Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quiet School

After lots of meetings and teaching Joy School this week and trying to keep my house clean for those things, I was pretty tired today. I really gave it my all during Joy School this week to enjoy the unit on "Spontaneous Delight." By the time we were done, I was ready for a rest. So school was pretty tame.

Mom Class was rest time with music. The girls and I snuggled under a blanket.

Amy chose a Spanish lesson. We stayed right there on the futon under the blanket.

NOEL chose memory game. (And Noel typed her name and insisted on holding shift for each letter.

And that's it!

A Long Long School

Yesterday I didn't get to the blogging part of the day so I'll do it now while waiting for the girls to be ready for school.

For Mom Class, I cut out many pictures for the Joy School binder (we had our meeting last night and are in a new unit. I needed the binder ready to give to the next teacher after I taught today.) In the meantime, Amy gathered and helped me prepare the materials for Joy School today. (We had so much fun. The moms joined us, and we celebrated spontaneous delight. All the kids and moms were awesome, and I think everyone had fun.)

Noel chose Parcheesi which we played with some interruptions to color on cardboard (when it wasn't their turn, supposedly.)

Amy chose reading marathon. I think we read 11 books.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Ordinary Perfect School Day

Today was just Amy and me at school; the other two were tired. I like the one-on-one time with Amy. She was very involved today, enjoying the activities but with a short attention span for each one.

For Mom Class I decided to read with her a book in a series that my mom used to teach us how to read. I taught Amy the three names in the book and how to look for the capital letters to give her a clue when there would be a name. She read the names throughout the book and did very well. She seemed to like the activity. We talked about all the things she already has done/ does that help with reading like memorizing, looking at pictures, knowing her letters and some of the letter sounds. She was excited that she's doing some reading.

Then she read me a book called Over in the Meadow, singing and getting many words right and the rhythm and repetition of the book totally right. I don't remember even reading it to her. I was so impressed! She said Aunt Melissa read it to her a few times. Awesome.

Amy chose Spanish lesson for her first activity. She only last 3 pages - short for her.

Next we did puzzles - word searches for her. She probably found 4 or 5 words - that's only a few for her.

Then she let me choose the last activity. We played Crazy 8s twice, each winning once.

Then she was ready for closing routine. We read Dooby Dooby Moo for our book.

It was a pretty perfect school day. Fun, short activities. She was engaged and interested and happy. She sat by me or on my lap a lot. I like that part too. I love these days where she is happy and helpful and relatively calm.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Spontaneous Delight

Today we cleaned the family room AND play room before we could have school. They were quite messy, and I wanted them clean because Joy School is here tomorrow. I took on the play room and had the girls do the family room. So it took a while. Finally we started.

Mom Class was setting up and practicing some activities we will be doing tomorrow for Joy School. The unit is spontaneous delight, and we are doing some fun things like putting gloves on doorknobs and shaking hands with them and climbing in a box to become a Jack-in-the-Box. The activities were a hit.

Amy chose watching videos on the LDS Friend website for her activity.

Noel chose inviting neighbors over for her activity. The activity idea shifted around a bit trying to make it fun for all. We ended up making a tunnel and acting out the Three Billy Goats Gruff.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pilates and an Instruction Game

The kids have been earning motivators to reward good behavior lately. They chose the consequences in the envelope. When they do well, they go pick 2 and choose between the 2 which they would like. Recently Amy earned a motivator and picked "Go to Grandma Anne's" (my aunt). When Noel later earned a motivator, I gave her the option to just pick that one as it would be easier to have her do the same one. So today we went there for school. Noel requested stretching, and Amy requested Pilates on Grandma Anne's Pilates machines. So we combined the too and had a great time. Cousins were there playing which makes it more fun. The kids got into a powder that smells like chalk and got it all over everywhere. So much fun.

At home we did mom class. I needed to practice using a video camera for a meeting that will be at our house tomorrow night. I wanted the girls to practice obeying instructions immediately, not really their strongest suit. So we made a game of seeing how many fun, silly instructions they could obey in certain increments of time that we wanted to practice using the camera. Kill 3 birds with 1 stone and have some fun at the same time. Sweet.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Potatoes and Princesses, New Games and Assembly Lines

Mom class today was a fashion show. I have been wanting Noel to try on some clothes to see if they still fit her. (We did try this a while back but didn't get through the whole pile.) So the girls would try something on without me looking. Then I turned on "fashion show music" which Amy said would sound like circus music. The girls marched around the room and posed (aka did a Sam bow after their awesome cousin, Sam, who does funny poses each time he is asked to take a bow.) It sounded fun. The reality is that the girls kept getting distracted, and it took forever between costume changes. They wouldn't put clothes away no matter how many times I asked, and I was getting annoyed and impatient. Ah well.

