Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pretty Much Same School As Yesterday Plus Melissa, Vidalia, and Noel

Mom Class was reading about Grandpa Packer again and the memories people had of him.

Noel and Vidalia were interested in dressing up. Vidalia was mostly wearing Eliza's clothes and Amy's underwear. Noel wanted costumes. Currently Noel is wearing the ducky costume and feet, and Vidalia is wearing the mask sideways and not pulled all the way down on her hair.

Amy chose reading lesson for school.

We read a dumb book for closing routine that was about Easter, only not.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Reading Reading Reading and Grandpa's Almost 100.

Today we read about my Grandpa Packer for Mom Class. It is Grandpa's 100th birthday this Friday, and many of us are going to celebrate by being in the temple together. We read about his funeral (which was 18 years ago.) We also read many nice things people said about him at this time. I liked reading about the many temple workers and patrons he and Grandma hosted in their home and sometimes drove back and forth to the temple. In a remembrance note from my other grandma (my dad's mom), I learned that my uncle and aunt and their seven children lived with my Packer for two months when they were moving to California and that my grandparents would not let them pay. I am grateful for a heritage of generous service and sacrifice.

Amy chose Peter and Jane books for her first activity - we read four of them - and a reading lesson for her other activity. (Can we tell she wants to learn to read?)

Next we're heading outside for weeding class. I hope to get a lot of weeding done this week.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

School with Lincoln

Today we invited me our four-year-old neighbor and friend, Lincoln to kindergarten. He said the opening prayer and participated in our opening routine.

Noel chose Pretty Pretty Princess for her activity. I don't think Lincoln is much into jewelry wearing. He just wanted to be Maleficent. So we had to rework the rules. At one point Lincoln decided he was done and would just go home. (This is not totally uncommon with him.) The girls were devastated. They convinced him to stay, and we decided to have his activity. We went to his house for a game and brought it home. Again, there was some disagreement about rules and what we should do with the game, but we got through. Again, Lincoln wanted to go home. I don't think he's very interested in playing at our house. Outside or his house for him.

Amy was sad (and kind of lost it) because she wanted to show him what we do for our reading lessons. She ended up just needing to go to bed. I convinced Noel to have rest time too and did some chores.

Later Lincoln came over and asked if the girls could play so I let Noel go out of rest time and play. When they left, she insisted that she and I have Mom class and that it be printing and laminating. So we did.

Technically, Amy never did an activity of her choosing. I am wondering if that will still come out tonight, probably a reading lesson.

Interesting day. I was proud of Amy for the effort she made at controlling herself (though it proved difficult) and her ability to communicate calmly with me. She was disappointed that Lincoln chose to leave and that she needed to rest, but she got to a place where she could accept it. Great job, Amy!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reading and Weeding

Yesterday and today we had pretty much the same school but in a different order. Yesterdays we started with opening routine and had mom class: reading lesson. It was Amy's first reading lesson from a book, How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. The jury is still out on this book for me. It seems like it will be effective in teaching kids to read, and the girls are way excited both by the lessons and learning to read in general. But it may be too structured for my tests, too requiring. We'll see. I was surprised how into it Noel was. In fact, both girls wanted to choose reading lesson for their activity today.

We have been having nice weather so we are including weeding class in school. Today we started with that because I was outside mowing the lawn already. Yesterdays weeding class just turned into friend time for all of us, and that was it for school.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Strawberries and Babies

Today we planted some strawberries. It needed to be done pretty quickly so we had strawberry class. We had to get some weeds out of the way first, and there were some dandelions in the grass I COULDN'T resist. I hate having dandelions in my yard. The girls had shortish attention spans during that activity and kept getting into the car to play. That was fine.

Eventually we finished and cleaned up and came inside. The girls chose playing babies. I must say that's an annoying game. They make whiney non-word noises, the kind I usually don't let them get away with. We had bottles and burping, baby food (all just miming) and story time. Which turned into 5 stories and was much more agreeable as an activity.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bunk Beds and Study Time

Yesterday morning I taught Joy School on an hour and a half's notice because the mom who was going to teach had sick kids.

In the afternoon I was planning to have home school, but Amy and Noel started playing together nicely downstairs while I studied upstairs, and they just kept doing it. I realized that I could call Joy School school for the day and keep studying and allow my kids some good bonding time together. Win. Win. Win. I loved my afternoon. They stayed happy and kind most of the time. (We'll not talk about the state of the downstairs bathroom; it looks like they had fun. :)

Eventually they came up, and Noel suggested we play bunk beds. That means we get all the couch cushins and pile them on top of each other. Then you play. The girls had recently earned a motivator (a positive consequence) of playing bunk beds with a parent so I jumped on the chance to fulfill that. Besides bouncing, we ended up acting out the story of Horton Hatches an Egg which the kids are really into right now. It was perfect because Joy School right now is all about imagination and creativity, and we act out a lot of stories. This went right along with that.

