Archive | September 2016

Contentment

Contentment. A state of peaceful happiness.

What does contentment look like? For me, it’s me and my husband sitting outside on a cool autumn evening, coffee in hand, chatting about everything and nothing , watching the sun set and the stars come out, while Peanut plays in the big back yard. I know it’s only a dream right now, since the Caribbean doesn’t do cool, doesn’t do autumn. And we don’t have two chairs (I love those wooden Adirondack chairs). And we don’t have a big back yard for Peanut to play in.

So in reality, what is contentment look like right now? It’s taking a starlight walk in the savanna while Peanut runs around. It’s driving around without a set destination, just enjoying the ride. It’s making stops along the way and trying new things. It’s the feeling I get when my husband wraps his strong arms around me.

It’s taking time to enjoy those simple pleasures that many overlook or take for granted. A good meal that was lovingly made. A good book, a dog at my feet, a cat curled up on my lap. Rainy days. Closing my eyes and feeling the wind play with my hair and listening to the sounds around me. It’s seeing flowers bloom that I once planted in the ground as seeds. It’s weeding a thriving garden. It’s just being one with the moment.

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To boldly go and learn…

Captain’s homeschool log, stardate 201609.22.

Our ongoing mission to explore new worlds, new civilizations, to boldly go and learn what we have never known before.

This past month ensign Peanut has discovered the elusive addition theory and has begun to understand the concept of adding numbers together. He also has visited the science bay and explored the five senses. Not to rest on his laurels, he then proceeded to linguistics where he discovered what the strange hieroglyphics mean, translating such words as mom, dad, mad, sad, bad, can, ran, man, nan, and has begun to read them on sight with ease.

For recreation he enjoys intellectual puzzles like MiniLuk, jigsaw puzzles, and Morphun building blocks. He has also spent time in the fine arts lab where he creates his colored pencil, crayon, and painted masterpieces.

Ensign Peanut also spent time in cartography where he studied the plains, valleys, mountains, hills, deserts, and tundra.

We are now going to enjoy some shore leave, but we should be resuming our heading in 10 days. Captain out.

What a great first month of Kindergarten!

We started our Kindergarten homeschool year on August 1st. 4 whole weeks have gone by, and it’s been fun, frustrating, exciting, but most of all, it’s been a nice start to the year.

Even in four short weeks, our school day has changed a lot since the first day. The key is to be adaptable, open to change, and to know when to put things aside for a while, or to add something new.

What did our first week look like? Well, we use the workbox system, and it’s definitely keeping both me and Peanut on track. So our first week looked like this:

  1. Spelling You See A (1pg)
  2. a puzzle to put together or MiniLuk game
  3. The Reading Lesson (2pgs)
  4. A sticker activity book (1 spread)
  5. Beginning Geography (1 pg) or Getty Dubay Italic Handwriting (2pgs)
  6. Kumon Amazing Mazes and I Can Cut (1 pg each)
  7. Math U See (2-4 pages)
  8. Oodles of Doodles
  9. Developing the Early Learner (2pgs)
  10. Things to Find and Color (1 spread)
  11. Science experiment every Thursday
  12. Morphun blocks

Fast forward four weeks later, and it’s a different beast all together now:

  1. Handwriting practice – hooked on phonics, Getty Dubay, Instant Alphabet, and  free worksheets found online. Use large whiteboard, small chalkboard, paper, etc. get the variety of muscles working. Work on fine motor muscles.
  2. Miniluk or a puzzle. We have shelved the Geopuzzles for a while – too many small pieces that don’t fit well for tiny hands. we need to find more large pieced 50+ piece puzzles for small motor practice.
  3. Reading/spelling: We do a combination of The Reading Lesson and Alphabetti reading, we use letter tiles to spell the words we are reading. so far it’s working well. Dropped Spelling you See for a while. Will pull it out again in a few months. Hard to spell in the book if you can’t write yet!
  4. A sticker activity book (1 spread)
  5. Beginning Geography (1pg)(will soon be dropping this, the work is getting above his ability), Alphabetti phonics, or Getty Dubay handwriting (1 pg)
  6. Kumon Mazes and Cutting practice
  7. Math U See (2-5 pgs)
  8. Oodles of Doodles, Things to Find and Color, etc. (2 spreads)
  9. Developing the Early Learner (1pg)
  10. Complete Curriculum Science (mon-wed), Science with Tots Thursday (peanut loves science and was begging for more. I bought CCSK for $12 online)
  11. Morphun blocks

So what have we learned this month? So much:

  • Reading: Peanut can now read the words cat, hat, sat, mat, at.
  • Spelling: Peanut can spell using tiles the words at, cat, hat, sat, mat, fat, bat, pat, rat
  • Math: Peanut is beginning to understand the concept of zero in math. He has done 7 weeks worth of math in 4 weeks. Either I need to slow him down or consider supplementing later with Mathematical Reasoning or Math Mammoth when he finishes Primer.
  • Handwriting: Peanut is starting to hold a pencil better, but still not really ready for handwriting yet. His grip is still about 2-3 yrs behind. With care, he sometimes can write a letter on paper, but it’s not consistent. He doesn’t even draw yet, just scribbles, but his imagination is vivid and will explain what he’s ‘drawing’. I’m going to have him work on the whiteboard or chalkboard instead for a while.
  • Fine M0tor: he’s very good at mazes when he takes his time. Peanut actually enjoys making errors on purpose! haha
  • Fine Motor: Peanut’s cutting skills still needs work. I may try simpler cutting exercises like cutting straws (and having him string them as necklaces), cutting playdough, thin strips of paper, etc.
  • Geography: He knows the concept of up and down, and is starting to know left and right.
  • Art/Fine Motor: He absolutely loves sticker activity books, especially the construction and emergency vehicle ones.
  • Thinking Skills: Developing the Early Learner is a hit or miss. It has some exercises we can’t do because they need special items (ie blocks, dolls, etc), but what we have done, he’s done well at, like what belongs, mazes, what came first, etc. With our Doodle Dollars, I probably will get the Three Little Piggies game, or Pajaggle.
  • Science: Science, oh how he loves science. Peanut has such fun with the experiments on Thursday. We also supplimented with CCSK, it has 130 lessons, but we’re probably going to do 120 or so. Enough for 3 days a week! So far he’s understood the concept of loud and quiet, planting seeds, we’ve done a volcano, what mixing 2 colors do, etc.
  • STEM: Morphun. Wow! Peanut loves these. It’s great for fine motor skills, and I really want to get him some Lego to suppliment this for non-school use. He absolutely loves building things.

So August brought a lot to the table. Lots of learning, playing, fun. A death in the family brought lots of tears, and honestly it hit me much harder than it should have. My 5oth birthday went by with a quiet solitude, then a cheesecake and bottle of wine (no corkscrew, so it’s waiting in the fridge till this weekend, haha). We may go to Denny’s tonight or tomorrow, but to be honest, right now I could go for a burger king burger! What does that say about me? hehehe. Anyways, on to September!