Friday, August 31, 2012

Week 1 of School

I have decided this week was "Guinea Pig" week, because it was pretty experimental as far as getting the year going.  It would have been impossible to jump into the week wholeheartedly, because Dante did not have school Monday or Friday, and V was here Wednesday through Friday.  Add in a whole lot of ripe tomatoes that need to become salsa or sauce, and it was school in fits and pieces.

One wonderful thing about this week was that neither Amelia, Sunny, nor Micah asked why they were not going to school with Dante!!  I thought for sure they would be begging to go to the same classroom they had last year.  Not once did they question doing work with me.  Amelia did well with her phonics worksheets, but I they were one thing that did not get done with Sunny or Micah.

We are using Five in a Row as our main curriculum.  The idea is to read the same book each day for 5 days, but learning something new from it each time.  I have a manual with a list of books, and many, many ideas for each day.

Our first book was The Story About Ping. Vocabulary and hand-writing was the first day.  Next Jamie did some science with the kids by experimenting with what floats and sinks.  

Then we talked about family, and counted out how many siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins they each have. 

To show their work, each child is creating a "Lap book" or "Fold n Learn" to add items to each day.  Since this was an unusual week, we did not get to the sequencing mini-booklet we were going to make and glue in.  (Maybe over the weekend we will add that.)  Today was the final day of reading, so as I read the book I would leave out a word and see if one of the kids would fill it in.  Amelia was on top of that!  I also asked them what was going to happen next when I turned the pages.

Some other things we did not get to from the manual are art-- discussing the style of the illustrator, and geography.  I briefly touched on China and the river, paging through a book from the library, but it was not very in depth.  Also I was given a corresponding cookbook and Scriptural book that have ideas for each weeks' book.  For example, we could have eaten rice cakes because they are mentioned in the book, or had a discussion on Bible verses that mention obedience.

However, I have no regrets about how this week went.  Well, maybe one.
I did learn that if Kimberly is on the move, the cutting, pasting, writing, and coloring needs to be done at the table!

Tomorrow is September 1st, so each kid will start keeping a daily calendar.  We will count each day and discuss what came before and what comes after.  We will also start a chart of how many school days we have done.  Next Friday is the first day of co-op.  The kids are signed up for US geography (history), Apologia Land Animals (science), and Ballet (gym).  I will go through their classes with them while Kimberly and Leif are in the co-op nursery.  Should be fun!

Zachary and Nikita are also hard at work already.  I have been giving them a math test each day to see where they need to start, but Jamie is overseeing their Literature and History.  We do need to also start science and Spanish.

God is good!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer is Done, School has Begun

We had a long, hot Summer, and yet somehow it seems to be abruptly done.  I think it is because Zachary was gone until just a few weeks ago, and not having him nor Alexander here just was not right.  July 17th-August 10th seemed like long hot days we just had to get through. (That was the time period when both our teen boys were gone.)

We did pack a lot into the last 2 weeks though!

 While July was just plain hot, August was surprising perfect for enjoying time outside.

 Zachary jumped right back into big brother mode. Leif and Micah have been thrilled to have him home again.  This morning when he was up, Leif excitedly told Amelia that "Zach is here".
 Having fun can be exhausting.  Leif has passed Dante in a lot of ways, but right now these 2 have a huge rivalry going for my attention.  If one is on my lap, the other suddenly needs to be there.

 Leif loves his big sisters!

 This is a train table my father had made for Alexander and Zachary at least 13 years ago.  Jamie pulled it up out of the basement for the same trains the big boys had back then.

Yesterday Jamie returned to school, and we officially began.  I am primarily using Five in a Row with the triplets, so we started off with "The Story About Ping".  Today we talked about ducks, tomorrow will be family and counting, then floating and the geography of China on Thursday.  We are making lapbooks to show their work.
Leif is not making a lapbook, but he is ready with the glue stick for where ever it is needed, and some places it is not.  Amelia was excited to show Dad her work when he arrived home today. 

I am very glad we decided to keep the triplets home this year.  In a few weeks we will be embarking upon the ultimate Field Trip--- driving to Fort Jackson in South Carolina to see Alexander graduate from Basic Combat Training!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Family Vacation 2012

I cannot believe our vacation has come and gone, with school starting in less than a week.  It was our 13th straight year spending time at Rumney Bible Conference in Rumney, New Hampshire.  The first few years we rented a cottage, but the last 8 or so years we have been blessed to stay in the cottage Jamie's parents own.  It was Alexander's second year missing the family vacation, and this year Nikita stayed home to care for the animals and work her job.  Thankfully we were able to pick up Zachary in Charlestown on the way, since his Summer job as Junior Counselor was ending.

During our thirteen vacations at RBC we have seen the programs and visitors at the conference go down, and it is sad to see so few families there.  Thankfully there was a group in for  the weekend of our visit, and we were able to join in dinners at the Lodge for a few days.  The kids loved playing carpetball and air hockey, although most of our time was spent relaxing at the cottage or in the pool.  Zachary, Amelia and Leif did some kayaking with Jamie.

One day Jamie and Zachary took 4 of the kids on a train ride in nearby Meredith.  I stayed back with Dante, since there was no way he and his autism were going on a train.  It frustrates me that so many of our activities surround how Dante will respond due to his issues.  The children all reported that the train ride was amazing though!

Following are photos of our experiences-- way too many but I did not post all 205 that were taken!  (I think the digital camera is both a blessing and a curse-- how many will I actually ever print out into an album??)

"Of course I can read!"

No electronics needed for a good time

Leif was mesmerized by the Russian nesting dolls.

Leif marched over and announced he was going down the slide with Daddy.  He didn't realize it meant going under, but took it like the little man that he is!

 There was a man on the train making balloon animals, which were thoroughly enjoyed.

Another day at the pool. Leif insisted on pushing Kimberly every time; he takes his job as big brother very seriously.

Amelia, Sunny, and Micah each decided to go down the slide.  It took them each several minutes top to bottom since they were so nervous!  It was funny since we had never seen anyone creep slowly down a slide, but they were so proud once the splashdown was done!

Kimberly enjoyed a brisk dip herself.

Dante LOVED the pool.  So much that I have already called the local Y to see about getting him in the water more often.  He did almost enjoy it too much-- we could tell sensory overload was happening when his giggles were becoming a bit hysterical.

Leif is signing "frog" since Amelia was taking him frog hunting by the pond.

They decided kayaking would be more fun.
And even better actually in the water!

Our last evening before heading home.

We will be back next year though!