Thursday, January 29, 2009
We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun...but I'm glad it's over. I'm ready to move on to something else and learn some new things myself!
Yesterday, daddy did homeschool. When I asked Timothy what he learned, he said "The moon is close. The sun is far." That's true, ya know.
We had our cumulative worksheet yesterday and Timothy was able to correctly identify all of the "M" word pictures except for one--he said that the mittens were gloves. I think that's a pretty decent mistake!!
We had a lot of fun with it--that's why I just love My Father's World.
Stay tuned for next week when we learn about leaves (and collect them, and make placemats, and make leaf rubbings, and grow a Chia pet...)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
In a few units, Timothy will be learning about frogs and I really think he would absolutely *love* to see a tadpole turn into a frog.
So, I found this kit online that comes with three tadpoles, but the darn frogs will die if you release them and they live 30 years. I don't want that!! 30 years?!?? Geez, Timothy might have kids by then!
Does anyone know of a grow-a-frog kit that grows regular frogs (not water frogs) that could live if released into the wild?
It seems a bit unethical to raise frogs that couldn't survive in the wild, but it seems impractical to keep a darn frog for 30 years!!
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
To go along with that, we went to our local Planetarium yesterday. I didn't like that it started so late (7pm), but Timothy did really great.
The show was very far over his head--the show was above my understanding, too. But I think we all got something out of it anyway. In fact, Timtohy cried all the way home saying "I want to go back there!!!! I want to go back theeeeeereeee"
We're going to try to go every time the show changes (about every 2-3 months). It's a good experience, and better (and cheaper) than going to the movies.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I was amazed by that, and thought that he had such great command of his emotions and his vocabulary. I was pretty proud, but only momentarily.
Then, of course, he spent the next hour in an all-out two-year-old tantrum, complete with screaming, tears, kicking, and drama. I still don't even know what he wanted. I was about to lose my mind. I even offered him popcorn, and that didn't work. I ignored it for the most part, but he continued to cry and scream. Finally, some happy monster band show came on TV and he stopped crying, mesmerized by the dancing creatures. When the show ended, he was happy again.
Lesson learned: When Timothy says "I'm frustrated" I'm in for a difficult day!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
There are a couple teenage-aged girls who watch the kids while the parents play games and do crafts. Tonight, I was helping to clean up so Timothy was the last one picked up. All the girls were playing with Timothy, and they told me how much they enjoyed him and how hillarious he was. One girl said, "We were talking about it, and we all decided that he's a ten year old trapped in a little kids body." They didn't know anything about what we do with Timothy, but they could still the results.
Tonight, we went outside to look for the moon (in fact, there is none--it's a new moon). I had just seen a rat run out of our garage and I was a bit scared, but I didn't say anything about it to Timothy. As we went outside, I told him to be careful because there could be nocturnal creates outside, like rats. Timothy held my hand and said, "Or dinosaurs--that would be terrifying!!" I laughed and said that would be scary, but we don't have to worry because there aren't any dinosaurs left anywhere in the world. Then he said "But maybe bats. There could be bats." Really, there may be bats, but it's funny hearing that from my two year old.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Today, we talked a great deal about how the moon doesn't have its own light but rather gets light from the sun. (To illustrate this later in the week, I'm going to buy glow-in-the-dark paint for "moon rocks" and talk about how the rocks won't glow unless they get energy from the light...).
We started talking about the phases of the moon with paper-plate cutouts. I promised him we'd try to match the plate with the moon tonight, but he's two and got into a fit-throwing mood tonight and went to sleep a bit early. *sigh* I guess we'll do it tomorrow!
Our foreign exchange student, Jimmy, was home from school on holiday today, so he joined us. He took Timothy on a rock hunt and then we threw rocks into flour to make craters, just like on the moon. Timothy seemed to like this activity. We talked about how dropping the rock from a few inches makes a smaller hole than dropping it from far away.
We read a Asch (sp?) book about playing hide and seek with the moon (that hid behind a cloud). After this, we pretended to play hide and seek with our own "moon" (golfball). We worked on listening skills and prepositions. We would tell him "The moon is under the sofa" or "The moon is behind the dinosaur" and he would run and get it. I thought that was a neat activity.
One thing we did change with this week's unit was to not force paper Bits. Instead, we're doing 4-5 sets on the computer (more on this in days to come). It works out so, so much better and the images are better, too!! So that was a good change.
We got some heavy cream, but after shaking it for 25 mins. we still had foamy cream. We popped it in the blender and had butter within a matter of seconds.
This went great with our pancakes in the shape of the letter "S" as well as our super-special sun pancake.
These are the special sun-related books we read for this unit:
What Makes Day and Night – Franklyn M. Barnley
Brown Cow, Green Grass, Yellow Mellow Sun – Ellen Jackson
Arrow to the Sun – Gerald McDermott
Under the Sun – Ellen Kandoian
Sun Bread – Elisa Kleven
The Magic School Bus Sees Stars – Joanna Cole
The Sky is Full of Stars – Franklyn M. Branley
The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System – Joanna Cole
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We have a special time each day called "Bring me a book time." We have a cardbook box that has about 20 books in it (rotated each week) and we set the timer for 12 minutes. We normally do this right before something Timothy doesn't really like...such as nap time or bed time. Timothy will choose and book and we'll sit in the rocking chair and read it. Finish it, choose another book until the timer goes off.
What I *love* about this timer is that Timothy can look over and see how much time is left. I'll tell him "the time is in the yellow--pick a short book" or whatnot.
