Friday, November 30, 2007

Some of what we've been up to...

I have been really behind on blogging about what we've been doing
for Kindergarten lately.So here are some quick photos...




Listening to stories

Princess and Little Man picking out the book order
Making Banana bread

Farmer Dad and Princess each get a cat in their lap most evenings
More Maths

Variations on a theme...

Princess and I made more "Gingerbread houses".

This time we used a milk carton, glue, construction paper,
markers, and foam shapes.
Princess has a bit of an obsession with Gingerbread...
one of her favorite programs on TV are the cooking
contests on Food Network, especially the Gingerbread House cook offs.
We will be making more houses using different materials as the season progresses,
so stay tuned. Meanwhile,

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Graham Cracker Houses

Princess has been asking to make
gingerbread houses

tired of hearing myself say.."not today" for the millionth
time in a row Yesterday, I pulled some graham crackers,
powdered sugar and candy decorations out of the cabinet.
Fun wasn't very pretty to me, but she loved the
finished product and had a blast doing it.

Today we are using paper and a milk carton and glue....I'll let you know how it turns out
on Friday....

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Gift Idea?

Have you seen this blurb ?
I may have this done for my Mum in Law,
she doesn't have a computer and misses out
on seeing some of what Princess is up to.
I'm going to look into it further.
Please let me know if you have tried it.

Tuesday Book Post

Saturday morning, on my way home from my Grandmother's,
I stopped off at the library to pick up some books I had on hold
and take a look around while I was on my own to see what else
I could find. Here are some of the books which caught my eye...
Can You Greet the Whole Wide World?
12 common phrases in 12 different languages
by Lezlie Evans and Denis Roche

I do wish I had this last week for World Hello Day,
but it was still enjoyable.
The Red Book by Barbara Lehman is a book without words.
Princess really enjoys being able to "fill in the blanks" herself,
so I knew she would enjoy it. We had to take it out, because
we were reading Museum Trip by the same author and
were enjoying it.
Monsoon by Uma Krishnaswami with pictures by Jamel Akib
is a story about a family in India waiting for the Monsoon season
to start. Princess and I were both enthralled..I could smell the mangoes!
Dawn Watch by Jean E. Pendziwol with pictures by Nicolas Debon
is a story about a girl and her Dad sailing across Lake Superior one night.
Naturally, Princess now wants to go sailing across the lake with her Dad...
but then the pictures were so lovely, so do I.
Bumpety Bump by Pat Hutchins
was sitting on the table at the library and it was so cold outside, I had to take home
some sunshine and warm days in the garden. This fit the bill!
Fun read..filled with rhyme and happy pictures of a boy and his Grandpa picking
fresh veg out of the garden.
The Dragon Snatcher by MP Robertson...we requested this book so long ago,
I no longer remember why I wanted to read it.I think it was because we read and loved
The Egg when we read it.Princess is really enjoying it.
THE POLAR EXPRESS by Chris Van Allsburg
this is one of Princess's favorite holiday stories and sadly, we do not own a copy of the book.
Maybe Santa will bring one this year.....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Long weekend away...

from my blog that is. I have not even checked my e-mail in over 3 days!
Princess and I have been hanging out with Farmer Dad unpacking all the
holiday decorations for what around here is mostly a "Winter Solstice"
celebration. Having grown up with an Italian mother, who was a
practicing Roman Catholic, Christmas was all important.
I am not a practicing Roman Catholic, but must say I hang on
to many of the traditions that I grew up with.
One of them was to start decorating over the Thanksgiving weekend.
I have stuff all over my dining room table as I try to remove enough of our regular "stuff"
to make room for the "holiday stuff". Sunday we moved the living room furniture around
so the kids were able to play without knocking over the tree. I hope.
I am hoping to get the bedrooms and porch done by tomorrow and the kitchen done today.
I have a pile of books to blog about (which I will do tomorrow) and need to re-do my Thankful post
to join in on Unplug your Kids group project. I really though I saved it, but it's not here....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am very thankful for all of the people who visit
this little blog
and especially those of you who take the time to
leave a comment or two along the way.
The feedback is nice, but the sense of
community is what warms my heart.
I wish blogger would let me easily respond to each of you personally,
but it does not. I do try if I have your e-mail to respond to you
directly, and you know I love to leave comments as I visit you.
If I do not, please know I was having technical difficulties or just had nothing
intelligent to add to the discourse.
So many of you have become real friends and I am thankful for you all.
Here is a few photos of our craft making this week....

