Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Week

I was on vacation this week, which meant that my four year old and I were able to ride the train up to visit my parents.

On the ride, we were reading Magic Treehouse: Afternoons on the Amazon, and we came to an illustration of a rainforest scene. She and I took turns naming the animals in the picture. When it was my turn, I said, "And what is that? An armadillo?" 

My daughter responded matter-of-factly, "Yes, it's a nine-banded armadillo." 

I looked at her skeptically, and asked, "How do you know that?" 

"Because it's not a three-banded armadillo," she answered.

I googled nine-banded armadillo, not even knowing if there was such a thing (there is), and saw that, yes, nine-banded armadillos do live in South America.

Then I googled three-banded armadillos and, sure enough, the armadillo in the picture could not be one because three-banded armadillos live in the savannah.

When asked where she learned this, she said The Cat in the Hat cartoon.

(Six months ago, bad behavior led us to go "no TV," and we were able to focus on habit training. The decision yielded the desired results, so I began allowing my daughter to watch cooking and travel shows with me. We now allow her to watch some PBS Kids, which is how she became an armadillo expert.)

Prior to going out of town, we went to church and she made a "Helping Others" bank.
Because I was off from work, I got to go with her to Classical Conversations (something she usually does with Daddy).
One of the many things they did was learn to play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on their tin whistles. One mom had the great idea to teach them the fingering by doing this:
We visited with family and friends, got lots of rest, and ate delicious food. It was all very relaxing.

Here is my daughter playing with a set of wooden blocks Grandma and Poppa made (cut, sanded, and painted).
This is a story she dictated to me one evening:
I love that there is zero conflict.

She also learned to play Guess Who...
...and colored some hieroglyphs.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week in Review: Ice Skating, Pizza Making, Bagel-Factory Touring, and Shoebox Packing

1. Saturday night, my husband surprised me with a birthday cake. His band was playing at a nearby restaurant, so I took our daughter there to have dinner. He had invited some of our home(pre)school co-op friends, so the restaurant was filled with preschoolers dancing to '80s music. (My daughter dances like Seinfeld's Elaine.)

2. It was the Kirkin' of the Tartans/Scottish Heritage Week at church.
3. We went ice skating Sunday afternoon with friends. My daughter skated across the kiddie rink all by herself! We held hands and skated around the big rink until after dark. According to my phone, we ice skated 3 miles.
4. Week 9 of Classical Conversations: She did her presentation about Magic Treehouse books.
5. Our home(pre)school co-op is cooking this month, so Monday night the kids made pizzas for dinner. My daughter wanted her pizza shaped like California.
6. Tuesday, my husband took her to the Western Bagel Factory with the home(pre)school co-op. (I have no idea why she was so upset when the picture was taken - probably because they had just told her she wasn't going to be doing the actual cooking.) My husband thought the tour was excellent, and he brought me home fresh bagels - yum.
7. In ballet, they are evidently practicing a "super secret snowflake surprise" dance routine to be performed for us parents the week after next.
8. It was parent-teacher conference week all week, so I am exhausted. I had seven conferences Monday, five Tuesday, five Wednesday, five Thursday, and five today. I am thankful for a week off.

9. She practiced "Tongue-Twister" on piano, and is working on "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas."

10. We completed Charlotte's Web and started More Milly Molly Mandy. I'm already thinking about what book I want to read to her next. I'm curious about Teddy Robinson and Jenny and the Cat Club. If anyone has read these, I'd love to hear what you thought.

11. We packed our Operation Christmas Child shoebox. Here is what we included:
1)toothpaste, 2)toothbrush, 3)owl washcloth mitten, 4)Kleenex, 5)soap
6)socks, 7)coloring book, 8)pencils, 9)pencil sharpener
10)necklace, 11)bracelet, 12)hairbrush and comb, 13)headband, 14)hair accessories
15)plastic cups, 16)band-aids, 17) puzzle, 18)crayons, 19)construction paper
20)hanging wood craft kit, 21)jump rope, 22)stickers

My daughter picked out everything, which is why the box is full of Hello Kitty, Dora the Explorer, princesses, ponies, and pink things. She also put in a Christmas card and a photo.

