Friday, September 27, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Seriously, I look forward to school starting like some people look forward to Christmas! I love the scene in You've Got Mail when Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are savoring the nostalgia of "a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils" and Scotch tape. 

Today's post is a follow-up to yesterday's post about Selah's "school" activities. We finished up a few more projects yesterday so I decided to take a picture and show y'all what we did!

(clockwise from top left:) Owl matching cards, cutting lines, cupcakes, popsicles, counting hearts, pompom sorter

The owl matching cards are just that: cards I decorated with owl stickers in matching pairs.

I drew simple lines on several index cards that Selah can cut with her scissors - a simple motor skill activity. I'll replace these with more as she cuts them up.

The cupcakes are versatile like the sorter. She'll use the pompoms as sprinkles to decorate the icing. For example, I'll say, "Selah, can you put three orange pompoms on the white cupcake?" and other simple directions like that. This teaches counting, colors, sorting, following directions, and even some simple math later on.

The popsicles each have two sticks in them that she'll match to the correct color - one labeled with the English color word, and the other labeled with the German word. Obviously, she's not reading yet, but following the whole language method of teaching, she'll at least learn to recognize the words.

I suppose the counting cards are self-explanatory.

And the sorter I already told you about, so that's that. I have some more language arts oriented activities that I haven't gotten finished yet. I'm also going to cut shapes from the various colors of felt to teach (naturally) shapes and colors. Plus, they'll just be fun to play with!

Kaity was a big help in getting the popsicles and cupcakes together. She loves to sew, so after I drew the patterns and cut out the felt pieces, I showed her what I wanted done. She took over from there with needle and thread, doing a neat job!

As for the big kids' schoolwork ... in a coincidence that hasn't happened before they are both studying the same topic: American History! I hope to take advantage of that with some joint activities. Jeff and I both LOVE this topic and I can't wait to go through it with both kids.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Teacher's Pet

Overall, I have loved homeschooling our kids at every age. I always learn right along with them! It brings back so many memories of my school years - the good, the bad, and the ugly! However, there is something special about the preschool/kindergarten years that I love. I think it's the whole creativity thing - arts and crafts as schoolwork, for example. It's a lot more fun than banging your head against the wall or teaching your 12-year-old how to divide fractions, which is basically the same thing.

Anyway, I really needed to do something with Hurricane Selah this year. I have gathered lots of ideas for learning activities over the years and it was a lot of fun finally getting to shop for the supplies I needed! I thought I would share with y'all one of the cheapest, most versatile, most engaging of Selah's activities so far.

This is a neat container that is probably used to sort beads or something. Each section has a lid that snaps shut. I put 5 each of 6 different colors in the sections. Selah uses them to learn sorting, counting in English and German, fine motor skills by using a clothespin to pick them up, colors in English and German, and organization. She absolutely loves this activity!

No pants! Advantage: home school.

I've made several different activities for her and have them stored in a plastic (lidded) bin. Selah thinks her school box is the BEST! She unpacked it last night to show her daddy all of the stuff inside. It was sweet to see the excitement on her face. It almost makes up for several years from now when she's being surly and obstinate about her school work.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kaity's Turn!

We got the call today that Kaity's glasses were ready! As soon as everyone had breakfasted and gotten dressed we hurried off to pick them up.

Naturally, we had a quick photo session in the front yard - in between rain showers!

The frames look kind of black in the picture, but they're really dark purple.

Kaity loves the flower detail on the side of the frame. They're pink gemstones.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Chess Club: Home School Style

Yesterday evening Kaity and Joe wanted to play chess. Bless their hearts, they couldn't find anywhere to play that would be safe from their little sister! Finally, Jeff suggested they take the game outside and the kids happily agreed. And Selah followed them out anyway. Ah, c'est la vie.

This is a mixture of a standard chess set and a Super Mario Brothers chess set.

After they had been playing for a while, a third player joined in. Can you spot the grasshopper?

The kids decided to embrace the grasshopper's participation and made up some rules. 1) If the grasshopper was perched on a playing piece, that piece was invincible. 2) If the grasshopper was perched on an unoccupied square, no piece could move there.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Our Joe

Joe finally has his new glasses! I'm thrilled that he can finally see well again. His last pair of glasses were broken so many times that they were eventually beyond repair. Insurance kicked back in September 1, and we went to the optometrist ASAP!  Here's our handsome little fella: (Who I'm totally not allowed to call "little" anymore.)

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Boys and Girls Are Different, Part 2

I know, Selah and Lauryn get a lot of face time. It's just that they're changing so quickly and they're both at such a cute age! I had the same problem when Joe was younger. Here's the evidence, from when Kaity was 9 and Joe was 5.

Meanwhile, a sweet picture of our Gracie (so called in honor of Gracie Allen, of Burns & Allen fame):

Aaaand our boy, Joe.
Isn't he precious?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So In Love ...

There is not much sweeter than the snuffles, sighs and squeaks from a baby. Couldn't you just kiss that smooshy mouth?!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Two Month Photo Shoot

Little Lauryn is growing like a weed! She goes to the doctor for her 2 month check-up today and I'm curious to see how much she's grown. This will be her first visit since her two week check-up.


Lauryn is 10 pounds, 9 ounces now! That's 3-1/2 pounds bigger than she was at her last check-up! She has also grown "taller" by 3 inches. The doctor's only advice was "Keep up the good work!"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Selah and Lauryn

Big Sister, Little Sister

Selah absolutely adores her baby sister. She asks me several times a day if she can hold her and she is constantly around her, wanting to have some kind of contact.

You can't tell from a still photograph, but Selah is bouncing and patting Lauryn, and giving her sweet comforting words. "It's okay, darlin'.", "Don't cry, Lauryn. Shh ..." and so forth.

"You want your pacifier?" (We're glad she's moved on from calling it a 'sucker'!)

"Aw, Mommy, she's giving me kisses!"

In a very concerned tone: "Oh, Mommy, the baby's cryin'! You take her now."
And inevitably, as soon as I get Lauryn settled, I hear Selah pipe up, while patting her lap, "Okay, she's not cryin'. I hold her again."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

(Another) Ballerina Girl

Last week was Selah's very first ballet class! She loves it and wants to wear her ballet outfit 24/7, a definite no-no. The intensity of her desire made me wonder if we were going to find out just exactly what happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force! I won out, naturally, but when Jeff checked on the kids that night after they were asleep, she was wearing her ballet shoes. Selah is definitely a disciplinary challenge! Here in the South she's what we call a "Pistol".

Ballerina bun!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

"Tummy Time"

I intended to let Lauryn have some tummy time last Thursday, but the kids were so eager to play with her that she ended up on her back most of the time. Kaity had gone to her volunteer work at the library, making it just me and the little ones at home.

Kaity got some snuggles in when she arrived home, though!

I snapped this sweet pic on Friday, before we went out of town for my family reunion.