Monthly Archives: March 2010

Pre-school Children are sponges (3.25.10)

I am so excited to finally find time to sit down and write this.  I have been thinking about it since yesterday.

I sometimes am ‘smacked in the face’ with how much of little sponges pre-school children really really are.  They learn so much just in life.  If you take the thought to provide a rich enviroment for them, they will amaze you.

Big Brother loves book and he loves bugs — he is after all a 4-year-old little boy.  🙂  So yesterday he chose Oh Beyond Bugs All About Insects at  the library.  I don’t know if he choose it because of Cat in the Hat on it, or because of the bugs on it.  It is written by Tish Rabe and I generally avoid her books, they are very forced and do not read well; I personally feel they are a disgrace to the Cat on the cover, but that is just me I grew up in the era before other people wrote Cat in the Hat books, I am spolied.  But, it is policy that Big brother can choose any books he wants from the section (I choose too).  He chose it, so that was it.   I want him to explore books and feel able to pull any off the self and either have it read to him or read it.  So we read it all — and some of it is pretty bad.  I hope that with more and more exposer to the good, he will grow to find the bad not as appealing all on his own. 

We we read it once, then read others.

After tubbie time he was wiggling on the carpet on his tummy “momma I am a caterpillar”.  then he climbed into a chair and covered himself with the green playsilk from head to foot “Momma I am in my cocoon”.  Then he jumped up, throwing off the silk and yelling “Now I am a butterfly” and he flew around the room “I am going from flower to flower”.   Now I am pretty sure that he knew all about that before, we found a caterpillar last year and kept it over night in a bug home to watch it and it turned into a cocoon, and he talks about that so he does remember it.  But it was still a great exepince to see him playing out the science he had just covered even though we had not made a big deal about it — just read the book.

It is a good reminder to me how much the boys can, and do learn, just in the course of day.  It is a reminder to make their lives more intentional, to expose them to more and to stretch our horizons as a family.

Today I was feeling the boys needed some art time, but I am working so hard on cleaning up the house us and getting things check off my to do list i could not face a big messy project.  Messy art, is really a Monday or Tuesday thing.  So we did stickers.  I realized last night that we had “eggs” that we had painted and never done more with.  I had planned to make a big basket of construction paper and post on the front glass storm door, but we did the flower instead.  Today we decorated the cut out painted eggs with stickers and then added them to the flower on the glass door.  Not a big project, but Big brother told me “this is a fun party” and Little Brother stuck with it a long time.

Busy day today, we also got out momma’s Christmas toy, my laminater and made a matching game with the alphabet.  I copied all 26 letters, in both upper case and lower case as well as a common word associated with that letter (apple, cat, umbrella).  We cut them apart and then laminated them.  Next I will cut them apart, alone, then we will have a game.  We can match the letters to the picture; we can match the upper case with the lower case letters, we can play memory.   We are also working on word / picture card of rhyming words / word families.  I have a long list Hubby and I have been brain stormed and I am having Big Brother help me choose the clip art image for each word.  When we have them all made I will print them out, we will cut them apart them laminate them and we will work with matching rhyming words. 

I love books — everyone knows that.  Well I also love paperbackswap.com today i got another new book.  HEART.  100 years of Children’s books in America http://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Years-Chi … =8-1-spell.  i am creating quite a collection of books on children’s Literature, and think I may have missed my calling.  I also used my Amazon.com giftcard (birthday gift) and ordered: 

Finding Your Purpose as a Mom: How to Build Your Home on Holy Ground Donna Otto, Anne Christian Buchanan

What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child–and All the Best Times to Read Them Pam Allyn

My Heart’s at Home: Becoming the Intentional Mom Your Family Needs (Hearts at Home Books) Jill Savage

Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World vicki Courtney

The N.D.D. Book: How Nutrition Deficit Disorder Affects Your Child’s Learning, Behavior, and Health, and What You Can Do About It–Without Drugs (Sear William Sears, Martha Sears)

and, no I really DON’T have THAT much time to read.  I wish.

————–i really DO need to work my my bookself pages, huh?  🙂 🙂 ——–

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March 23, 2010

Today we have had a PJ day. 

Soon Daddy will be home and we are going to THE FIRST PARK VISIT OF 2010!!!  It is 58 or so, a bit windy, and it will be a bit muddy — but a short trip is in order to burn silly.

We watched Snow White and have been reading a lot.   I am not sure Snow White was the best choice for the boys, the concepts may be too advanced for them (like Death).

