Sunday, April 29, 2007

Update on school

Sometimes life gets away from me, and I don't have time for things like blogging or laundry or cleaning the kitchen... I just have time for feeding babies, keeping toddlers happy and wiping noses all day. Sleep comes in somewhere in between, and if it wasn't for my dear husband, we wouldn't eat meals often.

This week we've had a bunch of sickos in the house. Just a cold, but sometimes that can be even more work with little kids because they aren't sick enough to lie in bed all day. They feel good enough to be underfoot, complaining and whining all day long. I know how they feel! I am the champion of whining and complaining when i am uncomfortable (Maybe that's where they learned it??).

Anyways, here's a long-winded update into what our week has looked like:

Math: we're trying to get back on track with learning our addition facts. We spent last week doing the +8s and this week doing the doubles.. Next week we'll move on again. We went back to the basics and began to enjoy using the MathUsee blocks again with our work. Everyone thinks this is great fun... and I've let go of my controlling attitude and let little snapdragon and H play with them at the table. The fine motor control they are developing while stacking the little blocks is worth it! I have pictures, but you'll have to wait, since I'm sitting on the couch with the laptop and a sick baby and can't go get the camera.

We've also been doing a daily drill of calculadder. This is a timed math sheet that you do every morning. I set the timer and she gets two minutes to finish the page. When she can get through the whole page with no mistakes in 2 minutes we move onto the next level. This is really good practice in the slow and steady method that we both need to work on.

Being the perfectionist, all-or-nothing kind of person that I am, it's been fun to speed through math and reading to see how smart my little girl is, and go go go!! But I'm realizing that it's more important to develop good habits of constancy and discipline in these areas, and take little steps each day, instead of big bursts of speed every few weeks (or months in my case). Think the fable of the tortoise and the hare. (isn't homeschooling grand! It's teaching me so many things too!)

Reading: We're still moving incrementally through our new lesson book, and E is so much happier now. I just need to remember to add in more reading practice throughout the day. I have lots of nice easy reader books she can read to me... perhaps after lunch or maybe at bedtime.

We also listened to many books on tape, and watched our traditional Friday family movie night movie: Jonah and the whale (veggie tales).

Science: We are into the desert unit, and are reading a little each day from One Small Square:cactus desert. Yesterday we were at our local zoo and got to see their desert exhibit, and we want to go to the garden centre next week and buy some cactuses for our house.

Religion: We are still working our way through the Treasure of my Catholic Faith. It's pretty work-bookey, but full of really good theology, and fun for the kids to use. A real keeper for us.
We are also finishing up our Easter Lapbook... just have to do the Ascension and Pentecost. I'll have photos of this soon.

Life Skills, etc: The kids were busy washing the walls for me at the beginning of the week, and have been very good with their chores in the kitchen (unloading the dishwasher, clearing the table, washing it down), and their bedroom chores (cleaning their room at night, laying out their clothes for the next day, making their bed in the morning and getting dressed right away).

We also had a fun opportunity to visit the University and participate in some research. The child psychology speech development lab and cognitive development lab are always doing research, learning more about how children develop. It's quite interesting. Anyways, we are in their database, and they called us last week. E was in an experiment on memory where she got to watch a puppet show and then respond to some questions about the characters, and the twins were in an experiment that tracked what their eyes were following to see if they can tell the difference between colors and shape at such a young age. It was fun for all! The babies got free t-shirts and E got to pick 2 prizes.

Phys Ed: What a beautiful week here! Spring has finally arrived, and the kids spent upwards of 3 hours a day running around outside in our big yard. They blew bubbles, made mud roads for their trucks, built houses out of wood scraps, played chase, princess, and many other games. What fun!

A crazy fun-filled week, and at the end of it all we celebrated my birthday, and I thanked God all day for giving me life.


Cheryl said...

happy birthday! i enjoyed reading your school update.

Ruth said...

That's amazing to accomplish all that. Great job!