book of mazes from Troy's mom for his birthday and he's really been having a blast with it in school. It's great practice for fine motor writing skills and I got to looking at the back of that book and seeing all the other ones they have and thinking "OH, I need that one...and THAT one...and THAT one!" I could have gone nuts, but I managed to restrain myself. I kept thinking, "OK, is this something that I need this particular book for, or is it something that I can just do at home?" For example, one book was cutting and one was tracing and I was going to get them until I realized that these were things that I could make my own worksheets for at home. I really like their upper case letter writing book, though, and may go back and get it once we really get into learning the letters.
When we got home, Reilly was fine with continuing school, so we finished up our day. I've been using a spelling curriculum called Spelling Workout, so she wrote sentences with 4 of her spelling list words. I also have a great book called something like "Cut & Paste Language Arts" so she did an exercise in ABC order where she had to paste the words in order on the paper. She just thinks it's SO cool to do school like that! I swear I could teach that girl anything with a cut and paste book! I can see it now - "Cut & Paste Physics" or "Cut & Paste Organic Chemistry"!
Well, I'm falling asleep at the keyboard, so I'm signing off for now!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
*Study Dog is a computer game that teaches reading skills. There are 3 levels and Deco wanted to play Level 1 by himself, but I told him that he really wouldn't be able to do that yet because he didn't know his letters.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Supey was on vacation, too! See, he's got his Hawaiian shirt to prove it,
even though we weren't in Hawaii!
Friday, March 09, 2007
The Pepper is a 2006 Saturn Vue and, I tell 'ya, if it was possible to be in love with a car, then I'm smitten! We're going to get a personalized tag that says somthing like "PEPPR" or "PEPRZ" or "PEPRS" (We can only have 5 letters, so we have to work with that restriction!)
Well, on to school stuff. Reilly has been such a trooper, even though she's not been up to par. We've moved from +9's to the next lesson, which is +8's and she's getting those really quickly. The best thing is that she really enjoys doing the lessons and last Saturday even pulled Troy into the schoolroom to show him how she does her math. It's fun to watch her grin when she gets an answer right!
Well, The Family is all outside, so I'm going to go and catch a quick nap. (Ha! You thought I was going to go out there with them, didn't you?)
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
So yesterday was Movie Day at our house - we literally watched movies all day long! - and we all took a very long nap in the afternoon. Today we're still going to take it pretty easy, although I may try to do some math and reading later on this afternoon. I'm honestly looking forward to us all being back to normal!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Well, this week hasn't been too spectacular, actually, in terms of doing fantastic fun things. We finished up our lesson on clouds by taking the book that we're using and going outside to identify the clouds that we could see in the sky. Reilly thought this whole unit was great fun and often looks up now and says, "Mom, look! There's a cumulus cloud!"
I've kind of abandoned the Scholastic "reading packets" that I was doing mainly because it's as though some sort of light bulb has been switched on in Reilly as far as her reading is going. She is so amazing! The other night at bedtime I was done reading, but she wanted to continue, so I let her...and she proceeded to read a page and a half of the story that we were reading out of Molly's Story Collection. She needed a little bit of help with some words like "rhumba", but that was IT! The rest of it she read smoothly, easily, and with expression. It really got me to thinking of how far she's come since the beginning of the year when she was still sounding out three letter words. Wow.
Well, I've started a sneezing fit, so I'm going to sign off before I blow the computer away!