Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Week of School and We're Ready for a Vacation

We finished the first week of school and we're even cutting it short to go on vacation. It's Labor Day Weekend (aka my birthday) and I want some city fun so we are off tomorrow. We will also be planning a trip to the Fine Arts Museum to see the Impressionism exhibit so now we can call it a fieldtrip and count it as school. Here's what we did this week:
Monday, we sent Brynn off to brick and mortar public school. Why is Brynn going to Kindergarten? Because she REALLLLY wanted to; Kate went, so she feels it's her "rite of passage."

I'm not sure her experience lived quite up to her expectations--they were pretty high. When I asked her about it after picking her up from the bus-stop she said, "It was easy and we only had 2 recesses." She showed us her coloring pages of letter A and number one and said that it was just like preschool except she liked preschool better. Every day Dad has walked her down to the bus-stop at 7:30 and Brynn gets dropped off at 11:30 just in time for all of us to have lunch, followed by some story time by Mom ( we had quite the library loot this week to get through).

I have been all gung-ho to start on our Spanish. Unfortunately we have had some log-in problems with accessing our account and I don't know when they'll be resolved. Instead we read a very fun book Bebe at the beach. It is a cute story that intersperses Spanish words into
it's rhyming text. We read it again today, with the girls repeating the bold print Spanish words as they came along in the story, "mira, pelota, el sol, gafas, helado, cuidado," etc.

Brynn is still doing her reading lessons after school from her favorite book, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. We are on lesson #30 and it's going well. She loves to do it and she also gets to pick a treat from the jar after each lesson.

Kate's week has been going well, except for the "You're not a real teacher, I want to go to real school, homeschool is stupid" tantrums that seemed to occur every morning. Dad had a talk with her and decided that Kate will get an "attitude" treat each day out of the jar if she can be "cute and fun" when she does her lessons. Today it worked!!! No come-aparts! Hallelujah!!!

Language Arts includes about 20 min. of spelling, 30 minutes of vocab. 20 minutes of grammar/writing and 20 minutes of guided reading. The spelling has been pretty easy so far (lock, ship, does, from, etc.) We reviewed the 4 different types of sentences (telling, asking, exclamation, command) and practiced writing them. We read and discussed, Clara and the Bookwagon." Today we read some fables and found their morals, "The Dog and His Shadow" and the "Goose and the Golden Eggs" Kate wrote the titles and the morals of each, "Don't be GREEDY" --definitely, a command.

Dad is taking over math, or wizard numbers, he calls it. They have been doing it first thing in the morning after breakfast: 7:30 a.m. So far it has been 1 st grade review which Kate thinks is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

Adrie gets to do preschool during our school breaks. I present myself as "Mrs. Winkletoes" her teacher and she loves to show me that she knows her colors and counting. We are working on shapes and identifying letters and numbers. She gets a treat out of the jar after her lesson just like Brynn.

Besides school, Kate had her first soccer game. It was very exciting and she was already asking if she could have a sleepover with her new friend Saylor. Adrie was soo excited to attend her first Rhythm/Music class for toddlers but--Darn IT!--I forgot to take her this morning. When I realized my mistake and apologized, Adrie was in tears. Now she has to wait 7 more days for the next class.. aarrgh!

I made Brynn's favorite for dinner last night, "Creamy Enchiladas" and she said, "Let's just have this all to ourselves -- don't share it with any neighbors!" There's a command. We also made brownies but DARn IT again! I accidentally put 3/4 cup water instead of 1/4 into the mix, so I had to compensate with extra flour and ewww, even frosting on top could not make them taste better.

Yesterday we got the long awaited DVD "Camp Rock" in the mail from Netflix. Adrie thought it was boring (however, she hip-hopped along every time they broke out in song) On a scale of 1-5 Kate gave it one billion stars! They watched it again with Dad before bedtime. Now Kate is working on her own "Camp Rock" book of songs. They are mostly love songs, but one included Nature and another one said, "Jesus made me this way. " Kate is consumed with how she can become famous. She said she will start charging $1/person now instead of 25 cents to watch her concerts. Brynn also started her own book of Camp Rock "drawings."

And there's our first week in a wrap!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Project Organization

Who doesn't like some good BEFORE and AFTER pictures? This is what we were dealing with in summer school, finishing up our History and Art curriculum before 2nd grade. "Where's the tape? Where is a pen?? Where is that Monet print???" I'd had enough. It was time to start the new school year off right. After a little inspiration and a lot of perspiration, this is the AFTER photo.
Inspiration came in the form of those VERY handy over the door SHOE organizers. (about $7 at Wal-Mart) Our girls have been so excited to see their stuff they have been doing arts and crafts all week! I am so proud of our project I have been leaving the doors open just so I can glance over and feel the satisfaction. Ahhhh
If you zoom in that 2nd photo you'll see my other favorite purchase: AN ELECTRIC PENCIL SHARPENER. Why didn't I get one of these years ago?! Except for the horrible grinding sound that terrifies our 5 month old baby, it has been a great thing! Ready for school NEXT WEEK.