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.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Not a Good Day

Definitely not a good homeschooling day - I'm a bit sick today, and was doozing off all day - so it was a "multi-media" day for the kids. (basically they were half babysat by the TV, the computers, etc while I doozed on the couch on and off.) Delta had his first swim lessons in "Otters" at the Y - we will see how that goes. I took him, Echo was having a nap as she was tired and cranky - and Mike was getting up at that time.

Felt a little better in the evening - took the kids out and they cleaned up the flyers that had fallen out of our mailbox all winter - there are a few still frozen to the ground, but we got a whole big garbage bag full. Then they played tag, and I got out Echo's little push-car. So we got out into the yard at least.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Teach your child to Read"

[asked which reading program I'm using]

The book I am using is "Teach your child to read in 10 minutes a day" by Sidney Ledson.   It is a Canadian author.    But I think you misread my message - I said that we are focusing on the "Sounds" NOT the "Names".   Echo happens to know the names of a few letters, but not by any teaching on my part.   When she asked for an "Ahh", that would be because that is how she knows the letter A.  Not by name, but by the short ahh sound that A makes.   That was from my teaching.


Echo knows the sounds (short sounds for vowels) for U, P, C, A, T, th (as in the), e (as in the), H, O, and G.  She can figure out about 25 different 3 letter words from those letters.


Delta knows the above, plus B, I, R, N, S, D, E - and can figure out about 100ish 3 or 4 letter words.   He has just started working on sentences using mostly the words he already knows...  He has read 4 or 5 of the first sentences that this book uses.  He is also enjoying seeing words he knows in "Hop on Pop"....     The book I'm using slowly introduces the other letter sounds, plus some of the different sounds and combination sounds during the sentence work.   


The book uses ONLY capital letters at this point (after the first 15 sentences, it introduces lower case) - but Delta seems to have no problem recognizing a letter in its upper and lower case forms.  


I have heard a lot of people mention "Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons", but have never seen it myself....

Light Day

Today:   Another light day because of the doctor's appointments....


Delta did a bunch of puzzles...


When we went outside, I got to show him animal "scat" in our yard.  (In case you are not aware of the term "scat" - it is the term for wildlife poop.)   I'm pretty sure it was deer scat.   Delta thought it was pretty neat, because it meant that there was a deer in our yard last night.   (There are a LOT of deer in our neighbourhood - he has seen them in our yard through the window once or twice.)    Guess I better clean it up tomorrow....


They got to play at a dear sister's house (in our ward) who was kind enough to babysit with little notice so I didn't have to take them to my appointment.   Apparently when they were colouring, Echo asked the sister to draw an L (her favourite letter), and an M - and then was asking for an "ahh"  (the sound A makes in her reading.... we are focusing on the sounds, not the names....)....  it took a while for the sister to realize what she wanted, then she clued in on it.      This sister used to watch the kids while I ran the cub program at church - and was always impressed on their intelligence.  (ok, I'll try to stop bragging now...)


Because I started hurting later on, I didn't make them do anything really.  Delta found the leap-pad that has been stored for over a year.... and he found a matching book and cartridge, so I got out batteries, and he did that for a while.  Unfortunately the "Power-touch Baby" that we have isn't working right, so I couldn't let Echo use that....


I think that was about it.....   Delta pointed out a couple of birds though, and has mentioned wishing the leaves would come so he could have his leaf collection....



Wednesday, April 9, 2008

So Far

So far today:


We did scripture mastery, and I'm feeling that we are getting somewhere, so I've added a new scripture.   So that will be 3 we are working on - the new one every day, and the other 2 every other day.....     I don't think Delta and Echo could recite them on their own, but they definitely seem to know them pretty good for a repeat after me thing....


I did reading cards with Echo, and focused on the new letter that she is getting confused, and she did a bit better.   We also reviewed the really early ones.


For Delta's reading cards, because he wasn't too eager, I went to the really simple stuff (the cards Echo is working on) - and doing the "I bet you don't know this one..." and being astonished when he got it easily.... so he enjoyed that, and did a lot of the easy ones.   Near the end, I just did the last letter sound that he learned, which he is having a harder time with - and about 2 words that used it....


