Archive for October, 2014

Reading: David Copperfield

Again, Mr. Micawber had a relish in this formal piling up of words, which, however ludicrously displayed in his case, was, I must say, not at all peculiar to him. I have observed it, in the course of my life, in numbers of men. It seems to me to be a general rule. In the taking of legal oaths, for instance, deponents seem to enjoy themselves mightily when they come to several good words in succession, for the expression of one idea; as, that they utterly detest, abominate, and abjure, or so forth; and the old anathemas were made relishing on the same principle. We talk about the tyranny of words, but we like to tyrannize over them too; we are fond of having a large superfluous establishment of words to wait upon us on great occasions; we think it looks important, and sounds well. As we are not particular about the meaning of our liveries on state occasions, if they be but fine and numerous enough, so, the meaning or necessity of our words is a secondary consideration, if there be but a great parade of them. And as individuals get into trouble by making too great a show of liveries, or as slaves when they are too numerous rise against their masters, so I think I could mention a nation that has got into many great difficulties, and will get into many greater, from maintaining too large a retinue of words.

– Charles Dickens, David Copperfield


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Vacation in the Adirondacks

Last week we had no preschool because I was out of town soaking in this beauty:


View from the airplane


New Skete Monastery in the Fall


On a hike


Stacked stone wall in the woods


Wayside Country Store, Vermont

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Leaf Week

Theme: Autumn, leaves, seeds
Letter: u

This week we took advantage of the changing seasons to talk about Fall. First the kids colored a letter u worksheet while R’s mom read books about the short u sound.


I then read Beatrix Potter’s Squirrel Nutkin. Next we did one of my favorite Fall activities — we made seed bracelets. I gave everyone a bracelet made of wide duct tape, sticky side out, and we headed outside for a nature walk. Along the way we collected any small signs of Fall we could find and stuck them to our bracelets. I like the way this activity makes everyone slow down and notice small things. At the end of our nature walk the kids got to play on our neighborhood’s new playground.


Our Wednesday science experiment was a great success. We made tea bag ghosts: we emptied tea bags of tea, then lit them on fire and watched them fly up into the air! We repeated it several times. On Wednesday we also had the chance to learn all about furnaces when the furnace repairman came out to do our annual winter heating check. A was very interested in what he was doing. Later in the afternoon we met up with neighbors at the neighborhood playground.


Thursday was gymnastics day. She spent a good long time with her Starfall app in the afternoon, then we hopped in the car for a hike in the big state park near my house. A walked almost a whole mile without getting too tired. My favorite part was that she recognized when she needed to turn around in order to make it back to the car without problems. On Thursday we picked up my husband at his office in the evening, which meant that A got to see the big tropical fish tank in his office lobby.

On Friday morning we had a fun play date with her best friends, R and C, and then she got to spend the afternoon with her daddy while I finished preparing for my Saturday craft fair. It was a fun week!

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Teeth Week

Theme: Teeth
Letter: o (short o sound)

A’s friend R has already started losing her primary teeth, so we decided to spend a week studying teeth. We read one of my favorite books about teeth, One Morning in Maine, and learned all about how to brush and floss. The kids then made toothy smiles for their new balloon friends. A’s had lost all of its teeth by the end of (the increasingly inaccurately named) nap time.

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On Monday afternoon we tried painting with a toothbrush for our art lesson. She thought that was pretty funny, but ultimately preferred a brush.

On Wednesday she came up with her own science lesson when she discovered the way that liquid makes paper towels transparent. We then introduced her new math curriculum: Team Umizoomi Math Kit. She is really enjoying working in workbooks lately, but she needs to be reminded that pages have to be finished according to the directions and not just colored on.  Other math areas we need to work on include writing numbers, drawing shapes, and recognizing patterns. After all that hard work it was time for the pool, whose open days are definitely numbered for this year.

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Thursday was our triumphant return to gymnastics class! She took gymnastics class for a few months when she was 3 but took a break when her baby sister was born. I was amazed at the increase in her maturity level in just those few months. She had no trouble sitting still for the teacher, and she listened better. She even changed the way she did one skill even though she had always done it slightly wrong before, and all because she listened better this time. She enjoyed herself and I was very proud of her.

In the afternoon we ended up doing an impromptu lesson on blue whales because of a picture she was coloring in a workbook. We watched videos of blue whales, talked about how they breathe, and listened to recordings of their song.

On Friday we met back up with R for a playdate at our local library. I like our library because they have a nice playground outside, so when the kids are done being quiet they can run around and be noisy. It was fun to watch them play together because they both at different times decided to read to each other. Here is A playing library on the playground:

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And here is R reading to her a little bit later when we had gone inside for some water and to cool off:

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On Friday afternoon we went downtown to the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival to hear some music. I am really looking forward to finding more opportunities to go to live music events together.

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