Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Homeschool at the Laundromat!

Hey, today we did homeschooling at the laundromat!


(ok, not thrilled with having to go there.... but that is a huge long vent)


The kids were actually pretty great - we got the laundry in the machines and going, then did our homeschooling (except our music practice), and read some books.   When the laundry was done, Delta helped sort (like he generally does) and found matching socks.   Oh, they loved watching the laundry in the dryer!   They had a ball - I was wiped out.


oh well, it was efficient anyway....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Just thought I'd mention that Mike has been doing some German with them... And today we listened to a kids story in German (with a book, a noise to turn the page....) It is one designed for kids learning the language. It was pretty good - he/we had the jist of the story at least....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Play In

Everything is still going good.  Just keep doing the same stuff.


Delta had a suzuki "Play-in" for starting the year.   All the violin players were on the stage (except the brand new beginners) - and they would announce a song, and those that could play it would play it, and the rest would watch.    they would change what instructor was leading it, and some of them would have them do something fun - like play the song with the bow backwards, or have the ones that can't play it stamp out the beat....


Delta and some others of his class were told they could play the twinkle patterns on an open E string, which he did.   ON a few of the patterns, he did the patterns very well.   On a couple, he didn't really, because (I was watching), he was watching the kid next to him and trying to do the fingerings!   Anyway, with that number of violins playing, you couldn't overly hear the mistakes.


The other funny thing, was Delta decided to play some of the other songs (fortunatly the easier ones, with most of the violins playing...)   Not sure how he decided, although if MOST of the kids were sitting,  he sat too....  if most were playing, he was more likely to try to play.


He really enjoyed it.


Tonight we watched a violin concert on TV (with full orchestra, and at times dancers etc - but it was with a main violinist whose name I've already forgotten.)   Delta loved it!

Monday, September 8, 2008

First Violin class this year

Things are still going pretty good.  I do want to add in another subject soon (just doing the basics but getting into the routine....)


Delta had his first Violin lesson for the year.... it went pretty well.   I don't think we lost a whole lot, although the teacher was basically just doing basics.   We need to fix up his bow hold a bit (which I had known...).   Looking forward to seeing how the group class will work - as it will be quite a wide range of skill levels in the Continuing class....


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Day

Just started the year today.   Did the schedule I'd made up, but not everything on it.  I decided ahead of time to start with a few topics, and add more.  (I tried 1 day on the schedule in the summer as a trial, and have done some non-scheduled stuff in the spring.)   As we are doing Kindergarten, it was light.


Delta and Echo played with Lego in the morning (they got stuff given to them by my sister when she visited this weekend...) - while I fed the baby.   Then we did a shortened devotional, which included reading from the Book of Mormon (which I had tried the 1 day in the summer), and scripture memorization, and other stuff.    Then they practiced the violin.   They did their reading instruction.   Then Delta  had his first lesson from me on the piano and Echo played a bit on it.  


Later we went for a picnic lunch - a "not back to school" picnic in the park by a local homeschooling group.


Overall, it went fantastic!   Tomorrow we do "Day 2" of our 2 day schedule.... Math instead of reading.   Next week, I'll add in the handwriting, and/or the Life Skills / Handicraft into the schedule.   Once I've decided on our next literature selection (have already read a few), I'll add in that... 


With the reading, Echo was trying to guess a bit much.  (we took a break for a couple of weeks) - so I may have to back up on the sentences and practice words for a bit.     For Delta, I tried to find out where he was comfortable on the letter combinations - and start about there - but it was a bit hard for him.... so we backed up a bit - and I was pleased.   He was reading the words quite easily, and was pleased with himself.


He is excellent with his new lego - very good at making stuff to the directions, and ALSO not bad at making stuff himself....


Also, on the way back from the picnic, we heard Delta and Echo playing a game they made up in the back seat - and I'm impressed.... They both had 2 different "Arthur" books.... and they were playing "go fish" with the characters.    So, Delta would be on a page in his book, and say "Do you have a D.W."?, and if she didn't, she would say "go fish".  One of them would then turn the page, I think.   Not sure if there is any way to win or anything - but it was very imaginative!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Free Piano

Well, it has been a pretty busy week. We got a free piano!, so I'm going to be able to teach them piano. Mike had his week off, and wanted to do vacation type stuff.... We went to Tinkertown (an amusement park for young kids) and had a hoot. It was also Family Fun Day at "Peak of the Market" so we did that as well. There was a petting zoo at it, and pony rides. It was also to help Child Find - and they had free child id'ing so we did that. The next day our piano arrived - we had to re-arrange the living room for that. We also did the zoo again.

Next week, school officially starts around here, and I am going to start using the schedule I worked out. Delta has asked a couple of times about Kindergarten.... and I don't know how to answer him. I'd already talked to him about him staying home - and he had wanted to - but now he is saying he wants to go to Kindergarten. The homeschooling group around here is having a "not-back-to-school picnic", so I hope that helps a bit.

I'm going to have to be a little hard on Mike I think - for this to work, I need to get the kids in a routine, and Mike doesn't really like routines. When he is off, the kids end up staying up later and later as we go our and drive around, etc. Even if Delta was going to regular school I'd have to nip that in the bud - but it'll be harder with the flexibility homeschooling allows to say, no, they need to be in bed.....

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Had a good day - Delta got his Otter level in swimming. (yeay!) In the afternoon, we went to the Forest again, and collected a few flowers and some more leaves. The kids really enjoyed watching the grasshoppers as well.

Not much else I guess....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Raining at the Zoo!

Yesterday we had a great time....

The family (ie, Mike, the kids, and I) went to the zoo. Well, after we had been there a while, it started to rain lightly. We continued on a little bit, but then in started to rain a bit harder. So we worked our way (under trees) back to a shelter. It was kind of funny, because across from where we were sitting under a shelter, all the kangeroos in their fenced area where standing under a similar shelter.

