Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm sorry, what's that sound?...

Oh, that's just the sound of both of our boys trying to sound out tons of words in one of their picture word books tonight. Yeah, that's all...

I'm flying high! It's just a step, one of many more to come, but it is a huge step! And the fact that they were both into it, almost equally, floors me! It's becoming quite clear that these two learn pretty differently, and it's freaking me out. So to make a leap like this at the same time calms me down a lot.

That's all...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today our boys were...

Cracking all of us up with general silliness and repetition of: "I'm making a joke!"  *insane giggling*  "I'm making a joke!"

Sharing incredibly intelligent conversation and comments.

Dishing out wonderfully sweet dialog, including randomly complimenting each member of the family in some fantastic way at least once, and encouraging each other. That's something that both makes me proud and melt from the cuteness of: my boys love to tell each other how great they are doing at something. If one cute little boy is coloring, building something with legos, or pedaling his bike, he has a cute little boy cheerleader at his side to keep him going strong.

Being much more attentive and obedient most of the day. I guess I should take into consideration the fact that they did take a nap today and then spent a couple hours in someone else's care at church, hehe. That might have made the day seem a little easier. But really, they were very good today.

Begging me to do school and squealing with joy when it was time. And then squealing again when we talked about how we get to do it again tomorrow. I am loving this eagerness!

Joyfully playing with their baby sister and giving her the best afternoon. The look on her face when they are purposely spending time with her is priceless. She looks like she feels like their equal.

Being friendly and so silly at church, greeting everyone we walked by and cracking up their teachers.

Making bonds with friends. They have always been pretty independent kids in group settings, like at church. I think it's partly because they know they always have each other at home and stuff, so they felt no pressure to connect with other kids when they were there. Also because they were just quiet little men. But now they are starting to blossom and show an interest in their friends' whereabouts and personalities. Tonight they shared with me which kids they played with, what they said, when they didn't share, and who else played with whom. It's so exciting and scary at the same time. I know some of these kids' abilities to be hurtful at times, and I just wish I could be a kangaroo momma forever and protect them from every single hurt!

Admiring the adorableness of some younger siblings of their friends. I can tell they genuinely see the beauty in a smaller kid attempting to communicate and be sweet to them and I love it!

Growing in leaps and bounds. This was one of those days when I totally get how almost every parent thinks their preschooler is a genius because of the intense leaps they make in intelligence. I have long noticed patterns in their learning curves. They seem to hit a plateau of sorts, when they are processing and playing. These last weeks or months. Then they suddenly rock my world, busting out with crazy insights and maturity. Parenting is one of God's most amazingly wonderful plans, and I am so incredibly thankful that I get to be in on it!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


...we went on a fairly successful Walmart run (meaning we only got in the way of 4 or 5 other customers with our random running in circles up every aisle).

...we stopped by the library for a quick stop and some Thomas the Tank Engine books. Frankly, I am so sick of them and hate the way they read. But the boys keep checking out the same derned ones. One of them is basically the Thomas Bible, at a whopping 508 pages.

...we got some more parts of our fun handwriting stuff in the mail - the wooden lines and curves we'll use to play games and make letters with.

...we "dressed up". She requested each of these accessories - bib included - be added to her outfit as we played together this afternoon.

...we unwrapped our beautiful tulips from their protective plastic and enjoyed their beauteous beauty. And thought about what a wonderful man we have in our family.

...we enjoyed our snack and some productive playtime on the patio, out in the gorgeous spring air.

...we marveled at the wildlife on our patio. This butterfly has been flailing around back there for something like a week. He's very interesting, with a big fluffy white body and crazy yellow antennae. (I've now researched, and it's a Luna Moth. This is the one in the Lunesta commercials.) I thought it was nearly dead the first time we saw it on the ground, twitching. Then I saw it flopping around a couple days later. And now it's found its way up the wall, where it's barely twitching when blown upon. And the frog didn't look like he was feeling too good either.

