Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pretend Birthdays, Wisconsin, and Games

Today we did Wisconsin for our America book. Eliza's choice. (She simply pointed.) The girls are getting more familiar with what we are doing, and I think it is running smoothly. Today it seemed we worked together better looking up information and copying pictures and sharing markers and taking turns. We listened to this over and over today:

I'm hoping that with no real effort on our parts we can learn the states and their capitals.

For our lesson today, I wanted the girls to work on reading, but Amy didn't want to. So Noel read me some Bob books, and we played with Bob flash cards a little.

Noel chose pretend play. She calls it "family. Amy didn't want to play. (She really wasn't in a bad mood, despite what it sounds like.) Here are some highlights of our game:

  • Visiting Daddy at work. No doors, only windows. Don't know why. Daddy always climbs through the window.
  • On the way to visit Daddy, we had to stop by a restaurant and the frosty store, made out of a huge frosty. The whole store frosty only cost $1. Amy ate it. Working at the frosty store was her first job. She wanted to get another one so it was ok that she ate her place of work. Mommy (Noel) ordered corn dogs and frosties for everybody.
  • Mommy bought a trampoline for Daddy's water birthday party. It was a Spiderman trampoline. After we jumped, we did some ice dancing for a party game. 
Pretty awesome pretend play.

Amy chose play Sorry! and eat lunch for her activity.

Then we skipped to our reading time and read an Uncle Remus story so we could then put Eliza to bed (which didn't stick.)

Finally for closing class we played Carcassonne. That game had the worst situation arise of the day. (School really didn't seem as bad as it is sounding on here to me.) At one point, I played a piece that blocked something Amy was working on. Apparently she had just the right piece to play the next time if I hadn't blocked her. She said she had already had that piece but had forgotten to play it. I told her that was her mistake and it was a bummer. (I'm not sure if she was telling the truth or not, but either way I think it was too late to change.) Amy became too despondent to play. She gave me an ultimatum that she would only play if I changed it. As she was having an attitude problem, I had no intention of giving in to her demands. Noel wanted me to. Amy finally messed up a little of the game and left. We divided the rest of the pieces between us and finished. She came in later and acted like she was going to mess it all up. I told her there would be consequences. She decided against it. Unfortunately, that was how school ended today.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Learning Sudokus

Today we were off to a slow start. Amy wasn't even ready when it was time for our late start. So I started with the other kids.

For our America moment, we played Bean Bag America. You throw bean bags at the America map and name the state you hit.

For introduce class, I taught Amy and Noel how to do sudokus. Noel really can do it with me asking leading questions. Amy has already started doing one on her own. They enjoyed it.

Noel wanted to play "Family" for her activity. Funny how she wants to pretend all the real stuff we do, just switching roles.

Amy chose lunch as her activity. So she just got to pick what we ate.

We also read a couple of Uncle Remus stories. Amy and Noel started making plans for how they could trick Brer Rabbit, sometimes as characters in the story, and sometimes as themselves.

Rough morning, but I think we salvaged school time.

In a couple minutes we are going to watch The Tale of Despereaux - which we recently finished listening to in the car - and fold laundry for our chore and our bonus activity.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Starting Our America Book and Uncle Remus

Today for school, I suggested to the kids we start a binder to include pages about different states. We started by making book covers. Mine included a sketch of America with some facts inside, similar to the facts I will want to find on the states. Noel drew California and Amy, Texas, not sure why. They seemed relatively enthusiastic about the idea at the moment which is cool.

For introduce class today, we learned about swords and guns, looking at pictures of real ones on google, and finding some printable of targets to shoot. Amy got a $1ish gun at the store today (which is already broken AND lost - we have a great track record.) She knew she couldn't even aim it at people and wanted some targets to pretend to shoot. We never quite got to printing them out. But they were still interested, and I felt pleased with myself for acknowledging and encouraging Amy's interest in something I am SO not interested in.

Amy chose outside play for her activity so I asked her if we could do it last. We often do not seem to make it back in to finish school when we go outside for an activity.

Noel chose pretend. She kept griping at Amy for not doing it her way. At one point they had a big argument about the origins of the pet giraffe in the game. Eliza was quite cooperative though. Towards the end, it was suddenly my birthday, and I was being handed pretend presents. I would unwrap them to find live ponies and horses. I never quite know what is wanted of me in pretend play, but it was exciting to see how good Eliza has become at it.

For closing class, I read the girls a little from a book about world religions. Each religion is summed up on a page with a few easy-to-understand paragraphs and a picture opposite. We read today about the Baptists. We found the sum um to include mostly doctrines in harmony with those that we believe. We talked about infant baptism and religious tolerance (although not quite in those terms.) I was pleased about how interested Amy was. (It's always hit and miss with Amy. Not sure if she will love or hate or whatever-in-between ideas I have at school.)

