Friday, August 31, 2012

Listening to Cooper make himself a sandwich

I would like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on some nice bread.

We have to get the bread and the peanut butter and the jelly.

The bread is the first ingredient in the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

We have bread. Now it is time for the peanut butter.

So, we've got all the ingredients to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The peanut butter is the second ingredient in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Now we have the peanut butter.

This is the jelly. Jelly is the third ingredient of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Ta-da! This is peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Awesome thing about parenting #432,566,895

Watching your kid fall in love with the books you loved as a kid. So far both Make Way for Ducklings and Millions of Cats have been favorites.

Friday we are going to read We Were Tired of Living in a House (with the Doris Burn illustrations), Andrew Henry's Meadow and The Little House, and then do an art project that is based on designing a house.

And how do I not have the Mr. Putty and Tabby books?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My life is awesome

Things we've done in the last week or so.

Made birdbaths. We put one in the sun, and one in the shade. We're charting the results to see which birds prefer. So far, shade is winning.

We are learning bird calls. Chicka-dee-dee-dee!

Built forts. Stocked forts with supplies.

Tried to make popcorn on the stove. Made waaaaaay too much.

Colored. Ridden bikes. Spun around in circles.

Baked bread.

This is how I spend my days.

This is the best life ever.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Funday

Today has been a good day. We started working with a spelling program today (All About Spelling) and Cooper seemed to really enjoy it. We'll see how it works out long term, but I like that it's very hands on, and I also like that it's completely open-and-go.

Then we worked on sight words. We reviewed flash cards for five sight words that all started with the letter B. I then put them on the floor and said, "Which word says ____?" and he would smack it as hard as he could with a fly swatter. Because they were all b words, he had to look at other letters to figure out which word was which. I would swap the order of the cards every time we went through them all.

We followed that up with an episode of Word World. We talked a lot about building words and how letters go together to make words.

That was followed up by a round of jumping math. Jump twenty! Jump two plus three! Jump backwards from 15! It's a fun way to practice math facts and burn off some extra energy.

We did some coloring, and worked on handwriting, and played Lego. Though, apparently, I play Lego wrong. I was trying to build an RV, but you cannot put a house door on car wheels in this household, according to the enforcer of the Lego rules (a.k.a. Cooper.)

And I worked on blowdrying the carpets some more because I am going to fire my contractor if he screws up sealing the window wells one more time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Settling into a routine

We're starting to settle into a routine now that we've finished a week. Cooper and I get up when we get up in the morning. I fix him breakfast and give him his medication. He eats and watches an episode of some educational show. The current favorite is The Magic School Bus. That gives me time to eat and shower.

First off we do calendar work. We're learning days of the week, months of the year, seasons, and weather. Then we use our hundred chart to count days of school. We'll be using this to reinforce place values as we go along.

We typically start with handwriting. We spend about five minutes working on fine motor skills, writing, and penmanship. My main goal is to slowly increase his stamina for writing. And working towards legibility.

We do math next. I had three different math programs I was choosing between. I think I've settled on MEP for right now. Miquon will probably be used for reinforcing concepts. Singapore may show up later, but it isn't a good fit for right now.

Next is reading time. We are using this to cover science and letting Cooper's interests lead us. Right now we're learning about all the different types of animals and how the human body works. We've learned songs about breathing oxygen and why we're glad we have joints. We have learned about mammals and insects. We've sorted animal cards into insects, mammals, something else. We've filled the bird feeders (very enthusiastically.)

More formal reading instruction is being resisted a little. We're using Bob books, and some Hooked on Phonics. He knows all his letter sounds, but he doesn't like putting them together yet. I think it's time for some building block letters so we can build words.

Of course, we don't do all this back to back. We play games and watch videos and do art and stuff. Afternoons are pretty freeform. Legos and errands and trips to the library. It's been good.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

First day of school

Wednesday was technically our first day of school.

Throwing some kind of gang symbol.

Setting up dominoes to knock them down with his car
Figuring out how to make the path turn corners

Practicing classifying

Practicing which group is bigger with the crocodile mouth

Cooper's done pretty well with school. I think the harder adjustment has been for me. It's taken me a few days to realize that he really is five and really does have a five year old's attention span. Some of my grandiose plans have been shelved for a year or two. So far one of the biggest hits has been the series of My First Discovery Books that his Aunt Sarah sent him. He has decided that his favorite insect is the Colorado Potato Beetle. He made me promise that if we find one, he can keep it and feed it potatoes.

The crocodile mouth was a huge failure. He doesn't like it when the animals get eaten, so he kept adding animals to the smaller group to make both groups the same size so the crocodile couldn't eat either group. We had the same problem a year ago with the Pig Tails game. He refused to play it half way through because the wolf eating the pigs upset him so much. I need to remember this for future activities.
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