Amy chose hot potato for her activity. We tried to figure out how to play hot potato with a song or poem or something. Isn't there one? That turned into musical chairs and then me teaching the girls to play a game my dad learned on his mission that involves passing pencils around a circle and singing a Portuguese song. The girls were more interested than I would have thought they would be. It was fun.

Then we moved downstairs and finally cleaned the family room (always prerequisite to having school in there.) I taught the girls what an assembly line was to clean up a pile of books. That worked well.

Noel chose Pretty Pretty Princess for her activity. Amy won. Then Noel.

We finished up reading Danny and the Dinosaur and Library Lion which Noel checked out at her library field trip for Joy School that she had today.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Bit of Random

This morning we had family home (morning) because we thought it would be nicer to do our activity today than last night. We went bowling and to lunch and came home for a lesson.

Then we out Eliza to bed and moved right in to school.

Matt bought us new phones yesterday. (His old work provided one, and his new job (wahoo!) won't so he bought one. He got me one too. After 14 months without a phone, I suddenly have a smart phone. Crazy!

The point is, Mom Class today was choosing a ring tone. We voted on each one. At first Amy liked ALL of them, and Noel most of them. Then Amy started deciding that she hated each one. So did Noel for most. As we finally decided, the girls dissolved into Noel screaming, "I need space," Amy ignoring her, and finally Noel kicking Amy. And then, of course, they were both crying.

So we took a break, a cooling off period. I dinked around with my phone trying to figure it out. (At one point I was trying to voice command feature, trying to call Matt. "Call Matt Parks." Amy responded with, "Mom, phones don't understand" just like I often tell them Eliza doesn't understand. haha.

During our break, Noel has an accident, and Amy started reading on her own. Interest in school seemed to be dying down. I decided to go work on cleaning a bit while I waited. After a while, Amy then Noel joined me. Noel wanted to have an activity suddenly so we began again.

It went something like this. Noel wanted to make a book like she made with Hilary (our neighbor) one time. It required straws. I didn't know what kind of straws. Not the kind for drinking. We also needed string. Then we went to the kitchen. She told me a lot of things I didn't understand, finally mentioning Amy's helmet. We had made a helmet for Amy out of paper mache so I jumped on that clue. Her activity had morphed to paper mache. She had all sorts of ideas about what and how we should do paper mache, very few of which made sense, some of which were funny. I tried to hang in there, listening, repeating what I could figure out. I didn't want to squash her creativity, but I had no idea how to make her perception of reality into reality. She wanted to paper mache a tray and then paint it black. I finally explained that you can't paper mache a tray; you need a balloon, and we don't have a balloon. Finally she decided to get a box and pretend to decorate it with water. Amy brought up a piece of paper and scissors from downstairs and cut it into strips. Noel then suggested tape and began taping the papers in the box.

After a while of this (I was the tape ripper) Eliza wanted a snack. So we paused the activity and had string cheese which turned into string cheese lessons. (I love when the girls do string cheese lessons. Amy helped me make a house, and Noel helped me do some tricks.) Then Eliza wanted story. She got sidetracked, and Amy and Noel listened to the story. Then Amy wanted another story. At that point, I told the kids school was just done and that that story was our closing routine story.

Funny kids. We get so sidetracked. There were some fun and funny parts today. Days like today make me happy we do home school.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just an Ordinary Day

Before school we had a play date with friends and babysitting cousins followed by more cousins. Vidalia and Amy and THE went outside and did bubbles for a while.

Today we learned a new brain gym exercise - cross crawl sit ups. (Sit ups with elbows touching opposite knees.) We felt it in the abs.

Mom class was printing and laminating and making a joy school binder.

Amy's activity was... word searches. She loves those things and is totally rocking at them.

And I gotta get onto dinner and then tonight... family home evening.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Long Mom Class, Short Everything Else

Today for Mom Class we organized the clothes, putting away those that don't fit, trying on lots, and putting away the tons of clothes that were all over the floor.

Amy's only activity of choice was word searches, and even that wasn't very long. Then she picked a book for closing routine and called it good.

Valentine's Party at Grandma Anne's

Yesterday we met Kara and Christian and Parker at Grandma Anne's house for a Valentine's Day party. We love being there so much! We stayed for 6 hours.

