Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday -

Hmmm....while much of the world took a day off - we did not! LOL

We did school. Jamin and Jared got back into the school routine.

We had speech therapy.

I baked cookies (used the last of the frozen cookie dough).

The truck driver from Shop Natural had called and wanted me to meet him at 3:30 instead of 5:30. THEN he didn't show up until nearly 4:00. Our order had been $1300 and by the time all the out of stocks were removed it was only $700. I don't think their out of stocks are getting any better yet. ::snort:: I've got a catalog from Azure Standards and I'm thinking if Shop Natural eventually goes to "mail order", I will go with Azure because the out of stocks do not seem to be getting better...but as long as I can hold on with Shop Natural - I will. I enjoy the truck delivery. It's cheaper than paying for postage for these heavy items. The truck driver said that they'd discontinued the Amarillo route but that our route was one of the highest ordering routes and they were trying to keep it going. We shall see.

Stacia fell asleep on the couch while I was passing out group orders. I sure PRAY she stays asleep. If she wakes up now, I'll be up until 2 or 3 a.m.

Mike is away from home again this week. I need to try to get to bed at decent hours instead of reading until the wee a.m. hours....It's been quite the month for disrupting my routines so far. ::snort:: Ah well, can't go to sleep until Jamin is off work tonight.

We made Egyptian lamps and "pots" today....and alphabet letters

Nolan finds out that clay is tough to work

School Daze!
I don't typically start our young ones on "real school" until they are 6. We've simply learned over the years (18) that they do wonderful with lots of hands on math and science, listening to great books and then hitting formal academics a bit later. Studies have been done, in fact, that show that students who do a lot of hand on science in their early years- nature studies, experiments - (vs. lots of phonics) are the better readers by the end of their elementary years. We've see that our children can wait and begin phonics when they are six (unless they ask to learn to read earlier) and by the end of 2nd grade they've caught up and excelled in their phonics programs. We learned this AFTER starting our first two on phonics when they were FOUR. LOL All are good readers....the one who learned to "read" at 4 - isn't the voracious reader that the one who learned to read at 10 is. I often wonder if all the tears over phonics at such a young age left a lasting taste. I pray not. LOL BTW - I know that many families have found the exact opposite - they are really into structured academics from an early age - go for it. God has made such a diverse universe - I doubt he expects us all to educate the same way, or dress the same way, or attend the same church. ::snort:: BUT since this is my blog - I'm sharing my thoughts. LOL
It became apparent that Zander wanted to do school this year (he's 5). I've had him doing our hands on TOG stuff, our science units, and listening to SOME of our TOG readers/history etc. He isn't interested in learning letter NAMES at all but wants to READ - so we began the 100 easy lesson book last night. Last night, because THAT is when he said, "Can you teach me to read?"

I've also been using the Learning Posters that Jen created to go along with the Brightly Beaming Curriculum (free, online, pre-school). Hey - Jen are there more posters in the works? LOL Both of these are great resources. I use the program LOOSELY....because I believe early childhood is for FUN and not formal school..... ::snort:: I quickly realized that Zander was not interested in learning letters of the alphabet. Why did I let him quit? Because he IS interested in learning to read. I've become fairly confident in following the children's interests in 18 years of homeschooling. I KNEW from reading Ruth Beechick that really SOUNDS are what are needed to learn to read. I went to find the little books I had bought over 15 years ago and now they are sold as ONE book. . . The Three R's . These are inexpensive and have enough ideas and tips to actually TEACH a child to read and write and do beginning math. A caveat - in one of her later books Ruth teaches some math that is very confusing to me and not what I wanted to do....but these little books were helpful and built confidence.
ANYWAY, I've been using the learning posters to review shapes and colors and to focus on one theme a week. For instance the first week I got a ton of books on cows from the library and made sure he knew the word calves. The last couple of weeks we've focused on Jungles and vines. I'm having a blast finding great new children's books at the library - and some old favorites.
**Animalia** and **Jungle Drums** by Graeme Base

What makes these books special are the artwork! I love it. Bright, bold, vivid, detailed...the story lines really aren't spectacular in these books - but they did help us discuss jungles, vines, and we loved looking at the photos. I immediately googled to find artwork to HANG in my home from this book. I loved THIS one:
It sells for only $550.00 - I took a photo of the pages in the books....two lions at the library surrounded by great books. LOL If the photo turned out I'll post it - I guess because we LOVED these illustrations so much and found such great things to look for hidden in the photos that I'd like to show them to you all.

**The Baby BeeBee Bird* by Diane Redfield Massie. This is a book I found at the library that I THOUGHT would go along with our "letter B" or our Jungle did NEITHER - but it is a WONDERFUL book. Deja, it's now a favorite. I've read it a couple of time today and Zander laughs and laughs. It's contagious. This book is worth finding at your library...I think it may even find its way into our home this Christmas. The story line is darling; I especially liked the conclusion: "Nighttime is really best for sleeping...especially for very little birds." I think the kids found this so humours because I've often worn the very same expressions on the faces of the whimsical animals in this book. Now, if I can move them from hysterical laughter to embrace the concept.....I may get some sleep. Though, SLEEP IS FOR WIMPS!

Just thought I'd share - now off to make Egyptian lamps. YES - we have moved on. I am in Ur etc now....but THEY are stuck on Egyptian crafts. What can I say? I love homeschooling!