Archive for January, 2009

Cave

January 28, 2009

In the spirit of continuing to get out of Alex’s way and let him do his own thing:
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That is his cave. He made it all by himself. I helped some with the bats because he wanted me too. The cups and string are soon to be stalactite and stalagmites. Pretty cool I think. He was so cute running back and forth and back and forth and then when I see it, there is a black piece of construction paper, a stream, and 2 rocks….LOL. Oh- the paper there…..that is a funny story. He announces we will need to keep track of the days since we read it will take about 12 days for them to form. We will count today as DAY 1 according to Alex. I am secretly *very* happy and relieved. He is doing well with reading but writing? Not so much. And so I was (this is really embarrassing…lol) patting myself on the back about what a good idea it was NOT to push him on it and OF COURSE he will come around on his own……..turns out that that stack is a count down. He numbered each page and when it has passed we rip off the top sheet……LOL. So not only is there no writing but now it looks as if I need to have a talk about wasting paper….LOL. Nothing like a child to humble you pretty quickly :-).

We read some of Vicki Cobb today and had a good time with her experiments on fooling your senses. Oh! And we made bread! I was pretty proud and Alex was stoked. It will be something we try again.

Getting Out of the Way

January 26, 2009

I was thinking a lot about this last week-getting out of Alex’s way. I had several examples in my head, but I have (naturally) forgotten them all except one.

We have not done much on our human body unit except read some books and watch the Magic School Bus (a huge thing though since up until this past week he refused to watch it. I do not know why- he loves the books, just would not watch that show. He has since become a tad obsessed…LOL) but we did make a brain hat which was a lot of fun. I had this idea of how and when we would complete it. Alex was very excited to make it and annoyed that my ideas were not matching up with his. I wanted him to color it different colors for each section and do it after we read about the brain…….he did not want anything to do with all that! I was talking to a friend who pointed out a lot of that is deschooling myself. It is true. I have been trying since then to back off. Here is our finished projectimg_6682 LOL I made my own the way I wanted and so did he 🙂

Ian had his 2nd birthday. I think it is so nice that Alex was able to spend it with his brother instead of being at school during the day. I decided to take the day completely “off” from school and was reminded of how much gets done when I am not even trying. We did some more egg crash tests, read lots of books, played a game that had him reading and using math skills. We went to Hop Skip and Jump in the afternoon and even had dinner out!
Here are his Kitty Cupcakes! Alex and I decorated them.
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And for his birthday party, 2 dinosaurs or “roars” as Ian calls them.
img_6701I can not recommend this cake AT ALL. EVER. It was a pain to decorate because you cut the cake and crumbs were everywhere. I felt like I was serving a little cake with the icing….LOL. A mess!)

Happy MLK Day

January 19, 2009

I had the gushy, mushy post saying how much I love my children a few days ago.

Today we had the polar opposite kind of day! Shew. Our morning was a definite Calgon commercial type day.

We had Co-Op which turned out to be a good thing because it gave us some space I think. Even better, when we got home I slept which REALLY helped my piece of mind! My husband had off.

After I woke up, Alex had some friends over and wanted to do an egg crash test. Here is the lone survivor who, unfortunately, met his untimely demise soon after this photo.
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Got your curiosity up didn’t I? The idea was for the egg to go down the slide in the car without breaking. We found out he needs a helmet and seat belt. We ran out of eggs before we could try other heights or ramps. I have a feeling we will be doing it again as it was a HUGE hit. Not that we got the idea ourselves. Alex saw it on Crash, Bang, Splat! and wanted to try it. It was fun though!

Our Day

January 18, 2009

I have decided that at least one day during the weekend is set aside for Science. It is too hard to do experiments during the week with Ian. So today, while my husband took Ian to Costco, we worked on our experiments.

My dad gave Alex The Young Scientist Club subscription. We have used it for a year now this Christmas and I have to say I love it! It comes with everything you need for the experiments which is a must for me. Otherwise the poor kid will be 10 before we do the experiment *sigh*. It builds on each other and they are fun. They have him do things that I would not think of necessarily, like charts and graphs. Anyway, so today we finished our fungi and bacteria. We grew our own! Do not look if you are easily grossed out!img_6644 We put antibiotic ointment over the top part (but you can see where we missed it at the very top) so we were able to see how that stuff really works! After that we had time four the next kit. This one is on measurement which is cool since that is what we are working on in The Math Chef. img_6641 This is the “spring” scale we made to measure weight in grams. We had to calibrate it and everything. It was fun and Alex was having a blast.

I am stressing out over all the things I want to get done this week. I keep typing it up, trying to figure it all out…LOL. I think I am going to have to let some things go.

Books

January 16, 2009

1- I love this
I have seen others but that one is my favorite!

2- I have created a monster. I got the second book in the A to Z series this afternoon and Alex finished it before dinner. He,at first, insisted on reading it out loud to me but finally relented when I announced he had to stop (give me a break here- we are talking hours of him reading out loud while we are driving, walking, standing in line even!).

3- Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry is adorable! I love her books. When I was in the 6th grade, we got to go and see her and I had a signed copy of Anastasia Kruptnik. I remember that she was telling us how important it is to research because whatever color she said Anastasia’s hair was is actually a shade of green. Oops! She is coming to Richmond and I wanna go! LOL. Somehow I think A will not be as interested. He does love this new book though and said it was his favorite “for now”.
4- They put non fiction children books with the adult books. Why? It makes no sense! That always makes for a fun library trip!

