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)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Medical Advice

It seems like everywhere I go mothers are talking about the medication their kids are on.  For this or that.  Or I'm reading about the latest with the swine flu.   Or some other medical advice.

I came across this quote, which sounds very reasonable.  
Bernarr Macfadden’s philosophy.  This pioneer in health made an astute comment back in 1928—one that serves us well to follow today: “The reader should now be fully persuaded to accept the statement of our assurance that most disease is preventable.  There is no physician of any school who will not agree to the proposition that if the body be healthy it has the power to resist the aggressions of any kind of disease.  Even though one accept the germ theory to its fullest extent, we have shown that disease germs cannot grow and thrive in a healthy organism.  No matter what contagion is, or how it works, it has no power over a healthy body.” (Macfadden’s Encyclopedia of Physical Culture, p. 66.)

So how does one keep healthy?  Doing all the unmedicated things that I now have a new reason to fit into our schedule: eat well, take vitamins, exercise, less sugar, simplify and stress less, and get plenty of rest.

Those things are certainly cost effective compared to prescriptions and don't come with the risk of nasty side effects!

I'm grateful for modern medicine, but I often question the need to medicate everything as avidly as our society does.  There is value for the mind and body in being outside for instance.  Medically proven in medical journals that being outside prevents illness...sunshine and fresh air really are great medicine!

I really need to remember to make sure I take my own medical advice (not just send the kids out to play so I can get something done)!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tot School Aug 2nd week

We have just one more week of summer before we head back "home."  We've had a fun week with friends, learning, and fun eats too :)

Jay and Kay decided they wanted to do map time together.  Kay identified the state and Jay named its capital city.  It was a fun and cute way to practice :)

We made creature Krispies with this fun mix.

Kay has started doing headstands and summersaults everywhere.

Jay had his last Spanish lesson of the summer.  His teacher loaned him this Spanish dictionary that he really enjoyed.

Kay's colors are finally more than just names to her.  No longer abstract, she can match and name and collect them consistently.  This was a fun sorting game.
We had a package of stickers that came in 4 colors.  She sorted them all out.
This is Kay's favorite art book from the library.  She gets it out nearly everyday.  She looks at it and hums "The Baptism Song" that the kids have been learning this year.  Somehow the two match to her :)

I was lucky enough to score a pair of adjustable size roller skates and roller blades at the thrift store.  $4 for both pair of nearly new skates and lots of fun together!

We made a fun recycle lacing activity that Jay really enjoyed.

We made a family visit to some beautiful gardens nearby.  Family time is so precious.  We saw lots of wildlife too!

Jay learned how to hold his violin up under his chin this week!

We also learned how to make our own tap shoes and had a dance party!

Listening for the week:

La Campanella (listen for the bells :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tot School starting August

"For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does 'just for fun' and things that are 'educational.' "  ~Penelope Leach

I have seen that to be true in our home.  If Mom enjoys it and has fun with the kids doing it (be it math, science, reading, or cleaning the bathroom) the kids do too.  At least when they are little.  So live it up while you can: teach them early that cleaning and working together and practicing the violin is fun while you still can, right?  

Oh the fun you can have with bubbles!  We went to see "The Bubble Man" at the library this week and Jay loved it and now tries to make neat bubbles too :)

Jay playing with his little violin and comparing it's size to my violin.

We had a great time making doodle rubbings.  Go here to make yours (easy!)

Our music listening includes some classical, church, and violin practice music.  Here are a few we focused on this week:
Jay is really improving with telling time.  Now he can read times that are written out too, like "four thirty-five."  He likes to set the clocks around the house too :)

Jay did a handwriting practice all on his own this week.  I was amazed at how well he had done when he brought it into me to see it!

Kay and Jay have had a lot of fun pouring water into containers on the back porch this week for their toys to play in :)

Our store in the village helps us learn about foods and where they come from.

Messages from the sun were fun to make too.  The sun fades the paper to leave a message behind.

Kay nurturing (aka washing its face) her little doll :)

Playing with friends at the splash park!
 We also did lots of cutting and sorting and reading this week, as well as playdoh and blocks/duplos creations with imagination galore :) I love watching them in action!

Here is where you can find what others did this week for Tot School.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tot School ending July

The weather has been so great this week for our family.  We spent a lot of time playing in the sunshine.  The kids also had fun playing with bugs outside.  I had to catch Kay with them too...some day she might not think she likes them so much :)
We had some reMARKABLE fun drawing letters.

This is a common scene this week.  Jay loves that his trike doubles as a scooter.  Kay can't get enough of pushing her favorite things around in the stroller.

I love how creative Jay gets with his "tools."

Self-portrait time at the mirror.

Jay finally got to use his violin bow this week.  Here are some photos of us practicing the correct bow hold and then counting down for the "rocket" to take off!

working on that beautiful bow hold.

Kay loves reading books to herself.

Touching trees...not for long...they're sharp!

Jay worked on bouncing and catching the ball.

Everyday my couch ends up looking like this on the floor.  It becomes a nest or fort of some kind.  One day it became a book nook and they both took a bunch of library books in and read for a while...

Jay can read a lot of words on his own.  I heard him reading this book to himself from the library books.

We found mushrooms in the backyard under ours and the neighbor's trees!

We had a fun week at tot school and even made it to visit a our first great lake to play in the sand and water :)  Go see what others did for Tot School.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do schools kill creativity?

If you haven't had the chance to check out TED, you've been missing out.  Here is a wonderful talk about how creativity is critical for our children.  It's 20 minutes that is well worth your time.  TED celebrates the gift of the human imagination.  As a parent it is a wonderful reminder of the hope our children are and what our job really is.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tot School July

I haven't been as good with taking photos this week.  We've enjoyed the library, splash park, and lots of imagination time too.  I'm amazed at what the kids can come up with!

Jay learned to push Kay in the stroller:

Here he is taking a bow with his box violin, which he learned to do this week.

Kay is trying to potty train herself.  She yells "potty!" or "poop!" and pulls everything off and dashes for the bathroom.  Things look like this pretty often around here:

We got to see about 20 horses and their little colts!  So cute and the kiddos loved it!  I love it when a wrong turn on a trip turns into this:

We got out the letter cookie cutters and dipped them in paint to make names on the big pieces of paper.  We're using these for history.  There's lots of room to draw pictures of the things that remind us about what each person did.

They loved doing this puzzle TOGETHER!  Which I loved too!

Kay started some geography with naming states.

That's about it for us.  Go see what others did for Tot School this week.