Friday, August 31, 2012

"I did it."

Miss K loves to swing. For a long time swinging meant she sat on the swing and called for anybody that was nearby to push her. You could stand and push her for a long time. The house here that we are staying at has a swing set in the backyard. Miss K has spent quite a bit of time out there. Enough time that she has learned to swing herself. She was very excited to have learned how to do that. She kept saying, "I did it."

I tried to get a picture of her swinging but I have to say that is a difficult thing to photograph. Here is some of what I got.

It is fun to watch her learn and be so proud of herself.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Math Facts




Memorizing your math facts is an important part of learning math. This is an area that we focus on and make sure that the kids know their facts. We use flash cards, drill sheets, math wrap-ups, and just rote recitation of the math facts.

I have begun to teach Miss K the addition facts. We have begun with "plus one" facts. Miss K is a very visual learner. She wants to see it. I made some flash cards for her. I included the answer but when I ask her the question I don't say the answer just the problem. She then "reads" the answer to me. After she had learned the facts a bit, I slowly start adding in cards without the answer. As we transition,I keep both cards and then I start to  know the facts I take out the card with the answer.

For practice she was asking me the facts. This also gives her practice in saying the problem. It is a slow process but I do feel that this will help her in math skills and math success.

We have been using Saxon Math 1 and I am planning to switch to Math-U-See. J is using Saxon Math 6/5 this year. My goal is for him to finish that and begin 7/6 in the spring. I have also begun to do some Critical Thinking with him and will add Math Detective Beginning. Since this is the first time to add this to our Math program, I decided to start at the beginning level as I felt that would give him confidence and begin to think in this manner.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Blackberry Picking

Yesterday we went for blackberry picking. The fun of being in the northwest is you just take a bucket and go look for blackberries. We walked to the park near our house.

Miss K is learning not to pick the red or green ones but to make sure that she is picking the black ones. I think the ones she picks goes to her mouth and not the bucket.

J has learned to pick though we are still working on sticking with it and finishing an area before he floats to the next area.

Daddy wanted to make his favorite thing that he enjoys with the blackberries -- blackberry shakes.


The shakes were yummy. Yes, her face is dirty. I think that was partly picking blackberries and partly eating the shake.



We ate all the ice cream so this morning we had blackberries with our yogurt. We did stop and find more this afternoon on our walk. I will say that the thorns make these a bit harder to pick than blueberries. It seems that the nice big, sweet blackberries are just beyond our reach.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Blueberry Picking

As we were driving into town the other day, we passed a pick your own blueberries. I have picked strawberries but never blueberries except for some wild ones. We decided to go today and pick some.

I have to say that blueberries are easier than strawberries because you don't have to bend down. I was amazed at how many berries there were on the bushes.

We had two buckets. I think Miss K enjoyed running through the bushes and eating blueberries. It did remind me a bit of the book Blueberries for Sal. We didn't see any bears.

It was a new experience for all of us. We heard lots of comments about how many blueberries we found. We picked about 5 to 6 pounds.

I made blueberry jam.

The recipe is very easy. Now we will have blueberry jam for our toast or for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Then I made a blueberry pie. Making pies is something that I am learning to do but the idea of a warm blueberry pie was enough for me to search for a recipe and try making one. It is rewarding to eat the berries that you have picked. We still have blueberries for eating and enjoying with our yogurt.

It was delicious. I think Miss K's face will confirm that.

We might have to go again.

Road Trip

We took a road trip, the longest road trip that we have ever taken. I was going to say that this is the road trip to end all road trips but we will be traveling home so I guess we will have another long road trip. Until then we will enjoy our time on the west coast.

I planned various activities some of which the kids helped me to pick and some that were surprise activities. I had lunch bags with fun treats some were things from home and others were things that I had bought for the trip.

We bought a road atlas so J could follow the route. He enjoys maps and so that was good for him to use and follow along.






I took clipboards with drawing paper, cookie sheets, stickers, books that they enjoy looking at, Beanie babies, play food and lots of other things. One of the activities that they enjoyed and spent quite a bit of time doing were the pipe cleaners.

J did some braiding and I am not really sure what Miss K did but it kept her busy.

We varied out time watching movies and listening to audio books. We all enjoyed Sherlock Holmes and King Arthur.

We also spent time looking out the window before they were covered with the window markers.

We decided that Iowa has quite a number of wind turbines. I will add that bananas were cheaper in Iowa. We had a delicious dinner at Hy-Vee. That was our first time to shop there and we like it.




It was interesting to watch the scenery change as we drove. We saw the prairie.

We spent the night with some friends. That was a great visit to break up the trip a bit. One of the things that we enjoyed the most was just going outside at night and looking at the stars. We were able to see the Big Dipper and also the Milky Way. "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,the moon and the stars, xwhich you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8: 3-4
It probably looked like that when David was sitting the in fields writing the Psalm.

As we drove west we began to see the changes.

We did see a few places that said, "Scenery View". We weren't sure the what we would be looking at so we didn't stop except in Twin Falls, Idaho as we were driving out of town we paused and enjoyed this view.

Then we stopped to visit some other friends and enjoyed a fun evening of swimming and chatting before our final day of driving. We drove over the pass and arrived at our destination.
We did it. We made it all the way to the west coast in our car.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

4th of July fun

I know this is a big late. We will have the peanuts and candy from the picnic so I guess it isn't that late. Then again I just threw out the half eaten chocolate rabbit so having candy doesn't really mean anything.

We had a picnic and I planned some games for the kids.

We had a sack race. I used up yards and yards of fabric to make a few sacks. I needed to use up yards and yards of fabric.

Some of the kids tried to just walk in the sack. Miss K was trying.

Then we had an ice cube race. It was like the egg race but we used ice cubes which was fun on a hot day.

We had a three-legged race. It was fun to watch the kids work together.

The last thing that we did was a peanut scramble. I remember this from Sunday School picnics when I was growing up. I had a big bowl of peanuts in the shell and some individually wrapped candy. The kids each had a paper bag. I threw the peanuts and candy and they scrambled to get it.  My kids still have peanuts and candy.

It was a fun picnic. I enjoyed planning some fun games for the kids.


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