Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It’s a…..

Boy!!

We had our ultrasound today, at 18 weeks 1 day. IMG_2338

Everything checked out great, all extremities present and accounted for, no seen intrauterine bands, four heart chambers seemingly flowing in the right direction, a heart rate of 166, gall bladder, stomach, kidneys, bladders, all accounted for.

Baby was actually being a little shy, not wanting to show his face at first, and then he actually had his hands between his legs (that’s when I suspected it was a boy ;)), and Alexa actually called it when she saw the baby’s head circumference she said “Oh yeah, it’s a boy, a girl’s head is not like that” :)

It wasn’t until towards the end of the ultrasound, we got a perfect shot of his “parts” to know for sure what we were having. IMG_2339

Tim and I saw it first and made eye contact, and then the (super sweet) ultrasound tech started talking the kids through it. Tim asked Treyton if he saw anything and he said “Yeah, a weiner. Girls don’t have weiners.” and Tim said, no they don’t. So at that point, we assumed that he “got it”, however, about 2 minutes later he said “So do we know if it’s a boy or girl yet?” So we had to explain to him again, that what he saw on the screen was in fact our baby, and it was a boy. IMG_2335

When the tech told us “I’m not allowed to say with 100% certainty of course, but…” Treyton was thrown for a loop…. and was like “Well, when will we know 100%, what do we have to do to know 100%?” (oh, how I love the mind of our absolute, black and white child!)

We are measuring right on for the October 23rd due date.

We are still undecided on a name, which is a first for us, usually by now, we’ve already known for a while. We have a girl name, but have 2 options for boy names…. I think we’re pretty decided on one, but still not for sure, so I’ll try to keep it to myself until we know.

Treyton is super pumped for a baby brother and is already talking about all the things he is going to teach him. And I’m happy to say Alexa is not really bummed at all, even though she wanted another sister. She’s still okay with a brother, and all Audrey likes to do is rub, hit and kiss my belly – I’m pretty sure that’s her way of showing the baby she loves him too.

I put on four pounds in the last five weeks, my blood pressure was normal and all seems well on big mama’s end.

Our next appointment is in 4 weeks, when all they will do is a heart beat check and belly measurement.   

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

3 Year Old Preschool Wrap-Up

I have failed in writing the weekly posts for Alexa the last several weeks. Our scheduled has been a little over whelming, and when that happens, blogging is the first to go. So I’ve decided instead of trying to go back and catch up – I would just write an end-of-year wrap-up to give a little glimpse of what she’s doing and where we’ll start up again next year.

Read-Alouds Recently

  • “The Cinderella Story”
  • “Fancy Nancy Tea”
  • “Twinkle Star of the Week” Paul Nichols
  • “That’s When I Talk to God”
  • “Jonah” (out of Jesus Storybook Bible)
  • “Daniel and the Lions Den” (out of the Jesus Storybook Bible)
  • “Ezra and Nehemiah” (out of the Jesus Storybook Bible)
  • Jesus and Jarius’ Daughter
  • The Story of the Good Samaritan
  • “Beauty and the Beast: Sweet Treats:

Math: Writing Numbers

Alexa is practicing writing her numbers 1-6. 2 is the toughest one (rightly so, I think). IMG_1774

She is also going through the Singapore Kindergarten Book A, we are on lesson 2.14 currently.  IMG_1741Reading

We’ve been doing All About Reading since convention, we’re in the middle of Step 3. She is doing very well.

IMG_1779So far we have focused on letters t, a, m, n, s, g, b, d, c (that’s off the top of my head, there may be a couple more).

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She is able to sound out words using those letters pretty well. She still does a little bit of guessing after she figures out the first two letters. IMG_1736

For example if she sees the word “can” she may say “cat” initially. Then I have to remind her not to guess and to sound them out. Then she sounds it out and gets it.

We’ve taken a short break on sight words, she is hit or miss because of the lack of practice, but I have no doubt that she will pick them back up easily.

Explode the Code 

Alexa does ETC basically on her own these days, with very little help. I usually have her work on this and letter writing practice while I’m working one-on-one with Treyton. We’ve slowed down a little bit because she had an extremely difficult time writing the letter g, so we stopped to practice her letter formation.

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Craft: Beading

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Craft: Magnetic Mosaics IMG_1730

Craft: Painting

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We have another week of school to go, so I’m sure we will progress a little more before the end of year, but probably not much more – we’re keeping it pretty light.

