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25 January 2012


It's a Chinese dragon, traditional for the new year, breathing fire.

Classical Homeschooling Carnival #21

 Hello! Welcome back to the Classical Homeschooling Carnival - it's been a while! Our holidays were so busy, and thus far nobody else has shown interest in hosting the carnival, so we took a bit of a break, but I'm excited to share the posts that have collected while I was busy doing other things!

We can jump right in with a post about Tiger & his Mum's adventures in Medieval Stained Glass, posted at The Tiger Chronicle. They had a great field trip to a stained glass museum, then made a stained glass craft at home, which turned out great!

Tiger at the museum.

Amy shared a list of math books at Delightful Children's Books. "The theme here is fun math books. Thus, if a book says something like “this is a division sign,” you will not find the book on this list." Sounds like my kind of math books! Additionally, she has a list of books about fish. Wish we'd seen that list when we visited the aquarium!

The Mama, of Concordia Classical Academy, shares her insights into teaching reading as she starts teaching her second child to read, in Reading Progression Explained. I particularly love her pre-reading ideas:

I also spend time on oral blending games and rhyming. For example, "C AAAAA T says what?" When they can hear the separate sounds and blend them together, we're ready to move on. I also think that rhyming is very important. Lots of silly songs and nursery rhymes help develop the ear for this. We work on this from the time they talk well until it clicks- about toddlerhood- 3/4.

It's been so long since the Carnival published that Pamela, over at Blah, Blah, Blog, has three posts to share with us this time around, and it looks like they've been having a good time. The first is their family's adventures in trying yoga, in her post Relaxing Family Yoga... Well... Not Really. Turns out you can get find yoga clips on YouTube, and she shares her favorite channel. Next, she shares some of her experiences teaching Awesome Art History - to teenage boys. And the boys like it! Finally, Pamela shares a recent experience with Unsolicited Advice.

Pamela's Awesome Art History

Karyn, of Teach Beside Me, has an avid reader on her hands, and shares a list of books he's read and enjoyed in Books for Young Readers.

Here at Baby Steps, I'm also sharing two posts this time around. The first is this one, dealing with our continuing adventure in math: Monkey built a Stable out of his cuisenaire rods. The  second is a Day in the Life post I did a little bit ago.

And that's it! Hopefully you found something to inspire you - and we'll see you back next month! Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Classical Homeschooling Carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

24 January 2012

Scrapbooks and Missile Kisses

I've recently discovered digital scrapbooking, and I love it. I've been working on Dragon's baby book while I try to figure out how to make digital scrapbooking work for the family books and Monkey's books. Creating the pages is a blast; printing them is a challenge. I don't have a system, but I'm getting closer!

Tonight Dragon saw this page I made for his book, for February of 2011.

When I told him, "That's Baby Dragon," he responded by kissing his hand and saying, "BOOM!" Around here we are raising manly-men, and they don't blow kisses. Nope, they stick 'em on a missile and shoot 'em.



More on Ancient China. We're lingering in this time & place; it's interesting. We've spent about 3 weeks on it, and I think that we'll stay one week more.

Plus, we found this awesome documentary on the Terra Cotta Warriors.

23 January 2012

Chinese New Year

There aren't any Chinese New Year events in our area, so we're watching some of the cool stuff online. And it is very cool.

A Good Day's Work

We had a pretty good day. Read some about the Chinese New Year did some mapwork and a coloring sheet, read about the Body, did some free reading, and some grammar, a couple of narrations, and some math. And he did nearly everything in the morning. I'm not sure what was different, but I wish we could manage more days like this!

22 January 2012

Busy Little Guy

He's not very effective, yet, but he's getting there.

Nap Time

It's nap time, and I have my boy all snuggled up. He has a lot to day about it:

No no no no. Don't need it need it need it. No. I don'tdon'tdon't need it.

Dada Dada Dada

Don't. Dat. Don't. Dat. Dat. Dat.

Done. Done.

14 January 2012

Lois Lane

Dad: So, what does Superman do?
Monkey: He defends his girlfriend.

Have you ever watched those Superman cartoons? That Lois has quite the scream on her.

13 January 2012


Monkey had some free play with the cuisenaire rods, and next thing I know, he's building a nativity scene. This is one of the first times that he's built pictures with the rods. The yellow and green is the manger, Baby Jesus is purple, and Mary and Joseph are the pink rods. The blue ones are "a force-field that protects the stable from all bad guys."

He built several incarnations of his stable, with different size rods. I thought it was interesting to see how he dealt with the shrinking size of the building - eventually, Mary and Joseph were squeezed right out of the Stable and had to be outside.

At the very end he added an Angel on top of the Stable to announce the birth.

It is always interesting to watch what he does when he have free play with the rods. I wouldn't have guessed that something like building rod pictures would be very "mathy" but in watching him build the various versions I realized that he was learning, very naturally, about the difference it makes to use larger or smaller building materials: when he shrank the walls, the interior shrank too, and thus the difficulties that Mary and Joseph were facing in being inside. This knowledge should come in handy when we start looking at perimeter and area. In the mean time, he had a good time, and that is valuable in and of itself - especially when doing math!

07 January 2012


Dragon: "I need money."
Mom: "You need money? Why??"
Dragon: "[babble babble] I tell Daddy."


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