...we fended off a fever in an already demanding little girl. It started last night at 101 and hovered under 100 throughout today. Thank God for acetaminophen. And spell check.

...we dissected a Honeybaked Ham and a rotisserie chicken to freeze most of them. I got some good deals on them, but being a "single mom" with picky kids means I have to save most of it for later.

...we watched tv and ate popcorn after dinner. We've avoided tv use for several days now, and Thursdays tend to be the hardest for me as far as loneliness and lack of energy to entertain them. So we vegged tonight.

...was a pretty decent day!

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's Here!!!!!

We received our Sonlight Curriculum box this morning! We were all so ecstatic when the FedEx man rang our doorbell and we dragged the box into the living room and opened it up and caressed all the new books!

The boys didn't know anything was coming. They aren't that surprised anymore when we get a package - it seems I've been ordering something online every week lately - but when they could tell I was extra excited about this one, they were bouncing all over the place and squealing to have it open. Basically mimicking me, heh.

I spent a lot of the rest of the day feasting on the instructor's guides and setting up my binder. (Today was the day the kids stayed at Grammy's.)

I ordered the preschool 4/5 curriculum, which has read-alouds that cover language arts, history, science, and social studies, at least as much as a preschool curriculum can. It also comes with some workbooks that show their strengths and weaknesses in perception and stuff - very fun looking.

I also ordered a pre-kindergarten level handwriting readiness program that is so much fun: Handwriting Without Tears. They do handwriting up through elementary school, but I just got the preschool stuff. It uses all their senses to help them absorb the fundamentals of writing in general and capital letters. There are hands-on wooden curves and lines that we build fun stuff with, and then start building letters with. There is a song CD with all kinds of fun stuff on it, like left-right, letters start at the top, and so on. There is a mini chalk slate that you do a Wet-Dry-Try practice on to start drawing the letters.

I also ordered the language arts program for kindergarten. This is supposed to be ordered with their little kindergarten reader books that the kids start to read on their own as soon as they learn just a few letters. But those had bad reviews, so elsewhere I ordered the Bob Books that do the same thing (those arrived today too!). But the language arts stuff is what I'll use to teach them the letters and their sounds, and all kinds of other fun stuff about words and how we use them.

I know it might seem crazy that I am already thinking of starting them on that stuff - I thought so too until just recently. But these boys have been showing some mad readiness to start dabbling with reading the last few weeks! I can't answer enough questions about "What is that word, Mommy?" as they read through their books on their own. They "read" the words with their fingers, left-to-right, all the time now, and are memorizing and emoting through their favorite books like crazy. When we discuss what we'll do tomorrow or later in the day, there is always a request to read together, without exception.

I waffle because I see these opinions all the time, that preschoolers shouldn't be bothered with learning to read, even if they are capable, because they should only be playing and enjoying their youth. But my boys love this! I can't keep it from them, or not at least try it out.

So I figure we'll test the waters. If playing with the real thing doesn't work out, I'll put it aside and try it again in a few months.

Anyway, I could not be more excited about this curriculum and the months ahead. I have some plans for things I want to do with them for the next few weeks, and we are planning a vacation when Brandon returns home. So I think we'll get started on this in May sometime. Woohoo!!!

Sonlight Curriculum

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Knick Knack!

We are listening to a fun cd right now and I wanted to hurry up and share/document it. It's the accompaniment cd to a book from the library, called Knick Knack Paddy Whack.

It is an alternate version to the classic song that introduces the kids to instruments and what they sound like. And it's very cute and fun and sounds pretty.

The three kids were all gathered around or on me as we flipped the pages and listened to the song over and over again. I love to watch them all boogy to fun music. They enjoyed hearing each new instrument between verses, and watching the cute dog do different things on each page.

They are still sitting around me on the floor reading other books and listening to the instrumental tracks on the cd keep playing. Might have to order this one to keep.

Knick Knack Paddy Whack