We also did violin practice - and Delta did good at playing his violin.   Echo sure knows the names of the violin parts!

Oh, and earlier Delta and Echo was colouring - and Delta's colouring is becoming more and more that he is either drawing things, or drawing letters.  He wrote out Stop again - he likes that word.... and he drew a couple of "monsters" - and I could see the monster there.   Until really recently, he would just scribble, so it is kind of nice to see it progress into something.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

This and That

Delta did great at violin lesson, even though he hadn't practice nearly enough....  he got to play his violin!   And he focused pretty much the whole time, although he didn't want to do a few things (including singing "A" for some wierd reason....)


Morning was my baby circle - so the kids got to go to babysitting - apparently they played in the gym.   Afternoon was the violin lesson....


Late afternoon Delta was playing with his Lego ambulance, and made about 4 different race cars out of it!  (one at a time....) - they looked pretty good too!  So that is cool, I think he will be really good with Lego once he has more to work with!


Evening I did scripture mastery - I think they are getting pretty good with the 2nd one too....     Then we did reading cards.   Delta did a bunch (I was trying to review the new material with him...) - and he realized that some of the words are in "Hop on Pop".    I also had him read the first 3 sentences in the how-to-read book...  they are short sentences - and he seemed excited to go for it.    He then was "reading" Hop on Pop to himself - I think he is reading some, and going by memory some - but I think he is finding it satisfying....


Echo is doing good at blending (better than Delta)....  but is really confused by the last letter she learned...   And I'm not sure why....  So I'm trying to work mostly with that letter sound with her.   She was doing good, then started getting silly.... 


The weather is finally getting better, and a lot of the snow in the front yard is gone.... so we will see about getting out more.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Light Day

Definately a light day.... We had Zulu staying with us overnight, so in the morning they played. After lunch, I had had enough, and so Mike took over, and I had a nap for a lot of the afternoon!

Later on, we went for a drive - we went by the waste water treatment plant (we went by a different one yesterday on our trip to Zulu....) - and so we had another discussion (a review) about it. We also discussed (not for the first time) the electricity towers.

Before bed, I got out the "Hop on Pop" book I had taken from the library, and Delta read some of it. I think he found it kind of cool that he could "read" some of it (although it was hard work....). And he had me read another book I had taken out. It is also a beginner reader - "The Bernstein Bears go Up and Down" - but I just read it to him. He took that one to bed with him....

We haven't practice the violin for days!!!



Did the reading cards with Delta and Echo, and the scripture mastery. It was cute, I started with Echo doing the new scripture we are learning (we now practice the one we sort-of have down every other day as well....) - and Echo was saying that she wanted to do "Moroni". (our first scripture is in Moroni....) LOL

I also stopped at the book and got a few books that Delta might be able to read on his own with my assistance.

Then we went to Zulu for a daytrip - and visited with Mike's sister.... and proceeded to get told that we need to stop (having kids) - and she also was not happy to hear that we are homeschooling. Mind you, this is the sister that is mad at us since about a year after Delta was born.... so whatever.... but still. Mind you, it was nice to hear Mike defending homeschooling instead of me. (well, we had a discussion with his brother and his fiance about it - but they were doing the whole discussing it like they are interested type of disapproval instead of the straight out saying we are wrong method.... you guys know?

Oh, and when we went outside yesterday, there was a fresh layer of snow - and Delta noticed right off there were paw prints right near our door. I thought they looked like mouse (they seemed pretty small to me) - but Mike said they were probably rabbit....

Thursday, April 3, 2008


This evening while Mike was cooking, Delta got out the "House at Pooh Corner" book and wanted me to read more, so we read about 1/2 of the next chapter.

Of course, he would want to do it while I'm trying to watch my TV show! LOL


I forgot - we also worked on the scripture memorization - and I think we have the first one memorized....   (well, I seem to have it memorized, and Delta was able to put in the missing words.... I doubt that he could say it by himself.   Echo is good at repeating after me, which is all I expect....)    So I've put that into position to be practiced on "Odd" numbered days....  and we started the next one....