Today’s Read-A-Louds:

If the Pig is in the Pantry, then the Cat is on the Shelf.   libary book.  I am not too impressed, unless Big Brother chooses it we won’t get it again.  (this was my choice). 2000

The Big Red Barn.  by Margaret Brown.   We love this one.  When I started reading it, Big Brother recited the first 2 full pages with me.

My Many Colored Days.  By our dear friend: Dr Seuss. 

But Not the Hippopotamus.  by Boynton. 

10-Step Guide to Living With Your Monster.  Libary Book.  OK.  Cute idea, but lacking something.

Tiger Can’t Sleep.  Libary book, we love it.  Love it.

The Golden Egg.   We love this, very pretty, very sweet.

Snuggle Up Sleepy Ones. 

Hand Hand Finger Thumb

Sheep in a Jeep

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reading and more reading (3.19.10)

Big Brother at 6 months old

The last couple of day here have been very exciting for Momma.  🙂  

Books are a big deal around here, Big Brother calls out “BOOK TIME” with great glee many times a day.  Also, anytime Momma calls out “make a stack of book” he jump to do so, sometimes with great consideration, sometimes not so much.  We love books here, when we — in a year or two — start more formal schooling here at home we will be working from a book rich base.   

Big brother has loved books for as long as I can remember.  When I got pregnant he was 15 month old.  We read all though my morning sickness, we read though all my “too tired to move” stage.  We would read and read and read all cuddled up.   Stacks of books at a time, there were “waiting for baby” books that he knew by heart.  By the time Little Brother was born, and Big Brother was 23 months old, we were reading and reading as Little Brother nursed or slept on top of momma.  

The Dec 2006, just over a year old (NO HAIR)

  From the time Big Brother could move himself, the bookshelf has always been his first and favorite destination.  He would pull books down, look at them, lay on them, flip the pages, drag them around.  Book have always been a love of his.   From the time he could hold a book and move the pages he’d sit in the car seat and study book after book. 

 Then came Little Brother.  As much of a do-er and a go-er as Big Brother is and always has been, Little Brother puts him to shame.  🙂  From the time Little Brother could move on his own that is what he has wanted to do.  He is twice the climber Big Brother was, which is saying quite a lot.  Little Brother is a much more independent child, playing with toys alone younger and spending more time on his own.  

 He has never wanted to sit for books, never wanted to look at books the way Big Brother did when he was smaller. 

Just in the past two or three months Little Brother has started to take more of an interest in book time.  On his own terms.   He will now walk around us as we read books on the floor, or climb on me.  There seems to be a few books now that peak his interest, and he will hang on me and look at the pictures; however he will still not and read a book with us.  Also recently he had started taking a book from me to look at it alone, or looking at a book we just finished reading during book time.   A few times he has taken a book from me, shut it and handed me another.  Or just shut one and not let me read it — but been fine with another book.  SO he is showing some prefernces. 

He still rarely seeks out books on his own — for anything but pulling off the shelf and making a mess.  However, I do see his interest growing in the past month especially.     

 I realized a few days ago it might be my fault.  We read 90% “big Brother books”  Dr Seuss or books that are a little longer.  It occurred to me we are not reading enough books for Little Brother: simple board books more like Sheep in a Jeep or The Big Red Barn. 

So recently I have made more of an effort to choose simply board books, more repetitive text and more of a chat style.  

Well Little Brother seems to be finding books more of a friend recently.   

This makes momma very happy.

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Painted Flower Art (3.17.10) DONE

…continued from yesterday.

We started a project to paint a BIG flower for our glass  storm door.  Each part of the flower is made separately then we build the flower on the door.

Yesterday we got the stem, leaves and center of the flower painted and done, today we painted the petals and then assembled the flower.

I made a better purple today.  We started with the pink from the pink petal then added a light blue and a little white.

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Painted Flower Art (3.16.10) day ONE

 

We have a glass storm door, and I decided we should decorate it.  Also I struggle with finding  places in the house for bigger projects to hang.  What  is more spring like than a BIG FLOWER??  Also a nice  multi-stage project that would allow  the boys to see a process of creation as we put the steps together to make the flower.

Last night I got things started.  I took our big floor pad and drew the basic parts (the stem, the leaves, and the flower petals).   OK I am not a great artist, that is why i loove looove loooove doing art with my kids.  🙂  You can’t tell. 

 

First today we covered the art area.  I am still working on a good way to cover and protect the table when we do art work. 