So, we kept asking our kids to go out and see if it was still raining (it obviously was) - and basically encouraged Delta and Echo to go play in the rain for a bit. They loved it. So that was great, but then it was getting a bit colder and raining harder. I would have had us walk back to the car, except that poor Foxtrot would have gotten soaked too, even under a blanket. Mike took off the kids shirts, and dried them off with the 2 blankets I keep beside Foxtrot's head (I have a third that goes on her...). and fashioned the little blankets into a wrap-shirt type thing, so that made them warmer. (Mike had a plan before sending them out in the rain.) So we sit longer, and the rain is starting to slow down a bit.... when along comes a zoo person driving the covered tour trolley thingie. She asks if we want a ride to the gate (that is what they are doing) - so we get on. Rain still got on us some, but not TOO bad. It was cool, because she was driving around looking for more people, so we got to see a fair bit off the zoo at quick speed - all for free! Back at the gate, Mike takes the kids into the bathroom and puts the blow drier on them for a moment or two - then he goes and gets the van. We keep spare clothes in the car, so we had them change, and it was all good. (mind you, I was cold for a while, but oh well.)

The kids thought it was great! It is still raining this morning, and Delta wants to go play in the rain again!

I know it is kind of funny, but I kind of have a list of things I would like them to get to do this summer (it is in my head) - and playing outside in the rain is on my list

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Simon Says

Today was swim lessons - I was kind of mad because they swapped teachers today from yesterday because one was sick.... and so this teacher let him have a life belt. (He is the smallest one in the class so they don't realize he is close to passing it....) - so it was pretty much a wasted class as all he needs to do is pass the unassisted floats when tested. The deck supervisor did get him out of it with about 5 minutes left.... and I think she watched him float again - but he didn't hold it good like he did yesterday. sigh.

In the afternoon we went to the park. We fed the ducks and watched them for a while, and then went for a bit of a walk. Just off the paved path near the duck pond, there was a small wooded area - and the brave mom that I am, I let them play in it (there were little pathways) as long as they stayed together, and checked on me occasionally and come when called. They did great, and had a fantastic time. I was pretty darned nervous.

Oh, and before we did that, we had another violin practice. I'm trying to get them in every day. I've been thinking that the whole thing just hasn't been quite what I'd expected - definately a bit different from when my sister took Suzuki 43 years ago! Mainly, I figure it should have been more fun, and moved faster. I'm wondering if we have the best instructor match for Delta. Anyway today I approached the practice by getting out both our violins, and suggesting playing Simon Says. Delta wasn't going to, but I said, well I need to practice, and got ready to start, and Delta grabbed his violin and did a bow. So we did a little simon says, and then he decided he was the teacher and played a pattern, then said "your turn". We did that for quite a while - and the main thing is that he was enjoying it. His technique wasn't great - but hey, he was playing and right now I think that was more important. Then later I was telling Mike about the practice, and Delta went and got his violin and played a bit for him. So I started showing him how to play a bit of Twinkle - and he was really thrilled.

I was figuring all along, well he is pretty much in the same level as the rest of his group class........ but I'm thinking now - most of his group class had the same individual teacher as Delta - and the OTHER group class was further ahead most of the way..... the reasoning given for that was that the other group class was mostly older, but now I'm wondering if the individual instructor is just a little to strict on technique so that the kids are held back from playing as she gets them doing everything just right. I don't want the love of the violin taken away from Delta, which was happening. Big problem - his teacher is now the director of the program, so I don't even know how to talk to someone about if another teacher would be better....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Still going great


we went out the other night to a provincial park, and we had a campfire etc.  We stayed and looked at the stars, and located a planet too

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tentative schedule

Today went pretty good.  I have figured out a tentative schedule for the fall for how each day will go, and gave it a try today.  Although I had pretty short lesson periods scheduled, I will have to make them shorter I'm sure.


We started reading the Book of Mormon - we aren't doing the Book of Mormon Stories, we are reading straight from it.  However, I'm using suggested selections that are kind of the stories in the Book of Mormon.  Delta seemed interested, and listened well.  Echo wandered around.  I'd like her to sit an listen too, but will have to work on that I guess.   We also did the Scripture mastery practice too.


We did violin practice - Delta didn't really want to, but I went to some very basic stuff. 


Then I read them a fun book, one of there regular ones while I fed Foxtrot.  On one story I had Delta read a page, and I read the next, etc.


We did their sentences.   I also did some work with Delta on his handwriting.  I'm using a new program for that.  I don't know, he had done fairly well when I had him tracing, it is a lot harder to actually write without tracing.   I'm wondering if maybe I should alternate learning how to properly write a letter with tracing stuff that is interesting to write....  will have to think on it a bit.


In the afternoon, I took them, as well as Bravo and Zulu to the zoo.  Boy, Bravo sure does the zoo at a different speed then our family does!


This evening,  had introduced them to the piano method book that I'm using to teach them the organ.  (we don't have a piano...)  I'd use an organ method book - but I can't find any for kids - in fact I can't find any other than what I have already.   The one I have for piano is GREAT.   There are even some videos online to help the teachers some (which is great as I hardly know what I'm doing) - and it is designed for the young beginner.  It has cool songs, and teaches stuff slowly while still learning a lot.   I think I'll be able to do it for a number of levels.   Im not sure I'm good enough to play the teacher parts on all the duets - and darned if I can figure out how to fit 2 people on the bench....


I didn't do the handicraft item as I didn't have much in mind, and I didn't read the Beatrix Potter story I was going to because Delta wanted to listen to all the piano songs on the CD.   I won't be able to get everything done on the schedule every day right now because of swim lessons in the middle of the day, and Foxtrot still takes out a lot of time in the day.   But hopefully I'll be able to tweak things.   It is kind of hard now because I need to do everything with them.