And Delta has done that "Traffic Jam" puzzle on the computer again!

Great Day

Having a good day I guess - didn't start off looking great - but is going good now!


The kids were colouring, and Delta was making letters, and asking me what it said.  He did STOP first, and TOP, and HOT, and a bunch of nonsense words too....  but it was cool.    He also on his own made 3 of his puzzles, and is currently making a train track.


I did the word cards with both of them - and tried not to help Delta so much with the blending.   I think I'm going to get from the library a few Dr. Suess books (we have a couple, but the one I know would be great is missing....).    I'm thinking I've got to get "Hop on Pop" as there is a lot of words in there that he would be able to work out.   Also, I think maybe Green Eggs and Ham - because although there are more words he doesn't know, I know it has very limited vocabulary.   I'll have to look.


We got distracted from the word cards, as a machine came by across the street to break up the ice and snow in the ditches.   (In our neighbourhood, there are no storm-drains - we have a sloped ditch that works its way to the river....  but in spring it is all blocked with ice and snow, and so the water from the melting snow on the yards would overflow if the ditches aren't broken up....)   So we watched from the window for a few minutes.


So then I read the other half of the story that we are in the middle of in "House of Pooh".   Delta listened to most of it pretty good - got distracted on and off.  Echo pretty much just went off and played, but that is fine...

 Anyway, after lunch, I figured it was such a nice day outside, that I'd take them outside for a bit.  The porch has cleared etc, so I figured I could sit and read.  Well, I got ambitious, and took them for a walk for about 1/2 a block.   Delta picked up a bunch of rocks and threw them in the water in the ditches....  Echo did some too.   Delta also enjoyed finding tire tracks.... ok, maybe not exactly nature study, but it is observation anyway!     We didn't go very far though - this is the first time I felt up to trying any walk at all!    So we came back, and I let them play in the snow in the backyard for a while and I sat on the stairs.   Delta then needed to go to the bathroom, so we came around the front (easier to keep track of them...).  Besides, I could hear the machine coming back.   So they played in the snow out front (harder on me as there is water puddles in the front too....).   Then when the machine was getting near, they were sitting beside me on the stairs - so I tried playing a memory game with them - it went not too bad for a first run.


It was basically you say "I went to the market and I bought..."   normally you would have to do it alphabetically (which is easier to figure out what is next.....)  but of course we didn't do that part.  although it happened to start that way....    We got all the way to "I bought  Apples & Bongos & Cheese & Donuts & Mittens & Mommies & Eggs".   I did a bit of helping them remember, but not too much.   By then, the machine was visible.  So we watched the machine - and we waved when it was by our yard, and the machine operator waved back.


So - that is our homeschooling so far!


oh, plus a discussion with Echo....  I asked her where the water came from that was on the yard - that it wasn't there the other day...  she didn't know.... so I explained that the snow was melting, and that it turns into water.


and of course we discussed (more with Delta) why the machine was breaking up the ice....


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"D" and "E"

I printed up more reading cards for Delta - turns out he knew the sounds the next 2 letters made   (one was "D" so that didn't surprise me, and he was SO excited that we did D....  the other was "E" (as in bed....)


So we went through all the new cards....     and although we will be reviewing them the next few days - in the program we are doing, that means he will be starting sentances next!   He knows 15 letter sounds, and about 100 words.   The problem I see is that he still isn't blending that well - I think I've helped him too much with the blending....   So I've got to get him working better on that - but he tends to want to push on instead....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More Blending

Sounds great Sally!   it is amazing how much they can learn from things around them.


So far today, I did reading cards with Delta and Echo - I added the "G" sound and words to Echo - will take a bit for her to get it I think....    Delta did a bunch - has no problems with the sounds, but still needs more practice blending.   I'll need to print more cards I think....  he is getting pretty close to the point where he switches to sentances....   


We also did the violin practice, and work on the scripture we are memorizing.  


I wish I felt better, we would do a lot more outside if I felt that I could walk for more than a house length!     Maybe if I even got something comfortable to sit on, they could do more in the yard....