Monday, January 30, 2006

Tea, Chemists, Dirt and Taiko

So then, we have had a busy few days here. The kids have fallen into their rhythm with our lessons and such which has really helped our days come together quite well. We are done with our focussed time by 11:00-11:30am and have the rest of our day to persue our interests, do projects, run around or just hanging out together. Now if I can just keep it up!!

Friday was a good day! An old friend from Virginia came over to learn about homeschooling and to see what all we do, check out our resources etc. It was a nice visit and we managed to finish our lessons before they arrived. After they were off and on their way we had some lunch and waited for Dad to come home (half day on Friday) so GM and I could head off to the Natural History Museum for a class on Dirt. This was fun because it was for kids 7 and up, and was a two hour look at dirt, what lives in it, where does it come from, what can we learn about the surrounding environment from dirt samples etc. GM loved it and was happy to find that some other friends had signed up too. Afterwards we hit Costco and headed home for a quiet evening!

Saturday was all about building the Mars Rover LEGO GM got for Christmas and attending a sweet Tea Party for a freind who was turning six. It was a Felicity Colonial Tea Party and most of the kids dressed the part. The boys were so gratious about participating in the tea time, and of course GD LOVED it!!! ME basically played with all their toys, even helping herself to the birthday girl's gifts before they were opened! She is so fast and quiet!! We visitied and played for the whole afternoon, coming home to hang out together and continue our little house projects. ME really liked the whole tea party theme and decided to throw a tea party for her animal friends. It was so cute to see her starting this sort of "girlie" play. I of course had to take some pictures!!!

Sunday we had our coffee and worked on the renovation plans for our house. Boy we have so much to do! It will be great, but I am DREADING the real construction faze. We cleaned up the house and got ready to go to see the San Jose Taiko perform here at the the University. It was terrific! Grandma came over to watch ME for us so the boys could really enjoy the performance. They both thought it was just Okay, but I loved it. They were really very talented and made it all seem so easy. Theatre and attending a variety of live performances is definitely a lare part of our homeschooling this year (and in the past). We have been to quite a few performances so far and have tickets for four more before the summer starts. So far we have seen...

Dr. Wilderness: The Magic of Science
The Very Hungry Catepillar (an amazing puppet show with huge puppets)

FROGZ check out the video link on their site, it was such a good show!
Lecture by Dr. Jane Goodall
Tales of the Southwest
Popejoy Orchestral Performance
Nutcracker Ballet
Mariachi Christmas
Broadway's Beauty and the Beast
San Jose Taiko

We still have four performances that we have tickets for, but I may add a few if I can. We will be going to hear Joe Hayes a local author read from his book The Day it Snowed Tortillas, a story we already read and really enjoyed and Im trying to get tickets to see a live performance of Alice In Wonderland. I hope it comes together. They all three really enojoy going and it is such a wonderful way for them to get to experience different interests and admire all the variety of things in life. We love it!

Today we had our Scientists Fair which is much like a Science Fair, accept instead of doing an experiment they each did a presentation on a Scientist. Initially we thought of doing someone famous, but then I realized two things; first that I didnt want to suddenly bring a random Scientist into our rhythm, and second that Grandma is a Scientist! It worled out GREAT, and Grandma was a huge help! She let us interview her and brought pictures from a few projects she has worked on. GM really got into it. This was the first time he wanted to do some typing and choose fonts, colors and layouts for the board we made. He sat at his table and told the kids all about his Grandma the Chemist and really did a terrific job. After he was done he went around and wrote in his journal about DaVinci, Von Braun, Dr. Goodall, Sir Isacc Newton, more on DaVinci and of course Grandma Jeanne! :-) I was very proud of him. He really got a lot out of it, even with a lot of distractions and while fighting the urge to just visit with friends. I can see him really maturing a lot recently. It's exciting to watch!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Let it Snow!