Soccer 2012

This year we chose soccer as our family sport. Alexa and Treyton are both on teams. They play every Monday and Wednesday evening from June until mid-July.

Tonight were the soccer pictures – I wasn’t able to get ones of the kids individually but I did get their team pictures. IMG_2232 

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Week 35 (Week 32 in Adventures): Montana, Idaho, Washington and Arizona

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This week we added four more states to our bulging states binder: Montana, Idaho, Washington and Arizona. Treyton is so excited and counts down EVERY day, how many states we have left. He already knows Hawaii is the last one, and Alaska is second to last. I love how MFW went through the states, adding in the chronicle history, for Treyton this was a fantastic way to explore American History for the first time. Not to mention, it made a lasting impression on me as well – I cannot tell you how much I learned this year.

State Pages   IMG_2029 

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IMG_2032Apple and Potato Prints

Because we learned about both the apple and potato growing states this week, I had the idea to pull out some actual produce and made some stamps. My apples didn’t really turn out, because apparently, I didn’t cut them straight enough and we were getting only partial prints (no matter how much paint we used). IMG_2023

The kids loved the potato prints – I managed to make the letter A, the letter T, a fish and a heart. Each kid made two pages worth of prints. IMG_2024 (Treyton’s)

IMG_2025 (Treyton’s)

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(Alexa’s)

Arthropods: Insects

This is our second week learning about the class of arthropods, this week we focused on the insect group. We got our caterpillars in the mail and for the first time (we’ve done this probably 4 times before) they were really tiny, we actually thought they were dead when they arrived. We were able to see how fast they grow, compared to other times when they got here they were already pretty big caterpillars.

They are now chrysalised, and I can’t believe it but Treyton actually knows that word on his own! Ordering the butterflies four times was worth it, he learned (and remembered) something!  IMG_2034

Treyton labeled a caterpillar drawing, and we are waiting for the butterflies to emerge for him to label a drawing on them in their adult stage. We talked about the four stages, and I actually learned that caterpillars have 6 “real” legs and 10 “false legs”…. who knew. Seriously, take a close look, the front 6 are real, the back ones are false (btw – this does not mean that they don’t work – I’m not actually sure why they are called false, but they actually do look different).

Science: Animal Classification Review

In our last MFW co-op, I had the kids make Animal Classification Lapbooks. They turned out great (though we were crunched to get them done). Since then, we’ve used it several times in school. This week we used to review the classes we’ve already been studying – and the characteristics that make them special. I found the lapbook on Homeschool Share and I would highly recommend it. IMG_2033

Garden Planting

We planted part of garden this week, 6 square foot gardens, we’re waiting for Dad to build 3 more, one which will be “just Treyton’s” he already has his pretty well planned out. He knows which vegetables he’s putting in, and he also wants to add a few flowers as well. His Aunt Skye actually bought him two plants for his recital: six green peppers, and a red flowering annual that I forget the name of, Treyton picked out both.

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Math

We are doing lots of smaller units and reviews lately. He is learning about measurements: centimeters, inches, feet, yards. We’ve touched on these things before, but I think they are actually taking root this time.

Spelling

Treyton continues to amaze me in his spelling. Sometimes, I think he can’t possibly be understanding what he’s doing but he continues to excel. He isn’t always the greatest in using his spelling rules in his own writing, but I think it’s more of a confidence issue than an educational issue. He’s used to asking how to spell a word as he is writing, and doesn’t think he knows a word even if he does. I’m doing more dictation (from All About Spelling) with him these days and that seems to be helping. 

Field Trip: Zoo

We couldn’t help ourselves this week, the weather has been so nice, we decided we just had to get out and get to the zoo for the first time this year.

Even though we have a zoo pass, it costs us $7.00 every zoo trip because the kids HAVE to feed the goats and lambs ($5) and the giraffes ($2)! It is seriously the coolest thing our zoo does, and the kids LOVE it – and so do I, so we splurge.   IMG_1975They always each pick their favorite goat, and there is always one bully, to be sure, which one kids usually has to feed so the other two can feed the “nice goats” without them getting bucked at. IMG_1977 It’s usually Audrey who gets left with the dirty job of feeding the bully because, quite honestly she’s unaware, and really could care less as long as she is feeding one. IMG_1984 (BTW – this is not the bully goat, this goat was actually pretty sweet) IMG_1987Another highlight is the bear, we didn’t see it at all last summer, so I don’t know if they didn’t have one, or if we just kept missing her. This year however, we’ve not only seen her, she’s much more active than the last one. IMG_1994The kids love these stone statues, and ask to take pictures with them every zoo trip, I don’t get it, but of course I happily oblige. IMG_2006 Like I said before, giraffe feeding is the COOLEST thing the kids get to do and it’s always someone’s favorite on the day. These animals are huge and so truly amazing, and who can get over their long black tongues, especially when it’s slobbering up your hand!