So today we probably won't have any school as we did four days this week. But who ever knows exactly what will happen.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What to do When You are Bored of Mom Class

For Mom Class today we did a printing lesson. Daddy had a power point book summary he wanted printed double sided. Amy did some and then got bored. I cleaned up the office and finished the printing. Amy wanted to quit, but I didn't. So we did some activities while the printer was working.

Amy's Activities:

Watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang movies while waiting for Dad to respond about what to do for Mom Class.

Show and Tell: pictures of polar bears from me and two books for Amy.

Read Maggie and the Pirate,

Play Memory. I won by 5 matches.

Baseball. Amy practiced hitting the ball with the end of the bat. After I told her that doing that would help the ball go farther and faster, she hit it 3 times in a row, and it did go farther and faster. Awesome.

Bunnies in a blanket with Amy in too. She likes to have me pick up the blanket and twirl. She's way too heavy for this activity, so I do it for a very short time.

2 Chapters of Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger.

Read Who Stole My Paint.

That's 7 activities from Amy plus opening and closing routine and mom class. Lucky Amy! It was a fun day.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Jewel

Amy's my jewel. Today we started out with just her. She has been very helpful and in a good mood for school today.

For Mom Class I taught Amy about preserving food. Her job was to brown beef while I cut strawberries and put some chicken in the crock pot. I just went shopping yesterday and wanted to deal with those foods and not let them go bad. Amy did the whole process of browning beef with very little help from me. I taught her about persevering when she complained about it being hard and boring. I was so proud of her. Plus we got dinner ready. Bonus.

Then she chose play outside. We jumped on the trampoline and played on the swing set and jumped on a little pile of snow.

Then Daddy came home for a late lunch. Amy showed him all her new clothes we bought this morning.

We were about to read a story for Amy's next activity when Noel told us that someone was at the door who wanted ice cream. So we took a break to get ice cream for our friends. Then Amy and Eliza each chose a book.

I'm still waiting for Noel to choose an activity if she wants. So school may or may not be over.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Treasure

(I call Noel my Treasure.)

Today I got to have one-on-one time with Noel while the other two slept. It is a rare treat. She played quietly by herself for a while, but then we both wanted to have school.  

For Mom Class, we laminated her new Joy School book she made.

She was telling me I could choose the activity although we had already done mom class. I told her she could choose. I finally gave her some options. She picked coloring pictures of our family. So we did.

Next she chose snack time picnic. Amy and Eliza joined us at that point. Simple and fun day of school.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pop Goes the Weasel

Mom Class was getting ready for a Joy School meeting that is tonight. We're about to start the second to last unit of the year, and this will probably be our last meeting. We finished a Joy School binder, gathered books to use in the unit, and checked that we had all we needed. The girls were fun helpers.

Noel chose playing Jack in the Box for her activity.

I suggested we could go to the library today and pick up a few holds and play a little, maybe get dinner while we are out. Amy said the library was her activity. So we are going to pause school to wait for Eliza to wake up before we can go. I have plenty to do so I'm getting to it.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It Seems Like Forever...

since we had a regular school day. Monday I was sick. Amy and Noel pretty much took care of themselves. Yesterday we hosted Free Cone Day. It was AWESOME!

Today we had cousins over at lunch time to enjoy some ice cream they missed out on yesterday. Then the girls took little naps. I got a few things done. We only had a short time for school. So we skipped opening routine and Mom Class.

Amy chose the book, "Did I Ever Tell You how Lucky You are?" for her activity, and Noel got us playing a game with bunnies and pretend play. (The bunnies all sat on the potty.)

Noel chose and Illustrated Book of Mormon stories book for our closing routine, and we're done. Time for making dinner.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Recess IS School

This morning we went with our friends and next door neighbors for a walk/ run/ bike ride to the soccer field and cemetery. Then we packed a lunch and went to the park with them. We had a fun time. After we were done, though it was already a little late in the afternoon, I decided to go to the store since we were already in the car. Eliza and Amy fell asleep on the way home. So now I am finishing up my studies for the day (I've been trying to on and off for a while) and helping Noel write words she's making up. She likes writing but doesn't know what the letters look like. I think she just likes to do the things Amy does.

I was going to have weeding week. It doesn't look like that's happening. Another time it can.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I Think Joy School IS School

Amy disagrees.

I teach Joy School this week. I was underprepared (as I often am) when today began so I worked for quite a few hours before kids got here getting ready, including a Walmart run. By the time school was over, I was ready for a little break. I told the kids that should count as school. They bargained for one activity each.

Amy did a few tricks with a ball. That was the whole activity.

Noel chose Pretty Pretty Princess. Amy won. Noel quit early in favor of making a goal chart like Amy. They are working on taking responsibility for their own bathroom usage.

We also hung out with our neighbor who was replacing a few plugs and telling us a little about being an electrition.