TGIF!! When I woke up this morning, it took me a few seconds to remember what day it was. I was almost giddy when I realized it was Friday! I’m ready for a few days to recoup and plan. Remember Monday when I said that everyone was well, so it should be a fairly normal week? Well, that was before Megan woke up. She spent Monday and Tuesday in bed with whatever Brianna had last week.
Megan was fine for our outside classes on Wednesday, our play date Wednesday afternoon and all Wednesday evening when we were doing fun things. Thursday morning she came to me and said, in a pitiful voice, with her hand on her head, “My head hurts and my stomach feels upset again.”
Having already suspected that Tuesday was just a day of milking the “laying in the bed watching TV all day because I’m sick thing,” I compassionately told Megan that I would have to see puke actually coming out of her body before I was buying that. Knowing the jig was up, she didn’t even reply, but simply turned and left the room to go do the stuff on her chore chart. She’ll probably need therapy some day. ;-)
Josh, Nim and I got quite a bit done on Monday and Tuesday. It always amazes me how the dynamics of a family change when just one kid is gone. It left me thinking about how quickly you could get school done with an only child — or, better yet, how many more things you could do. Of course, I wouldn’t change anything about my family. It was just something I was thinking about.
Josh had a bad day Monday. He felt that what I was asking him to do was too much and unfair. I completely assure you that it was not. I was so glad that I had prayed the way I did Monday morning, because I was able to maintain my cool and discipline him consistently and fairly, even in the face of his extreme attitude. He was much better on Tuesday, so I think the calmness of the way I dealt with him helped. Thank you, God, for answered prayer.
I’ve been working with Nim on number recognition. Monday, we did a counting/number recognition activity that I threw together on Sunday night. I think we’ll do it again because, as we worked on it together, I saw a lot of value in what we were doing. Nim can count easily from 1-10, but she has trouble remembering what number comes next if I gave them to her out of sequence and recognizing the numbers. This will be really good practice…and she likes stamping the numbers at the end, so that will bee good incentive. ;-)
She worked on the letter G this week. I had gave her and Megan a giraffe paper bag puppet craft on Thursday, which they really enjoyed. I was impressed with how well they both did cutting out the shapes. Nim did much better than I thought she would and Megan has really gotten good at cutting. She even helped Nim trim up some shapes.
Today, I gave them a Gingerbread Man to color. Nim asked me if she could cut it out after she colored it. Sure. Then, completely on her own, she announced that she was going to take it home and put it on a Popsicle stick so that she could make a puppet out of it. Then, she was going to do a puppet show with the giraffe and the Gingerbread Man. I was so impressed that she came up with that on her own.
Megan got excited about it, too, and before I knew it, they were planning out this elaborate puppet show. They asked for pencils to tape to the gingerbread men, until they could get Popsicle sticks. Then, Megan asked if they could use this free-standing clothes rack that we have downstairs to make their puppet stage. I told them they could and offered them construction paper to make tickets for their show. They worked on that during their free time this afternoon.
I love those homeschooling moments. If I saw more moments like that instead of just wanting to fill their free time with TV and video games, I could so lean more easily to an unschooling school of thought.
The most interesting thing to Josh this week was our study of the water cycle. On Tuesday, we put just a little bit of water in the pan and boiled it until all the water was gone, to demonstrate evaporation. We also talked about condensation and observed that on the lid of the pan and on the outside of a glass. Josh actually volunteered information about that to Brian at the dinner table, which is very unusual for him.
Our main focus in history this week was Cleopatra, which I found incredibly interesting. We read Cleopatra by Diane Stanley, which I thought was wonderful. It conveyed the facts in an interesting way and had really incredible illustrations. I am quite sure that I learned just as much as the kids did.
We’ve been using Time4Learning for about two weeks now. My biggest problem with it is exactly what I thought it would be — finding time to squeeze it into our already busy schedule. Brianna has only used it once or twice. Josh and Megan have used it two or three times. Nim loves it! She loves to play all the games and is the only one who will ask to do it.
I like that the lessons are ordered in a consistent way so that the kids are learning new concepts based on previously learned ones and it’s not just randomly jumping around. Probably my favorite thing about it is for Josh and Megan’s level: there are books for them to read and, if they don’t know a word, they can put the cursor on that word and it will be read for them. There is also the option to read the whole sentence, either to self-check or if they’re having trouble with it. I also like that, at Josh and Megan’s levels (2nd and 3rd grade), they have access to the 1st – 3rd grade levels. That’s nice since they are stronger in some areas and weaker in others. You can see a demo of Time4Learning here.
We got more done today than I thought I would. It’s been a gloomy, rainy day here and I would have loved nothing more than to lie in the bed all day. As I told my sister last night, it’s been a good thing for me that Nim is coming over, because it forces me to have a consistent schedule.
The only thing we got behind on today was reading. I like to do that before lunch, but it was getting late and everyone was getting hungry. As I was listening to all three younger kids read to me, one at a time, my reason for preferring to do reading practice before lunch was completely reinforced — it was all I could do to hold my eyes open! I get so sleepy if I listen to them read to me after lunch. I used to be the same way with Brianna. It was so bad today that, after they were finished, I had to go lay down for twenty minutes! I set a timer so that I wouldn’t lay there longer than that, but I knew I wouldn’t make it through the afternoon if I didn’t close my eyes a few minutes.
I think my son is turning into a teenager. He has a new BFF. I think they may be worse than teenage girls! The phone seems to be permanently attached to his ear. They are cracking me up! They each have the same video game, so they call each other up and talk to each other while they play the game. Isn’t that funny? Don’t you totally remember doing that with your friends? Except, for me and my BFF, it was either listening to the radio or watching TV. She wasn’t lucky enough to have an Atari like me. LOL
Okay, I guess I’d better quit rambling and go fix dinner for my family before they waste away to nothing. We’re trying the recipe that Shannon, from Rocks In My Dryer, posted about recently…but with a couple of modifications. I’m using crescent rolls for the base and my homemade sloppy jo mix for the filling. I’ll let you know what we think.
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