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Archive for November, 2014

Stewardship Week

Theme: Stewardship
Letter: l

It was important to us, as we enter the holiday season, to talk with the kids about giving. We didn’t want to beat them about the head and shoulders with lectures on privilege and poverty, but we did want them to be aware that giving is an option.

So R’s mom put together a lesson on all of the various ways we can be good stewards. We can be good stewards by being careful with other people’s things; caring for our pets and toys; not wasting time, water, electricity or food; recycling, composting, and otherwise caring for our environment; and by sharing our money and our things with people who are less fortunate than us. A enjoyed the lesson (especially the glue sticks!), but her idea of someone who is less fortunate is my across the street neighbor who doesn’t have a steering wheel toy like she does. I’m glad that she isn’t aware of these sorts of things yet. Maybe we planted a seed that she will think of when she does become aware that there are children with nothing.

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This was a great week for A, the social butterfly. She got to see friends and watch movies at church every morning while I helped the women’s group bake baklawa for our annual fundraiser. Playing with her friends makes her so happy!

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Baklawa babies

On Monday afternoon we baked bread together for the first time. A kneaded her own little lump of dough, and when it was baked we shared steaming hot bread together. The dog helped us clean up our mess.

 

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That was pretty much our whole week. We were at church every morning and evening in the second half of the week, and in between there were naps, short playdates, and quality time on the iPad. A has started teaching herself phonics on the Starfall app. I’m curious to see where this will lead.

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Onward and upward!

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Math Week

Theme: Math
Letter: t

We do a little bit of math every week, but last week we decided to spend our whole week on math concepts. On Monday we read one of my favorite little books (it has been in my purse for church reading since A was old enough to stop eating books), How Many Veggies?. Then we did a few of the Math Mission cards from A’s Team Umizoomi math curriculum. We made playdoh shapes and numbers, used multiple tools for measuring, traced numbers on each other’s backs, and tested to see how many jumping  jacks we could do in a minute. Then we headed outside to play shape hopscotch, which was more like a giant sudoku board for R’s mom and me!

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Later that afternoon my husband came home and continued our math lesson with a laser thermometer that we own. A was really enjoying taking the temperature of just about everything in our house.

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By Wednesday she had picked up on how to say a two-digit number. What on Monday was seven one had by Wednesday become seventy-one. Yay progress!

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On Thursday I introduced A to the movie Fantasia and she absolutely loved it! Above you can see her dancing to one of the scenes in it (with a costume change, of course).

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On Friday we went on a field trip to a local science museum. The kids wanted to touch a butterfly in the butterfly house so badly! Here they are trying to be still as they hold their fingers out for the butterflies to land on. I wonder why none of them took the girls up on the invitation…

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I’ll leave you with one last sister photo. Baby S likes to grab faces and she just loves her sister!

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Ballet Week

Theme: Ballet
Letter: s

Last week was ballet week at our little home preschool, and we had some very happy ballerinas as students! R’s mom set the week up by inviting A to the library the previous Saturday where a local ballet group did a free public rehearsal for the Nutcracker. They even taught the kids a dance. I didn’t go, but A showed me her soldier march after Vespers that night. She really enjoyed it.

Then on Monday morning we got together for our formal ballet lesson. The girls colored a letter s worksheet and we had our usual storytime (Angelina Ballerina) before getting into the best part: the dancing. R’s mom led the girls through a ballet warmup and taught them the various foot and arm positions before letting them dress up and go crazy to ballet music.

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The rest of the week was a bit off the rails partly because I didn’t prepare much else to do, but also because A’s great-grandfather passed away. We had a lot of conversations about death and heaven instead, which was fine with me. It’s not like we would have made a whole preschool theme week about it! So we took last week one day at a time.

One of my favorite things that happened this week was on Wednesday. My neighbor was burning leaves and A wanted to see what was going on, so I told her to go peek through the fence while I brought things into the house. The next thing I know I find this:

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They had a nice conversation about something, I’m sure.

On Thursday I went to A’s house early and we had a pajama party while the rest of her family went out of town. For the first couple of hours we ate breakfast and she watched Frozen (again) in her fanciest dress.

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The only thing that got us out of the house was the promise of going to her favorite library to get new books and play on the playground. We got some great books for the next week and one for baby sister. A got to show it to her the next day:

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We had our usual playdate with R on Friday morning and a liturgy for the archangels on Friday night. It was a full week!

And now suddenly this week is almost over. I’ll update sooner next time.

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Watching: Cranford

Men. They know everything about everything save when it is to happen and how it can be stopped. My father was a man. I think I understand the sex.

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Pumpkin Week

Theme: Pumpkins
Letter: r

This is the third year that A and her friend R have gone to the pumpkin patch together. We went two Fridays ago in preparation for last week’s Pumpkin theme. They always have a great time!

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Our schedule got a little turned around last week. Instead of having school first thing Monday morning we couldn’t do it until Thursday. So instead, I had A work on some pumpkin cutting practice worksheets. We made pumpkin pie in the afternoon and got to eat it after nap.

On Tuesday she learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin plant and she painted pumpkins at her homeschool co-op. We spent part of the day working out in the garden digging compost and putting it on the planting beds. A did it all in her Cinderella dress and high heels, of course!

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We had had two weeks off from our little home preschool, so I had some difficulty getting back into the swing of things. So while we talked about our science experiment — filling a pumpkin with dirt to see the seeds grow — we haven’t actually done it yet. Instead our week was full of activities like these:

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Finally on Thursday we got together with R for a formal lesson on pumpkins. The kids got to get their hands inside a pumpkin and also taste some baked pumpkin seeds. They read books about the letter r and other books about pumpkins. Our story time is really starting to be fun, with each of the kids taking turns “reading” a book to me before I read a book to them. We are learning how to sit politely and listen respectfully (and not heckle). We are also learning about being confident and telling stories, even if you don’t really know how to read yet.

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On Thursday evening my husband came home early to carve jack o’lanterns with A in preparation for Halloween. A designed her own:

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Then on Friday we celebrated all day! First we invited our friends over for a Halloween party playdate in the morning. They played outside in the leaves, ate Halloween themed snacks, and had a great time together.

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After nap we got our costumes on to get ready for trick or treating in my neighborhood. A was a cat and her baby sister was Ariel, the Little Mermaid.

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Our friends and their families came back over in the evening to join us on the neighborhood hayride that takes the kids around to all the houses. We had a great day!

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