Friday, September 30, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Timothy had his first violin recital last night! Even though he didn't actually touch a violin, I'm so proud of him for working on getting the right foundations and for standing up in front of 45 people without being scared. The whole "taking his shoes off" thing was unexpected--we normally practice on the foot chart barefoot, but we didn't expect him to do that at his recital!
This is after 5 weeks of lessons. He's now ready to move on to playing an actual violin now!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
You see, handwriting doesn't go over very well in our household. Timothy hates handwriting, and even getting him to write the basic letters is sometimes a struggle. Today, however, we told Timothy that he was going to write an entire sentence! He was nervous, but we prayed over and reviewed Phil 4:13. Timothy took his time and HE DID IT! Actually, I think he did a pretty good job! He wrote our words to remember: I will live and grow in Jesus!
To finish up our leaf unit, we also played parts of a plant memory. Timothy learned: plant, stem, branches, roots, leaves. Daddy also surprised us by making leaf cinnamon toast for breakfast! Warning: Do not eat cinnamon toast before you have a meeting with the Vice President or else you will have to try to hide your Shrek tongue.
See how proud Timothy is in that first picture? I love that we've been with him every step of the way. I love that we've seen him go from scribble-scrabbler to writer. Homeschooling is so awesome (most of the time).
Thursday, September 22, 2011
David from China, then, has a hard time understanding homeschooling. He asks a lot of questions, like this one: "What if you spend 2 hours a day on math but another family spends 3 hours a day on math? Then Timothy will be behind the other kid."
You know what? He might. Or he might not be. And what if Timothy is two months behind in math? Or three months ahead? What if he makes As? What if he makes Bs? Is it really all that important?
My "What If" questions are different. What if Timothy gets in a class in public school where a disruptive student takes all the teacher's time and he doesn't learn what he needs to learn? What if Timothy grows up to think that life is all about him instead of all about Him? What if Timothy has a passion for something but has no time to learn it because he's too busy standing in line waiting for the rest of his class to finish washing their hands in the bathroom?
In the month and a half we've been officially homeschooling, Timothy's grown so much as an individual. His work ethic has improved--he knows what needs to be done and he gets it done! I've watched him tackle difficult subjects and grow in so many ways. What if he were two months behind in math (he's not)? Does it really even matter?
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
I *love* how hands-on the curriculum is! Before the child ever learns the terms or the rules, the child learn the concept. For example, today we worked on addition but we didn't call it such. We put five tally sticks in a part and whole chart and I said "We have two dogs: Toby and Sampson. We have five treats. How could we divide the treats between Toby and Sampson?" We made a chart and showed all the different ways we can "add" 5 - but we never even said the word "add!" Timothy understood the concept perfectly.
We also worked on tens today. In RightStart Math, you say "2-ten" instead of "twenty" and "4-ten" instead of "forty" to emphasize place value. We worked with the tile cards today and I couldn't believe how quickly Timothy picked up on these concepts! I was so thrilled!
We're already only lesson 23 out of 74 total lessons for Level A. I'm glad we started here--Timothy's learned numeral recognition, how to write the numbers, place value, addition, using an abacus, tally sticks, shapes, parallel lines, quadrilaterals, and probably a lot more than I'm forgetting!
Monday, September 19, 2011
Who needs to do grapevines in some gym? This is much more fun!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Wonder Place in Little Rock on our way to St. Louis, MO. We had to be in Little Rock for Samuel's doctor appointment last week so we went again. I love that Timothy's homeschooled and we can go off and do things without having to worry about make-up work! What surprised me, too, is how little the place has changed over the years. It's still just as clean and fresh as it was in 2008! Look how cute Timothy was in the above link. Wow, how time has flown!
Saturday, September 17, 2011
- Playfoam literally never dries out. I don't know how or why that is, but we've left ours out for days and it's still exactly the same.
- Playfoam cannot get stuck in the carpet! It doesn't have the "sticky" factor of Play-Doh and even when Samuel ran off with it and stepped it into the carpet, it didn't stick!
- Playfoam is wonderful for tactile activities. If we make a letter, Timothy can trade it to get the "feel" of the letter.
- Playfoam isn't like modeling clay. It's pretty difficult to make anything but the simplest of structures.
- Once the colors mix, they're mixed permanently. However, unlike Play-Doh, the mixed colors are actually rather pretty instead of a solid brown.
Friday, September 16, 2011
The wall decals at WallCandyArts have cute contrasting colors and they completely change a room easily! When we went to move, we simply pelled them off & stuck them to wax paper for if we ever have another baby!
I noticed today that they're having a sale throughout the month of September for 15% of all wall decals with discount code sept15.
Who doesn't want easy, cute removable visual stimulation decorations for their children?
Thursday, September 15, 2011
More importantly, everything at camp is completely family-centered. We did a family scavenger hunt where we all had to play LeapFrog across a path. David & David from China did the giant swing. We all went on the paddleboat. Timothy show BB guns. Overall, it was such a nice time!