12. She just finished lesson 226 in The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, which means she's almost done with the book!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Week in Review

1. Sunday afternoon, we went to the Natural History Museum for the Peruvian and Egyptian mummies exhibit.
When my four year old saw this, she said, "Ooh, look Mom! Hieroglyphs!" And the bigger kids told her, "No, you're wrong; they're hieroglyphics." My daughter put her hand on her hip and said, "No, actually YOU'RE wrong; they're HIEROGLYPHS." At which point I had to give her the talk about walking away from certain arguments.
2. Sunday was also the last day of the NHM's Spider Pavilion.
Look closer...
We're currently reading Charlotte's Web, so when I saw all of these baby spiders, I thought of the end of the book, when Charlotte's babies are born.

Spiders are amazing creatures, and while I'm terrified of them, I also get excited by the idea of being able to get up close and personal with them in this very safe way.

3. Monday at Classical Conversations, they dissected owl pellets. I wish I could have been there. I love owl pellets.

4. Tuesday, my daughter got to bake chocolate cupcakes with our home(pre)school co-op. To use Mary Berry's word, they were "scrummy."

5. There was, of course, ballet.

6. And we started on our latest sewing kit: "Ruby the Reindeer."

7. Our used (like new) copy of More Milly Molly Mandy arrived in the mail yesterday! So, it will officially be our next read aloud. Yay!

8. "Come and Play" was this week's piano lesson, along with some Theory coloring pages.

9. The Cherub Choir added "O Come All Ye Faithful" to the songs they will sing in the Christmas pageant, so my daughter has been singing it around the house. :)

10. In math, my daughter got very excited that 11 cents could be made with one dime and one penny, as well as with two nickels and one penny.

11. We spent three days on Lesson 221 in The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading because it has words like "psychology" and "psychiatrist." Silent p before s and Greek ch!

12. There was some Duolingo Spanish, shopping for Operation Christmas Child, Classical Conversations review, and Youtube videos about how baby carrots are made and about spider spinnerets (hey, when she asks, I look it up!).

13. Finally, this morning, we ate donuts and watched Saturday morning cartoons from the 1980s in the viewing room at Vidiots. Her favorite cartoon was Inspector Gadget. (I can't believe how easily I remembered the all the words to the theme songs from Duck Tales and Muppet Babies, and I enjoyed singing along with the other nostalgic grown ups.)

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Congratulations Minnow!

Yesterday was the last day of swim lessons for the season. This little swimmer learned to float and glide, so she graduated from Guppies to Minnows!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A "Typical" School Day

1. This morning, we finished the part of Charlotte's Web in which Templeton brings back the word "humble" for Charlotte to weave into her web. We're nearing the end of the book, which means a few things. First, I know Charlotte is going to die, so I get a little choked up whenever I read a line foreshadowing her death. Second, there is the question of what to read next. My daughter asked for more Brambly Hedge and more Milly Molly Mandy. We have The Complete Brambly Hedge, which is beautiful, and was well worth the wait and the price for an import. I just found a used hardcover copy - like new - of More Milly Molly Mandy for less than $3. Yay! If it arrives by the time we finish Charlotte's Web, we will read that next. If not, we will probably read Little House in the Big Woods.

2. Our math lesson tonight:
We're working on adding 2 two-digit numbers without regrouping. I was impressed that my daughter was using skip counting (learned in Classical Conversations) to add 4+4 and 3+3. I also found it interesting that she wanted to do the problem in her head, instead of telling me the ones then the tens. I did teach it to her the standard way, but if she wants to use mental math and get the correct answer, I'm not going to stop her. When it's time to learn regrouping, she'll follow the steps and it won't be an issue.

3. She practiced "A Happy Melody" on the piano. We reviewed our music flash cards, and located all of the A keys.

4. Our "read together" is The Magic Treehouse: Hour of the Olympics. We read Chapters 6 and 7. While she can read at a 3rd grade level, she doesn't have the endurance to read a chapter book on her own. Yet.

5. We played the Classical Conversations memory work CD for Week 7. (This week in CC, they looked at crayfish, and she presented the fox purse she sewed last weekend.)
6. Now that she can read, she can do Duolingo, so the day before yesterday, I set up an account for her. Tonight she completed Spanish Basics 1 - Lesson 3 and Phrases - Lesson 1.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ice Skating

We went ice skating tonight - free!
It was the 2015 grand opening of the outdoor ice skating rink, and while I stood in line for skates, my four year old and her friend got interviewed by the news.
We decorated sugar cookies from Rockenwagner Bakery (so delicious).
There were also lots of yummy food samples.
There was fake snow, which my daughter wanted to catch on her tongue. I had to explain that it was really soap.
I'm so glad my daughter has such a sweet friend.
And, of course, we had to take a picture at the green screen photo booth.