 

First we painted the leaves of the flower a nice bright green.  Then we painted the stem a darker green.  Big Brother and I talked about making a color darker by adding a TINY BIT of black.  Mixing colors and how it works and practicing / playing with color is something Big Brother is really interested in right now

Next two half circles in orange that will be put together to make the center of the flower.  Little Brother wandered off, and back and forth, after the leaves and the stem were done.

We got one petal done when Big Brother lost interest and was getting silly and trying to paint his body and not so much the flower.  It started to feel assembly line and forced so we stopped we can paint again tomorrow,  there is no reason to keep it up after the child(ren)”s interest is gone. 

 What we learned today:

1. This project was too big for one day.  We got part of the way though it and the boys action and interest waned really badly so we stopped.  We will finish tomorrow, hey two painting days not just one.  Gotta love that :).

2.  Momma forgot the rule that what you mix two colors to create a third ALWAYS start with the lighter color and add the darker one.  Art 101.  Big brother requested  PURPLE for the first petal of the flower.  Well Momma started with blue.  I never got a good purple as I didn’t want to make THAT much paint, so I added some white and got a brownish purple and Big brother was happy with that. (see the photo above of the peices we did today drying to see the color it came out.

We will finish it up tomorrow.

TO BE CONTINUED ………..

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Lent Day 24 (3.15.10)

A couple of great things to report:

1.  Big brother and his Daddy read Across the Big Blue Sea.  Several times and in the back there is a world map and they have been practicing naming the contenits.  Big Brother can identify 6 of the 7 each time and some he gets quickly each time.  He will also tell me “we live in North America where the buffalo live”.   This seems to be sinking in for him.

2.  Little Brother is having an explosion in his “speech” he has willingly signing much more recently.  He is signing PLEASE without prompting about 1/2 the time and with only a verbal prompt (as opposed to mimicking me signing it) a lot of the rest of the time.  He attempted to sign OPEN several times today.  He will try to sign water when prompted and provided an  example to mimic.   More than that he seems to be “babbling in sign”  where he seems to have something to say and moves his arms and hands about looking at them and you (me) like “something should mean something” 🙂  So proud of him.  I love the look of concentration and thought / effort on his face as he tries to make a specific sign (especially more), how he will carefully put down what is in his hands and work for hard.  then the look of JOY that crosses his face when he “gets it”  (even before I react) then how the smile spreads when I “understand him”.  ahhhhh talk about melting the heart of a momma.

This morning Big Brother and I looked up the sign for BROTHER.  That is going to be our new word.  Momma has been lazy we need to keep adding two new signs a week like I was there for a while.  I am trying to get Big Brother to go back  to using his signs a lot more.  Big Brother is really slacking with his ASL as he speaking more.  I don’t feel he should be dropping the signs first as his expressive speech is still not that clear, even to me, and secondly I still want to push ASL as a full second language for this family.  So we need to keep using what we have and adding more.  Also Little Brother is a total copycat of him idol (Big Brother) so he is going to sing more and more correctly if he can watch Big Brother doing it. 

example of Little Brother copying his idol.  This morning Big Brother had on a cape and a stocking cap and arms bans to be a superhero.  Little Brother ran to find all the same things for himself with a great sense of urgency. 🙂 🙂

Big Brother and I practied our ASL alphabet today.  His forms aren’t great, but he attempts to mimic them all and some of them his form is pretty good on.

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Butterfly art (3.12.10)

here is the project

A dear sweet buddy, this morning, e-mailed me a new project idea.   I wanted to do art today but was not up to getting out the paint so we jumped right in.  I am really kinda proud of myself for how often i get the boys a project.  I need to REALLY improve in letting them do it, no matter what it looks like, rather than pushing it towards one end outcome.  I also need to give them more time for the process.   However I am improving. 

What we did:

We started with different colors of paper, sandwich bags and pipe cleaners.

Little Brother didn’t try to tear the paper, but he DID really want to climb on the table and get my computer where I had the example photo up for Big Brother to see.

We tore the paper into little pieces (Good for Big Brother’s fine motor control).  I should have given him a lot more time for this.

 

we made piles of the different colors.

then we stuffed the sandwich bags.

Then used the pipe cleaners to separate the wings and make the antenna. (Big Brother called them “ears”)

and — there you have it butterflies:

Then we hung them from the ceiling.

 

What we learned / ideas for next time:

1.  I want to do it again with tissue paper that has been crunched up.  that would let the light glow through the butterflies, and also would give them “fatness” and “puffy softness”.

2 I want to go this with bigger bag (and something puffy) to make one or two BIG butterflies.

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