Thursday, March 28, 2013

Strawberries, Bikes, and Stories

Mom Class today was cutting strawberries to freeze so they wouldn't go bad. Amy learned to carefully use a knife.

Amy chose riding bikes for her first activity, and we had a good time doing that. We've been loving the springtime weather.

Then we read A Fish Out of Water and an entire Spanish comic book (a short one, but still, read the whole thing.)

Noel and Eliza slept through it all.

During school today we had a friend in the ward helping us fix our light socket downstairs. Sometimes we helped a little with that.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Thespian School

Yesterday we had my sister, sister-in-law, cousin, and aunt over for a total of 5 fun ladies and 8 fun kids. We had a great time playing most of the day. There was a lot of talk about education philosophy - my favorite subject. (Earliest guest came at 10:00 am, and last left at 10:00pm.) In the late afternoon, all of us except Burns's family went to see Fiddler on the Roof Jr. with complimentary tickets from my neighbor. The kids did mostly well, and the actors were great! We enjoyed ourselves. We called that school for yesterday.

Today we talked about plays for Mom Class. (This is an idea I've had for a while, not intentionally making this week a unit on theatre. Although we did go to a Messiah Sing-a-long (not a play, but still a concert), and Amy, Noel and I are going to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Saturday. So, that's fun.) I showed the girls a copy of Merchant of Venice that I checked out at the library. That was my most recent play to read (listen to.) I showed them how there is a list of characters and taught them about acts and scenes and directors. Amy has been wanting to direct a play from her Alexander's Amazing Adventures CDs for a long time. I wanted to teach her about having a script. So for the rest of Mom Class, we started the script, starting and stopping the CD and transcribing. Who knows if she'll ever do it. I think she's excited about telling everyone where to go and what to do.

Noel chose a puzzle for her activity, and we quickly did that together.

Amy chose a book for her activity. That didn't take long either.

I told the kids we could do one more activity they agreed upon. They chose acting out Caps for Sale. Noel is cute how she tries to say "Fifty cents a cap."

Throughout the school day there were constant snacks. I went to the store and stocked up, mostly on produce, and the kids seemed to be hungrier than usual. :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Another Day at Sleepy School

This morning I made a Joy School binder, and the girls helped so we called that Mom Class.

This afternoon we did our opening routine and Amy's activity. She chose a massively long Spanish lesson. I even had to pause to take a nap. We finished our comic book about Smurfette.

Now she is asking for a reading lesson from a book we borrowed from a friend about teaching children to read. I think we'll check it out.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Colored Popcorn

Amy said:
I love Noel. Without Noel, who would be my prince?
The thing about Eliza, I love her, and she's beautiful. She's so cute and funny.

Mom class was a Spanish lesson. All the smurfs are in love with Smurfette and are fighting.

Weeding class was short and cold.

Amy did an experiment with popcorn, marshmallows and chocolate chips. She mixed them all together. I thought it was gross.

We did school while Noel was at Joy School today so she didn't do an activity, and it's kind of short.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Today We Learned about Bad Sportsmanship

Well, I think it came pretty naturally. And I don't know if we learned anything about good sportsmanship. Ah well.

First we tried mom class. We built a fort in the family room a couple of weeks ago, and I was ready for it to be cleaned up. So Mom Class was pick up a blanket, do something silly with it together, fold it up together. Sounded like a good idea to me. The enthusiasm to see it all the way through lasted through one and a half blankets. Then they wouldn't help and started playing their own thing.

I took a little break to decide how to proceed and then told the girls how I felt that they weren't willing to do my activity at school. They came around, and we had fun. There was some creative silliness with the blankets. We swung around kids and bunnies. We twirled and hid under them like they were parachutes. Once Amy decided to lie in the middle on top of a small toy tomato with a toy stroller on her tummy. I then was supposed to wrap her up and pick her up. When I put her down, we looked for where the tomato was. Awesome.

When we finally had most of the blankets cleaned up, Amy decided we should take a little rest under the last one. I read one story with my words starting to blur together, and I was out. After a while I heard the girls saying to each other, "Mom fell asleep. Right in the middle of school." and "I wonder how long she is going to sleep." I smiled to myself but still couldn't quite get up.

I finally woke up ready to play. Amy chose checkers for her activity. We set it up, and I taught the girls how to play. Noel got bored pretty quick and bowed out. When Amy realized that I had a queen (in our house checkers kings would be called queens) and that she may have to get jumped at some point in the game, she had a fit crying about wanting to win. A minute later she pushed away the whole board and ruined the game.

Noel chose Carcassone for her activity. We had a fun time for a while until Noel started taking "Amy's" guys. Amy got mad. Noel didn't give them back. Suddenly Amy threw a bunch of pieces. I told her she couldn't play anymore but that Noel still could. She started to cry again.

Finally after a little snuggle and some persuasion, Amy joined me in cleaning up another game they had messed up earlier. We still have to go clean up the last blanket, the bunnies, and Carcasonne. I must admit, sometimes following through on cleaning up after ourselves can be daunting - especially if I insist on the kids doing it (like I think I often should.)

Maybe sometime soon I will talk to Amy about sportsmanship.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Morning Sickie School

Today we seized the opportunity and had school in the late morning while Eliza was asleep. (She was up too early and CRANKY. Later in the morning she was just too tired.)

As Noel was throwing up this morning and smelled gross, her activity - which we started with - was bath time and pretend play. I was a friendly giant that protected them from sharks and helped them catch fish and kept their boat from falling over and made a shark free zone for them to scuba dive in. I was proud of them for playing slowly - at one point they were the sharks - so as not to splash water out of the tub.

