Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm Experimenting...

with telling the kids consequences for choices and letting go rather than constantly nagging the kids to do what I want them to do.

One thing I am trying is telling them that we can have kindergarten when their chores are done or when the family room is clean. It's just not cutting it yet. Lately they have often just not gotten to have school. Today was one of those days.

I really don't like how often we are missing school because of things not getting cleaned up. It's not that we're missing something or getting behind. Frankly, they often do just as good of things when we don't have school as when we do. And school this year is to practice and figure out what works well for our family, how flexible/ rigid we want to be and the routines and schedules we want to have (at least until the family dynamic changes, which seems to happen pretty often with this age of kids. Their schedules and needs change often.)

My goal is to help my kids be self-governed. I know we'll need to work on that for years, but we're trying to put some things into place.

Anyway, no school today.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Real Kindergarten Day Again

For Mom Class today we read from our 2007 Blog Book. So we saw lots of pictures of Amy when she was a baby. Amy asked lots of good questions. She was adorable.

Then Amy chose sliding down the stairs in a sleeping bag over and over. We had so much fun. I think Eliza liked it the most.

After the oldest one felt a little too old to slide anymore (I wonder who that was), we took a break. Amy chose a New Testament story to read with pictures. The first part of the book talked about the premortal existence and showed pictures of Jesus and Satan. We've talked a lot about them before, but Amy had more questions and thoughts about Satan. We talked more about Heavenly Father's plan and Satan's plan. (As I have been thinking about liberty and self-government lately, it was interesting to consider what the essence of God's plan was (agency) and why Satan's plan of force was not a good one.) We got from there to talking about heaven and the judgment. So I just drew the Plan of Salvation diagram on the white board, and we discussed it. Amy was familiar with many aspects of it and knew some answers and also asked some great questions. She did not know what the veil was or the Celestial Kingdom. (She insisted that she can remember the pre mortal world.) Amy really wants to go to the Celestial Kingdom REALLY REALLY bad. Me too.

At this point we returned to sliding down the stairs.

Then Noel woke up as we were working on Closing Routine and wanted to choose an activity. So we went outside. She's been sick so she was a little lethargic out there but had fun. We climbed the apple tree, played on the swing set, and played with a big ball. Eliza ate snow till her hands were too red. We made pictures in our garden box in the undisturbed snow using our hands and our feet.  Very fun.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Patriotism, Family, Memory, and Movies

I'm afraid I'm a little behind on here. I hope to catch up soon. For now, here's what we did today.

I asked Amy if she wanted to do a family history story, a project of making Joy School binders, or read a story of my choice for mom class today. She chose story of my choice. And then proceeded to reject my choice. She pointed my attention to the Power Tales books, and I happily chose one of those. We read about "The Power of Patriotism" with the story of Francis Scott Key.

Then Amy chose a story of her own - The Princess and the Pea

Next activity was play "Family". Amy was the mom. I was the dad. (I think the mom may have been a more natural part for me. I was expected to use a deep voice and speak Spanish.:) Amy requested that we watch a movie first to give us ideas for our pretend play. (We did this once with Mickey Mouse, and she loves it when she can get away with it again. Not that she needs ideas for how to play family.) We watched some mormon messages that had a family walking together and another with a mom and dad playing with their baby. Eliza was more or less agreeable to playing the different recreations of the movies we watched. Then Amy told me to play with the baby while she made lunch. (Is it that fun to play with the baby while someone else makes lunch in real life? That was awesome.)

Then our little family transitioned to having Family Home Evening. I conducted. Luckily I knew most of this script in Spanish as I've heard Matt conduct FHE lots of times. THE was in charge of song. Amy said he chose Nephi's Courage so we sang it. Then Eliza did trick. Kind of. About like she usually does. Then comes show and tell. When it was my turn, I went and got a game thinking it would be fun to play. (It's always hit and miss whether or not Amy's activities will be entertaining for me so I sometimes like to nudge her towards something less boring than some activities.) It worked.

So we played Memory. Amy's very good at it.

Then Eliza insisted on the next activity. Snack time.

Noel wanted to go on a bike ride, but I was tired and feeling a little yucky so they went outside by themselves for a small moment. Then she suggested a movie for her activity. We watched a few little youtubes and called it good.

Fun and busy kindergarten.

Now Amy's practicing songs along with one of her Alexander's Amazing Adventures CDs. It's pretty cute.