Have a wonderful day filled with family and friends and good food and happy memories!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Today is World Hello Day!

Ni hao
Guten Tag
Buon giorno

Princess and I have been looking up how to say 'hello" to
people around the world, or many of the people we might run
into at our library later. kidspace/hello/
I would like to encourage her to write some of them, but she has not wanted to
do any "copy work" lately.We also have some Thanksgiving crafts to finish today.

We are in charge of bringing the bread and rolls to my Aunt's house, so we will be baking tonight and tomorrow.
We are looking forward to watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and Miracle on 34th Street.
Oh, well that will probably be me tonight as I cook in the kitchen.....I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If it's Tuesday ...

this post must be about books.
We have a huge stack of books out from the library that I have been intending to
post about. Some were huge hits, and some were tolerated, but all were lovingly
picked off the shelf of our local library by me.
One, Grandfather Counts by Andrea Cheng with illustrations by Ange Zhang
was recommended by Nina,
and I never pass up one of her book ideas.Princess has been enjoying this although we have only
read it a couple of times so far.It is about a little girl and her Grandfather who moves in with them from China.
He starts to teach her to count in Chinese, and she teaches him to count in English.
It is a very sweet story and we loved the paintings as well.

Snowsong Whistling by Karen E. Lotz with illustrations by Elisa Kleven is a lovely book filled with rhymes and the collage art is very happy. Little Man has been enjoying this one with us.

He has also been enjoying The MAGIC HAT by Mem Fox and illustrated by Tricia Tusa
this is a funny book about a magic hat that appears
one fine day,from out of town,
and without any warning at all.
Just the pictures make him giggle..the words are like an added bonus.Princess just thought it silly.

ARRORRO,MI NINO Latino Lullabies and Gentle Games selected and illustrated by Lulu Delacre
has the lullabies in both English and Spanish. Little Man often knows more Spanish words than English,
so I thought he might enjoy it. Princess loves learning any other language.
It probably would have been more successful if I knew how to pronounce more Spanish.

To help Princess enjoy her love of all things "maths", I brought home
MATH for All Seasons mind stretching math riddles by Greg Tang and illustrated by Harry Briggs
She has been enjoying this one a lot! He has more books that I hope to take out next.
It has rhyme and can you beat that?

I will add photos when I can get them to load up and I will do another book post soon..
you know the saying.."so many books, so little time" ? That is my day today.
Princess needs my help with a book she is writing, so I must go.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Out of the Box

Mom Unplugged over at Unplug Your Kids, has offered
up the topic "box" for this week's group project.
So I thought I would take the time to talk about some boxes
that help me in my homeschooling world.
  1. My Craft/Activity Box- this is an unattractive cardboard box left over from our library's book sale that sits under my computer desk.It is filled with large zip lock bags that I pre-fill with craft and activity ideas and all the needed supplies to produce said craft or activity to occupy Princess.Here is an example:The first picture shows a bag with a book "Five Little Monkeys", a print out of the same story with fill in the blanks and pages to color,a banana and monkey worksheet a box of small colored pencils nd a stuffed monkey.The second is really 3 bags, small holiday crafts and a bottle of glue..I move the bottle of glue from bag to bag and paperclip these bags together since they share this bottle of glue. *
  2. Princess has a rack that holds bins or "open topped boxes" in her room that holds different types of toys.The first example are her "Mega Blocks".This allows us to easily carry the blocks to wherever we are to play and she can easily put them away on her own as well.She also has one for Dinosaurs,Polly Pockets, Puppets,cars and some other toys that can be grouped together easily.
  3. For her puzzles and foam blocks we have 2 rolling plastic boxes on wheels that we roll around where we need them.The puzzles have been taken out of their original boxes and bagged and labeled and numbered.We just did not have room to store all those boxes of puzzles.
  4. In one of my storage cabinets in my kitchen, I have 5 plastic shoe boxes.One of them has all the felt board pieces in separate plastic bags.Some are homemade,some store bought (OK, more likely Freecycled).
  5. On another shelf there are two larger plastic boxes.One has all the Play-Doh accessories and one has the Moon Sand.These work well for her to keep a handle on all the pieces while she is playing and allowing her the ability to take them out and put them away on her own.
  6. The other "box" that helps me a lot is a "litter box", not the ones my cats use on a daily basis,but a clean ones that has only ever been used by Princess as her "sensory" table. I put water, shaving foam,rice or any type of dry grains,and let her play.Sometimes we take it outside, sometimes we use it inside.I also have a couple in a cabinet in the living room for storage of CDs and VHS tapes with felt discs on the bottom so they don't scratch the wood.They were the only container that met my height and width requirements at the time and they work really well.