First we had pizza for lunch.

Then we made valentines out of little foam sticky things that Kara brought.

Then we acted out the 3 Billy Goats Gruff over and over. Christian and his grandma have done this together before. It's part story and part obstacle course with a bridge to cross, a mountain to climb, a tunnel to crawl through, a rope to cling to, a river (blue fabric) to swim through, and a ladder on the floor to maneuver through. The kids loved it. The first time Anne popped up to ask who was on her bridge to Noel, Noel freaked. After that she was ready and put her hands on her hips and told the troll she was the mama goat and that that troll was NOT allowed to eat her. It was cute and assertive and a little bossy.

Throughout the afternoon, the girls would go with Christian in the pantry and come out laughing and screaming.

We did pilates on the equipment downstairs.

We made sugar cookies.

We talked about technology and nutrition. (That was the grown-ups.)

We read stories.

We loved it. How good to us is Grandma Anne!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's and Homemade Ice Cream

Yesterday was a family flop. Today's an unofficial kindergarten day - as in we just are doing the activities and skipped opening routine.

Matt's making homemade ice cream today, and the girls are helping.

In between, we are making valentines for friends.

And suddenly the valentine making turned into playing hot and cold finding the valentines.

Noel's valentine making is taking longer than everyone else's because she needs to make 6 - one for each Joy School friend for the Valentine's Day party tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Reading Marathon and Game Day

Today we had a reading marathon and a game of Monopoly Jr. in the place of normal school because I was low on energy.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cousins in the Middle

Today we started Mom Class - printing and laminating Joy School things to make the next Joy School binder. Then THE and Melissa and Vidalia showed up. Yay! We took a pause from school to play with them.

After they left, Amy wanted to do the word search I made the other day, but she couldn't find it. So she chose listening to a book on CD. She wanted The Hobbit, but I finished that yesterday, and Daddy took it back to the library. Then she wanted Don Quixote which we are also listening to. It wasn't in the car... (where is it right now?) so we opted for Gulliver's Travels which we are also listening to right now. (They aren't always available at the same time at the library so I start a new book even if I'm in the middle of something I had to turn in because of due dates.) So we listened and kept printing Joy School stuff.

Noel chose blocks for her activity. It's still all around.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hodge Podge

Today it was hard to convince Amy to have school because she was doing word searches (she's obsessed, and we think it's awesome that she can do them though she can't read.)

Finally I decided that we could make word searches for Mom Class. She was all aboard for that one. It was fun. She wrote family names and other words she asked me to spell.

For activities, we did a little word search/ puzzle book play, each in our own.

We read a couple books including finishing a graphic novel version of Huck Finn we've been reading.

In between all of that I put Eliza to bed and got her up (she didn't sleep) and prepared a grocery list for Matt. Amy kind of said she wanted to do that with me but then didn't. She was a bit distracted today. I'm glad she settled on some books. Amy always likes books.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

School at Barnes N Noble

Today we had school at Barnes N Noble. It was fun! We:

picked up Daddy's birthday book. (I stopped by before his birthday, but they didn't have it in stock and had to order it.)
looked around a lot
played with legos
looked at wedding books
carried around gift bags
played with pillows shaped like cupcakes
played little pianos on books
identified children's books that we own
played on their little stage
acted like animals
did some ballroom dancing
hide and seek
had intermission
avoided signing up for the kids club thing that just meant a bunch of annoying emails
had a great time

Monday, February 4, 2013

Lots of Hiding

Today was a struggle with attitudes. We got a delay to the start, and I did the minimum number of activities to not totally hurt anyone's feelings and called it quits to avoid further frustration. The kids are playing nicely downstairs, and I'm going to take a little break. :)

Mom class was a Spanish lesson.

Amy tried to choose Trafalga. There was no way I was up to that choice myself with the three kids.

Noel chose a hiding game.

That led to Amy choosing hide-and-seek. They really don't have the idea yet. They hide ALL THE TIME, but they prefer to jump out and say, "Surprise! I was hiding." They often do that before the person even had the chance to know they were hiding.

So that was it. We may go to Trafalga for FHE tonight. We'll see.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Big Change

Mom Class: Print and Laminate Joy School things.

Noel: Hair cut. (Amy got a hair cut earlier in the day, and Noel wanted one too. So we did that at the beginning of school. I got mine trimmed while we were at it. The girls got quite a lot off and have matching bobs. They look cute!

Amy: Pinball computer game.

Then the girls chose picture books to read during our closing routine instead of the usual scripture story.