Thursday, September 9, 2010

study habits

An interesting article about different aspects of learning and retention.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Toast Factory

Today when we arrived home from errands (and a yard sale or two) it was time for lunch. Since I was on the couch nursing Ellie Jay and Kay were on their own for making their PB&J sandwiches. I was happily reading a book for upcoming book club while feeding her when Jay came and asked if he could make toast. He recently had watched the toaster at work. I told him of course he could.

So Jay took every piece of bread out of the bag and toasted it. Then he buttered it (also a new skill today) and passed them out to everyone. He was so pleased with his new skill that he asked if he could make toast for everyone for our next 3 meals!

Did I "teach" him to butter bread or make toast? Nope. So he owned the experience. All the more reason for him to feel so great about himself and his accomplishment. He learned that he CAN do things; and do them well. On his own.
These type of experiences remind me that some of the best learning happens when I simply am too busy to do things for the kids and let them figure out how to do them on their own. I just need to get out of their way sometimes. They may not do the PB&J like I had anticipated, but instead they gain something so much more valuable!


I'm writing this down to remind myself ;)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

March Tot School

March was a busy month with the arrival of our little Ellie! Jay took this photo of her.

This makes my heart sing: my little ones LOVING their books!

Grandma came to visit and made Jay this quilt for his new bed!

Lots of time on the piano for Jay :) He loves to play for Ellie and is good at picking out tunes. He loves the sound of the Westminster chimes most!

St. Patrick's day rainbow colors activity with skittles

A penguin manipulative made from a cereal box. Jay puts together subtraction equations and then groups raisins to match the numbers; feeding the ones that are subtracted away. He loves this!

Gymnastics class for Jay and Kay

Little Ellie was born and loved much!

I made an plastic eggs alphabet matching game
They look like this when they are matched:

We made a maze with paper towel rolls and magnets and rolled mini plastic eggs down it. It was a great engineering/gravity/art activity.

A transferring activity with mini plastic eggs and a tiny basket.

I've been reading the book: Montessori Play and Learn. I was inspired by the ideas about what little people can learn to do and how they can take care of their space. I've been implementing that into our "education." Kay is sweeping up a mess she made :)
We've had a great time learning together!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

February Tot School

February was a busy month for us because we were getting ready for our new baby to be born, in addition to other activities.

We had fun separating candy hearts by color into the right "heart" and then counting to see how many there were of each color and which color had the most/least.

Jay and Kay made at least 30 valentines for friends and family. We made a variety, including these, and used them for art and writing practice for the first half of the month.

We LOVE to learn new things!
Jay and Kay had a great time string beads and pieces of cut straws onto these metal hearts (which I made by pulling a hanger apart for each of them).


We learned the months of the year song (to the tune of 3 blind mice) and talked more about seasons.

Jay continues to learn the violin and is able to play fingers on the strings now. He loves the rhythm "Mississippi Hot Dog."

Kay gives concerts like this regularly. She loves to sing and play the piano.

We did many snowman and gingerbread themed activities. Here is our snowman activity from rice krispies and marshmallows.

Jay is reading well enough that I made him a scripture tote so he can take them to church with him. He reads scriptures for his class.

Kay is trying out the baby's car seat.

Jay made a special baby rattle for our baby that started with his artwork.

These two sillies can climb into the crib and read and build forts for hours. Jay can think of 101 things to do with a slinky!
Kay continues to fine-tune her speaking skills. And loves to read books right now. They are both very excited to have a new little baby in our home next month!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

January Family Academy

I'm behind in recording our activities...here are some of the things we've been working on:

We focused a bunch of activities around gingerbread cookies. Here the kids are putting mini m&m's on their peanut butter-covered gingerbread sandwiches.
Jay learned to count by two's with gingerbread and I put them to the song of "Jack and Jill." We read Jan Brett's Gingerbread Baby books and they loved them.

I printed out a bunch of gingerbread printables from makinglearningfun.com. We did number recognition for Kay, number spelling for Jay, color-by-number addition with gingerbreadmen, shape matching with gingerbreadmen, etc.

We also started counting by fives to the song "Ten Little Indians."