My schedule has 2 different days, and I'll alternate between them.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Well, yesterday was a rainy day - so we didn't go again.   Bravo called an invited the kids to visit and play with Zulu - so I took the day and rearranged their room.  Hopefully it will be easier for them to clean it.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Forest

So today I took them to babysitting at the Y - and then we went for a walk in the forest. I've nver been in there before, it is really nice! We kept to a paved trail because I had the stroller, but it was a good 1.5km. I put bug spray on us (except the baby) - but it wasn't necessary, as there were no mosquitos. (which is funny because the trail we were on is named mosquito in the Cree language....) There were a lot of dragon flies there though - I think the city has put them there. So they eat mosquitos.

The kids really enjoyed it, and want to go tomorrow. I think we will - I might pack a picnic lunch, bring water, and maybe my nature notebook to draw in - and a book to collect a few leaves and flowers in.....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Berry Picking

Today was berry picking day! We drove to a U-pick place.

The kids loved running around the strawberry plants, and did a great job picking. They ate a few, but they mostly picked pretty hard. We drove to a different place for raspberries. Delta didn't like picking the raspberries because some of the plants were prickly, and he didn't seem to like the taste much either. Echo had a little pail for the raspberries, and was picking quite a way down the row from me. She would get 2 or 3 in the pail and then run to empty it into my big pail. LOL. I don't know if she ate a bunch of those or not.

While picking the strawberries, Delta asked me what "that" was - pointing at a strawberry plant leaf. I told him it was a strawberry plant, but he said "no - this" I did manage to explain that it was the same plant that the strawberries were growing on.

We also bought some fresh peas - and I had the pleasure of showing Echo the treasure inside! She loved it and ate a bunch. Mike had shown Delta, and he ate some too. (Mike has shown it to him before, in a snow-pea, but the regular peas are much bigger of course.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beach - well sort-of

Well, today we spent some of the time at the park - with the kids just playing in the sand and the grass (there was an area for beach-volley-ball - hence the sand....).   They spent a lot of time poaking around a gopher-hole.  we also got to see the gophers (from a different hole).


we also bought a cheap glockenspeil (a type of xylophone) and some kazoo's.   They loved both of them!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

more this and that

Delta is doing really well, getting a bit smoother.  His sentences are getting harder, but he is working out most of the words on his own.


Echo is also doing well, she has read the first 3 sentences.


My only real concern is that Delta doesn't want to review, he wants to continue further each time.  Mind you, it doesn't seem to be a big problem at this point.


We are also reading more of the Beatrix Potter books.   I want to get going on the writing program, but I need to cut the cards and laminate them....  and either scan the master practice pages I need now, or make my own.  sigh


Friday, July 18, 2008

Delta doing great


Well, last night, we pressed Delta's leaves - they are now sitting between some encyclopedias


Echo is basically finished the letter sounds that are before the sentences in our program.  I'll probably keep her doing review for a bit though.   Delta is onto letter combinations - and his reading seems to have suddenly improved.  He still has to sit and figure a lot of words out, but it is going a LOT faster - he seems to have the blending concept figured out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


[asked about what swim level the kids are in]

Delta is in Otters even though he isn't 5 yet - the non-parented lil'dippers and parented lil'dippers don't have a summer class at the same time, or even at times that you could put one in babysitting, get then changed in between, then have the other in babysitting!   Anyway, he is THIS close to passing Otters this time!  He has everything marked by the teachers - he just needs to be tested by the deck supervisor.   So they will test him first day of the next session next week.   So he will probably pass and get his badge, or else they will tell me what he has to work on.


Also - the teacher and deck supervisor have both told me that Echo should go into the non-parented lil'dippers (bobbers I think?) now even though she isn't 3.  She passed both levels of the parented one months ago, is tall enough to stand at the deep end of the kid pool, and is comfortable in the water and independant.


So, I spent a bunch of time today changing our summer swim times so that she can be in the non-parented, and Delta can still swim at the same time.   It'll be nice if it works out, as I can then walk on the treadmill!


This afternoon, for a few minutes, we went and collected leaves.  Delta has wanted to for MONTHS.  I'm going to show him how to press them later tonight.


Hopefully we will get in some violin practice (I've let that slide again - sigh) and some reading tonight - but will depend on Foxtrot.  I suspect she will want to eat most of the evening.


Oh yeah, Echo is so motivated on reading - she wants to do everything Delta does.  She is always the one that wants to do it - Delta needs coaxing a lot of days.  It just makes me wonder though - she is almost to sentences!   I think there is only 1 more letter - maybe 2???


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

a Few things

Well, it rained today, so we didn't get to do the leaf collecting that I'd told Delta we would do today.  Hopefully it is nice tomorrow.   Also, at swimming today, a lot of kids got report-cards with badges on them.  As Delta didn't, I assume he hasn't passed yet.  I'll be getting his report-card tomorrow.     I think he is just so skinny that he can't float yet, and swimming is harder too.   Oh well, he doesn't seem to notice or mind, and I'm assuming he is improving all the time....


Today was a BAD day - but did get some homeschooling in.  I'd read up on the writing program, and it looks pretty good.  It is setup to go along with a different reading program (but is supposed to be ok on its own) - it should be fine, but some of the terms and stuff is hard to figure out without using their reading program...  I did a preliminary exersize with Delta.   There is a bit of stuff I gotta do before really using it.


I also had Echo do a few of her reading cards - she now has over 100!  (I introduced "D" to her, and added those words.)    Delta also did some more of his sentences - which finished off the main sounds of the entire alphabet, along with a LOT of exceptions.   According to the book, he would be reading at a grade 2 level now!   But I don't think he is fluent enough to say that - so we need to work at practice.   


I also read him the Tale of Benjamin Bunny.  Oh, and they also played with the mosaic pegs.     I have in mind that when I'm working with one child, the other can play with the mosaic - but although I haven't tried that, I have a hard time seeing that working, as I think that they would both be wanting to play with it....   it is going to be so much fun trying to work out how to keep Echo busy when working with Delta, and the other way around!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beatrix Potter

Tonight I read a couple of Beatrix Potter stories to Delta and Echo.  The Tale of Peter Rabbit - and one about a squirrel.... don't remember its name.


