Friday, October 26, 2012

October 21-27, 2012

Back on track!

What we did this week

  • Saxon Math 1: Lessons 50-53 (Written assessment 9 and oral assessment 5; writing the number 46, identifying and locating numbers on the hundred number chart; writing the number 47, counting dimes and pennies; writing the number 48, counting by 10s and 2s)
  • The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading: Lessons 101-104 (O alone as /ō/; review of the long-o vowel pairs and patterns; the vowel pair UE as /ū/; the vowel pair EW as /ū/)
  • Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Kindergarten: Pages 123-128 (17, 18, 19, 20, review 1-20, writing your name, writing the letters you know, writing your address)
  • The Magician's Nephew: finished listening to chapter 9
We have a new love that has replaced, although Starfall is still number one for Oliver and Jane.  Henry has moved on to  We're on day two of a 70-day free trial and Henry is very excited about "getting" to do a lesson each day.  If his enthusiasm keeps up, I think we'll go ahead and sign up for a year's membership.

Henry's also been on a Frog and Toad kick lately, so we've been reading those at bedtime each night.  Additionally, we've been reading each day from our Illustrated Lives of the Saints.  It's religion and geography rolled in one, since we use our wall map to locate all of the places mentioned in each saint's biography.  It's also another opportunity for Henry to hear writing that's above his reading level.


Oliver has made a lot of progress this week with following directions and anticipating activities.  Whereas before we would need to guide him from activity to activity, he is now anticipating what comes next in our routine and taking it upon himself to head that way.  For instance, I'll say, "time for lunch," and he goes downstairs on his own and heads to the kitchen.  Or, he sees me making his lunch and instead of clinging to my leg as if I don't know he's hungry, he walks over to his chair, pulls it out, climbs up, then waits pretty patiently for his meal.  Today, I had him finishing breakfast while I put his things in the car to take him to therapy.  Usually, I have to go back in and take his hand and bring him to the car.  Today, he snuck up behind me, climbed in the van, and got into his seat on his own (and looked pretty pleased with himself, too).  When we got to the center, he walked to the door on his own and, while I was handing his therapist his backpack and lunch, headed down the hall to his therapy room on his own.

So, quite a bit more independent behavior this week!


No big leaps this week.  We're still working on shapes.


4 months old and filling out 9 months clothes.  And lots of laughing.

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 14-20, 2012

We're still trying to get back in gear after a challenging first half of the month.  We took an extra day off this week to spend some time with Daddy, then got back to work.

What we did last week:

  • Saxon Math 1: Lessons 47-49 (writing the number 43, counting by 2s; writing the number 44, telling time to the hour; writing the number 45, identifying even numbers to 20)
  • The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading: Lessons 98-100 (the vowel pair OA as /ō/; the vowel pair OW as /ō/, sight word: was; the vowel pair OE as /ō/, sight word: shoe)
  • Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Kindergarten: Pages 117-122 (5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

Ollie is chugging along in therapy.  He's got quite a few signs now: pretzel, cracker, car, train, music, up, banana, and milk, among others.  He's starting to play along when we sing songs like "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Wheels on the Bus."  I'm also seeing a lot more of him following one-step directions, things like "let's go to the potty" or "it's time for bath" will get him right up and headed to the bathroom.

His big thing right now is putting the Hooked on Phonics pre-K DVD into the computer and having me get it playing so he can watch all of the different letter songs.  We're doing a lot of that.


Jane is right there with Oliver, watching Hooked on Phonics.  She can point out O and E, but everything else gets called A or B.  We're still working on shapes.  She can draw a circle, but won't point one out.  She calls them all "moon" instead.  She likes stars, too.


The blessed angel child slept through the night for the first time this weekend.  And when I say slept through the night, I mean that I put him down at 8:00 and he didn't wake up until 7:19 the following morning!  He didn't duplicate that feat the next night, but I am seriously heartened and hopeful that he'll throw at least one of those in the mix each week.

New "pet"

We found this specimen while cleaning up our woefully neglected garden beds.  I had a hard time identifying what it was, but I am very fortunate to have a cousin who is friends with an entomologist who enjoys getting random pictures of insects sent over for identification.  This is a tersa sphinx moth caterpillar and we're going to try very hard to keep it alive and kicking through it's metamorphosis.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Since before Peter was born, I've been doing a lot of praying for patience.  Wiser heads are shaking after reading that sentence.  When one prays for patience, one usually receives not the ability to beatifically smile during chaos, but the chaos during which one practices smiling beatifically.  Coming to the end of a pregnancy while caring for three young children and a very busy husband certainly gave me lots of practice, but I wasn't very successful.  Instead, I found myself wallowing in self-pity ("I'm tired."  "I don't have much time for myself."  "My day never ends." etc., ad nauseum) and this has only increased over the past couple of months.

Apparently, I just needed a bigger test.  So, here's my foolproof method of realizing how good you've actually got it.
  1. Have your husband schedule a two-week trip.
  2. Three days prior to his leaving, have everyone in the house catch a bad cold.
  3. The day he leaves, have one child's cold morph into a stomach bug.
  4. Have that child pass the bug to another child.
  5. Have that child pass the bug to another child.
  6. Have that child pass the bug to another child.
  7. Realize that it's been over ten days and your own cold has steadily gotten worse.
  8. Get diagnosed with a sinus infection.
  9. Get a flat tire on the only vehicle large enough to fit all of the children.
And at the end of all that, I realized that we did pretty okay.  Sure, there were plenty of pajama days.  There were days when the three littlest were in diapers all day.  Yes, we ate more than a couple frozen pizzas.  We watched quite a few DVDs and did a lot of laundry.  We didn't do much school, but weeks like those were part of why we switched to a year-round schedule anyway.

It was while I was doing a mini-reorganization of the kitchen that I realized I'm doing a mini-reorganization of the kitchen. Things can't be too bad.  And they really weren't, despite it all.  After dealing with the past two weeks, taking care of four healthy kids with my husband home and helping will be a walk in the park.

What we managed to get done from October 1st through October 13th, 2012:
  • Saxon Math 1: Lesson 46 (writing the number 42, completely skipped the entire lesson on measuring cups and just did the drills and worksheet)
  • The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading: Lesson 97 (review of the long-i vowel pairs and patterns, sight word: buy)
  • Zaner-Bloser Handwriting Kindergarten: Pages 115-116 (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Listened to a few more chapters of our audiobook, The Magician's Nephew.