How is it having another Chinese teenager live with us? It's wonderful. David (or DC as we sometimes call him) is one of the sweetest 15 year olds I've met. He is so kind and gentle with the boys. He's taught Samuel "eyes" and "nose" in Chinese. He helps out as needed. I love that we're getting that exposure to another country and, more importantly, I love that we're able to share with him the truth of Jesus Christ!
Edited to add - When Timothy was shooting the BB gun, he kept saying "I just hit the 50!" "I just hit the 100 target!" In fact, I don't think he actually hit anything but he thought he did! Also, Samuel did much better in his class and he loved his teacher. She said that he kept humming the "This Old Man" song and we had to tell her that was the O-N-E song from homeschool. She was homeschooled herself, as were many of the staff members.
This week in My Father's World K we're learning about the letter L. Our theme is leaves and our truth is "I will live and grow in Jesus." Timothy took a photo of a plant (see above--that's his) and I told him that all the leaves on the plant get all the water and nutrients they need. But one leaf wanted to go away from the plant and live his own life. We cut that leaf off. Through the week, we've watched the leaf turn brown and die. Our lives are like that! As long as we're connected to God, we'll get everything we need. If we stop worshiping him, reading our Bible, and praying, we're like the leaf who wanted to go on his own--we'll shrivel and die!
We worked on the letter L sound, practiced writing it in salt, practiced writing it on paper, did the Alphabet unifix cubes, made a leaf rubbing, read books about leaves, painted around a leaf, played phonics games with our painted leaves....again, I'd say it's been a great week!
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Timothy's finished two weeks of suzuki Violin lessons now (we had to miss a week due to Samuel's medical appointments). He contines to do violin practice joyfully, even though he has yet to hold a violin. We're still working on foot positioning, holding the violin under his chin, bowing, taping fingers, and now the teacher's added bow practice with a dowel rod (not shown).
On Monday, we went to the health department and they were closed, so we had to go back later that afternoon. When we went back, they told us we'd have to go to a private physician so we made an appointment with the doctor. When we went to the doctor, we had to wait an hour and a half for them to tell us they didn't have the tetanus immunoglobin either but they'd order it from WalMart pharmacy and we could pick it up tomorrow and bring it in for them to administer.
On Tuesday, we went to WalMart to get the prescription for tetanus immunoglobin that our physician had called in. They didn't have the prescription and acted like they had never heard about it. We argued with the WalMart pharmacy techs to no avail.
On Wednesday, I called the doctor to ask about the immunoglobin at Walmart. WalMart called them yesterday to tell them they couldn't get it in, but they didn't bother to tell us. They ordered it through the hospital and it should be in on Wednesday or Thursday, they said, and we'll have to go to the hospital to get the shot.
What? The ER is where we started!!! Aaaahhh!!!!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
We've had some drama going on around here lately! I know, I know. What else is new?
Samuel has started biting--hard. For absolutely no reason and out of nowhere, it seems. On Sunday morning, we were getting ready for church and Timothy and Samuel were playing in Timothy's room. Then, Timothy starts SCREAMING that Samuel bit his face. We step in and scold Samuel and go back to getting ready. Samuel tries to go back into Timothy's room but Timothy slams the door on him, scraping several layers of skin off the bottom of his toe!
We had to go to the ER for X-rays. They initially thought he needed stitches but once they got it clean they realized it would be ok. Since our kids are not vaccinated, we have to get Samuel at tetanus shot and we're working on that.
Poor Timothy's face looks awful and bruised where they bit it, and Samuel's still hobbling around like a crippled child on his foot.
*sigh* What are we going to do with these two?
Monday, September 12, 2011
We're enjoying My Father's World K! If the Moon Unit seems familiar, it's because we've done it before! When Timothy was two, we went through My Father's World K once. Now that he's five, we're doing it again and we're adding in the worksheets (most of which we skipped when he was 2).
His truth for the week: The light of Jesus reflects through me.
His letter of the week: M
His science for the week: moon, planets, making craters, gravity, etc.
One thing he really picked up on was that the moon doesn't have any light of its own. It gets ALL of its light from the sun. We went in the dark and shined a flashlight on a globe and a ball to illustrate how the moon changes shape from shadows. We also shined a flashlight in the mirror to show how light can be reflected to make something look like it has its own light when it doesn't. Overall, I'd say it was a productive week!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
(Timothy dresses himself. I'm not sure why he chose shorts and a wool puppy dog sweater on this particilar summer day....)
We do RightStart Math Level A with Timothy.
If you've been following us for awhile, we struggled looking for the perfect homeschool math curriculum for him. We didn't want anything that was too worksheet-based and we wanted something that would introduce advanced concepts.
RightStart Math was the perfect curriculum, actually better than we expected! We're 25% done with Level A and we haven't made any changes to the curriculum at all. Timothy's learned to use an abacus, count to 100, even and odd numbers, quadrilaterals, parallel and perpendicular lines, 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional forms, etc.
Overall, he's loved it. It's been so HANDS ON that he thinks he's playing, not doing school! However, the last couple lessons have involved writing numbers and he's not a big fan of writing.
If you're looking for a math curriculum that is hands-on and introduces concepts before rules (the child learns HOW to add by adding, not by you introducing "addition") then you might want to look into RightStart.