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18 June 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: Busy Busy

Our box with 3 new Kumon books came Monday afternoon, and Monkey had a great time looking them over, and then doing a few pages. He would have done a lot more, had I let him! I thought we'd keep the shiny new-ness of the books a little longer and make him pace himself a bit. So we stopped well before he wanted to. At this point, we've tried both the tracing and the pasting book. I think they're great. If I had to guess, I'd say that the pasting book is probably Monkey's favorite, but he regularly asks to "do my school books."

Math also went well this week. We worked on "partners" in numbers; mostly 4 because Monkey likes 4 best. I tried finding all the partners in 4 with candies - one butterscotch & 3 peppermints. I think that would have worked better if I'd used some M&Ms! But when we did it with stickers it went better. Though I see that my picture cuts off one of the stickers on his paper...

Nature study wasn't awesome this week, but we did get some done. I've been having too many contractions some days, and my doctor says to "take it easy," which makes nature study a particular challenge. We may be light on that all summer, though I hope that we can keep getting something in each week. This week, we found a mushroom in our grass after all the rain we've had stopped, and so we picked it and had a look.

Phonics also went well. I think this was the first we've done since getting back from Grandma's funeral, and I was pleasantly surprised by how little he seemed to have lost in our month-long break from reading. I'd been worried that, with the skill so incomplete still, an interruption like that would cause some forgetting. But it looks like the only think that he's lost is the budding excitement that he'd been getting as he realized that he was reading, and I'm sure that will come back... as soon as I can convince him to try a book again. But he's doing great with our reading games, so for now I'm content to wait & just do some drilling on words with the penny game. He still loves the penny game.

For our read-aloud this week, we did some poetry, because I'm having a terrible time deciding what I want to read to him. We were doing Black Beauty at the beginning of the summer, but I just don't want to read that one right now, so I'm looking for a new one. In the mean time we did some silly poems, which may be what we do again next week. We're going to put "Little Miss Muffet" in his poetry book, because it makes him laugh.

We're getting very close to the end of the Book of Mormon, and I want to do the four Gospels with him next, so if anyone knows of a reading chart for just the gospels, especially one that's fun for kids, that would be appreciated. The ones I've seen in the past have been for the whole New Testament, and I'm not convinced that he'd get much out of reading the epistles just yet, at three-almost-four!

We did some just-for-summer-fun stuff too: a trip to the park & a pair of playdates. We were supposed to go to the you-pick strawberry place, but that got canceled in the name of "taking things easy." Hopefully next week I'll be doing a bit better & we can try again. Monkey's also got his eye on the wading pool that we promised to get out of the top of the garage, so we'll probably have some friends over in the next week sometime to do some splashing around.

13 June 2010

Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.

And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger;

And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.
Alma 48:14-6

12 June 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: Ready, Set, Go Edition

We ended up basically taking the month of May off, following the death of my Grandma and a long trip for her funeral, but now we're home again and getting things back on track. I spent some time this week planning a new schedule and ordering a few things for the rest of the summer, so that when they come Monday we should be good to go until the baby gets here.

Most of our routines needed to be re-established, and one that I very much enjoyed doing again is cooking with Monkey. Andy got me a double-decker waffle maker, and of course we had to try it out. Delicious! Monkey being Monkey, was right in the thick of things. Though he has decided that eggs are too gooey, and they are now my job again. But pouring the batter into the iron and turning it over was definitely his job!

As far as academics, we didn't do a lot this week, though I did get our calendar set up again, which pleases the Monkey, and we did some nature study in the garden, which pleased me, except for the part where I ran out of energy before I ran out of work!

One thing we did not do is our read-aloud. We were doing Black Beauty before we left to go out West, but I find that I just don't want to, now that we're back, so I'm back to looking for another book to read, and taking suggestions.

10 June 2010

In the Garden

We stayed right at home today for our nature study: we worked in the garden. Monkey went out with his Daddy first, and did some fixing on the deck while Daddy mowed the lawn. It was awesome enough to make me stop my own getting ready to outside to take a few pictures!

When I got out, the first thing we did was fill the small birdfeeder. The big one needs it too, but I decided that it needs to be washed before anymore birdfood goes in. The poor thing has gotten sort of nasty. But this one is still OK, and we miss having the birds by the deck, so we filled it right up. Monkey is getting to be able to do more and more of this by himself. It's so fun watching him become more independent!

Next, we turned our attention to the garden. After being out of town for most of the month of May, it was in sad shape. The weeds have been very happy while we were gone, and at first they were so big and so many that I had to do something about the ones growing in the path before I could seriously think about getting rid of the ones growing where I want to put my plants. This was a little disheartening, but we made a good start. Monkey and I quick went to the yardwaste site for some barkmulch, and then worked on killing weeds. There are a few good plants in there, mostly perennials that we put in last year & the year before, so Monkey got some good practice in distinguishing weeds from plants we want to keep as he was digging. He even pulled a few for me, which made me happy! While he was doing that, I knocked down the weeds in the path, covered up the old path with cardboard to keep those pesky weeds from coming back, and then covered the cardboard with the mulch. Monkey spread the mulch for me.

All that took about an hour, bringing us to lunchtime, and also using up all the energy I had. Hopefully tomorrow morning we can get a bit more done before the rain we're supposed to have for the next few days settles in on us. All that rain would be really wonderful for new plants!

08 June 2010

Ready, Set...

It's time to re-think our schedule for school, and freshen it up just a bit. Mostly, no huge changes, but I think that we are going to add some "writing" to the mix. Monkey's been enjoying coloring more, and has a few letters that he's learned to write already, so the plan is to encourage this stuff. I ordered a few Kumon books for this. The plan is to do the tracing book first, then if all is going well, we'll do the uppercase letters next. Uppercase before the lowercase because I think they'll be easier to manage for a little guy.

Monkey loves cutting and punching with my scrapbook scissors and punches, and has for a long time. This has always been a relatively free-form mess of a project: TONS of little scraps go everywhere! Recently, he's been interested in gluing too, but the point of it all -to stick one paper to another- sort of eludes him still. I'm hoping that finishing the pictures in the 3rd Kumon book I ordered will help with that.

I also ordered a new copy of Anno's Counting Book, because I went and lost the old one. It's been gone for months. I don't think it's coming back. Of course, now that I've ordered a new one, Murphy's Law may have something to say about it. In any case, it'll be nice to have the book again.

With Anno's Counting Book back in our collection of books, and some new writing skills, I'm really hoping that we can make better progress in the Math Expressions book that I bought a while back. I still like it, but it's got an awful lot of writing built into the program, since it's really intended for kids a bit older than Monkey.

Our new books should be here on Monday, and I reworked our schedule this morning. By next week we should be all set.

I Heart Faces: Play

The theme this week for I Heart Faces is "play." Monkey was having a good time playing with the chopsticks and incidentally eating a few noodles, and I was having a blast playing with my camera. Good times, all around.

Here's more pictures of Monkey eating those noodles. Click the camera to visit I Heart Faces!


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