Jay is getting really good at reading the calendar so we learned a song about the months of the year to "Three Blind Mice." They both sing the days of the week song (Clementine) ALL THE TIME!

Our green rice sensory box got a lot of use. I put gingerbread buttons in it along with other winter items and they scooped and played to their hearts content :)

Jay decided to write all the numbers from 1 to 100. He's gotten really good at counting and reading the time on the clock. This was something he did all on his own. I love self-learning! Since he loves clocks he did them circular.

We had a great time visiting with cousins and aunts and uncles. I found some fun manipulatives at a scrapbook outlet. Here they are sorting by size and object and making them stand in the carpet.

We went sledding and enjoyed snow and family when we visited Utah.

Jay was thrilled to see and get inside a real helicopter at the SLC children's museum. We went there to celebrate his birthday with their uncles and Grandma.

He also celebrated his birthday at home with lots of flying fun.

This is a photo Jay took of his beloved "chick."

Jay continues with his violin lessons and learned f# for his first finger-on-the-string note.
Here he is teaching Jumbo, who happens to also be a great student.

Jay can read several verses in the scriptures all by himself now. I made him a scripture carrier and he loves to take it to church and help in his class by reading them.
The numbers that Kay is playing with have been a lot of fun-a great manipulative treat!

I'm realizing I don't have many photos of Kay. She has been working on potty training, learning her shapes, and surprised me by knowing all of her uppercase alphabet! She also started speaking in complete sentences at the first of January-she sounds so grown up now!

She's loving her baby things from Christmas and is starting to realize what having a new baby at our house means (I think).

She likes to climb into the infant car seat. She is a little tease!

We also had fun doing snowman activities. Here we made rice krispie snowmen. It was great for Jay to touch something sticky!

Kay loves to sing and play the piano. She sets up concerts like this:
I often forget to take photos of the kids doing our everyday learning, but I love the record of them growing and learning!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Learning to Love knowledge from the Lord

I love it when I come across something that focuses my efforts. Today I read an article from our church that is called, "Learning to Love Learning." I love the opening:

The overarching purpose of Heavenly Father’s great plan of happiness is to provide His spirit children with opportunities to learn. The Atonement of Jesus Christ and the agency afforded to all of the Father’s children through the Redeemer’s infinite and eternal sacrifice are divinely designed to facilitate our learning. The Savior said, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).

We are assisted in learning of and listening to the words of Christ by the Holy Ghost, even the third member of the Godhead. The Holy Ghost reveals and witnesses the truth of all things and brings all things to our remembrance (see John 14:26, 16:13; Moroni 10:5; D&C 39:6). The Holy Ghost is the teacher who kindles within us an abiding love of and for learning.

In our journey to learn we can become distracted. This is a good reminder of what knowledge is for:

A hierarchy of importance exists among the things you and I can learn. Indeed, all learning is not equally important. The Apostle Paul taught this truth in his second epistle to Timothy as he warned that in the latter days many people would be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7).


I know that I will return to this article again as I try to keep us on track:

You and I are here on the earth to prepare for eternity, to learn how to learn, to learn things that are temporally important and eternally essential, and to assist others in learning wisdom and truth (see D&C 97:1). Understanding who we are, where we came from, and why we are on the earth places upon each of us a great responsibility both to learn how to learn and to learn to love learning.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December Tot School

It's been awhile since I updated our Tot School/homeschool activities. This is a run-down of some of our December activities:

Jay and Kay have really enjoyed our advents and Jay says, "twenty-first" instead of, "twenty-oneth" now since we say the date when we do each advent. The advents have centered around the nativity/

Jay is moving forward with violin and I found him giving his elephant a lesson too!

These were fun Christmas cookies that were kid-friendly

He enjoyed this puzzle

This nativity village of Bethlehem has been fun for learning.

We did a bunch of tangrams and a ton of other Christian Christmas activities. Some were from here.

Jay worked on putting the works on this house for about an hour.
Field trip to pick our Christmas tree.

First snow.

Scripture we are memorizing
We've been learning the planets, including the music by Holst.

songs we are learning
7th Article of Faith song

The First Noel (Their favorite this year)