It seemed to me we did more - of course there was swimming.   Oh yeah, we also took a little walk down the street - Foxtrot in the snugli, and the other 2 kids walking.  It makes me sad to realize that I don't even know the name of many of the common weeds here!  


I also received a writing program I ordered a bit over a week ago.  I hope it is as good as I've heard.

Read a book alone!

Delta read a book by himself yesterday - "Bears on Wheels" by the Bearnsteins.  (sp?)    It isn't the most thrilling book, but he did it himself!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sumer School

It seems harder to get homeschooling in while my dh is off, and he doesn't have so much overtime now... 


anyway, we have been doing summer swim lessons, so that is M-Th....  They are doing great.


Today was our shopping day.  At one point while we were doing some waiting, I had Delta and Echo practice their counting with some pennies in my pocket.  They were doing better at it - Echo was counting to 6 consistantly (which was all the pennies I gave her...)  and Delta was counting to 14 consistantly (which was all the pennies I gave him.)    I wanted to stop them right at the point they start getting confused and work from there.


Also, violin practice is going a bit better again.   It definately works better when I do it every day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Which Curriculum?

Still doing pretty good...  didn't do as much today, although Delta was asking.  (Foxtrot was having a "eat all day" type of day.)


We have gotten the violin practice going again.  We are enjoying the childcraft set as well.


Delta did a simple word search the other day (not sure if I mentioned it or not?).


I'm also spending time to decide if I'm going to follow a particular Charlotte Mason curriculum (free) that is online.  There are 2 that I am looking at.  For either, I'll have to modify the history to put in Canadian history instead of American...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Less TV helps!

I made a conscious effort to greatly reduce the amount of TV the kids (and I ) watch now that Foxtrot doesn't take so much time.  The amount of time they watch has been slowly increasing since Echo was born


Once I got up (and their show "Super Why" was done - dad had turned it on for them...)  We had violin practice with Delta.  We haven't in probably almost a month - so he did NOT want to co-operate.  He got told that he wasn't doing anything until he had done that (and we had swim lessons not much later in the day...).   Fortunately he decided to do it.  (I was going to put the baby gate up across his room (which so far he has never climbed - but we don't use it anymore either...) - but he decided to do the practice before I got it out.... and the waiting time was used getting things ready for swim lessons.    We didn't do a lot for the practice, mainly some basic stuff.


Swim lessons were next, and a bit of time playing at the Y.  Then it was home for lunch (and 1 more show...)


Then let's see....   they played on the organ some, and we also got out their other musical instruments and played a bunch.  (maracas, tamborines, etc).


We had a math lesson

 The math lesson was on counting - we counted pennies.  Delta can count well up to 12, then starts mixing up.   Echo can count to 4 - but does recognize that the numbers correspond to the pennies.  (wierd, she can count to 10 if she isn't counting something but just saying the numbers...)


I made up a simple word search puzzle - Delta did GREAT.  He found a lot of them with no help, and the last few with a little help.  Echo didn't get the idea, but I didn't really expect her to - she coloured instead.


They also played with that mosaic pegboard I bought - Echo just puts the pegs in anywhere - but Delta filled in a rectangle shape with different colours.  And of course, it is great sorting practice as I make them sort it when putting it away.


And tonight I read the Alladin story from the Childcraft set.  Sometimes I don't know if Delta is really listening to these longer stories (Echo doesn't) - but I think he gets something out of them.


Overall - a lot done!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Asking for homeschooling!

wierd - looks like the last post was cut off a bit.


Anyway - Delta has been asking to do homeschooling each day the last few days. 


Tonight we finished reading "The House at Pooh Corner"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Good Day

We did good this evening!


They played "Ledges" - Delta could pick the words our right away (mind you, it was review for him) and Echo was able to figure them out (and got some extra practice reading the wrong choices....)


They then practiced their scripture mastery - Echo does better than Delta who tends to confuse some scriptures together.


Then Delta read 6 new sentences from the book - it introduced the sound x makes.   I then went ahead and asked what z says, and what qu says - and he knows them....  so should make the reading the next few days fairly easy.   He is doing better at blending out new words, but sometimes still needs me to help him - and I really don't think that he should....


I then gave Delta a "cars" book that no-one is going to read to him.  I think I made a bit of a mistake though.... I bought it as an impulse and a quick flip through.  It is a step 1 reading book - but I see now that with that set of books, step 1 is "getting ready to read" so is read by a parent.  I probably wanted a step 2 book which is for kids that can sound out some words.   So there are some tough words in his book (like bright and night....).  Oh well, it will be a challenge - but not TOO hard I hope.  I did tell him the bright and night words, but am not really helping him on the others.


Echo of course wanted a book too - but I explained that she will get her own book when she is at that stage of reading.  We then did some cards, and she learned what "s" says.    I then read her a "little critter" while Delta was working on puzzling out his book.


They then played the organ for a while - just playing on it of course.  (I haven't figured out how to teach them it yet!!!)    Then Delta told me that he couldn't play "Armagedon" (by Prism).  I told him I couldn't either!


So Delta knows the basic sounds that all the letters make.   I think we will do a lot of practice with them for a while - then the sentences get into the letter combinations etc....



Echo then wanted to do her car

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Canola is not dandilions

We've still been taking it easy so far. Mike has been off the last couple of days...

Today we went to the playground - a different one from normal. Echo liked the clover growing in the field there, and had a close look at a bee (which made me a little nervous...) We also did a bit of driving around, and Delta pointed out the canola fields. (they are bright yellow - and used to be called rape seed). Even though he knew what it was last year, today he thought they were dandilions.... I told them what they really were though. And a bit further on, they were right up near the road, and he was able to see that they were different from dandilions - so that is cool.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gotta get a routine

Well, not doing as well right now.... but they are getting a lot of run-around time (hey, phys-ed, right?) and a lot of it is outdoors.

