Tuesday, September 19, 2006

It seems like ages since I've had the time or energy to sit down and blog a bit about our life and our homeschool. My camera was mia for awhile too, so I didn't have any cute pictures to share.

I'm getting closer to the end of this pregnancy!! I can hardly wait to find out if we're having a little boy or a little girl. How exciting :-) The kids think it would be splendid to have a little boy, but I'm sure they would be delighted with a little sister. I can't believe E will be a whole six years older than this little one. What a treasure for her to have a baby around when she's old enough to really appreciate the sweetness. I know I always wanted my mom to have another baby when I was growing up. It seemed like it would be so much fun to have a little baby around to help take care of.

We're slowly getting everything ready for the little one.... firstly, we're trying to stuff E with lots of food so she'll grow to 40 lbs and move into a booster seat (finally!!) and then Z can have her carseat, H can have his, and the new baby can have hers. What a full van we will have with so many carseats stuffed into it! And the noise...I can already hear it in my head LOL.

There are so many other things I want to get done... wash the floors, clean the windows, clean out the fridge, wash the walls going up the stairs...all essential to a new baby LOL (guess I must be nesting?)

For homeschooling, we're winding down quite a bit here to give mommy more time to spend just having fun with the toddler, and the other two. I want to savour the last few months before the baby comes and needs a lot of my sleep and attention. We've been trying to go for nightly walks as a family, playing lots of games, reading lots and lots of stories, and going to the library.

We're keeping up with reading/spelling for now, because I don't want E to forget everything she's learned so far. She's doing great so far. Cursive is wonderful, and she's remembering her spelling words, and even using them on her own when she draws pictures. Today she drew a picture of her at the table doing school work with a cartoon text bubble saying "I em at home. I em doeng school". Cute. I just want to snuggle them all in my arms and have a nap :-)

Monday, September 11, 2006

what's new here

Bunk Beds!! (camera is MIA so i'll post a picture later)

In anticipation of a new baby in the family, we've turned the kids beds into a bunkebed so their not-so-little-anymore sister can join them in their room... for those of you who know our little H, it's a scary idea putting her in a room to sleep where there is so much entertainment to be had. I'm not sure if we'll ever sleep again in this house, but I wasn't about to trust her alone with the baby in the baby's room... and there is NO way she's going to sleep in my bedroom.

The only problem with the bunkbeds is they have ladders... and ladders are just the funnest thing to play on if you are almost 18 months old and a monkey. Yeah, that's right!! I found her halfway up the ladder this morning.


We are now done weather and have moved on to microbes in science. This weekend E and her dad did an experiment growing bacteria and fungi. it's growing inside my book cupboard right now.. hope H doesn't get into it!!


E started her first day of choir today... she's really going to love it. More on this next week.

I"m off to bed... 33 weeks pregnant already!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Grandmas are special

Yesterday we spent the morning over at my grandma's house. What a treat it is to be with her... she is full of knowledge, stories, smiles, treats, and good cooking. The kids love spending time with her. Even little H had a great time climbing into her lap, babbling to her about the toys she kept finding around the house.

Only a grandma has her house well stocked with toys decades after all her own children leave home.... and only a grandma has those toys from garage sales that kids love (and parents can't stand because they are so noisy and you just know exactly why they were in the garage sale in the first place). The favorite toys of this visit where the baby doll that talks and coos (very loudly) everytime there's a noise in the room (H loved this one), and the toy electric guitar that is straight out of the 80's that you can even hang around your neck and dance like a rock star.

We also got to hear stories of how Grandpa Pete built their house, and all the times he fell off the roof :-) , look at old pictures of everyone, and see her nice garden in the back... and we got to have lunch (she had some pizza in the freezer for any grandkids who might stop by), with a tasty dessert of fruit salad (E was so impressed we were having dessert with lunch).

When we left E told me that Grandmas are special (we talked about this when we were reading about St. Anne, the grandma of Jesus). She's right, I thought. Especially the ones who send you home with cookies, and home-grown cucumbers that are shaped like hearts when you slice them.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Another Art Lesson

After a week of crafts, I ran out of inspiring ideas to quench E's unstoppable thirst for creating... so I turned to her art curriculum for the next lesson... learning how artists use photographs for inspiration in their work. We studied a picture by Degas of a ballerina dancing. Apparently, he painted this picture from a photograph to help him capture movement, without the ballerina having to stand like that the whole time... (or at least that is how the grade one book explains it).

So we went hunting for some pictures of our own to paint from. We found a spider (from Grandma flash), and some animals from an animal fact book we have. She had lots of fun painting what she saw in the picture.

Later on, Z came down from his nap and drew his own version of a Zebra. It is just wonderful! One of the first times he has really drawn something recognizable on paper. We are so proud of him :-)

In case you think we never do any math or spelling...

E's Spelling Words for this week:


We've spent a fair amount of time this week on the two biggie academic subjects of math and spelling/phonics/writing.

Each morning we start with about 30-40 minutes of practicing spelling/writing/reading. Today she took a spelling test and got 18/20. Isn't she doing great with her cursive?

For math, we've been learning the addition facts. She breezed through the +0 facts, and the + 1 facts... and so I thought we'd take it slower with the + 2 facts... but she surprised me and did the page really fast, without even using the blocks or her fingers. She did it all in her head.

We decided to make a fun math facts folder book (called lapbooks by some people) so she can practice her math facts and memorize them. We spent quite awhile picking out pretty paper, and cutting out the flash cards.

Ziggurat anyone?

History time!! We've been learning about Abraham and Sarah from the Old Testament (the next major characters in history after Noah) this week. We learned that they were from the city of Ur which was in Mesopotamia or Sumeria. Ur had some of the world's first great architectural structures: Ziggurats.

So, being the fun mom that I am, we decided to make our own ziggurats, using boxes, paint and cornmeal for texture. Messy, yes.. but E thought it was so much fun to make it. She designed the stairs, and did most of the painting. I did the cleaning up afterwards.

Later, while we were in the creative messy mood, we also made some ants out of egg cartons.

Z helped us make both crafts, but kept getting their names mixed up, calling the Ziggurat an 'antenna'.

" mom, where's our big antenna that we made?"
"huh??... OH! the Ziggurat? It's over there"
"thanks mom!" (and he runs off with his hands full of dinosaurs to climb the ziggurat stairs and worship some idols).