Friday, December 7, 2007

Yoga kids and this week's progress

We did have a few nice spurts of sunshine over the past few days. But today was another rainy day. A good day to try out the Yoga Kids: Silly to Calm DVD that just came in the mail. It earns 6 thumbs and 3 bottoms up from this crowd! Daniel in downward-facing-dog position.

All three in downward-facing-dog.

Tree pose beside the Christmas tree.

This week we learned more about using the library. On Monday we went to the library and read at least 10 books. We talked about our favorite authors and how to choose more books by the same author. We also branched out of the little kid section and started looking in the bigger kid section. Instead of starting Stuart Little as planned, Joshua picked out Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein and we are about halfway through it (rainy weather makes for lots of reading!).
I decided it was worth skipping a few of the Math lessons, so instead of being on lesson 34 (learning to write numerals and counting to 1), I moved Joshua up to lesson 79. He already knows how to write his letters and he can count to 100. In fact, his math skills are amazing. I had nine cans of beans and tomatoes on the countertop (I was making chili) and I asked him to count them. His counting goes like this - 3 and 3 is 6 and another three is 9. Sounds simple enough, but remember, I have not started teaching him addition or subtraction. However, he picks up quite a bit of math from the cooking we do together. Anyhow, now his math lessons this week focused on measuring with measuring cubes. Today he had to estimate how long he thought an object would be and then measure to see if he guessed right. And then he had to make a graph to evaluate his results of the measurements.
He is writing regularly in his journal at least twice a week. Mostly pictures but some words.
We studied a painting by Pieter Bruegel this week. It was a painting of children playing games. We measured out how big the picture is in real life (if anyone is interested, it's about as big as the rug in our livingroom). And we looked at the kids playing and picked out some of the games we already know how to play - hopscotch, hula hoops, tag, and picked out some things the kids were doing that we would like to learn more about. I can't wait to take Joshua to an art museum. Maybe we'll start off slowly and see if the Rollins College campus in Florida still has the big William Wegman exhibit.
Joshua has a penpal now. Another Coast Guard family has a little boy that just turned 6 years old and is in Kindergarten, too. They live in Michigan and the little boy is into transformers. Joshua wrote him a letter this week and found Michigan on the map.
We studied more about nouns this week. Joshua is learning to add s and es to singular words to make them plural.
Joshua made a Christmas present for Grandma and Grandpa - it involved a few different art skills and he was pretty proud of himself.
Our biography this week was Benny Benson. Benny Benson was a 7th grader that won a contest and designed the Alaska State Flag. Joshua picked out the flag from a page that had all the state flags on it. And then he recreated the flag. I drew the stars after he told me where they go, and he glittered them. When Keith came home, Joshua explained all about who Benny Benson was and what the state flag is all about.

Science is discussing the food pyramid. We listed all the foods we ate yesterday and talked about what part of the food pyramid the food goes on. We analyzed that we needed more vegetables yesterday, but that we had more fruit and grains than any other food groups.
Tonight we read the story of The Nutcracker. The pictures in the book were amazing. Then the kids made nutcracker puppets. We are getting very excited about the big performance this weekend!!

A book all parents should check out is Unplugged Play by Bobbie Conner ( The book discusses why kids don't need to be entertained by plugged in and battery powered things. Even more importantly, the book gives direction with over 700 ideas of activities to do to encourage the kids to be active and stretch their imaginations. I jotted down quite a few ideas, since I find myself more and more suggesting a video or something else mind-numbing to occupy the kids when I am knee deep in making dinner, doing laundry, showering, etc. I read the book in two days, it was fabulously organized and parts of it were like walking down memory lane as many of the games mentioned were things I remember playing in my childhood, but somehow temporarily forgotten about them.

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