We went swimming at the Y this evening - I heard Mike explaining something to Delta, don't remember what it was - but something to do with one of the toys....

I've got to get a daily routine going!

Monday, June 23, 2008

ASL practice

Went to the monday program today - the kids painted treasure boxes - not sure there was much else educational for them.  (there was stuff for colours - but Delta and Echo know them....)      But, I got to practice my sign language - there was a parent there today who is deaf.  I've run into her at 4 different times....  way back when Delta was very young she was at an child (infant) reading program....  then her one child was at the same nursery school as Delta (a different class), and then she was at the baby circle program when I first got pregnant - and now this one now that her second child is 2.   Anyway, I did a bit of interpreting (sort of) for her, and chatted a bit with her.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Knows colours already!

Yesterday, read a bit more of "House at Pooh Corner".  We are almost all done it.   Didn't do too much more - although Delta is trying to read some of his books too, so that is good.


btw - just thought I'd mention that I'd probably work on colours or something with Echo - but she knows them already!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Playing the Game

Delta loves the snakes-and-ladders game, so that is a good practice.   I have to admit that tonight we didn't quite finish it (Delta was 2 squares away from the end....).   He was still going at it, but I was tired and frustrated....


Delta is still doing a lot of guessing instead of trying to read.  He is getting good at a lot of words, and he is doing pretty good at figuring them out.... including some pretty long ones....  but sometimes he will just say the word he thinks it is going to be when it is not even close to it.   ("has" instead of "went", for example....)


I'm also having a hard time not getting frustrated with Echo..... she knows all the letter sounds she has done so far - but her blending skills are gone.... she is trying to blend, but with sounds that have nothing to do with the word she is trying to read.  (generally, she is blending the word HOT or something like it.... no matter what.)   So she goes  "tuh   i (short)  puh    ......   awwwwwwe-t   ........ Hot! "    (by the way the tuh and puh don't actually have the "uh" sound.... just the cut off t sound....)    I know that she is very young and there is no rush - but she was doing it so well before, and I'm not sure how to get her to understand other than trying it over and over.  


Anyway - it is going..... I just need to continue to make it fun, and to step back when I get to frustrated...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Snakes and Ladders

Tonight I printed up a snakes-and-ladders game...  and played it with Delta and Echo.  For each square, they had to read.  (I used the square numbers to give me the word number (for Echo) or the sentence number (for Delta) for them to read.   It didn't provide any new material, but gave them some practice

Monday, June 16, 2008

Harder words

Yesterday we went to the zoo - I don't remember anything specifically brought up, and we have been there before - but I'm sure they learned something!


Today they spent time outside....   We also had the opportunity to do reading and sentances.   Delta is doing great with his sentances - we did ones that introduce (amoung other things) the letter "j" - but he already knew what it "said"....   He is also doing a lot better at figuring out words, although a few still require me to help him put it together....   he managed, with some help, to figure out "jackrabbits" and other words like that.


He has done most of the letter sounds now.... I think there is "w", "x", "z", and "qu" left....   then it is on to combinations like "th" and "ch", etc.        He is also doing a lot more finding of words, and looking at books....



Echo is also doing well, and was able to handle the random words I got out for her.  I added the sound that "N" makes tonight - but didn't give her any words with it yet.   She is on card 66 or so, so she has figured out about 55 words or so (the other cards would be a simple letter).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Well, had baby circle in the morning - wasn't happy at all with the babysitting arrangements today for the older kids....  oh well.


Delta had his violin lesson - wasn't TOO co-operative, but did get a little done in review....  and this was his last lesson for the year.  We can pay for a few summer lessons - but it is basically it until September.   I had really wanted him to be playing Twinkle by now - oh well.


I also took Delta to the "old" baby circle - the one I attended when he and Echo were babies.  It starts same time as violin lesson.   Now that that is done, will probably move back to this one, as I prefer it, and so does Delta, and Echo likes it too.  Delta made something for Father's Day - it is wrapped so I have no idea.


This evening we went outside for a bit.  I drew some dandilions in my nature handbook.... and discussed with Delta how the seed is like a parachute so it can travel a bit.   We also got to see 2 squirrels chasing each other around one of our trees....


Overall a good day - but no reading work was done....

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Potty Training

Been able to continue on - managed to do violin practice most days this week - and reading stuff a few times.   Delta is also trying to read a lot more stuff - today he was trying to read the title in a hymnbook....


Delta had a violin solo today - it was in an old-folks home....   he was only doing rhythyms on the E string....  all the other kids had better stuff to do...  (the other 2 first year students there - 1 played Twinkle (he is older) - and the other did the 2 songs the group class did at the spring recital with his dad accompanying him....) 


Also - Echo went poop in the potty today!   It isn't her first time - but ever since she started seating herself on the potty about 10 months ago, she has only had ANY type of success 5 times!!!!       I made a big deal - clapping, and everything.... and we called a sister in the ward that she knows and likes, and told her, - so hopefully it will help.  oh, and she got another sticker on her chart....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Doing well so far today.  Delta was sick this morning, but seems a lot better.


He wanted help reading his sentences in "Teach your child to read in 10 minutes a day" so I helped him.  He is on the next set of sentences - each group of sentences introduces a new letter sound, or another new concept.   He is doing well, this set introduced the sound that "L" makes.   He is sometimes mixing up the small  "b" and "d"....  and was mixing up what a single "e" says compared to 2 e's - "ee".

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Wasted Lesson

Did ok today...


Delta had his violin lesson - but it was a giant waste of time because he wasn't co-operating at all.  Basically he did an opening bow, and his closing bow - and that was it!  And he is doing a solo on Sunday at a nursing home.... (patterns on open string...).   Normally if he isn't co-operating (and we have always been able to get him to do SOMETHING....) then the teacher has me do some stuff on my violin....  but as I had Foxtrot with us, we were trying to figure out the logistics of that....  as there is no place for me to really put her.  SIGH.  


