Work and Play 9/5

Photo of The Week

Kylee delivered a tiny secret message this week.


I know it was Labor Day on Monday, but Tim was home working on around the house projects (almost finished our new closet!) and unless we have a special event it is much easier for Caleb if we stick to the routine.  And the routine says Monday is a school day so school we did!  Any type of puzzle makes a very nice starter work as kids transition back into the schoolroom for a new week.  Oftentimes if they are struggling to find something to get started with, especially early in the day or early in the week, I will suggest a puzzle that is in a good difficulty range for them.

More Egyptian Numerals.  Aidan is still working on large numbers and Caleb has moved onto addition.  Caleb is moving more quickly than Aidan probably because I still haven't decided what to do with him for math this year.  Back to Montessori scope and sequence or switch to Math U See or something else?  As long as he is keeping busy, I am putting that decision off some more.

For those who have the Waseca stencils, does anyone else's child have trouble orienting the continent correctly?  Kylee will often flip a stencil upside down and I'm wondering if I should put a dot on the frontside of the stencil or something as a control of error.  Or maybe I should just wait it out and keep encouraging her to look carefully as she is laying out the pieces (which is what I've done so far)?

Monday is language lessons.  Kylee is working with diagramming phrases with the grammar symbols, the boys are working on collective nouns.  I use my little whiteboard often when giving lessons.  Plus side, it saves paper...down side, I can't always use the correct colors for things.


Playing the knock-knock game to review letters we did last spring with Logan.  Clearly I should have done more review work or kept up with this over the summer as he had forgotten many of them.  I STILL don't know if he is left or right handed.  Fork and spoon- always right.  Hand him a pencil- always right.  EVERYTHING ELSE, he gravitates left.  I have a hard time getting him to trace the sandpaper letters with his right hand and you can see when he does a puzzle (see Monday) or transfer work (squeezing the dropper bottle in the next picture) he always uses his left.

Reviewing compound words.  One characteristic of development to note here is that he skipped the picture cards (his choice).  He knows what all the words are/mean so he really didn't need the pictures to create the new words.

Mesozoic Era.  Is there anything more fun than dinosaurs for a kid?  As a supplement this week, I brought out all of our dinosaur books.  We didn't have as many as I remembered so I might need to keep an eye out at thrift stores and the likes for some new ones.  Any reader favorites I should look for?  The second picture is just me looking over to discover Lucie thought she didn't need to wear pants anymore.  We are real classy here that way....

I mentioned yesterday I don't really have a *plan* for Math with Caleb yet.  I'm considering letting him go with Khan academy and seeing what he does (along with continuing to work with materials sometimes).  This seems scary and very unschoolerish, which is not at all my style but he also would probably exceed my expectations significantly!

Playing with electricity and circuits.  We aren't doing anything with this topic right now, but it stays on our shelf in the event someone wants to take it out.

If you see the "How Things Work" game around somewhere, you might want to grab it.  We found ours brand new, never opened at a thrift store and it is full of science facts and information.  We have never played the harder levels, but those include science experiments as well.  On our shelves as a choice work.



Started reviewing classification today, including various levels of invertebrate sorting and matching.


Last week Lucie was into the color tablets, this week it is puzzles.  May we all survive her toddlerness....


We received our fall Waseca shipment on Wednesday afternoon, so first up Thursday was testing out a few new things.  Encouraging Caleb to write more, and the cursive writing boards were a big hit. We also purchased the Coral Reef Mat.  The mat actually came with a mini-album of 9 lessons that with practice, follow up, etc. could definitely be used to focus a hands-on/research unit on the coral reef for an entire family (this was not listed on the product page so it was a fun surprise).  I think it could stand-alone cover a semester at least, doing science 1-2x/week or a year with supplementation with some online activities (think the backbone of an in depth unit study).   Something to think about if you tend to struggle with science and want a starting point for something you can jump into with the whole family.  It was a bit of a hefty price at $155, but there is nothing consumable and if you are buying to replace many levels of science for multiple students this might not be as much of an increase as it seems.  (It is also something that you could almost certainly resell for a good price at a curriculum swap or online if you didn't want to keep it!) I get no kick back from Waseca for this, but I hear a lot of, "Montessori seems like a great idea, but I just couldn't do it because of xxxxxxxx".  Really, there are ways to incorporate these sorts of lessons and materials within the frame of your family's needs and constraints.  Logan is matching the wooden animals to the mat, not one of the recommended activities but still a good one for younger ones.


Aidan started his scripture memorization flip file last year (did I ever talk about it?), and is continuing to add to his little mini-appologetics dictionary with scriptures referenced in the Dynamic Catholic program. He has reached the age where he realizes what I'm doing with all of these pictures I take during school and feels the need to be all posed and dramatic now.  Who encouraged the drama king to be in a play?

Caleb discovered the science videos on Khan and is watching a 15 minute video on atoms, protons, neutrons, electrons, and soaking it all in.  At the end he said, "That was really confusing.  How do I watch the next one?"  Such a great learner this second son of mine.  No knowledge is ever enough.


This Friday is Pizza Farm with friends for supper and I'm not sure what else during the day.  Probably a park visit somewhere if the weather is nice since we have been home all week as none of our outside activities have started up yet.  The boys start soccer (just 6 weeks of Park Rec) Saturday and they are excited for that.  Otherwise should be a quiet weekend.

See you Monday!

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