Field Trip: Nate the Great at the Performing Arts Center

Treyton also had the chance to go see Nate the Great with his Aunt Toni this week. This is our last theatre show of the school year (no worries, we’ve already signed up for twice as many for next year)!! Treyton said this was his fourth favorite show.

Coming Up

We have two weeks left!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Week 33 & 34 (Weeks 30 & 31 of Adventures)

It’s getting to the end of the school year, and we are ready to be done! We have been keeping our weeks pretty simple, and are mostly just following the MFW teacher’s manual and recommended reading list as well as doing our other standard subjects. We’re still learning a lot, but it makes for much less exciting posts to write about.

Read Alouds

(Week 33) Transcontinental Railroad

While reading about the Transcontinental Railroad, I found an idea a few weeks ago to build a railroad using popsicle sticks and straws from two different sides of a cardboard to meet together, just like the Transcontinental Railroad did.

IMG_1763  IMG_1756Treyton loved this project, we had plans to do it again with a friend of his who is also doing MFW, but we haven’t had the chance to get together yet.

(Week 33) Abe Lincoln Fort

Randomly this week the kids decided to build forts in the living room using our couches (turned upside down of course). After hanging a blanket over the entrances Treyton was determined to refer to it as Abe Lincoln’s cabin – it was just like the one he was born in, he said. IMG_1769

(Week 34) North Dakota, South Dakota

Treyton completed his state pages this week. IMG_1747

Reading

Treyton read Nate the Great this week, to prepare for a show that we’re going to see in a few weeks at the Performing Arts Center.

Handwriting

Treyton started his Transitions handwriting book this week. Which meant he wrote cursive for the first time! He’s really excited to learn.

This week (33) he practiced the letter A a, week (34) he started practicing the letter E e.

Spelling

This week we had a special fun activity of shooting letters as Treyton spelled the words. He, of course, loved doing this. IMG_1773

He continues to learn about different types of syllables, including opened, closed, vowel consonant ‘e’, and vowel teams. He’s doing well.

IMG_1777 Science: Echinoderms & Arachnids

We learned about echinoderms – like star fish and sea urchins this week. I had him watch a few videos online, and completed our labs. Treyton is a littler overwhelmed with all the “big words” of the classes of animals we’re learning about, so I’m not sure what his long term memory will be of animal classification, but overall he’s doing well and I’m hoping he’ll remember at least a few fun facts about the classes we’re learning about.

For our co-op this past week one of the activities we did was to make an animal classification lapbook (found at Homeschool Share). We’ve looked at it while reviewing the invertebrate groups we’ve already learned about, and it’s really helped him a lot. I can’t figure out if he actually likes lapbooks or not. He says he does, but then he doesn’t seem to like the actual assembly. However, he is getting much better at putting them together, and doesn’t complain unless it starts to take too long.

For week 34 we were actually supposed to learn about Arthropods (first) and then Insects, however, we didn’t get our caterpillars in time so we skipped ahead to arachnids.

Mosaics

IMG_1730I picked out this fun magnetic mosaic box at convention, the kids LOVED it! IMG_1734 It took Treyton 2 days but he completed this pattern.  I’m pretty sure it’s still put together downstairs. IMG_1735 

3 weeks to go!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Curriculum 2012-2013 (Second Grade & Preschool)