Anyway - was able to have Delta do more sentences - and we reviewed the sounds for the next couple of letters introduced on the next sentences....    I also did the next letter with Echo - and practice the scriptures again.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Another Quick Note

Today we did violin practice, and I read part of "A House at Pooh Corner" again.  Kids also went to their Monday morning program - today was "5 little ducks".

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Had Help

Had a wonderful Young Adult call to see if I could use a hand today - she came over and helped for about 8 hours!   She took Delta and Echo outside for a bit so they could get some energy used up, and also helped out with Foxtrot some too....


I had Echo do scriptures and reading cards.  Delta did the new sentences he is working on.  His reading is REALLY coming along now.  He is figuring out new words a lot better, and is recognizing familiar ones faster too.


Also, Delta practiced the violin yesterday (and so did I.)  I meant to do it again today - will have to tomorrow.   And fortunately, Foxtrot can sleep through a practice... probably from hearing it before birth.....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Quick Note

did sentences with Delta - new ones.... with new rules.


Echo did cards


They got to run around at the Y


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Had the Baby!

Charlie did cards a few times with the kids, and I've done a few....

Right now, the kids are getting a lot of human anatomy lessons - especially about the umbilical cord / belly button. Echo is having trouble with the concept that Foxtrot is the baby that was in my tummy.... but of course that is to be expected. Delta understands it a bit better.

We have had deer a number of times in our yard - actually one time (last week?) the kids were out front with Mike, and Delta was allowed to go to the backyard to get a ball or his trike or something - and there was a deer back there.... the deer startled and ran past him to get out of the yard (pretty much the only exit) - fortunately the deer didn't charge him, and he wasn't frightened by it.

I'm also impressed with how much nature you can find in the city - we were downtown the day I was in labour, and we got to watch a woodpecker. We also got to watch another bird right above us - that Mike had a conversation with...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Obviously haven't been doing too much the last little while 


Yesterday we went to our Monday program - it was making rainbows.  Kids had a good time....   They made rainbow cookies (dough was already made, not sure what type - but added food colouring.... then they put different dough colours near each other, pressed down, and then used cookie cutters to cut out shapes - so there was a mix of colours on each cookie.)   They also made a rainbow in a jar - which I believe was just salt and food colouring - and they put in different colours in layers in a little spice jar.   I had hobbled to the bathroom - somehow Delta and Echo only made 1 between them (at least, that is all that I ever saw) - and it ended up being pretty much all blue.   oh well!


Last night I had them do the scripture mastery and the reading cards.... it was funny because I actually used it as a "If you get your jammies on right away, we will have time to do reading cards..."  LOL....     so bonus was they put their jammies on without a fight!    Anyway, I just had Delta do cards instead of sentences  (I didn't know where the book was, and figured a review would be good anyway) - and he did great with the cards..... he could read a lot of words without figuring them out, and did a much better job at sounding out the cards.    Echo was doing good too.



Today would have been Baby Circle (with running around time for them) and Violin lesson - but Delta got sick this morning, so it has mostly been a TV day.  SIGH.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A bit of stuff

Managed to do violin practice with Delta today...   This afternoon was also my "Time for Mom's" program, so the kids got to run around outside all afternoon with the babysitters at the program.  (and we had a "spa" day to celebrate mother's day too - so that was nice.... good food, etc.)


Did the scripture mastery with the kids - but didn't go to the effort of doing reading cards....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fire Drill

Yesterday the kids had our little Monday program - Lil' gardeners is finished - yesterday it was a Frog thing....  They had a good time.....


Today it was baby-circle, so they were in babysitting.  There was a fire-drill, (pain for me having to waddle out!) - so Echo has had her first fire-drill ever.  They also got to play outside, so that is always good.


Delta had his violin lesson.  Again he is doing good considering how little practice I am managing to get in.   The main problem is his confidence level shrinks, so he gets all wiggly and doesn't co-operate that well....   But he did ok for a lot of it.   The teacher suggested that maybe his dad or someone could help him with some of the practices.....


They also did scripture cards - and Delta read about 7 or 8 silly sentences (it is still hard work) - and I did some reading cards with Echo.....

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Silly Sentences

Been doing ok so far.   Echo loves doing scriptures and cards - and I added the "I" sound (soft i) to her cards.


The other day Delta didn't want to do any sentences, but he said he would do 1.... well, I wanted to move him to the "silly" sentences, as I'm sure he is only half reading the others and half memorized them (which is common - but had to be sure he was good reading mixed case before I could go on to the silly ones....)  - well, he read the first one (with me making him read it, not just finish it wrong....) - and it was funny, so he laughed hard.  He read all 14 of the silly sentences!    He still has to work hard to figure them out, but he found it was funny, and so worth the work....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Well, today I had my "Mom's time" class - so the kids got to go outside to play in the babysitting - which is always good. 


Went through the scripture mastery again - they are still great with the 3 they have memorized.   Did some reading cards with Echo - think I may add another letter sound soon.  And got Delta to do his sentences - in lower case.  He prefers the upper case (it is easier) - but he did the lower case just fine.  Just had to convince him that the small "t" wasn't a "j". (which is a letter he hasn't even officially done...)


We also read a whole chapter of The House at Pooh Corner too!   He kept having me show various words out of the book....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ladybugs are out!

I figure we will do the AofF in a while.... most of the scriptures we are doing are a bit shorter.   I DO have to tape the kids saying them sometime.... it is so cute!


So today:  It was my babycircle day, so the kids were in babysitter (more PE!) - apparently they went outside for a while.   Delta had his violin lesson, and did great considering the lack of practice....  He would do better if we practiced, but he is doing great.  I'll try to get practicing again with him though.


We didn't really do any reading, although Delta was reading a book with me, and I had him figure out a number of the words.   