A Good Day

January 14, 2009

We did not get a whole lot done but it was one of those days where I just fell in love with my kids. They can be so sweet and cute!

We spent the morning trying to make a spy scope……I failed miserably. LOL. And I fought the good fight with my printer, but again, failed. I would be discouraged but instead just turned both over to my back up-hubby :). The kids were semi-behaved while I was focused on all that so I think that helped my frustration level a lot.

Ian and I worked on one to one correspondence with rocks and an empty egg carton. He was having a grand time. The only problem is I have rocks all over the house. *shaking head*

While Ian napped, Alex and I curled up on the couch and read about the human body. When you think about it, our bodies really are amazing. I should appreciate it more I think. So far our human body “unit” has been just reading and one movie. The movie was boring though so it does not count. I feel like it is lame but he seems happy and I do have a few activities planned (damn printer!…..who am I kidding?- damn procrastination trait!)

Alex was using the cart in the grocery store as his personal jungle gym and showing me how he was doing his tricks. He said, “If I was younger I could do that easier” You lose flexibility as you grow, you know. It was just cute to hear that out of his mouth.

It was nice that everyone was content today!

Thoughts

January 14, 2009

Alex told me tonight that he does not like the idea of going to school because all you do is sit. All.day.long. LOL I told him that was not exactly true but he persists in his belief because Taylor told him so. That is why he does not want to go to school. Not because of all the wonderful learning opportunities. Not because of all the free time. Not because he loves being with his family. But because he doesn’t want to sit all day.

Can’t really blame him there. LOL. 🙂

I asked him if he wanted to hs for second grade or go to school and he said he was not sure. That, I think, is why it is on his mind. I did not try too hard to talk him out of his thoughts because I like homeschooling and would like to go ahead for another year at least.

There is a certain appeal though to sending him off to school. The biggest, for me, is time alone (Ian does nap so I would have time every day!) and less driving around. I did not realize how much driving around we would be doing! It would be nice to send him off to have those social needs met all at once.

All this has made me think of the reasons we wanted to homeschool in the first place. I think it started when I realized how much time kids spend in school. He would spend more time with strangers than with his own family! Also, all that wasted time-lining up, morning work, attendance, lunch, announcements, buses…ugh! He would have to review, review, review. Alex picks up on things relatively easily and I worry it would bore him to tears to go over something as many times as they have to in school. Busy work. Like how half the time they give out those sheets designed to keep them quiet so the teacher can work with small groups. I like that he is spending time with his family and has the time to pursue his own interests. He has time to play.

Finding the balance between challenging him and letting him still be 6 is hard. Meeting his needs and Ian’s is also difficult. I have tried, but I think Ian gets his ignored more than I want to admit. Half the time I am dragging him out of the house when it is clearly time for him to nap. And me- I am soooo not a social butterfly. I am part of a great co-op but the other classes and things make me anxious. He just started basketball which seems ok and Tiger Scouts which he LOVES. He starts another class in February.

Today we did paint Ian’s train but A helped so it was not as productive as I had hoped. I was not in the mood to argue really so decided this would be a more relaxed day. I read to him but he did not read to me. He is reading me the Beatrix Potter books. I like them because they always have new vocabulary words. I am going to have a game ready for Ian when we start tomorrow. Stay tuned……..

How Annoying

January 13, 2009

Last night I *know* I wrote something up……..

Anyway. Alex taught me this experiment yesterday when we were reading about hair, skin, and nails. He saw it on Bill Nye but it is the same thing. He was even able to tell his dad why it did what it did!

I have been really working on keeping Ian busy and giving him something to do. It is not easy! That child is into everything! We made a choo-choo yesterday (3 boxes and string) and today he will paint it. Because “failing to plan is planning to fail.” I do have to make sure to have a way to include Ian though. On that note, these are hilarious.

We are still working in The Math Chef. Alex is doing really well with it.

January 11, 2009

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I got this idea from this site
Basically you just pick a color and find as much as you can in that color.
It was fun! Although for those who want to try it w/a less crafty boy (LOL) I will admit to doing it WITH Alex. It was definitely a joint effort (he in fact lost interest and wandered off to ride his scooter for a while and returned later to work). You have to turn your head to the side to get the full effect…LOL.

January 9, 2009

A Mother’s Prayer:

Dear God, Today I have not yelled, criticized, gossiped, or said “I told you so” and for that I am grateful. But, God, they are going to wake up any minute now and I know I will need your help from then on. Thank you.

LOL. Something like that was written in a new book I got from the library today. It makes me laugh. I know, doesn’t take much.

The book is called the Busy Toddler book and I am quite excited. I have GOT to get things for Ian to do. I can not even read Alex a story in peace without that child doing *something*. It is very frustrating indeed!

Yesterday, A was jumping up and down ready to do his Number of the Day. Yay! Eight

The Count

When we make it to 100, we are going to have a party. I know that we are going to make a cake in the shape of 100 and decorate it with 100 pieces of candy. I am trying to think of other activities we can do, but I am hoping that our friends can come over. Alex wants a special snack for the tens so I think I will get donuts for the 0. Not sure about the 1 yet. For 8 (pictured), he did a few addition problems, a subtraction problem, roman numeral. The animals are an octopus and spider (8 legs) and the shape is an octagon. For other numbers, we have done tally marks, domino dots, dice dots, and more. We review a lot of concepts!