Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Little Bit of This and A Whole Lot of That

On the previous post I said that Madison LOVES cursive writing...after I published the post I found this statement, that she obviously wrote some weeks earlier, in her tablet (lines 9 & 10) We hadn't even practiced half of those letters!!!

A lot has been happening in the Rich family lately. A lot of little things I suppose. So let's start with Friday. School time was pretty basic, Friday is review day for us. It's where Mommy the Teacher pulls it altogether and tries to make sense out of everything that we've covered during the week. I usually try to have it in a different room of the house than where we've done school work all week and I try to incorporate some sort of game into it to make it fun rather than boring and laborious. So we went over our spelling list. That called for a little movement because I had her to give a thumbs up if I spelled the word correctly and to give me a thumbs down if I spelled it incorrectly (with my kid a simple thumbs up turns into a spin around followed by a jump in the air that ends with a thumb shot way up in the air, see). We also went over next week's spelling list in the same manner in order for me to gauge where she is. The problem I have with Madison is that I taught her how to read before she went to preschool. And I didn't not use phonics to teach her. My friend informed me that I use the "whole language" approach. This has produced a problem for us because now that we are using a traditional curriculum, there are things that she has mastered and then there are some very basic things that we haven't covered because we didn't need to. For instance, I tend not to think about spelling because she is such a wonderful reader. I figure if you read enough, you will know how to spell kind of out of habit. However, it concerns me that she may end up with "holes" in her knowledge or that she will end up being a terrible speller later in life. So in the past three weeks we've put more and more focus on spelling and trying to incorporate it into our weekly schedule. The weekly review seems to be a great place for going over spelling words. I've learned that she really does have a solid understanding of how to use phonics correctly when spelling. So we will continue on with our fitting it into our weekly schedule.

With Binky (Chelsea), we continue to cover phonics as well. She has learned how to read very simple books and very big sight words. I'm using the whole language approach with her as well but realizing how frustrating things have been for me with Madison, I am learning from that experience and teaching Chelsea some phonics along with her learning to read and sound out whole words. So good.

Chelsea writing words at the board during Friday Review

We also did a couple of fun art projects. We sat outside and painted still life photos of two trees in our neighborhood. We also painted some wind chime/birdhouses that the girls loved. I bought this little kit at Big Lots for 10.00. It included two complete wind chimes, paint and a paintbrush. I'm sure a more experience home schooling mom could have told me how to do this type of project for free. :) One day I will learn all of the tricks of the trade!! For now though, I'm glad Big Lots had a simple little art project that we could do. I am in need of a good elementary grade level art curriculum because the girls love it and from Mommy's perspective are really good little artists and I want to continue to feed that part of them.
Left is the Tulip Tree in our neighbor's yard and right is Madison's artistic interpretation of the Tulip Tree.

Left is the actual Weeping Cherry Blossom Tree and right is Chelsea's artistic interpretation of the Weeping Cherry Blossom Tree.
Wind Chime art project
Now Madison has kind of roped the whole family into a Friday Family Fun Night. She will not let up about it at all. It all started a couple of weeks ago when she took it upon herself to plan a family party and called it "the party to bring the whole family altogether." I was perplexed by the title and finally got around to asking her why she thought we needed to bring the whole family together. I mean really, there's only four of us and Mommy stays home with the kids all day and I cook dinner 5-6 nights a week of which we all eat at the dinner table. Daddy is home every night at the same time for the most part. I mean, come on kid, what more could we do? She didn't really give me an answer so I chocked it up to a six year imagination or something. Well, after we had the party, a week later, in front of my sister-in-law, she says that "we needed to have the party because Mommy was talking a little mean to Daddy and we were all a little mad at each other." Of course I want to dig a little deeper so later we talk more about it and it turns out that we had the party because I talk a little mean to everybody!!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry! It was so funny that I didn't want to cry at all, it is just funny to hear a six year old tell you her honest feelings. It was one of those priceless moments in life with your kid. Would it have been great to hear that I was just so super nice to everybody that she felt like Mommy needed to have a party...yes! But I'll take this as a learning experience...maybe. I think I am just stern. I did say to her that I could probably do a little better and she said "yeah, you can always do a little better." LOL This kid was hilarious.

We also celebrated my Dad's birthday this week. He turned 53, so down to the country we went! My kids love going to our family house down in the country, the street that the house is own is actually named after my family, my maiden name and they just love that. They also love to run and climb the trees, climb on my granddaddy's old tractors and heavy equipment in the back yard...some of the same stuff that I used to do as a kid.

 I didn't get any pictures from Friday family fun night, but what I do have from the week, I gladly share with you! Until next time...


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