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Archive for November, 2013

Well, this is a test. I’m going to write out some of the family highlights of the week, both in life and in homeschooling. Who knows, maybe I’ll do it again next week!

New Puppy

We got a new puppy! She is a mixture of American Bulldog and American Mastiff. She’s probably more Bulldog. We named her Rory Brindle. We’ve also been reading Little House in the Big Woods for Liesel’s benefit, and it mentions “Jack the brindle bulldog.” That helped us make the decision for a brindle dog. We got her from someone that James works with.

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I got to pick the name Rory. We couldn’t very well name a kid Rory due to the nature of the name “Roar-y Lion,” but ever since we watched Gilmore Girls, we’ve really liked the name. Liesel was *almost* named Lorien with the intention of nicknaming her Rory, but when I slipped up and told my (then) little Shiloh that she would be Liesel or Felix instead of Lorien or Felix, and he said, “Thethel” in his cute little boy voice which melted my heart, I just had to switch to Liesel!

Anyway, sidetracked, back to the wrap up. Things are a little crazy here because of the addition of the puppy, plus everyone being sick, so I’ve had to really pull back this week and focus more on keeping a peaceful home and good attitudes, rather than getting everything done that I had planned. Several times I just stopped everything and read out loud to the kiddos. I think that’s a good practice in general. In a house full of young kids, things rarely go as planned.

Aslan

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Getting a puppy has really touched Aslan’s heart. He’s always loved animals. His favorite thing to do is sit quietly and let Rory fall asleep on his lap. Since he has always shown such an interest in animals and now an interest in dogs, I was telling him about animal related jobs like dog breeder, veterinarian, zoo keeper, someone who studies wildlife,  etc. He suggested farmer. He was very distraught when we warned him that Rory would cry that first night away from her family. It inspired the following business plan: “I want to buy a big house with a big yard and have lots of dogs. I’ll never separate the families. I’ll sell the families all at once for not very much money so that [human] families can enjoy them. And if a family can’t afford them, I’ll give them the dog and food and treats for the dog to last for a long time.” When I brought up caring for sick animals, he said he’d have a specific room for them and he would take care of animals until they were well enough to go home. He’s such a sweet boy!

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Shiloh

This week Shiloh went from hating Xtra Math to loving it. It’s a free computer math drill program. Even though he was doing well and making progress with the recommended 3 second addition problems, he felt frustrated, so I changed him to the 6 second program. After several days he completed the 6 second program and now he loves the 3 second program for addition and 6 second program for subtraction. I’m proud of him!

He also wants to know how a clock works… that’ll take some effort of finding out on my part!

Having a dog with energy is great for getting Shiloh to get some of his wiggles out outside. Otherwise he drives me crazy with headstands and somersaults in the living room!

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Liesel

Liesel is such an active girl! I’m hard-pressed to keep her busy, or else she ends up bothering one of her brothers, or trying to play with Evolet or Rory like they are dolls (which neither of them are too fond of). Liesel is excited to learn to read. Every day she begs to do “Easy Peasy Homeschool”. I have her doing both “Getting Ready 1” which teaches letter sounds and has videos, games, and craft projects that she can do independently, and “McGuffey Primer” which shows flashcards and then has students read out of the past-copyright book by that name. She is so excited by all the words she can read! I am learning a lot about teaching reading also, even though she is my 3rd student. Reading by sight is so important for making a student able to read quickly enough to make sense of the sentences. I’m glad that this program incorporates sight reading and phonics. I think Liesel may be my youngest reader yet!

Liesel is also excited about math, and we enjoy doing Saxon K math together. I had 1 Saxon book when I was in late Elementary school which I didn’t like, and I’ve heard so many negative comments about Saxon math that this is the first time I’m using it. Kindergarten is different than the older grades. I love that it is all done with parent and child together instead of teaching and independent workbook approach. Liesel loves it, and asks to do “Calendar Math.”

She wanted to do even more math this morning, so I opened our new package of dominoes and showed her how to write an addition problem for each domino. She caught on quickly and did every single domino. She just loves the idea of her own schoolwork! It reminds me of me! To me, making a meal is hard on me mentally, but sitting down to a page of math problems is lovely!

