Sunday, September 30, 2007
Here is the finished project.
The boys also got into woodworking. The big teen loved working with the jigsaw, circular saw and scrap wood. He made a medieval sword for himself and a small axe for Tom Sawyer. Here is a pic of the big sword. It is really heavy.
Tom Sawyer (5) loved making his very own wood deer. He had a little bit of help from Dad but he did a lot of the nailing and all of the painting himself.
I just love how kids are always learning! The girls did a lot of cooking with me and spent a great deal of time playing with the newest dollhouse furniture I found at a yard sale this weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics!
Wow, what a great event going on over at homeschoolboutique . She is offering a t shirt from her shop to those who will post about her store. How cool is that! I love all of her t-shirts. One of the coolest is the Homeschool Social butterfly one. Go on over and check it out.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
We had so much fun doing two of the crafts and one of the activities out of the Family Fun magazine. My Tom Sawyer can't wait for this season to arrive and had almost worn out the magazine looking at all of the activities. We will do some more once I collect the supplies. My kids absolutely loved making the pumkins and they turned out great. I didn't have all the supplies but was able to find everything around the house to adapt the project. You know whats under the fabric on those pumkins? TOLIET PAPER!!! I think they came out great.
Next we made oragami bats. My little Tom Sawyer will probably want me to help him make a whole bunch of these before Halloween.
Then we did a trick. Did you know that you can stand on Balloons without them popping. YOU CAN! If you manage to get on them perfectly balanced. THis is about our 3rd attempt. THe balloons held the weight of each of my kids. Pretty cool trick. (Do excuse my messy floor).
Sunday, September 23, 2007
- The little kids didn't know what a raccoon looked like, so we looked at pics on the Internet.
- We all learned more about rabies than we ever wanted to know.
- We learned up close and personal about stewardship. That was the hardest part of the day when my big teen realized that we may have been responsible in part for the rabbits' deaths because we hadn't secured the cage well enough. Such a hard lesson in being good stewards.
- This was another opportunity to process grief as a family, and I learned that teenage boys really do like hard physical labor more than talking to help them process their anger. My son weed whacked, painted the playhouse and moved several heavy things for me. He said it helped a lot.
- There is nothing wrong with wrapping up a rotten day with ice cream sundaes for dinner at our favorite ice cream parlor.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
In the afternoon my big teen started his out of the home Ancient World History class with four other homeschooled teens. It is being taught by a college professor who is semi-retired. He loves it. To quote him, "The class totally rocks, Mom!" He talked about it all the way home. This is only a six week course, and then the teacher will decide with all of us if we want to continue with the next period of time. It was nice to see how tickled the teacher was, too. She really enjoyed working with a small group of homeschoolers. We are her first and she says these teens are more interested than her college students!
While the big teen was in class, I took the little ones to a nearby bird sanctuary. We didn't see any birds but we did see a bunny, caterpillar, butterfly, ducks (oh! I guess that is a bird), and lots of frolicking squirrels. We also saw cattails, and the kids really loved those. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera and the nature books, but we had fun anyway.
Monday, September 17, 2007
The big teen and little kids also got into studying camouflage today. We decided to do an experiment and see how camouflage works. The big teen boiled 12 eggs. He left 6 of them white and colored 6 of them to match the grass and leaves. Then he hid them outside and we let the little ones go out and find them. They found the white eggs easily and 5 of the camouflaged eggs with more difficulty. However, we never found one of the eggs! That camouflage really worked well. It was a fun hands-on activity that really got the point across. Here you can see how the white egg stands out next to the camouflaged egg.
We also had fun with the Amazing Dinosaur plant www.dinosaurplant.com. We talked about how plants, such as a tulip bulb, can become dormant. The neat thing about this dinosaur plant is that it can go to "sleep" for years and then "wake up" in only an hour. Perfect for kids that like things to be instant! We have had this same plant for two years and have done this twice with the big teen, but this was the first time with the little ones. They were amazed. I love watching their faces as they discover God's world.
Well, I wish I was done for today, but I promised to discuss my big teen's layout of his International Night project so that he can stay on schedule. So off I go and then I'm going to cozy up on the sofa for the rest of the evening.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The big teen at 21 weeks. He loved to suck on his fingers so this pic is perfect!
Goldilocks (2years old) showing off her winning smile.
Tom Sawyer at 4 months of age. Look at that serious look on his face. He still is my serious child.
