Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Metal Insets Outside

Link has never been interested in the metal insets.  So, when he spontaneously decided that he wanted to do some outside, with crayons, I did not protest.  As you can see, Bumblebee learned from his big brother.  Link did all the shapes except two, and I think the only reason he stopped was because I distracted him with cherries.  He only wanted to trace the frames, but I was just so glad they were getting some use, I didn't press the issue.  He asked me several times how to hold his crayon correctly, and would not put it down when he went to switch the shapes out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Tea Time with Link

Link and Bumblebee received a Tea Set and a Coffee Maker for their birthdays.  Both gifts have been a hit! I don't have any pictures of Bumblebee yet, but here's Link having tea with me :)  Just think of all the practical life and grace & courtesy lessons that will sneak into our tea time!







Thursday, May 10, 2012

My First Steps to Reading Books

I found it pretty frustrating to have library books in my sound boxes.  They were always due when I needed them, or I ended up paying fees.  I found them on amazon for $50 used, $89 new.  I bought them on ebay for $40.  They seem practically new!  I debated getting these since I could have gotten the Alphatales Box set new for $40 on amazon.  But, I really like the simplicity of these books.  They don't have a lesson or anything like that, and I think the Alphatales books do.  The Alphatales may be more interesting for some kids, but my Link really likes the Sound Box books.  I like how there are tons of things he can point to that begin with the sound we are using.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New Works

On Sunday I took the boys outside to play, and while my back was turned, Bumblebee opened the door to go inside and do some work!  I added several new works to their shelves over the weekend.  For some reason the one that captured Bumblebee was the golf tees and foam.  While we were there, Link of course checked out all the new things on Bumblebee's shelves without even looking at his own.  With some encouragement we did his works together.

To Link's shelves I returned the felt and push pins and added sandpaper numbers (missing from pic), matching sandpaper letters to little wooden letters and an acorn counting activity.
Link's shelves

Link seemed to enjoy doing his work today, but I was very involved.  We also didn't make it through the entire box of letters for matching.  For each letter that he matched he volunteered a word that began with that letter :)  He worked very intently on the felt and push pins though.

Link's push pin work
To Bumblebee's shelves I added a bit more.  Starting on the far left top the new things are: an object box, shape puzzles, and a small abacus.  On the bottom shelf the balancing cactus and belt box are new.

Bumblebee's shelf

On his other shelf I added the foam and golf tees, with no hammer, the peanut can has small holes and toothpicks, and next to that is the lacing orange.  The bag below contains cubes and rectangular prisms for sorting.

Bumblebee worked with the foam, peanut can, cylinder block one, and shape puzzles.

After the boys seemed to be winding down I set up an activity for them that I had been thinking about.  I set up two stools on one end of the classroom, with a bowl of macaroni on one stool.  On the other side of the classroom I set up two stools, with an empty bowl on one and a tray with a measuring cup on the other stool.  I showed the boys how to get one scoop of macaroni and set it on the tray.  Then I walked carefully over to the other side and set the tray down on the empty stool.  Then I poured the macaroni into the empty bowl.  I put the scoop back on the tray and took it back to the other stool.  Both boys did this about four times.  Carrying the tray without spilling the macaroni was the tricky part for both boys.  I plan to continue this in various ways, adding a line and changing the measuring cup and macaroni out for other items.

Link is a very active little boy and I thought it might be more fun doing things that involved moving :)  Today I decided to try something to peak his interest in his sandpaper numbers.  First, I brought 0-4 to the kitchen table.  Since it was just his birthday, he's pretty interested in these numbers.  Baby Bear is 0, Bumblebee is 1 and about to be 2, and Link was just 3, but is now 4.  He learned these five numbers very quickly.  Then, later today we played hide-and-seek with the numbers.  I brought up the rest and we'd take turns hiding them.
Link closing his eyes while I hide the numbers.
First, I would hide them so that he could see the numbers when he found them.  That way I could say "Bring me number 3" and he'd look for that one specifically, passing the others up when he found them.
Sequencing the numbers
 He is at the stage where he knows what order they go in and can identify them if I say the number.  It is harder for him to remember the name of the number when I point at them.


Proud of his find

Having fun with numbers!

Link LOVES hide-and-seek!  I think he could play it all day.  We played for a solid hour, then I thought we should take a break so he didn't get too burnt out.  I think I'll try this again with some letters and number rods.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Birthday Link!

We had a small party for Link today to celebrate his birthday.  Most of our family is out of town and we don't know many people here, so it was just us and my sister-in-law's family.  Link is so excited about being 4 years old!  The party was completely spur of the moment.  We're having a big party for him later, but he knew that today was his birthday, so we just had to celebrate it :)  He insisted that all birthday boys have to have birthday hats, so I had to whip one up for him - hence the paper on his head.




Friday, May 4, 2012

Letter Search

I've mentioned before that I love, love, love the Sound Box Books by Jane Moncure.  Lately, when Link and I are reading them, I ask him to find all of the letters on the page that make the sound that we're reading about.  He enjoys this, so I thought I'd try adding a Letter Search activity to his sound boxes.  I got the idea from My Boys Teacher over at What Did We Do All Day of course :)  She made some like this, but in one of her comments she mentioned she couldn't share them.  Since I had to make them anyways, I thought I'd share mine :)  Enjoy!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Tae Kwon Do

We signed Link up for Tae kwon do!

I wish I'd thought of it sooner!  There were several reasons we thought it would be good for him, though I think it will take a while to see the results.

  • He has so much energy and needs a good outlet for it.
  • He is very physical, often in a bad way.  They really stress that he should only "do his moves" if he has asked.  My hope is that he'll get his need to hit out in a productive way and not feel the need to do it all the time to other people.
  • Self control will come with time, but is reinforced in his class.
  • Reinforcement of what I try to teach him at home (respect, courtesy, integrity).
  • Exposure to things I can't really give him at home (leadership, teamwork).
  • Social interaction.  He gets very excited any time he's around other kids because its not something he gets to do often.  It's like he knows how to interact with adults, but not other kids :)
  • Safety.  They use something called safetyNetkids to teach them,  in a nonthreatening way, how to react to different threats.

So far, he's only been for two weeks.  He loves it!  It's odd though, if I ask if he wants to go, he'll say no, or not today.  But when we go anyways, he has so much fun and says he's glad he went.

I'm really hoping this will be something he will continue as he gets older, and all the boys can do it together.

I also plan on signing him up for swim lessons in June.  Unfortunately, the two younger boys will be along for the ride until they are old enough :(

We will be getting back into the school room soon!






Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sick Family

Our break from the school room coincided with the entire family getting sick, so that worked out well.  First Link, then Bumblebee, then me and the baby.  We're pretty much better, but still recuperating.  None of us felt like doing much, so the house is a disaster and all the kids want to do is watch movies.  (We don't have a TV, but we do have a computer and access to Netflix, iTunes and Amazon Prime Videos.)

I have found that the more they watch, the more they want to watch, and vise versa.  The less the watch, the less they ask to watch.  I have to break the cycle now that we're better so that we can get outside and back to the school room.  However, I feel the need to get the disaster zone back in order and I think it will take me a week to do it!