Mom Class was reading a poem from a book of poetry by my Grandma Armstrong. It was a really good little poem. I really want the girls to learn family history.

Amy chose pretend play that was a bit hard to follow for her activity. She mostly just talks about stuff, and I have a hard time paying attention, "Pretend we were... and then... and also we..." And I have no idea if she actually wants me to do anything.

And now the kids are telling me we are NOT done with school. Eliza's still asleep so that works for me. (I just hope sometime we'll stop for lunch. I'm hungry.)

... We finally finished a while later. It's nice to have the afternoon free with school done and dinner in the crock pot. (Of course, now we are doing the chores we didn't do this morning.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Words Words Words

I showed Amy pictures of my grandma named Amy today and then taught her how to do Grandma Amy's favorite puzzles, crossword puzzles. I found an easy book of crosswords with pictures for clues at the forum and gave it to her today. She did well. I helped her spell the words.

Then Amy chose reading marathon for her activity. I don't know if she realizes that I would be happy to do those more often for her activities. It's fun.

Last Week Wrap-up

Tuesday, Amy and Noel went to Joy School in the morning. Amy got to stay which she usually doesn't get to do. So I had a lovely break and did some dishes.

That afternoon all three kids fell asleep. It's so incredible when that happens. I finished cleaning the kitchen and almost finished the Joy School binder I was working on. I had to wake them up (bummer) to take them to a family dinner (fun.)

So no school Tuesday.

I can't for the life of me remember Wednesday. I don't even know if we had school or not.

Thursday morning I woke up realizing a bunch of stuff I wanted to get done and urgently so I cancelled school. I finished the Joy School binder, made phone calls and sent emails, prepared a couple of dinners, folded a bunch of laundry, babysat my neice, and plain old exhausted myself. I had to get ready for the weekend.

Friday and Saturday we spent the days at the Thomas Jefferson Education Forum. The kids were in the childcare center. I went to a seminar Friday and helped in the childcare center Saturday while Matt was a room host in classes. We had a great time (and got a bit overwhelmed at times) and were exhausted when we were done. So we didn't have school per se, but Amy at least got TONS of activities both days. All the kids had fun.

Guest Day

Last week was a little rough on school at our house.

Monday we decided for an exception to have a guest at our school. Our friend, Londyn joined us. We did printing and laminating. Then we played outside for everyone's activities. First we did some weeding. (That didn't go over so well. Londyn worked the hardest but kept asking if we could be done. Amy was flighty, and Noel was concerned her shoes would get dirty. Then we played on the swing set, with the baseball, on the trampoline, and on the baby swing.

Londyn wanted to go home partway through. Noel was sad because she wanted Londyn to come to her activity so she went to ask Londyn to come back.

Amy explains what happened next:
Londyn was jumping on the trampoline, and then she went home, but I got sad. It was boring because Londyn is my best friend, and she leaved.

(Amy's not really remembering the details right. I was hoping to blog about this before a week passed. Londyn was telling Amy to not look at her or follow her, and it hurt Amy's feelings. I was really proud of Amy for coming over then and talking to me about her feelings. She realized she had some choices and that she didn't have to play with Londyn right then if she didn't want to. After school the girls decided to see if they could play with Londyn at her grandma's. I think Amy realized that Londyn still may be mean, but she chose that. I was proud of her for thinking and expressing herself and consciously choosing.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Spring Fever

We had a reading marathon today in my bed. I was secretly hoping some kids would fall asleep and that I would be able to too. Noel got tired and ended up in her bed sleeping although she made enough noise, sporadically enough times that the few times I was drifting off, she took care of that. Amy enjoyed the rest time and read. Then she and I decided to get up and have school.

Mom Class was printing and laminating Joy School and primary things. (I am hoping to finish making the Joy School binders I have been working on for two years this summer. Next year I will have room for another favorite mom class. Maybe. I have fun just doing whatever.)

Amy kept thinking of more and more activities. She kept telling me "Now I have 3 in mind. Now I have 5. Now I have 8..." I think she got up to 12.

So we went to the swing set first. After quite a while in the back yard I realized and asked and found out that her activities were all playing outside. I think she has spring fever. We had fun on the swing set, the trampoline, the baby swing, in the cherry tree, in the melting snow, climbing on the fence, playing doctor, almost playing basketball but getting distracted, talking about gardening and spring. After a while we moved to the front yard for baseball and twirling baseball bats on strings, and Eliza wanting a stroller ride, and...

Now we're in for closing routine, and Daddy's home. And Amy REALLY wants to ride bikes. We'll see. :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

The School Day that may not have Happened

Today Amy needed to clean up her room before school because I was frustrated about how messy it was AGAIN. I told her cleaning her room could be school or she could clean it quickly and then have school for school.

Then Noel freaked out and earned consequences of a nap and cleaning her room herself. Instead of her room, I asked Amy to clean some of the kids stuff that had been messed in my room. She did it so efficiently and so well that we were able to have a full school day. Wahoo!

Mom class was doing SODAS. (See for more of that.) Because of some poor choices Amy had made, we discussed choices and their advantages and disadvantages.

For Amy's activities, we had the shortest sword fight ever, snack time of apples and popcorn, and 3 stories.

Now she wants to be done because she wants to copy what I wrote in our SODAS papers. She likes practicing her writing.

I love the feeling of a school day with Amy.