Little Red Ridinghood 17 weeks. At this point we were more likely to call her the Hungry Caterpillar or pudge. Check out those rolls. My first and only truly chunky baby.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Goldilocks (6) - She has made great strides on healing her heart (Reactive Attachment Disorder) and is able to show some nurturing skills and enjoyment of babies. Until recently, even playing with a doll was undesirable. (The photo below is of a baby we babysat recently.) She also learned how to tie her own shoes this summer and to keep her bedroom very tidy. She has also learned the days of the week and several little songs by memory. She also learned how to float by herself in the pool. What a busy summer of growth for our little girl!
Tom Sawyer (5) - My little guy is just growing by leaps and bounds. He learned how to write his name this summer and how to hold a pencil correctly. He also learned how to pump himself on the swing. This is a major feat for my little guy. He was so proud when he finally got it. He also learned how to put his face in the pool and blow bubbles.
Little Red Ridinghood (3) - My baby isn't a baby anymore! But it is great that she is thriving. She learned to dress herself correctly this summer. She is also enjoying her new dance class. For those of you who know her, separating from Mommy has been really rough. But when it came to this class, she walked into the room on the first day with no trouble.
The Big Teen - There was one huge milestone for our big teen this summer. He showed great responsibility and commitment to the Comedy Revue he was in. His acting teacher said that he really had talent and that he was very reliable and responsible. He did not have any stage fright and really loved the experience.
Well, hopefully, recording the milestones of our lives each season will help me remember more of them. They go by so fast, especially in the early years.
Friday, September 7, 2007
Big Teen - He will simply be plugging away on his seven classes. I do hope that he will be able to complete 18 hours of school a week on top of his internship. Also, if all works out, he will be starting an Ancient World History class with other homeschoolers in about a week or so.
- Learning all the sounds of the ABC's.
- Learning to count correctly to 50 -- she's about halfway there.
- Learning the months of the year.
- Learning to think before speaking and only speak if you have something nice to say.
- Learning to give her own opinion. This child will survey the whole family when she is asked a simple question before giving her answer.
- Narrating back a part of a chapter in more than one sentence.
- Continuing to improve his reading skills.
- Work on doing chores with a cheerful heart and without argument. (This might be his goal all year. LOL)
- Working on better eye contact with "Yes, Mom".
- Working on resolving problems with sibs in accordance with the Brother Offended chart. He is usually the one being offended, not the offender.
- Learning simple adding, subtracting and sequencing.
- Learning the days of the week.
- Working on staying dry through the night. With cerebral palsy, this may be a really hard goal, but his doc thinks we may have success.
Little Red Ridinghood
- Learning to use scissors.
- Being able to identify all letters of ABC's.
- Improving listening and narration skills.
- Working on taking turns and sharing more.
- Learning 10 new words in Spanish.
- Putting shoes on the correct feet.
- Working on identifying all the numbers to 25. She is about halfway there.
We will continue on with our normal lessons and FIAR books, but these goals will be my focus for each child. They will also all be doing Spanish, science, music and art just as the previous weeks.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Happy Gotcha Day, sweetheart! It has been a really long road for all of us, but we are so blessed to have you. We celebrated with pink cupcakes (of course) with white frosting and pink candles. Our kids Gotcha Day is the day they came into our home instead of the day they were adopted. After all, they were our foster kids for 2 years before their adoption was finalized, and they don't really understand the difference between being our foster kids and adopted kids. Once they walked through the door, they were ours, as far as they were concerned. However, we worried a lot about whether we'd ever get permission to adopt them!
Sunday, September 2, 2007
My other issue has been that I thought my youngest, Little Red Ridinghood, knew some stuff that she does not know or does not have down solid. Sometimes in the last few weeks this has caused stress for both of us when I have set up things for her to do that were too difficult. Since we will already have Labor Day off and Tuesday some of the kids start their new classes (Goldilocks - homeschool choir, Tom Sawyer - Occupational Therapy, Little Red Ridinghood - pre-ballet), this is the perfect week to "homeschool lite". Instead of doing my normal schedule of a FIAR book plus all of our other lessons, I will be assessing what the little ones know and do not know. I have compiled a long checklist from several sources and, through play, will be finding out what I need to be teaching and revamping goals. This would usually be our week off, based on the 5 weeks on 1 week off schedule, so I will only be asking a little bit from the big teen, as well. We fell a little bit behind with his illness but his days will be very light.