We went outside this evening - it was a beautiful day.  The kids played in the yard for quite a while.   They also found some ladybugs - Delta was upset at first (I have no idea who taught him to be scared of ladybugs - he was for a while last year, but I told him that they are our friends, and eventually had him even hold one....) - anyway, I reminded him that they are our friends, and they help our gardens, that they don't hurt - but maybe just tickle a bit.  Anyway, Delta and Echo spent a number of minutes looking at them.  (I hope they didn't hurt them, I was a little busy....)


Monday, April 28, 2008

Wish I could memorize like that!

So - today's update....

Had our last day of lil' gardeners. It was definately interesting.... right now their little yards are in the back of the mini-van - darned if I know where we will put them!

This afternoon, Echo wanted to do cards - so we started with the scripture mastery. This is the first time Mike has been around while they have been doing them - and Echo said - word-for-word 3 scriptures with no prompting except the book name, and maybe the first word in the scripture. Mike had her do the first 1 three times because he couldn't believe it! I too am amazed, she has them better memorized than I do! Delta got 2 of the 3 right - on one he puts in part of another scripture.

Echo then did reading cards - she did some pretty good - some not. I don't think she is ready for more stuff yet. I really got to get it back more into games. Delta didn't want to do his sentences, but got me the House at Pooh Corner - but got distracted after a paragraph, so I didn't push it.

Again, I'm doing HORRIBLE at violin practice with Delta - it just seems like so much work at the moment.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I have to admit that I get huge waves of doubt every so often.... Most recently seeing the brochures for the local French-Immersion School's kindergarten in the library, and seeing the (same) school's big sign on the road that they are accepting registrations (which means they aren't full....) for the fall. If I wasn't homeschooling, I'd want them to be in immersion (and as French is what is available.... it would be French....) - so it gives me waves of doubt. I had the same waves of doubt when Bravo registered Zulu (my grandson) for French Immersion Kindergarten.... and even just when the even closer school had the signs up for registration in (English) Kindergarten.

Yet I'm sure that homeschooling is right for our family. I know that Mike will teach them German, so the 2nd language will happen (maybe not fluently like in an immersion....) I know my son will be happier at home, and they are both doing well at home. It is just hard to be sure.

But, it is hard to find support in some ways. Fortunately, my husband fully supports this - I know some people have to do it without spousal support. My mom is against it, the older kids think we are nuts, Mike's siblings are against it (haven't mentioned it to my siblings, I don't think.) My dad is good with it, I believe. So when doubts happen, there aren't many people to talk to about it.

Same Ol'

Hm - guess I haven't updated this for a couple of days!


Doing the standards - I am very impressed with the scripture study.   Echo has 3 scriptures MEMORIZED....  I give her the book of the reference and she says the chapter and verse number (so far everything has been in different books) - and then she says the whole scripture!  (Sometimes I have to give her the first word or so.)  Delta is pretty much the same - although today he sort-of combined 2 scriptures together....    I have also memorized the scriptures, but for the life of me I can't remember the book/chapter/verse numbers to go with them....


Echo is doing reading cards - I haven't provided any new material.  She is doing good with the sounds of each letter we have done (sometimes mixes up C and G) - and will sound out all the letters of the word - but today anyway once she does the sound for each letter, no matter what the word (mostly) she figures it says "POP"....  so I'm having fun trying to get her to blend it out I guess....      Delta is still working on the sentences, and can figure most of the first 15 out (although I suspect he has memorized the last few words, which is apparently normal.....).   He isn't doing as well with the 15 sentences in lower case though - and I'm kind of disappointed in the book because it really doesn't discuss that much about how to transition them to understanding both cases.....    


We haven't been practicing the violin nearly enough, as I just don't have the energy!


We have been doing a lot of reading in "The house at Pooh Corner" though.....

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Violin Concert

I feel like a lot of days I'm saying the same thing - but that is the way it is....


Today I took them to the Y - and they went into babysitting while I got to rest sore muscles in the swimming pool, and then just sit and relax a bit too.  They got to run around.  (Phys-ed - right???)     They then played on the big play structure.


I don't remember if I did reading and stuff in the morning or not - I don't think so.


But tonight was Delta's violin concert.   Echo wasn't happy (she stayed home with a babysitter - but after the Christmas fiasco with her.....)  I'll be writing more tomorrow, but the concert went great - Delta's class did everything just right, and it was really cute too.   We also got to stay to listen to all the music  (Music, and Music Appreciation!) - he seemed to like it better when the kids got into the songs he hears all the time on his CD.   (They had the cellists play, then Delta's class, then the other beginner class.   Then they had about 6 or so special numbers - then they do what is called a Play-off.  They basically play from the Suzuki repetoire - starting with some of the harder songs, and working their way back to the ones in the first book, all the way to Twinkle.  For each song, more students come on stage and join in.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Little Gardeners

I forgot to mention that yesterday they had their little gardeners program.  The "yard" that they are growing in a roasting pan is sure growing good.... they got to cut the grass with scissors.  They planted some parsley in a cup yesterday


Today they did the baby circle - babysitting.   The one group that generally does the babysitting was full today (a few new mom's with kids to be babysat happened, I think) - so they got to go with the nursery school class next to our thing.  They have done that a couple of times (when the one group were short staff due to illness, etc.)   It is kind of cool, as Echo is technically too young for the nursery school class, but they say she does great in there (at least with Delta there.)  They also got to go to the large muscle room - which is an indoor jungle-gym setup.   But apparently Delta prefers the other group....  oh well.


Today Delta also had his violin lesson.   It didn't go too badly considering how little practice we did last week.


