Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Puzzle Boy

This is what my little 2 (almost 3) year old does during learning time at the table.

He is SO into puzzles. Two 49 piece dinosaur puzzles in one sitting. His patience exceeds my own.

We all cheer around the table when he finishes one. He is so proud of himself and I am right there with him, so proud.

Thanks for the puzzle memories little man. I'll keep them with me forever. Looking forward to nights of hot cocoa and great conversations over a one thousand piece....it won't be long at this rate.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our New Learning Year

Wow, has it really been 24 days since my last post!

We are starting week four of our new learning year. It has flown by so fast. We have a new team working with Isaac, a good fit this time. So grateful for this season of ease in that area.

Ease is a blessing, my friends....one I am learning not to overlook or expect but be thankful for and appreciate. What a gift when something is EASY.

I am still not totally settled with our routine and learning times but getting closer. This year I am using my version of Workboxes. (if you google it you will get more info then you care for :) They have proven to be very helpful for my middle guy and an accountability for my big girl. I have adapted the idea to better fit our needs and space. I use a Work-file-box with twelve file folders. Each folder has a velcro number on it that moves to the front outside of the box when completed. How ever many blanks are on the front of the box indicate the number of tasks that day. I break Isaac's down into very small junks and am finding that very helpful for us both. He knows up front how much he has to do and where to go next if I am with Eli or Journey. It is building a level of independence that is very good for him.

Eli's workbox using big truck numbers and the numbers written on the outside of the box so he can match them up.

This is my box with all the the things I need with me for each child. Sorry it's sideways no matter what I did  it was uploaded this way. I love the top portion that holds different supplies that I and each child needs. No more "Where's my pencil?" or "I need glue!". They each have scissors, glue, color pencils etc in their bin. It really has produced more peaceful  learning.

Less sharing during school in my house equals less chaos. Though I want my children to learn to share, in this setting it simply works better to keep our focus on one skill at a time. I love that these boxes are mobile. We don't always do our work at the table. We are sometimes on the floor with our lap boards. Sometimes we are on a bed, downstairs, reviewing concepts while bouncing on an exercise ball....even been known to crash into the couch head first as we discuss something. We move when we learn, we eat crunchy food when we learn, we have even been known to toss 5 pound workout balls back and forth for skip counting. All in a days learning at our house. These boxes go where ever we do so we don't need to stop in order to find the things we need.

This is Journey's workbox. She is into blue right now. Made me so happy to put this together for her.

I reload these the night before or in the morning. It only takes a few minutes because I keep the next page in folders at the back of the workbox.

I am still up in arms about Mystery of History I. I bought it but am wondering if Ambleside Online might be a better fit for history. Believe it or not as long as I am reading a story aloud to Isaac he will sit so still. He is fascinated by stories. Over the past few years we have gotten away from narration and more simple natural learning due to the obstacles we faced in daily life. Workbooks became such a blessing during that time. Anyway, all just musings and thoughts for another post.

Links to where I printed my workbox grid and numbers. Enjoy!
Blue Numbers
Construction Numbers and Blank Grid (her site has other creative numbers as well)
Confessions of a Homeschooler is where I found other workbox material and some fun stuff for Eli to enjoy this learning year.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

8 Years Old

Isaac turned 8 years old on August 13th.

We went to the Island to celebrate with family at his request.

He loves ice cream, his cousins and hunting for bugs.

Auntie Patty scored by getting him a safari vest complete with binoculars, compass, lantern and Morse code flashlight. He would have slept in it if I let him.

Handsome happy boy.

We spent the day at the beach and park. Hanging, eating, flying kites and checking out the sand sculpture contest. He had a blast.

Being a goof with his cousins. Love all these little people.

Isaac has grown SO much in the last year.

 He is the bravest boy I know. I couldn't be more proud of him.
He is a treasure and a true blessing to our family.