Thats right! It snowed out here for all of fifteen minutes!! We caught the window of opportunity, got dressed and ran outside to enjoy the pretty white snowflakes falling from the sky. The kids were really happy, although it made them long all the more for a day of fun in the snow. We will head up to the mountains (somewhere) to play in the snow sometime in February. Until then, we just dream about it and get REALLY excited when we get a few snowflakes to land in our hair.

Productive Monday and Lovely Tuesday

After a weekend of football, birthdays and housework we were ready for our Monday morning to come. The boys are loving having their room more organized, and I am too. Gavin got to use a larger dresser and it seems to be such a success. Now he can keep all his dress-up costumes in the small one and the large one actually holds all his clothes. Good news all around!

Monday Lessons:
A good day today, and fast paced. We skipped yoga and went right to their meditation and poetry. It seemed to work well, although I prefer to do the yoga in the morning before lessons, I thought I would just see if it was really making a big difference. I think it helps a lot, but GD gets annoyed if it is everyday. Maybe I will do it every other morning or something. Anyway the boys enjoyed a poem from Spider Magazine about a snowman with a cold, and played Mary Had A Little Lamb on their lap harps. They do really well with it, but I think next week we will do xylophone to keep things fresh. Journals went well, GM likes the three options thing, and chose to write about his new room. We read a Grimm's Fairytale called The Golden Goose and moved right into our LAs. Each of the boys did a lesson in their Reading Comprehension Books and some additional activities that related to the day's lesson. Math was easy today, GM did the homework side of a Saxon page he had done last week and a Math Path, while GM began working on some simple addition with me. He is doing very well with adding, 0, 1, and 2 to a number, we will keep moving with it as he seems ready to absorb it right now. He has periods where he can really take in a lot and just leaps forward, and then you need to relax it and allow him to absorb the information. I enjoy working with him because his learning is so in tune with his development, its fun to be a part of. Today they each read a book to me. GM read More Spaghetti, I Say which GD really enjoyed and GD read My Loose Tooth, which seems appropriate for getting him ready for the idea of loosing his first tooth. He smiled really big when he got to the part about the tooth fairy visiting him. It was a good choice. Our afternoon was quiet while GM began building his Mars Rover from LEGO and GD played with his Leapster and ME for the afternoon.
Tuesday was terrific!! We started out by attending our first Science Class at a local museum. Both boys loved it. I stayed with GD and a friends daughter, while the other Mom went with her older son and GM. Both boys seemed to be really interested in it and the decision to split them up was a good one. GD had a big smile on his face for most of the class and seemed to really be into it. What a great time they had. GD did "Air, Air Everywhere" obviously about Air... while GM did a class on Rocks and Minerals, something he LOVES!!!! We met some other families we hadnt met before and got to see some we havent seen in a long time. It was really fun. Afterwards the other Mom and her four little ones came over to play. The kids had such a GOOD time while we visited. A little later another Mom came over and it was like a little party. (10 kids makes a party in my book). They played really well and while GM got to get some boy energy out GD made a friend!!! Im soooooo happy for him. He has one of the little girls in his science class, and gave her TWO hugs after class to try to be nice, and then at our house he played all afternoon with the other little girl and had a really good time being pirates and finding treasure with his stuffed animals. They were walking around the house with stocking caps on and lugging around a treasure. It was really cute. His heart was so happy for the rest of the evening. He is slow to connect but when he does it is definitely from the heart. Im just so happy to see he has finally been able to do it.

ME had a good time playing with her "girl" toys in her new room. They saw a lot of action and she did a pretty good job of sharing with the other kids. A few things (quite random actually) needed to be put up, but other than that I didnt here a single "MINE" scream from her. What a relief. She was all over one of the Moms which isnt unusual for her, she loves to snuggle with people, and her target was definitely chosen yest. :-)

I spent the evening watching American Idol (something i havent done since season one) and reading up for this mornings lessons. Were off to another day...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Roller coaster week...

