Tuesday, September 21, 2010

We've been trying to get a full week of school in since the 3rd week of August but due to being out of town, a death in the family and my gallbladder surgery, we're JUST now able to be successful a month later.  Ahh well, we're just sort of unofficially doing kindergarten so I guess it's not such a big deal.  We tend to do most of our learning through everyday experiences anyway.  ;)

My plan throughout the year is to blog about our week at least once, mostly just to share our progress and so that I have some way of keeping up with what we've done when.  I'm much better at this blogging thing than I am at keeping a written journal so we'll see how it goes.

The overall goal for this year is that the kids continue to enjoy learning while also adding in a little more structure.  Most of our "learning time" is spent just living life (grocery store, role play, nature walks, conversation, playdates, etc) and I typically strive for at least 15-30 min of "table time" each day.  Table time consists of everything from phonics lessons to crafts.  We had been focusing more on character traits (which I still feel are REALLY important) but I decided to switch and focus more on working our way through the Bible.  We'll be covering one or two Bible stories each week using these resources as a guide (http://www.dltk-bible.com/genesis/lesson-otbooks.htm and http://www.dltk-bible.com/genesis/lesson-ntbooks.htm) and I'll be adding activities and my own twist as we go along.  We're also dabbling some in phonics with The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, Starfall, workbooks, etc.  I'm not using any official curriculum for math but I have a list of skills we're going to be working through.  Each of the kiddos has a spiral that we do random journal entries in once or twice a week.  I use the journals to encourage creative thinking and for handwriting practice.  The kids tend to really enjoy Science, History and Geography so we'll throw lots of that in also.  I'm not sure what route we'll go next year when they officially start kindergarten but I continue to pray that God makes it VERY clear to both Aaron and me.

Now if you made it through all that, here are a few pictures from our week thus far...

This little book helps keep mommy on track throughout the week.

Day/Night journal drawings

While the girls were napping Aidan and I created an "1800's neighborhood" (Aidan's idea was inspired by our trip to Pioneer Farms on Sunday)

A close up

Washing their "pet rocks" after our morning walk

Mommy's mouse/zebra

Hannah said this one was a raccoon

I didn't get a picture of Aidan's finished products but he painted his rocks when he got home from soccer practice.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pioneer Farms

Yesterday we took advantage of Austin Museum Day (free admission) and took the kids to visit Pioneer Farms in Northeast Austin which also happens to be home to the Biscuit Brothers for any of you PBS watchers.  I'm so thankful for the fun time we had together as a family.  The place was really nice but we were a bit disappointed that only a couple of the guides there were willing to talk to us about "their" home. 

Here are a few pictures from our visit...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

3 months

Monday, September 6, 2010

And we're back...

So it's only been two months since I blogged last and my goodness there's been SO much happen in that time! Sydney is 11 weeks old and the twins are just days away from turning FIVE!!! Instead of typing out a long, boring update I think I'll just jump right in to what's going on with us now!!

Sydney is NOT a fan of tummy time but finally tolerated it long enough to roll over a few times yesterday! She's been smiling and "ah-goooooo"ing for a few weeks now and we are all just smitten with her!

This week makes week number 3 of attempting to start school. I am having surgery on Wednesday but I'm still determined to get some good learning time in before then and I've got some plans together for GG when she's here helping this week. Each Saturday or Sunday I try to write out a rough outline of what we'll be covering the next week so that we have some sort of structure to our table time. I opted not to use a curriculum this year so I've made a list of topics/goals and we're just working through them pretty informally. I've included a picture of our outline for this week. As you can see, it's pretty sparse since I'll be out of commission after Wednesday.

Hannah and Aidan are both sounding out words and reading "at" words fluently. I think they were surprised at how well they're doing and so excited to be actually reading! Their handwriting is improving as well and they are easily able to write any letter (capital or lowercase) that I call out to them.

These are their journal entries for today. I asked them to head outside for a few minutes and make some observations about the sky. Hannah drew big fluffy clouds and Aidan drew a cloud he saw that looked like a bus.

Then we made name clouds with cotton balls. Each kiddo traced their name with glue and then stretched out cotton balls to stick on their letters. Poor Aidan could not stand the way the cotton felt on his fingers so Mommy helped out with the stretching.