Friday, February 12, 2016

Week in Review: In Which We Make Sheep Cupcakes

This week...

The Cherubs started learning their song for Palm Sunday. After church, we went to a fancy stationery shop that I'd never been in called Paper Source, and I let my daughter pick out a valentine kit. She chose a superhero theme, with cards with different skin tones, different hair colors and styles, googly eyes, and gold glitter heart stickers.

While other people watched the Super Bowl (I didn't even know which teams were playing), we baked cupcakes and assembled valentines.
The cupcakes were for the following afternoon - for our home(pre)school co-op craft/snack.
At Classical Conversations, one of the things they did was learn about Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Then, they painted their own "ceilings."
It was my turn to teach home(pre)school co-op. Our theme this month is fairy tales and fables and their morals, so I did The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I read a version of the story in which the boy does not get eaten (as important as I think that particular ending is), and I made picture/word cards of the following: boy, wolf, villagers, and hill. Each time I came to one of those words in the story, the children were shown its picture card and got to call out the word. With the word "wolf," I would say, "Louder! The villagers can't hear you." And the children would giggle and yell louder. It was a hit. After the story, we talked briefly about why the villagers didn't come help the boy at the end, and I introduced the phrase, "Honesty is the best policy."

The web's craft ideas for The Boy Who Cried Wolf are lacking. I was dis-pinterested in making cotton ball sheep and paper bag wolf puppets, so I decided that we would craft our snack.

We decorated cupcakes to look like sheep. No, they were not made with rice flour or fair-trade chocolate or homemade probiotic marshmallows.

If you google "sheep cupcakes," you'll find lots of variations of a cupcake that looks like Shaun the Sheep.

Here is how ours turned out:
Oh my word, please ignore those fingernails. I thought about cropping them out, but there they are, sandy and painty.
We used chocolate cupcakes, canned white frosting, mini marshmallows (each painstakingly applied with a toothpick for fine motor skills practice), little York peppermint patties, edible eyes, a tube of white decorating gel, and chocolate chips.

I bought the gel thinking we would use it to make nostrils, but it is really hard to make nostrils on a peppermint patty.

Friend S skipped the gel and gave her sheep a marshmallow nose:
Piano was practiced...
She's working on 3/4 time signature.

I've been thinking this week about how I'm glad we started piano before formal schooling, and how I'm also glad that I instituted the "10 minutes a day fingers on the keys" rule. 

I started her on piano last year, and taught her a little here and there. I thought I should follow her lead, only teaching when she was interested; we would schedule regular lessons when she turned 6 and started Year 1. But then I read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, in which Amy Chua satirizes her parenting style, and I realized that making my four year old practice piano for a piddly 10 minutes a day wasn't going to make me an awful mother. On the contrary, I was habit training. So I instituted the "10 minute" rule. I showed my four year old in print the recommendation that four year olds practice 10 minutes daily, and she went with it. Some days she whined that she was tired, but I required fingers on the keys or I would pause the timer.

A month later, she sits down at the piano all throughout the day, playing "We Three Kings of Orient Are," or songs from her technic book, or the song of the week. Just when I was regretting having purchased all of the Alfred Prep Course level A books, she started wanting to play songs from all of them, marking her favorites with Post-Its. I love her Post-Its. 

While she plays, she sings. I love that she's learning how to use her voice as an instrument, in addition to learning to use her piano. 

And I love how excited she gets when she figures out a measure that was causing her frustration. So excited.

The other night, she gave Grandpa a concert. (That's him on the screen.)
We played a new math game called "I See 10!" Players take turns flipping over numbers, and the first player to see 10 (9+1, or 8+2, or 4+4+1+1, etc.) calls out, "I see 10!" and gets to collect those numbers. If you flip over a shark, you lose your numbers. The player with the most numbers at the end wins. She thinks this game is super fun, and she's learning addition facts with automaticity.
Daddy and Daughter enjoyed a day at the beach.
Big sister came over for an evening of pizza and board games.
This year's ballet recital dance will be to Meghan Trainor's "Better When I'm Dancin'" from The Peanuts Movie. We did not see the movie, but the music video is pretty cute. It's nearly impossible to watch it without wanting to dance. Here is the link:
Read alouds included three chapters from More Milly Molly Mandy and Hans Christian Andersen's "Thumbelisa" from My Bookhouse. (I'm also reading aloud The Secret Garden at work. It's such a good read aloud, even if I sound like a pirate when I try to do a Yorkshire accent.)

Daughter is almost finished reading me The Magic Treehouse: Buffalo Before Breakfast as my bedtime story. She'll complete it next week. :)

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