Well it seems that sometimes it is the Mom who has the learning to do. We had a terrific week, however Thursday was a bit tough on GM and me. I made several mistakes in a row, and rather than listening to my instincts (something i usually do pretty well with) I thought I would just try to push through it. Of course it backfired horribly and ended our lessons with tears (mine). Mistake number one, we were really tired, this is usually okay for them, because I can see they are tired and guage our rhythm and my choices around it, but when Im tired, my judgement is off. I had no patience, and it showed. Mistake number two, I gave GM four pages in a book that is set up poorly. I knew it would be challenging and instead of saving it for a day when I had patience, I pushed. Mistake number three, I allowed my goals to rule our day rather than allowing the kids to take in what worked for them.

I lost site of why I am doing this and allowed myself to get swept up in our weeks success. Well, I did learn a lot. Mostly things I have learned through the years, but for some reason tend to forget. GM came out of it just fine, and we are back on track. Sometimes that is the hardest part (for me it usually is). I decided to have the kids do some activities around the house while I cleaned up and rested a bit. We woke up on Friday refreshed and ready to go.

The boys dont have lessons on Friday so they worked on other things around the house, their hobbies and interests drove them around the house while I focussed on cleaning ME's room. WOW, did it feel good! I worked and worked, and finally got her set up with a nice little place to call her own and enjoy. She hadnt had a real room since we moved here because storage and organization has been such a challenge. She loves it so much and has been playing in there nonstop!!

Saturday I turned my focus to the boys room, another temporary set up, that lacked focus and organization. I started in the morning before breaking for a few hours to go to my MIL's birthday party. It was a nice party and the kids were terrific!! they had a good time and my husband really enjoyed visiting with his uncles and brother. After that, and here is the big challenge, I CONTINUED cleaning the boys room all afternoon and evening!!! I finished it, accept washing their rug and hanging their curtains to block their closet off. They really like it too, GM actually hung up his clothes before bed, which was BIG!!!

Im looking forward to this coming week. The house is getting more organized, the kids are used to our routine and they start their science class on Tuesday. I know they will love it because it is at their favorite place to visit. GM has a one day (two hour) class on Dirt on Friday that he is really looking forward to too, as well as a playdate. Here's hoping for a good week!

I am updating the house pictures album on shutterfly. I added pics of the main bathroom, the boys room, and ME's room. I still have some things to do in there, and will update the pics as i do them. Also pictures of our work from the week and visiting with Grandma on her birthday.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Solar Power, Happy Birthday Dad and todays lessons

Yesterday was our first Science Club meeting after the holidays and the weeks of illness that has attacked our home. We went to a talk one of the other families had set up at the Wild Oats store meeting room. A wonderful guy came and shared a lot of great info with the kids about solar energy, conservation and gave them a lot of good ways to cut back on energy consumption. The boys loved it! Not only was he a good speaker, but he had lots of cool gadgets to show them, which is always a hit. GM was happy to see that he had a fan that worked the same way his water powered clock works. I was thrilled when he actually raised his hand to share that he had a clock like that too. He is very shy in group settings, so this was great. Of course I forgot my wallet and so after the meeting we headed home instead of having lunch or getting anything else done. GM is really excited because we set up a playdate with another family that he really enjoys. There are pictures of the presentation on the shutterfly site.

Happy Birthday Tupa!!
Today is my father's birthday! GM is making him a geometric card from his set he likes so much. Maybe I will get a picture of it before he sends it off.

Today's Lessons
Well we got a late start today, because I was tired and slept in a bit more. BUT, this didnt change our success rate. Today GM read his first level 2 book. 47 pages and he did it all in one sitting, and without complaining. I asked him when he was just over half way through it if he wanted to save the rest for tomorrow, and he CHOSE to read on!! WOOHOO!!!! We have laid off reading for about two years now, only doing it to read instructions, cards, or things he did on his own. His Kindergarten class ruined reading for him and I knew if we just gave it time he would return to it again. I am hoping we are on the right track, at least today was a great success. The book is called Baby Wolf, I chose one to give him that was something he had an interest in. GD read half of a book called A Penguins Tale He did so well, but was tired after having done his math, so we stopped when I could see he wasnt so "into it". He loves the story though so I have a feeling he will return to it before the end of the day.

