Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Penguins and family and spelling

Today, I have another sick kid.. This time it's Elizabeth who has a tummy ache, so I'm using the great distraction box (daddy's laptop with some kid movies) to keep her from throwing up every 10 minutes. (she has such a weak tummy when she gets sick). She's still happy though, because we had such a fun week. First Aunt Val and Jenny, mommy's cousin, were here and she had so much fun playing with them, then she went to an opera, then she went to an all saints day party. Oh, and don't forget her birthday too! She's a lucky girl :-)

I'm also making some really yummy apple squash soup. It smells delicious and fits in nicely with the white snowy scene out my kitchen window. There is always something about snowy days that make me want to go bake and cook all day in the kitchen. Can you believe how close it is to Christmas? Seven and a half weeks left. I should mosey on over to Flylady and see about following her plans for getting ready for the holidays.

Yesterday, when everyone was feeling healthy, we did more schooling in the morning. We reviewed all of the capital letters and practiced writing them on our big chalkboard/easel. The kids love this... Zach was the official eraser. After we practiced all the letters, we played a game where I would say a word and Elizabeth would write the first letter of the word on the chalkboard. Boy, did she ever surprise me when I said 'Cat', and she wrote:


She then went on to spell a whole bunch more words that I said: cap, pop, mat, cup, hop...

Wow!! How did she learn to spell? What a neat revelation for me that she could learn something like spelling (which is really the reverse of reading) all by herself! I know I've said this before, but it really is a privilege to watch her grow and learn each day.

Oh, and about the Penguins: We just started to read a new novel called Mr. Poppers Penguins. This is a great book for kids... I bought it at a garage sale for 10 cents, but it is worth much more. It's so much fun to read out loud to the kids, because I can watch them delight in the story unfolding in their minds (another benefit to not having TV because they are so much more able to imagine stories in the heads and keep their attention on the spoken words).

The chapter we read last night was telling the story of how a penguin came in the mail to this family, and how the penguin was waddling around the house, trying to bite the mom's ankles, sliding in the bathtub, and eventually curling up to sleep inside the refrigerator. The whole time I was reading the story, Elizabeth was smiling and then laughing with her beautiful joyous laughter at each of the especially silly parts. Zachariah soon caught on that something funny must be happening, so he started giggling too and soon we were all laughing and laughing at the story.

Then, this morning we pulled out the atlas and started looking at the page on antacrtica, and learned about how penguins only live at the south pole, and polar bears only live at the north pole. And we talked about how it's so cold there, and we remembered the stories we read last week about anna the sled dog who pulled the sled across the arctic. I love homeschooling!

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