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Liesel also reminds me of me in how she loves to make things. A few weeks ago so received a gift from a friend, a simple little stuffed cat with button eyes. Each of our kids got one. Their names were embroidered on the backs. Liesel wanted to make one for *ahem* my birthday. (She has very cutely, but not very discretely been trying to keep that a secret from me.) We made a pattern, she picked out fabric and button eyes (and nose and mouth) and we worked on making it together. She’s so happy with the end product. She makes so many crafty little things all the time. Scissors, paper, glue, and a picture of an idea is all that it takes to occupy her for a couple of hours sometimes! I wonder what kinds of things she’ll make as she gets older!

My favorite Liesel quote of the week comes from a few nights ago, way past her bedtime when she was out on the couch because of her horrible cough. I made her some honey lemon tea to see if it would help calm her cough. After she drank it, she told her brother, “When Mama gave it to me, I thought it was coffee, but really it was cough-tea!!!” Then she cracked up because she realized how clever her little exclamation was. Silly girl. She had way too much twinkle in her eyes that night to have been all that sick!

Baird

My puzzle maniac! Baird LOVES puzzles, and he spends a couple of hours each day working on his two puzzles, which are meant for older kids. He has two wooden Melissa and Doug puzzles in trays, 24 pieces and 48 pieces. He does them over and over and over again! I’ve never had such a puzzle lover! Yesterday I ordered him a new puzzle which I’ll be excited to give him on Thanksgiving for him to work on while the older kids and I work on a 750 piece puzzle. (It’s become our tradition to set up a table with a puzzle every year at Thanksgiving, and Shiloh is going to love what this puzzle is of!!!) (He’s standing behind me and reading every word I’m writing and giggling so I just had to throw that in there!) 🙂

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Anyway, Baird’s vocabulary is just exploding! He loves to read books with me and I love watching him grasp a new concept. This week I’ve introduced him to The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR! and Owl Moon. He still asks me to sing “AEIOU”, which is and Old McDonald Had a Farm counting book, with little bubbles to pop and count. He’s really taking off in his counting because of that book! Instead of singing EIEIO, I sing AEIOU so that I’m teaching him his vowels at the same time!

A few weeks ago, the ‘blow your mind’ book I read to Baird was “I Love You Forever”. I got to talk to him about him growing up and into a man and being a Papa, and about the fact that both Papa and Mama have Mama’s! I got both grandmas to tell him that they were James’ and my Mamas, though Baird smiled and said, “No.” It did lead to him playing Mama and Baby with James. Baird was the Mama.

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This happened a few weeks ago, but it’s just so funny that I want to record it here. When Baird says, “Bum hey you,” it means “Come with you,” and he always wants to go with Papa when he leaves to work. Many tears have been shed about not getting to leave with Papa. Also, Papa and Baird are always play fighting each other, both physically and verbally. The other day, James was cooking and I was standing with him. I left the room and James started talking to me again, not realizing I was gone. When he saw I was gone he called out to me. Baird exclaimed to him, in his play-mean voice, “Mama no bum hey you. MAMA GONE!” It was his revenge for Papa leaving him every workday! We’ve gotten a kick out of that ever since.

One of my favorite times of the week is Friday after the garbage man has come. Baird loves to be a big boy and, all by himself, run to the end of our driveway and get the empty garbage can. He wrestles it all the way back to the house and then proudly comes inside to receive a high five for his big-boy work.

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Evolet

That little Evolet had me worried on Monday, the day we got our puppy. She was throwing up like crazy! I hadn’t realized how much milk she drank each time she nursed until it all came back out. It’s a lot! No wonder she’s getting so chubby! Love that kiddo. She only threw up for a few hours, thankfully! She’s such a cuddle monkey. I love that she has absolutely no interest in pulling herself up or crawling! In the picture below, she’s upset because we were trying to put her on her tummy. It makes it easier to keep her safe. She loves to pick up things though, and she concentrates on getting to the littlest things that happen to be on the floor. She also seems to challenge herself to pick up two things in one hand. She’s so proud when she finally does it! She loves to eat yam, but that’s about it. The look she gets when I give her banana is just hilarious!

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The End

Okay, this is a long wrap-up, more like a regular blog post, and probably not very well written, but I’ve got to just put it out there, otherwise with all these crazies surrounding me I’ll never get anything done writing-wise! Gotta go make lunch!

Here’s my link-up!

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

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