Saturday, December 26, 2009

Beautiful Bicycle

Merry Christmas! This entry is totally, and selfishly all about myself. I got it! My husband got me the bicycle that I have been drooling over! It sits in my living room, I actually tried to ride it in the house, umm, no that didn't work out too well. But, I am now the proud owner of an Electra Townie, and it is Sage Green. It is the color of the bridesmaid dresses in our wedding. Pictures will follow in a later blog, I would imagine. (Right now I am blogging in flannel snowman pajamas, and so you will have to wait!)

I knew that I was getting the bicycle for various reasons, the first being that my little girl let the cat out of the bag, mentioning the bike shop her daddy went to for himself, and then the bike shop that they went to that she was not allowed to tell me about. Evidently, he actually purchased the bike that day. So, it is amazing that the kids did not tell me more information! Then, there was the rule that I was not allowed to visit DH in his office at work, or I would see my gift. And, well, I pay the Mastercard bill, so you know, I saw it.

But, the fun didn't get snuffed out completely. DH had to drive into work one day, very reluctantly, so I could go to an early evening meeting. He wouldn't have enough time to ride home after work- and help me with the kids in time for me to make my meeting. So, that day was awful for him. He rides to work every day, even in snow, because he loves it so much. Well, he brought the Electra home and hid it in my neighbor's garage. Then, on Christmas eve, he brought it home to the garage, while I thought he was taking the dog out to pee. On Christmas morning, he brought it inside while I thought he was getting coffee. So, I was surprised! And, I love it. i have several months to wait before it gets broken in, but if the icy rain goes away, I might just have to try it out a little.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

School update

School is moving along. It is good! My daughter just learned her plus-two facts. She learned them fast, first we did even numbers, odd numbers, and then adding two to those numbers clicked. She is doing so well in Math. Sometimes, I am frustrated with the scripts in Saxon Math 1, but overall it is a good program.

Reading and Phonics are moving along too. Phonics is so hard for my girl, but she is starting to slowly get it. We are using McRuffy Reading and Phonics, and both of us love the little books and puppets that she gets to make. There are fun learning games too. I hope we can stick with this program for a number of years. Its a good match for my daughter.

Handwriting is improving so much. We will finish Handwriting without Tears in a couple months, and then move on to some reading comprehension with written answers. She will be ready. We still aren't tackling writing stories. I would guess most first graders are doing this, but my daughter is just grasping how to spell various words and sounding things out. She can dictate amazing stories.

Science was fun, but could be better. Abeka science is a bit dull. Because my daughter loves learning about science, she soaks it up. We learned about owls today, but it was soooooo basic. I wish we had some owl pellets to dissect. You can actually find them around here. But, ummm, not with over a foot of snow on the ground.

Social Studies- also A beka, is very classroom orientated. I need to get a map and find some good sites on the internet to supplement. She will be taking a trip around the US, to learn about national landmarks etc. We need to spice it up, the text doesn't have too much to offer. I think this will be our last year using A beka. There just has to be something better out there.

Health, yes its A beka again. Hmmm, do you really need to teach Health at home? I mean eventually perhaps, but we work on cleanliness, good manners, healthy life style. I wonder.

Bible- We are using A Garden of Bible Stories. She is learning new stories from the Bible. I like it. The workbooks are boring. I like that she is listening to more in depth stories of the Bible, but I don't think I will use this with my son. At least not the workbooks. Blah.

Music- lots and lots of Christmas carols. My kids actually sing sometimes!

Art- I stink at art. This surprises me a lot. Teaching art to your children is very different than teaching art to a whole group of kids. I feel lost and haven't even come up with decent Christmas ornaments or card this year. I don't want to fix/make them for the kids. Maybe that's why all the preschool ornaments that were sent home looked so good. My kids didn't actually make them. Hmmm.

Fitness- lots of sledding, playing in the snow right now.

Reading together- anything and everything. Christmas books, Arch books, chapter books, picture books, we read all different stuff.

Games and puzzles- this is a really good family time. My daughter is learning not to tantrum when she loses, but she has not learned that gloating over winning isn't very nice.

Fine Motor- shoe tying! She is getting it. Next will be fastening a zipper, snapping pants, and buttoning clothes. Fine motor doesn't come easy to either of my children.

Our newest addition is Safety. I freaked out (ok, in my head, laid awake all night) when my husband was deployed. The thought occurred to me, if I got sick/hurt and was unconscious or even dead, what would my children do? What in the world would they do? The response I received,"Mommy, we would run around the house screaming!" This matched my other fear of, wondering what they would do if there were a fire. I have witnessed a first response to burning pizza and smoke alarms- hiding in the closet. Soooo, we are working on resolving this. My daughter is learning how to use a cell phone and the house phone. We practice basic info (and there is a sheet by the phone) or our phone number, where daddy works and phone number, address, family friend and number etc. And how to dial out. I wish there was a real way to practice 911, like a way to make "practice" calls. So, my kids could hear how to respond when there wasn't an actual crisis happening. But, for now we are practicing, and it is good.

The next post will be about my little boy. My preschooler. We are half way through the school year! Hooray!