Our Day
Poem "The Snowflake"
Music Practiced whole, half and quarter notes, began learning Mary Had a Little Lamb on our lap harps.
Story I read the title tale from "The Day It Snowed Tortillas".
Math GM did a Math Path Puzzle, and three pages of his saxon 2, then chose to do a workbook page and to make up his own Math Path Puzzle. GD did some matching, and early addition using objects and drawings.
Reading As I described above.

We are now off to eat lunch, and have some quiet, free time. Dad will be here any minute for lunch. So far its been a good day. Accept after he leaves I have some cleaning to do. Im charging my ipod though!!!!

Aspergers, our therapy choices and Enki


Today someone asked about approaches to homeschooling with a child diagnosed with Aspergers, or high functioning Autism. GM has Aspergers and has done incredibly well through the years using a variety of non-medication based therapies. We were very lucky to live in an area during his younger years where the people doing the research for early interventions were near by and we could tap into that resource. GM started his first therapy at 15 months old. Initially he was a very low functioning autistic child who presented with the usual regression at 10-13 months of age. We began really noticing issues at this time and the regression was very fast and very concerning. He was lost, and we had to act fast in order to help him find his way back to us again. More importantly we had to leran how to meet him where he was. Sooo... we did the following therapies from that point through his sixth year.

Sensory Integration : Most important, most helpful to him
Deep Tissue Message: A part of SI but this was a huge breakthrough with immediate results
Brushing Therapy: Again a part of SI but this really helped him a lot.

Speech Therapy: No not articulation, oral stimulation techniques and work o the processing of communication, both verbal and non-verbal.

Occupational Therapy: Fine Motor, gross motor work

Floor Time: HUGE for us and extremely helpful to do both for him and for us. VERY parent guided, needs to be done 5-7 times a day for twenty minute intervals, but we were lucky and the results kept us going to keep it up. Dr. Greenspan was our Dr for diagnosis and for helping get us to this therapy.

Special Education Pre-school program: This was a hard choice, but it ended up being a very good one for us. GM was in a great high functioning group where he was one of 6 children with two teachers and multiple therapists. This was the beginning of group therapy. All other therapies were individual and so interaction hadnt begun yet.

TODAY: We have been homeschooling for three years now, and this is our first year using ENKI. We are still new to it, but for the first time we dont have anxiety, or tears or frustration around doing our lessons. That alone has made it a treasure to have found. The program works very well for non-agressive, high functioning, quiet Aspergers kids who struggle with focus and maintaining impulse control while trying to do lessons or other focussed things. I highly recommend it. You can really get a huge amount of info from the site, including curriculum progression charts, skill charts, info on incorporating sensory integration into your lesson time, getting to the heart of subjects removing the fluff, and some other great info. Beth Sutton has done a great job on this, I am really happy to have it informing our homeschooling journey.
The number one sign that it is working is that he is starting to love learning again, he is starting to crave more again and returning the self-image he had of being a smart boy who loves a challenge. This is huge, and all I want for these early years. To foster a love of learning. For an Aspergers kid who can be very negative, on himself especially, this is fantastic!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Grandma & PICTURES

Saturday was my Mother-in-law's birthday so we all went out to her favorite restaurant for breakfast. My brother-in-law and his wife joined us too, so it was a full house. The kids had a pretty good time, although they hate eating in restaurants, especially GM. GD put on his usual floor show and managed to entertain his Aunt and Uncle. GM gave his Grandma her rose window catcher he made for her. I hung it in our window and took a picture to share. I think he did really well with it. He also colored her a card from a cool card set he had gotten for Christmas from her; so she liked it a lot.