Reading class was a few Uncle Remus stories. They were totally a hit both with Amy and Noel. We read two then and three tonight before bed. I wondered if they were understanding at one point so I asked what they thought would happen. Their answers showed me they totally knew what was going on in the story. I have always loved those stories; my dad would read them to us. The only sad part of it is that the kids missed out on hearing these stories from my dad when he was here even though he read to them at bed time many nights. Oh well; they don't seem disappointed with me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

The day started with coloring because we still had markers out from coloring last night. That's an irresistible invitation.

I decided while the girls colored I would read them things about St. Patrick's day. We learned the history of St. Patrick last year so we added a little review of that and about shamrocks. We looked at pictures of leprechauns. Amy wanted to know why all the green.

I wanted to teach them about limericks. So I read them a few. We decided to write our own. Amy kept coming up with ideas for lines. Noel was good at coming up with rhyming words. I worked on keeping us in the rhythm and with coherent ideas. This is what we came up with:

There one day was a leprechaun
Who was falling asleep with a yawn
He started to snore
His job was a bore
He guarded his gold in the lawn

We wrote another one with more kid input that was about Benjamin sleeping. It didn't make as much sense and never got finished. Amy told me not to post it.

Amy requested we do a treasure hunt. While we were coloring, our neighbor put chocolate "gold coins" on our porch so we had the perfect treasure. Thanks to Elias!

I made the treasure hunt clues all be limericks. The girls read the clues themselves. (Noel even sounded out the word limerick; I was proud.) Then I reread them so we could hear the limerick rhythm and they could think about the clues. They knew just where to go. Noel found the treasure. Then we did a division problem, splitting the treasure between the girls. I taught them the word Remainder as our division problem left us with a remainder of one candy. (I ate the remainder. Yummiest remainder I've ever known. :))

I asked the girls what they liked about today. Pretty much all of it.

Here are my treasure hunt clues:
This clue is written for Amy
At school she stretches her brainy
A treasure hunt
Is what she did want
The next clue is with all the gameys

This next clue is all about Noel
Its secret I never will tell
She loves to dress up
And bark like a pup
As she marches and plays with a bell

Benjamin is our little baby
Is he the cutest? Maybe
Walk with your feet
To his new car seat
A clue is where his head will someday be

I hope you like reading my limericks
And trying to discern their little tricks
I have had fun
You are almost done
Find a clue where we have some bricks

We last learn about little Eliza
She’s learning to be very wise-a
If you look in her old room
You will see very soon
That you all have found the great prize-a

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Escuela con Papi

Daddy school day.

We started with a writing lesson using the letter ñ, including pronouncing a couple words with ñ in them (año and mañana).

Then we went outside to play and only spoke Spanish. We played on bikes, in and on my truck, with some bungee cords, etc. After a brief pause, we went to the backyard to play, again, all in Spanish.

Amy did okay at keeping it in Spanish, but mostly I was asking her "como se dice esto en español?" (How do you say that in Spanish?) She did pretty well, really.

We played Frisbee a good bit. We would stand in hula hoops and try to throw it to each other without having to leave the hula hoop. At first Amy wasn't catching much at all, but then she started getting the hang of it, and by the end, most of her throws were close enough I could get them in the hula hoop! And she was catching probably a third or more of the throws! I was very impressed with her!

We also played "round and round the Eliza girl, the Papi jumped-on-the-tramp-oline, the Papi thought it was all in fun 'till POP goes Eliza!" It was fun.

Then Amy asked what a weasel was, so we talked about it, looked some pictures up on the computer, and that was it!

...and I found out I don't know how to say scooter in Spanish. :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Yay School!

We had a day of school today with the home school chart which we haven't used in about 4 months. We had a great time.

For our America Moment I taught the girls about latitude lines and showed them on the maps. Before school we had done a few puzzles that included the equator, and I wanted to show them it on other maps. We also found what latitude a few cities were. Amy asked about the legend on the map. I taught her about different sizes of cities that are identified with different sizes of circles or squares.

For Mom Class, the girls read to me some Bob books. They both finished Set 1.

Noel chose costumes for her activity. Amy then suggested we act out the nativity. Noel was Mary. Benjamin was Jesus. I was narrator and wise men (ice trays were the gifts.) Amy was the donkey, the innkeepers, and the shepherds.

Amy chose Monopoly for her activity. We play until the last of us has gone around the board three times. Then we sell back our properties and count our money. Amy won. Then Noel.

For closing class, Noel and Eliza (who woke up) just played with toys) and Amy read me some more Bob books.

Then I read to them from a book called Sounds of Laughter. Cute poems. It was a hit. I think we'll read it at closing class again some time.

Amy said the closing prayer which is great because she hasn't been wanting to pray lately. It seems the only times she is willing is at school and church. Not family prayer or meal prayers. We don't tell her she has to, but I am glad there are times when she chooses to.

Yay school!