These evening, we did scripture mastery again - the kids pretty much have all 3 quotes memorized!   I've got to get a bit better on them I think... LOL.     Echo did fine with her cards - but I'm not ready to add on to them as there is still some confusion now and then.   Delta did good with his sentances - except he is definately trying to memorize them, and figure out the first few words then just "quote" the rest.  (the book warns that that will happen - so after they are reading the sentences well, it has other "silly" ones that start off similarily, and then end differently.)    I had him do a couple, just to show that he can't be memorizing, or guessing.   I also had him do some of the sentences in lower case - which is where the program introduces them.   He did pretty good - he knows the lower case letters - although it was definately harder for him.    I'm not sure how it will work when we get to that stage with Echo, as the book really doesn't have much in it about switching to using both upper and lower case letters.....  and she won't be able to make the switch very easily.    But that is a while away.


That was about it!

A few things

Boy - I haven't written much the last few days - did a bit of homeschooling stuff, but still not doing lots....


Delta had his last group violin class on Saturday - the spring concert is on Thursday.


Today:  Did scripture mastery.  Did reading cards with Echo - we have added "B" too it.   She wants to play ledges, but I can't get down on the floor to play ledges with them.  :(    I keep meaning to create some bingo cards with words....


Delta read all of the first 15 sentences in the book.   I need to print them out, so I can vary their order.   When he gets fairly smooth at them, I'll add in the silly ones with alternate endings...  (done to make sure they aren't just memorizing and reciting...., as well as to add humour...)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Zoo at 8.5mo pregnant!

Oh, forgot to mention - we went to the zoo this afternoon too. (Mike's idea, without consulting me.) I made it through the "barn" area, and then a little bit of walking towards some exhibits - and I just wasn't keeping up and doing well. At the first bench we came to (which Mike had already stopped at) Mike asked how far I was going to be able to go. I told him that that was about it - so they went through the zoo, and I made my way back to a bench near the entrance. I think they had a great time - but it makes me wonder if Mike really JUST doesn't get that I can't walk anymore!

More Reading

Kind of tired, so having problems thinking....   I did the scriptures with the kids again - I think they are memorizing them better than I am!   (probably because they can't read the card... lol).    Had Delta read some sentences from his book - he is getting better at everything.  Still sometimes doesn't blend well, but is blending a LOT better - and with the short sentences, he can figure it all out, and still know what the sentence was about.  With longer sentences (say about 5 words) he will lose what it was about - but that will improve.


Went through Echo's words too, and she is doing pretty well.  She remembered what her new letter sound was, and was doing well at blending.    Charlie was here (after being gone for over a week....) - and I think Charlie hasn't seen them read for a while....   and she was like "When did Echo learn G?"  "When did she learn H?"  etc.   I think Charlie was really surprised.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Penny Dumps

Had my "baby circle" today, so the kids got to play in the babysitting, including gym time....


Delta had violin lessons, and learned how to do "penny dumps" which he really liked.  (which is good, because he really didn't like doing the first steps to learning penny dumps)  - it is getting him to place his fingers on the strings.


Otherwise, that is about it....

Monday, April 14, 2008


Still worn out!


Morning the kids had their little gardener program - the facilitators are great, and let me get away with not doing much (because honestly, I'm having problems doing much!).   Unfortunately, one of the facilitators is there for a practicum for schooling - and this is her last week.     Anyway, they checked the grass that they are growing (I wonder if it is cat-grass....   it had definately started growing!)   They also got to repot a plant that will be a flower.   They had some other activities.   Echo was a bit clingy, I don't think she is feeling 100%, or is maybe feeling the changes that are coming up?


It was too windy to really go outside today....  and I was so tired.   I put Echo in a quiet time (she was acting so tired - but apparently did NOT nap...).   Delta was playing with his lego - and I napped a bit on the couch.   Delta turned his ambulance into another race car (took a picture).   He then tried to follow the instructions to put the ambulance together (without having totally taken in apart) - and did a GREAT job, except the ambulance door wouldn't fit.   I think there was only a couple of mistakes, but when I tried to fix it for him, I broke it a bit - so I rebuilt it a bit more than I might have had to....


This evening, I had a YW (well, she is 18 now) come and give me a hand.  She lives a couple of blocks away, and is really sweet.   Anyway, I was able to have Delta and I practice the violin, plus they got the toys picked up so the place isn't a TOTAL disaster.   We also gave them a bath - and I did the scripture mastery with the kids.  Delta has 2 of them memorized.... and I mean memorized better than I have it memorized!   Echo seems to have them down pretty good too.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Reading Problems

Still not feeling great....

Delta had a group violin lesson today - there hasn't been any for a couple of weeks. It went ok - his focus wasn't great, but probably because of the break and me not getting him to practice enough this month...

We went to the Home Depot kids workshop - we do every month - but they were already packed up. We got 2 kits that we'll do with the kids in a few days... it is a planter (basically an open box....)

I wanted to let them play outside, but my back was so bad that there was no way for quite a while. They tylenol finally kicked in about 45 min before I needed to wake up Mike for work - so we went out. And I tried drawing my first pictures in my nature journal. They are ok, nothing fancy. Delta said I was a genius (while I was doing it... - no idea where he knows that word from, but has used it before once or twice...) I wasn't as pleased with Mike's reaction when I showed him ("What is that?")

After supper I did reading cards. Delta didn't want to, and even went and hid - but I put the cards away and got him to come out so I can talk to him. The upshot is (as I expected) is he is having problems with that last letter sound, and so he feels like it is too hard - that we went too quickly. I basically told him that I had been trying to take it slowly, but that he always wanted more and more until now. I also told him that we can just review and do easy ones that he knows. He was fine with that - and then only let me do his hardest cards with him - which he mostly got right anyway. Echo did good on her cards - but is still having a bit of fun with her last letter sound too. I'm thinking of making up some Bingo cards for another recognition game with them. I wish I could make up about 4 train-engine blocks (blocks with train-engine pictures), and some way to slide the cards I made into them so you could still read them.... If I can figure that out, then there is another practice reading game that Delta might like. I don't want to have to print out the stuff again on a train-engine card though.

We also read more from "A House at Pooh Corner".... although Delta's attention really wasn't there - Echos generally never is for that one.