When the timer goes off, bring me a book time is over. Timothy will beg to read one more book, but I just tell him we'll do BMAB time again later...
What's amazing is that several weeks ago, before BMAB time, we would read 4-5 books at a sitting. Now, we read 8+ during the 12 minutes of BMAB time and Timothy begs to do more. It's the timer, I tell you!! It makes him never want to stop!!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
The first was a physical therapist to look at Timothy's foot. He's been complaining and complaining of it hurting, and it turns out he walks on the inside of his foot and his fat is displaced (it should have moved from the bottom of his feet by now). They're ordering him special shoe inserts that should correct the problem.
The second was a pediatric gastroenterologist. Apparently, going to the bathroom hurt Timothy once or twice and now he tries to hold it all in. We're on a medicine that prevents him from doing so, and we have to stay on it another two months. That's better than another impacted bowel, though.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
Also, we store the 100's chart and his cards for the My Father's World curriculum in here. It works for us!!
We have a bookshelf in the playroom that serves as the bulk of our storage. On the very top, we have tubs (of dinosaurs, plastic insects and animals, Play-Doh, and other stuff like that). We have baskets down the left to put word cards in (they're actually bicycle baskets!!). Top shelf: library books, educational books and our curriculum, pocket chart, and stuff like that. Next shelf videos. Next shelf random things and homemade books, last two shelves are games and toys. This works for us!
Stay tuned for Part II, whenver I get a few spare moments again! :-)
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
He loved everything except for the Bit cards of planets. I really thought he would like those, but he simply wasn't interested. He did great with the math cards and the word cards, though.
We had a sheet where he was supposed to point and name all the things that start with the letter "S". He got them all right except he called a sweater a coat. He can now repeat the unit truth (Jesus is the light of the world), identify the letter "S", and make the "S" sound. We also read a book and talked about the sun and how the earth rotates around the sun. When we went outside last night in the dark, Timothy asked where the sun was and I told him the other side of the world has the sun. It's in China with Jimmy's mom and dad. Timothy thought that was funny.
Overall, it was a fabulous homeshcool day, I think. A great first day!!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
No, we're not giving up on Doman! On the contrary!! We're trying to incorporate as many different learning methods as possible so that Timothy can learn in different ways and different styles.
Our first two-week unit will be all about the letter "S". We'll focus on the Sun and the fact that Jesus is the light of the world.
With the curriculum these next two weeks, we'll be reading books about the sun and the planets, making raisins, creating a sundial, working on a 100's chart (counting to 100), using an "S" cookie cutter for Jell-O, going on a "S" hunt, working on a sounds discrimination page...I know it sounds like a lot, but it's a two week unit for us (we'll do "school" three days a week).
Here's our little planning breakdown we made:
Biblical Concept: Jesus is the Light of the World!
Bits of Intelligence: Space
Math: Number Review (1-20)
Geography: Planets of the Solar System
Sing Spell Read and Write: A a apple -- Song 1
Classical Composer and Music Memorisation: Edvard Grieg – Peter Gynt Suite Morning
We'll also still be working on sign language, Spanish, and Chinese through the day (not necessarily directly incorporated to homeschool or the two-week theme).
If you promise not to make fun of us, I'll show you our little Bits and word review video we'll be showing at the beginning of each school day.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
The DVDs included are:
- Snow White
- Peter Pan
- The Sword in the Stone
- Alice in Wonderland
- Sleeping Beauty
- The Three Cabelleros
- The Fox and the Hound
- The Tortoise and the Hare
- Mickey & Minnie
- Lady and the Tramp
- Beauty and the Beast
- Goofy Sport
- Felix the Cat
- Donald Duck & the Gorilla
- Life with Mickey Town
- Gulliver's Travels
- Daffy Duck
The total price was around $75 for 23 Disney DVDs, so the price was excellent. At around $3 per DVD, you really can't go wrong. The set also came in a really nice wooden box with a magnetic closure, which we think is really AWESOME! However, you cannot put this magnetic box anywhere near your television or DVD player (don't make the same mistake we did). The DVDs are region free, so my foreign exchange student informs us they are probably copies. They're so professional looking, though, you would really never know it.
All of the DVDs give you a choice of spoken languages (Chinese or English) and written language/subtitles (English, traditional Chinese, or simplified Chinese). We let Timothy watch one a night before bed (he only ends up watching a bit before he falls asleep) and we give him a choice of which language to watch it in. Every single night he's chosen Chinese! Our resident Chinese speaker informs us that the Chinese pronunciation and writing is spot-on perfect Mandarin Chinese. I love that we can watch familiar stories in either language we want, and I love that Timothy has that exposure to another language.
Now--here's the bad news. Many times, we've put the spoken language on Chinese and the written language on English so that daddy and I can read along. The English subtitles are terrible! They must have translated English subtitles from the Chinese (poorly), because it actually has curse words in several parts whereas the spoken part just says "Oh no!" or something like this. So, be warned about that.
Overall, I'm really thrilled to have these DVDs. I really do think that they help reinforce the language skills that Timothy's learning in Chinese, and at the very least we all get to watch a movie together.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
We wanted to wind down tonight, so we let our foreign exchange student pick which movie to watch. He chose Fantasia. Timothy loved to look at all the instruments in the beginning, especially the violins. "Daddy plays violin, too" he kept saying.
As we continued to watch, Timothy turned and looked at me. He said, "I want to play in the orchestra with daddy. Play violin!!"