Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Magnets, and breakfast

We did a lesson on magnets, then walked around the house and made a list of things that we thought might be magnetic. We made our hypotheses, and then I handed out magnets to all the kids and we tested our guesses. Their biggest surprise was when I sent them out to see if the cars were magnetic (they are). They were shocked! It turned into an afternoon of exploration as they wandered around, testing everything with their magnets. Jeb accidentally discovered that the corners of our walls are magnetic, and even though the cymbal on their little drum set was not magnetic, as it slid off, it was pulled into the pole that holds the cymbal up, which caused squeals of delight.

 Jeb has been making his own oatmeal for a long time. I used to mix oats and toppings in little baggies for him and he could wake up, pick a baggie, use his own measuring cup for water, and push the '1' on the microwave. Then he started getting bored of that. So, we had a lesson in scrambled eggs. Since we're never lacking in eggs ;) His first day he made scrambled eggs with cheese and, of course, hot sauce. This kid eats so much hot sauce, he puts it on everything!

Since that first day, he's really figured his eggs out. And he has been experimenting with toppings. The other day he topped his eggs with yellow mustard and a generous drizzle of hot sauce. Blech! But he enjoyed every bite. We've also taught the kids how to use the toaster, and yesterday he toasted 2 slices of bread, then buttered them, doused it in hot sauce, and made himself a sandwich. Journey slathers her toast with peanut butter, but Vivi won't eat the bread we have because it has seeds in it. As part of her sensory issues, she is very picky about the textures of her food. But she still eats her weight in Brussels sprouts, so I'm not complaining!
Vivi had to get in on the breakfast making too on scrambled egg day. Journey chose to stick with peanut butter oatmeal. Journey loves peanut butter as much as Jeb loves hot sauce. Vivi has actually been helping scramble eggs for a year or so, she's my stove buddy. Any time there's something to be stirred, she's there. The excitement for her was when I let her crack the eggs herself, which I don't usually do when it's eggs for the whole family.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

School projects this week

This morning, Jeb finished the last read-it-yourself book for his 1st grade curriculum. He's also flying through math and spelling, so we'll be needing to order the 2nd grade curriculum in the next few weeks.

This video is a school project where he had to read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss (which he rolled his eyes at because he read that for the first time in the spring) and then write his own story inspired by the book.

The girls are doing really well too. They have workbooks, but at their age I don't think they should be doing too much sitting and working at a table, so they spend a lot of time with various developmental activities, and most of their day is made up of free play.

They learned the letter L last week, and now they can write all the letters in the word 'love', which was very exciting for them.

And yesterday, Vivi colored this picture, which doesn't seem like much for a 'typical' 4 1/2 year old, but with her fine motor and focus delays, this is huge. She was so careful to stay inside the lines, this is her best coloring by far :) Even though insurance discharged us from OT (they think that because she is school aged we should be sending her to a special needs preschool paid for by the state) we have been working hard and really seeing the benefits!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

We're still here!

We had been keeping all of our pictures on a computer that Eric built when he was in high school. Which was a long time ago. As it started to slow down and not like to work anymore and we were starting to talk about what to do, we got an email from our curriculum company with a discount on the homeschool version of Rosetta Stone language learning programs. Jeb says he wants to be a missionary when he grows up, so we got the Spanish program, figuring that would open a lot of doors to countries for him to visit if he wants to someday.

We ended up replacing the giant desktop computer with a laptop to make it easier to move around to better suit our homeschool needs, and we each have our own profile on the Spanish program, as well as our own accounts on the computer. We were able to customize the kids' accounts so that they can't get to the internet. Jeb's account has a shortcut to an educational game website, funbrain.com and when he clicks it, it takes him right there and he can find his own games.

Anyway, changing computers meant having to change how we upload and share pictures and it took awhile to find the time to figure it all out and get it up and running. But we're back and have lots to share again!

We all had the fall cold that went around, and Vivi and I had fall allergies that wiped us out for a couple of weeks, but other than that everything is going really well. We just have a few more weeks left of our enrichment hub classes, everyone has been really enjoying their classes. The girls are loving their dance classes, Jeb just started a gymnastics class for homeschooled kids that he loves, and Eric is enjoying teaching his college classes. Homeschooling is going great-Jeb has discovered the joy of reading for pure pleasure, which has been great to see. He is blowing through the books he is supposed to read for his 1st grade curriculum and can't wait to get to the next books. We also read a chapter book aloud to him every night, and he has really started getting into them and gets so excited when it's time to start a new one.

Here are just a couple of pictures from my tablet of what we have been up to in the last couple of weeks:

Vivi loves to cook, and we've started watching cooking shows together once in awhile. We watched an episode of the Pioneer Woman where she makes an ice cream pie, so we made one together as one of her educational activities for the day. It was delicious!


Our church passed out the Operation Christmas Child boxes, which has become an exciting tradition in our house! We each pick a box, and so far the kids want to make a box for a child of the same age and gender, and Eric and I do the teenagers. It is so fun to see how much fun stuff we can cram into each box!
 Journey went to a different office for a hearing test where we were told that her hearing test was fine and that there's no reason she can't hear every spoken sound. We know that is totally untrue because when her hearing aids are out, her speech changes, and she has a harder time understanding us. So we called my favorite audiologist and went in for a second opinion. The test on the left is her test without hearing aids. On the right is the same test, but with her hearing aids in. Amazing difference, right?? The audiologist wrote up a nice report for us to send to the insurance agency along with this proof of how well the hearing aids work for her in the hopes that they'll cover them.
 We got a new 'pet' with this fun ant farm, Jeb has been enthralled with them and watching them build their tunnels.
 A picture of Jeb reading yet another book. He only has a couple of books left in his first grade curriculum. He prefers to read books that look like 'big kid' books, mini chapter books or other paperbacks with lots of words on each page.
 Jeb has a creative expression 'journal' where he writes or draws about different topics. Sometimes it's about a place we've been, or observations, or an imaginative story. Last week one of his assignments was to make a candy graph of all the candy he got at the enrichment hub Halloween party. He is his father's son, he loves graphs and math facts :)
Our next science experiment, will it sink or will it float?

I'll be working on catching up on the last few weeks, stay tuned!