Friday, July 18, 2008

And One More

Unedited (because I think their spellings are cute). By Pepper.

Hi! I'm Spider and this is My Adventure.

Last night I found an open window with no sceen so I jumped out. After I got out I started to wander around. First I explored the woods and then I went to the front yard. I was walking along then I saw catnip and I started to walk towards it. I was trotting across the lawn when suddenly I heard Dad calling my name. I ignored him. But then I remembered: the love, my food, Pepper's Bed. And I went to the door and said, "meow."

More Adventures of Spider

Yeah, I promised I'd post these after we edited them. Well, we never edited them, so except for spelling and punctuation, here is the raw adventure.

By Rose Bud

Spider's Great Adventure

Hello, my name is Spider and I'm a black cat. I'm going to tell you about my adventure last night. I was walking through the laundry room around 5:00 and smelled fresh air. It smelled too fresh to be a screen, so I went to investigate. Guess what? The window was open! Tonight I would escape. I would have to act casual so no one would guess. It was hard, but I finally made it to the kids' bedtime. I went to sleep in Pepper's bunkbed. Suddenly, I woke up. It was already midnight so I had to hurry downstairs to the window. I jumped on the washer and out the window. I was free! Free from that annoying little cat they got. I hate him! He follows me around and bats my tail. I walked off into the night. I walked down the trail into the woods. As I walked past the creek, I realized I was thirsty, so I stopped to get a drink. Blehh! That water tasted really bad. I kept walking and then I smelled chicken. Chicken is third on my list of favorites. First venison, then beef and then chicken. I sniffed around but no signs of chicken. Who knew these people had chickens? I had no idea. I walked past that green building and suddenly I smelled the most tasty, delicious smell ever. Catnip. There was a huge clump of it. Yummy! I had just started to feast when: drip, drop, right on my back. I looked around for shelter and saw the kids' playhouse. I ran over there to check it out. It looked great. A roof on top and a huge litter box underneath! I settled down to wait till the rain was over. Somehow, I fell asleep and when I woke up, it was morning. I had to get back to the catnip patch. I was trotting across the lawn when suddenly I heard Dad calling my name. I ignored him. I wanted that catnip! Then I remembered the love, the food, Pepper's bed. So I ran to the door and said, "Meow, Mrrrrrrooooowwwwwww!" They heard me and I got let inside right away. I went to my food and ate, then I drank. I ran upstairs and jumped in Pepper's bed. Soon I fell fast asleep. My adventure was fun, but I'm glad to be home.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thinking Out Loud About This Fall's Plan...

I'm feeling led to get rid of some of my books. I buy things because other people rave about them and then we never use them. I'm trying to scrape up the courage to get rid of some and not regret it. I'm pretty certain of our style by now (although I can always justify keeping things because "maybe the boys will use this when they get older!"). At least I'm fairly certain what I do and don't like. I am finding that the girls (Pepper and Daisy) enjoy many different things than Rose Bud did, and vice versa.

Anyway, I thought I'd ponder what I want to have them do this fall.

For sure:

Rose Bud in public school 7th grade

Banana Boy in public school K, half day


Sunshine in Christian preschool two mornings a week. He has to be potty-trained. He's also SO distractable. I'm on the fence as to whether preschool will help him to focus or whether he's just not ready and will be a distraction to the rest of the class. He was in an informal preschool class for an hour or so a day at the orphanage, so maybe....


Singapore Math 4 A & B. She is finishing up 3B this summer and should be ready for 4 by fall.

Rod & Staff English 3. We'll take the rest of next year to go through this book (I think we're on chapter 3 or 4) and then we'll move into R & S English 5 (skipping 4).

Sonlight LA 3 Advanced (2004 version) Probably illegal, but I'm going to reuse the sheets I had from Rose Bud. I SO loved this program and they've revised it so it is much less meaty. Rose Bud learned SOOO much from this about grammar and good writing (and so did I!) and I really want Daisy to benefit from it, too. So I'm retyping the worksheets from the answer keys that I have.

Trail Guide to U.S. Geography Finish our study of the 50 states and begin the presidents. I think I'll just make up some biography sheets for them to fill out about each president.

