Saturday, March 31, 2007

Little House

We read Little House in the Big Woods in one week. When Sam found out there was a "next" book we began reading Little House on the Prairie. These books have been the impetus for all kinds of learning activities in our home. We started by studying North American wildlife. This morning Sam had maple syrup on his waffles, and we had a discussion about how Pa and Grandpa got sap to make maple syrup and brown sugar. The kids were intrigued by how Pa made a log house, so I ordered Lincoln logs. They finally arrived!

This was Sam's first introduction to building with Lincoln logs. He insisted on following the pattern in the tin.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Happy Birthday, Auntie Rosie!

Just before we started recording, Sam said he loved and missed Auntie Rosie sooo much. He wanted to know if we could drive to Colorado right now to see her and take her a birthday cake. When we said we were taping to say "Happy Birthday" to Auntie Rosie, Grace kept looking around and saying, "Where is she? I can't see her." Every once in awhile you can see her look up and around, probably wondering where that Auntie Rosie is hiding!

We all love you, Roseanne!

Our Budding Pianist...

Sam "plays" with the piano. I don't give him instructions at his age unless he asks (except, of course, the "no banging" rule). Still he has managed to learn to play one finger simple scales. He often sings as he plays and makes up lyrics and melodies. And now he's beginning to notice that I play differently than he does. He's starting to ask questions about how.

This video shows how he experiments with playing and his question about how to play like mom. I abruptly stop the camera because it's time to demonstrate for him. Funny, but the picture is a lot clearer on my little digital camera! It seems the video and the sound are off a bit. (This was my first time using YouTube!)

Monday, March 12, 2007

To Give Worksheets or Not To Give Worksheets...

I swore I would never give my children worksheets. It didn't fit my philosophy of education or my understanding of child development. I believed learning occured during hands-on fun and exploration. In my opinion worksheets were busy work that didn't have anything to do with real learning.

Then Sam asked for worksheets. I put him off. He asked again, and again, and again. He began to beg for worksheets. I still put him off. One day we were at the local office supply store. We were looking at paints and markers when Sam found a workbook. He was thrilled! "Please, Mom!! Please get me this homework!" I finally relented--mostly to keep my sanity intact.

I figured his interest in worksheets would wane, but it didn't. Sam would sit happily working. Many times he would do 15-20 pages before I made him stop. Then he wept because I didn't let him "have fun" doing "homework." Go figure!

Sam has infected Grace with his love of worksheets. This very week I decided to order pizza for lunch as a treat. Now, my kids love it when we order pizza. As a matter of fact, they grab the pizza guy around the legs in a huge hug as they jump up and down shouting, "Pizza, pizza, pizza!" or "We love you, pizza guy!" (I have to say I find this pretty entertaining when it's a new pizza guy.) But this week they didn't greet the pizza guy at the door. They were busy doing their worksheets. The pizza guy slumped away disappointedly. I called Richard for lunch. He came in to find the kids refusing pizza until they had finished all of their "homework." "Do you think we should get them help?" he asked. I shrugged weakly and only half-laughed.

I suppose they won't be irreparably harmed as long as they have well-rounded experiences in addition to worksheets. There are worse things than doing worksheets (like the stomach flu).

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tomorrow is Abigail's Adoption Day!!!! I am so excited that I can't sleep. It's after midnight, and I have to get up very early to get everyone ready in time. But still I can't sleep. She is such a precious blessing to our hearts. I can't believe this day is finally here!