*I use a similar bag idea in a plastic tote that I use to organize my school planning that I will talk about in another post another day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

One Wild Night

Saturday found us all cleaning the basement so Farmer Dad could have his buds over to jam
for a bit. Mostly we moved the stuff from one end to another so they had room for all the
equipment. At first it was just loud, but after a while it started to sound like music.
Princess was rescued while it was loud by my niece (thanks Steph)who picked her up to meet my sister
who had promised her "Aunt Shell" time earlier. We were going to hang out with my friend and her
son, but the timing of "AS time" didn't work out to do both. I went and picked her up before most
of the guys left, so she jammed with them for a bit before they played a game of pool or two and headed
home. It was a nice evening.I am trying to convince her to let me post a bit of video of her singing, but
she said no. It is not the best portion of her jam for sure, but still very cute to me.
She will allow the use of some photos, so here they are.

Princess with her new guitar

Playing the harmonica

Singing with Jon and F. Dad (he's to the right)
Pretty soon everyone else started playing along while she was singing too.
My favorite part is how she taps her right foot to the music.
The lyrics, as always, are pure "Princess"..she prefers her music to be her own and very "organic".
I will work on her to allow the video..even though it's not the greatest.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friends on Friday

Princess woke up in a lovely mood today.
She fed her cats and snuggled Pumpkin
for a while.
Farmer Dad was already out of the house,
doing the food shopping, so we hung out together
while we waited for him to return.
We made her bed and she picked up the living room
in preparation for the arrival of her friends.
There was no telling her that they would not arrive until 3:00pm,
and it was only 8:00am.
Farmer Dad came home with the food and we all put it away.
Princess and I did a bit of reading and she colored for a while.
Little Man arrived in time for lunch and we all sat together.
He was very excited to have Farmer Dad join us!
Princess put on some music and they danced and played
some musical instruments while I folded laundry.
Farmer Dad sucked up leaves and moved more boxes around downstairs.
Little Man started doing his "I can no longer stand on my own power" thing,
so I put him in my room for his nap. I pulled the shades almost all the way down
put his mat on the floor turned around to give him a pillow and blanket, and he was asleep!
He slept through the arrival of "the twins", three very loud giggling girls peeking in on him
(Princess wanted to show off her new "little brother"), the same girls having a "make your own sundae"
party in the kitchen, and then playing dress up and barbies in the room next to him at the top of their lungs.
He even slept through the arrival of their Dad and their departure. The last half hour he slept I had the door open
so he would wake up. He was tired! Princess woke him up before her friends were gone and they danced and then we had story time with a snack. Today was only the second time he did not cry when his Dad came to pick him up.Princess has been trying to "train him" to say "Hi Daddy,I love you!" when he gets picked up.
Two days in a row we had "Daddy!" so we're making progress.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rainy day in the Garden State

It rained all day today. First it drizzled,
then it poured, then it drizzled some more.
I like the rain, but today I could have used some sun.
I wasted countless hours putting clothes away in
storage bins and clearing clutter from our basement today
only to have Farmer Dad come home and point to the parts
I did not get done and totally tick me off!
Now I 'm sorry I bothered at all.He wants to have his buddies come over and play guitar
on Saturday evening. He wants us to clear out for that. I was fine with that until now.
Unfortunately he has the next 3 days off...argh! He's already really in my way..what will
I do for the next 3 days? I should make a shopping list for the supermarket and send him first thing
in the morning.
Princess woke up Little Man again from his nap which just makes him cranky.
Between her and her father..I'm now cranky.
We made a lot of bread today and the kids played in the tunnel again and listened to music.
Princess tried desperately to teach him how to put a puzzle together. She was doing them at his age,
and just cannot understand when some little kids don't know how, or don't enjoy them.She has also been trying to teach him his alphabet...she is very patient.
The upside is my girlfriend called and her girls want to come over for a "Camp Katie Day" after school
Tomorrow, Princess is very excited! I'll have to think of something fun for us to do!!

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My homeschool buddies and I are all posting pics of our "home schools" as part of our idea sharing.

Plato said...

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to discover the child's natural bent .