Thursday, September 09, 2010

School - and sand

Home school has been going pretty well, except for this week. It's hard to keep a schedule when one kid is sick. Erin is back at school today and Luke is working on his science notebook so I am using the time to post a quick update.

Here are a few pictures of last Friday. I have a CD of preschool "school" papers that a friend recommended to me. I'm not entirely thrilled with it, but there are some things that I can print out for Erin to work on while I do some things with Luke. We're working on getting her to recognize letters - she knows the alphabet song but she can't tell you all the letters when she sees them. So far she has learned about 10-12 using the "Fridge Phonics" and foamy bathtub letters. She gets stuck on R, D, and B so I printed out those papers and she happily colored them while loudly saying their sounds.

Here's Luke working on some dot to dots. We figured out that he can orally count quite high but can't recognize written numerals any higher than 12. It's hard to read the teens - they don't follow the rules for other written numbers - and dot to dots are a fun way to practice. Notice the pencil sharpener, his current favorite tool.

The other night Erin wanted to "write" on Luke's practice white board. She colored while I did the dishes and then we laughed when she said, "Mommy, my face is all covered with chocolate!" I'd never seen her draw a face before and this was a funny twist that is so Erin.

After that, Luke and Erin sat on the couch while Luke "taught" her some things from his library book. Guess what he was teaching her about?

Star Wars characters, of course! It's funny to hear Erin try to say "C3PO."

And finally, yesterday. Lately Erin has been a total grouchy, screaming bear. I think most of it is because she's 3 and 3-year-olds are generally terrible, especially in the last half of the year (in my experience). However, that excuse made for her doesn't escape the fact that she has been really difficult to live with, to put it mildly. She often screams/cries for 30-45 minutes for no apparent reason. My latest solution is to ignore it since nothing else really helps, but that's hard on Luke. He has been mostly good about it - we leave her in her room with the door closed and go downstairs to do something else. Yesterday when she finally decided to quit and act human again we had a snack and then they went out to play while I got supper started. Wow. You wouldn't know it was the same person. They played so nicely in the sandbox for about an hour. When I knew that Alec was on his way home I went out to get them and this is what I found:

Cute, right? Now look closer:

Now look past the tongue sticking out:

And that's just her face! They were both covered with sand. I told them we were going to take the world's fastest bath - you should have seen the gross, dirty water when we were done. I don't care, though. I'd rather have dirty kids than screaming, fighting kids. And it was nice to have them bathed before supper.

Alright, that's it for today. Here's what Luke produced while I was typing - a cover for his botany notebook. In case you can't read, those are Sweet Gum Seedpods, Buttercups, Tulips, Pine Tree, Flower, Crocuses, and Ivy with Squirrels (apparently it's just their eyeballs peeping up).

Now he's having "recess" - watching Dinosaur Train on PBS. I've got a load of laundry done already and bread in the oven. We've done science, reading, and handwriting. I'd say it's been a productive day already, even if nothing else gets finished!


Gayle and Rob said...

I think you are accomplishing great things - and I've taught Kindergarten! Sounds like you've got a good system going.

MLE said...

Wow! Thanks for the great update. I LOVE the squirrels and the way his mind works! Glad to hear that Erin is having breakthroughs. You are a good mom and this WILL pass! You do have beautiful and wonderful children! I wish I were a creative teacher like you! Love ya!