Saturday, September 15, 2012

The First Two Weeks

Playing an Add It game.

Mixing up some sugar cookie dough.

Licking all the sugar off their fingers Decorating with sprinkles

Sight word cookies!

Cracking a Mr. Men sight word code

Coloring a picture of St Helena; the saint Addie wants to dress up as for the All Saints Day party.

A sweet moment as Ana cuddles with Gabe, watching him do his reading lesson.

Gabe was very pleased with his tall word-family ice cream cones.

What do you do when you have a narrow fireplace and lots of little kids?  Close it off with a chalkboard!

Color by word family.

Crafty time!  We've had to put the booster seats on the school chairs to get the kids the right height for handwriting, though this is just a temporary solution.  

Gabe was very focused on sounding out his word for the Say it, Write it, Paste it worksheet.

Addie also had her very first Little Flowers meeting yesterday.  She did great and had a lot of fun!  I'm looking forward to helping coordinate the November meeting.

This coming week we have our first P.E. co-op and a field trip to an apple orchard.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our First Day

We've officially begun our school year!  I don't technically have to keep track of any of the kids work until they're seven, but I'd like to stay on pace with other kids their age; the twins are actually a few months older than I was when I started kindergarten.

The girls donned their hats just for these pictures. 

I love that I'll have these to remind me of some of the little things that will change over the years.  Though I don't think I'll need a reminder of Ana's obsession with Dora. 

Silly faced excitement.

We started out with everyone at their own desk for calendar and morning board time.  Juliana has her own table under the window

while the twins are using antique classroom desks. (I love that there's an extra seat on the front for Ana to sit while we're focusing on the bulletin board.)  We just got them in yesterday!  

They still need some work, but I am so pleased with how they're turning out.  The yellow metal has been spray painted black and Addie's desktop has been sanded and re-stained.  

They are so excited to have their own work spaces!

We did a short catechism lesson, then moved on to their handwriting and math work books.  Ana did some coloring and watched them do their reading lessons online.  

After a break for snack we came back to do some activities like tanagram patterns,

 building sight words, letter hunts, and button threading.

 After a little more free time it was time to break for lunch. Mara was thoroughly enjoying her pasta. 

 Not one to be left out of doing something "first" today, she became mobile.  She's not crawling on her hands and knees yet, but she's pushing with her feet and pulling with her arms well enough to get her to where she wants to go.  

A little while later the kids headed out to the garden with Daddy to replenish our cherry tomato supply.  While checking on the peppers they made a little discovery.

Can you see it?

It's a tomato hornworm catterpillar.  They were quite enthralled.  At the time I had no idea what it was or what those little white things were, so while the twins had their quiet time and the two younger ones napped I did a little research.  When they came back down a while later we talked about the little wasps that lay their eggs on the caterpillar, how those eggs hatch and the larve eat the inside of the caterpillar, and then make cocoons for themselves on the outside.  It was weird, and gross... and therefore, super cool.  

We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Addie crafted her very own, complete with cocoons.  

 And an angry face... he is being eaten alive, after all. 

The rest of the day was spent running around the house, playing Zoodles (an online collection of educational games and videos), and decorating the downstairs for a surprise-Halloween-birthday-dress-up-party.  Or so I was told.  

I was very pleased, and a little surprised, with how much we were able to get done today.  I was prepared to focus on establishing the new daily routine and expectations, making any real work a secondary priority... at least until next week.  But they were ready to dive in.  The girls more so than Gabe.  He had several frustrated moments and needed more prodding than Addie; I heard a few grumbled exclamations of, "Aww, nuts."  But he really enjoys the math book and the activities, so I know it'll just take time for him to settle in.  

I'm looking forward to doing a weekly science lesson and going to a P.E. co-op with our ARCH group as well.  But for now, we're easing ourselves in, trying not to overload and keep it fun.