American History Not sure if I'm going to follow the Winter Promise American Story I guide that I bought, or continue to strike out on my own. I'm finding that I'm not that fond of The American Story BOOK, although it is used as a spine in WP AS I.

Sequential Spelling We are loving this and it is perfect for Daisy. Her spelling has really improved with this method.

Piano lessons


Bible Not sure what yet


Singapore Math 2 A & B

R & S English 2 (we're in chapter 2 of this now)

Trail Guide to U.S. Geography (see above)

American History (see above)

Explode the Code All my kids work through this when they are first learning to read. She burned out on it at the beginning of first grade, but I'm going to have her pick up where she left off and keep working through it. She's such a good speller, I think if I have her work through these books, up to book 6, we might be able to hold off on a spelling program for quite a while.


Bible Not sure what yet

Things I'd love to work in somehow:

Latin for Children or Spanish of some sort

Science --aack! I am such a science loser. I totally get that whole, "You can do science informally when they're little" thing, but I still feel like we should work through a program. Science programs are something I could so sell, I think! I have NEVER completed a science program with any kid! I take that back. Rose Bud worked through most of Christian Kids Explore Biology. Of course, we didn't do most of the projects (she hates projects) none of the notebooking (she hates notebooking) and none of the vocabulary (she hates vocabulary). I might just sent them all to public school for 6th grade. The sixth grade science teacher is fabulous and did a great job. Rose Bud loved it! This is the mark of a good teacher: She said to me one time, "Each time I get ready to start a new unit, I think, 'Oh, this is my favorite unit to teach!' but then when the next one comes along, I like that one even better!"

A Child's Geography Another program I just bought that looks so good. We'll see if we get around to this.

Things we should do but never will:

Music study

Nature walks & a nature notebook

More art


Banana Boy:

I think I'm going to aim low, since he'll be doing PS Kindergarten. I'm going to shoot for Bible with him and some math. I'd love it if he could start listening to some chapter books read aloud. He's not very auditory, except with music.

Piano Lessons


Sunshine's Preschool Schedule, Week 2

Literature: Good Night, Moon

Nursery Rhyme: Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat

Bible Reading: Psalm 8: 1-9

Nature Study: Flower walk

Puppets: Sock Puppets

Indoor Quiet Game: Patty Cake

Indoor Active Game: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Outdoor Game: Somersaults

Fine Motor: Write with chalk

Musical Instruments: Snake Slither

Arts & Crafts: Sidewalk chalk drawings

Shape: Square

Spider's Great Escape

So it was hot in the house last night AND it rained, so dh opened a window in the laundry room which is under our porch. ie: no rain could come in that window. However, he mistakenly opened the window without a screen. This morning, he looked out the window and saw a cat who looked remarkably like our cat, Spider, trotting across the lawn. Mr. GT called out to him, but the cat ignored him. Hmmm. Not our cat, then. Still suspicious, Mr. GT called once more. Still no response. However, 5 minutes later, there was a meow at the door and here was Spider, begging to come in. He's not normally an outdoor cat, so this was a great adventure for him.

I heard the whole story before the kids got up and it immediately struck me as a perfect chance to get them writing! As soon as everyone was out of bed, I relayed the tale and assigned them an essay, from Spider's perspective, on his adventure. The only guidelines were that it had to begin with him going out the laundry room window and contain these words near the end: "I was trotting across the lawn, when suddenly I heard Dad call my name. I ignored him. But then I remembered: the love, my food, Pepper's bed. And I went to the door and said, 'Meow.'"

As we edit them, I'll be typing them up and posting them here. So far, they're really cute.

Since he won't be doing any editing (at 5, getting a creative story onto paper at all is an accomplishment) here is Banana Boy's. He dictated his story to me and I wrote it down. He needed a little help getting started and was greatly assisted by the prop of Spider joining us for the writing session. He had Spider whisper to him what had happened.

Spider jumped out the window. He went on a trip. He went under the laundry hanger thing. He went in the front yard. He ate kitten chow. He saw his dad. He ignored his dad. He went in the forest. A bunny rabbit was there. He sniffed the bunny rabbit. The bunny hopped away and Spider tried to catch the bunny rabbit. He wanted to go home so he went home. He snuggled his dad and his Banana Boy.