I planned to write this post after we got back from the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati, OH, a few weeks ago, however life doesn’t always go as planned. The convention by the way was amazing - this is the second year that I have gone and I LOVED it, again!!
I knew before going which curriculum we were going to be going with next year, but other than our core curriculum, I waited to purchase it until I was there to save on shipping and of course the wait time, and some of the vendors actually offer greater discounts at the conference which is nice.
I cannot tell you how excited I am for next year’s curriculum line-up!! I can hardly wait. It’s times like these that I am appreciative that we school year round.
Core Curriculum: Tapestry of Grace Year 1, Units 1-4: The History of Redemption. TapestryTapestry is a Classical education curriculum, based on a four year cycle it includes everything you need for grades K-12 for history, geography, writing, Bible, art, etc. It’s designed with the mom of multiple children (of different ages) for sure. It’s an amazing, and I mean amazing curriculum. This year we are going to be learning about Ancient History from Creation to Rome. My favorite thing about Tapestry is how much God’s sovereignty is highlighted and actually taught through the study of our world’s history. Even in so-called Christian curriculum I believe that this component is so often missing. This curriculum is saturated with God – I couldn’t ask for anything more, but it actually has SO much more. It has an amazing book list/recommended reading, Bible study, map skills, hands-on activities, fine arts options, and MORE; with all these options you are able to personalize what you learn, how you learn it for each of your students. The trick is not trying to do it all.
Math we are using Singapore.
  • For Treyton we are using standards 2A and 2B
  • For Alexa I am using their Early Birds Standard Kindergarten program Textbook A and B, A is well beneath her ability, but there were a few things I wanted her to review and master.
Handwriting we are sticking with A Reason for Handwriting
  • Treyton is doing Transitions, where he will slowly “transition” from manuscript to cursive 4. Handwriting Level T (Transition) Student Worktext
  • Alexa will be doing the K program. She will simply be practicing her letter formation and neatness. 1. Handwriting Level K Student Worktext
Science we are using Pandia Press’ REAL Science we will be finishing up life science and starting earth and space science. We usually have a strong science push throughout the summer months, and then we take it a little easier throughout the winter, however, with this program it’s not to hard to just keep it going throughout the year. On a normal week we complete a unit by reading the recommended books and doing hands-on labs twice a week.
Fine Arts - Artist Study I guess you could say I “write my own” artist study curriculum. We study an artist for 6 weeks, studying one of his/her pieces a week, often recreating at least one work, and imitating the artist style in at least one original work of our own throughout our study. We include the studied artist and the works studied in our artist notebook, which we started this past year, as well as placing the artist on our timeline. Also, if available, I find living books on our artist at our local library, so we will also supplement our study with some good books. The artist we plan on studying this year include:
  • Picasso
  • Matisse
  • Edgar Degas
  • Henri Rousseau
  • Pierre Auguste Renoir
  • Andy Warhol
Spelling we LOVE All About Spelling it is an extremely thorough and logical program, and I think it is one of the best spelling programs out there that I’ve seen.
  • Treyton will be working through Level 2
  • Alexa will be starting Level 1, but I will be correlating it with her All About Reading program according to Delightful Learning’s Recommendation
Reading/Phonics
  • Alexa has started All About Reading Level 1 All About Reading Level 1 Kitshe will also start Explode the Code book 1, but we will be playing this one by ear. Depending on how much school she wants to do and is able to do. So far, our biggest problem is having enough school for her to do – but if that changes at any point, ETC will be the first to go.
  • Treyton’s primary reading will be done simply through practice, most of which will come from the Tapestry of Grace reading list, however he is continuing to work through Explode the Code mostly because he LOVES them and it’s the first thing he asks to do and I don’t see the added practice as harmful
Language Arts will only be for Treyton this year we are using First Language Lessons written by Jessie Wise. First Language Lessons, Level 1We are halfway through Level 1 and plan on starting Level 2 when we are through with this one. This is a really gentle program that uses narration, picture study, and copywork. It’s done almost exclusively orally and is very repetitive as your student learns to memorize the simple grammar. 
Art Image Detail
  • Treyton is continuing to use I Can Do All Things workbook – I went ahead and purchased the DVDs that go along with the program, and it’s going much better. He’s much more motivated to draw when watching someone else do it first.
  • Alexa’s all time favorite thing to do is cutting, and she also loves painting, gluing and creating. I plan on continuing to add in lots of crafts for her to use her gifts and interests.
Latin I am going to attempt to add latin into our curriculum this year. There are so many great reasons to add this into our school, when we are able, if we can’t work it in this year, we will hold on to it until next year. After looking at several different options, I chose Memoria Press’ Prima Latin (recommended for grades 1-4).
Well, I think that’s it… It seems like a lot all written out, but we obviously don’t do every subject every day, art we only do a couple times a week, latin will be 2-3 times a week, and all of our language arts (excluding reading) will be 3-4 times a week. I stagger our weekly schedule so it’s not nearly as overwhelming as it may seem. Speaking of schedule, I’m two weeks in on my lesson plans for next year, and like I mentioned before, I am so excited! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us!

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