We spent our Saturday afternoon screaming and yelling for the Redskins to pull it together and beat Seattle. Unfortunately it wasnt the outcome we had hoped for. :-( However the Steelers beat the Colts and played a really exciting game which made for a fun Sunday afternoon.

Family and friends have been asking for more pictures. It takes so long to load them and for them to open for those on dial up, so I put them online at You DONT have to register to view them, just click on view photos from whichever album you want. I loaded our Holiday pictures, Maggie's birthday, some field trip pics, the balloon fiesta, and a few others including some house pictures too. As we get more rooms together I will load more.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday and Our Home

50 Minutes, FIFTY minutes!!! That is how long our Budokon workout was this morning. Holy crap!!! Well, at least it should be the worst of it, basically it will get easier from here, and Im quite proud to say my downward facing dog pose is actually feeling more like a rest position than a workout poition, that is an improvement. :-) My husband is doing great! Although his martial arts moves do seem a little more like dance club moves at times. Lets just say that laughing and an inability to breath dont go well together!!
I fought the urge to crawl my way back to bed after this horrible voluntary torture I partook in this morning and was able to gather myself well enough for a late start (9am) with the kids. We had a rather fruitful day, and after having to force my way through it, it was a success.

I am thrilled to report that I feel that we have hit a groove. Of course this is until the next wave of disequilibrium strikes and all goes to hell, but while its here Im enjoying the ride. The boys seem to have accepted the new rhythm. I did a LOT of research in myself, our family and the concept of creating rhythm in our home. It sounds so easy doesnt it? Well, for me, its not. We spent a lot of time just observing our family, how we worked, the good and the ugly. When were we at our best, our worst, what was essential to us, what was just a waste and causing stress. This all began a while back, before we moved from Virginia back to the Southwest. We had NO rhythm in VA. My husband worked all the time, he was basically gone all day and most of the evening. There were entire days when the kids wouldnt even see him. This was not a succesful environment to achieve our goals. Something had to give. Anyway, back to the rhythm, this has been a study for me for the past year, and a lot of "inner work" has had to happen before I could even begin to figure out what would work for us. Again I have a special needs child and constantly trying to create rhythm and not sticking with it was not an option. Actually maybe that was a crutch for a while. So blah blah blah, Im feeling like we are about 35% of the way there. :-)

The kids did their yoga, quite well. Sun Salutations and some other focussing poses. Then off to meditate.

Morning Lessons:

Yoga: Oh yeah, remember my nice vacuumed undersides of my furniture, well lets just say my date night with GD and having Daddy in charge basically sent all that to the trash. I didnt know grated cheese could travel so far!

Meditation: Again breathing exercises, and then to the Robert Frost poem from the Poetry for Young Readers book The Seasons. I really like this book and when we use it up I will get more. They are great.

Journal: Kids wrote in there journals again, GM has requested that I give him a few choices of topics rather than allowing him to write whatever he wants, his inability to make a choice is paralizing in that type of scenario. I agreed and will give him two choices on Monday, and eventually work up to three.

Good Books: WOW, today I had them draw a picture in their good books to show what they had pictured in their minds while I had read them the Robert Frost poem each morning. GM came up with a lovely, mature picture that really made my heart happy. For someone with a weakness for imagery, he really had a good handle on this. Im looking forward to next week and if the meditation and poem will work so well for him again.

LA: Just one of the exercises from the Spectrum comprehension books. Light day.

Math: GM did three pages of math from Saxon (again I will hit on that in the future) and a Math Path Puzzle. GD did several pages in his DK workbook basically dealing with things like above, below, beside, same and different. Very doable for him conceptually, but a bit of overload for him today. He is off in wonderland today, and bringing him to focus is just not working. He continues to draw all over his pages, and make up imaginary stories about whatever there is on the page. I love this aspect of him, but it can be challenging to not stiefel it and still help him focus. In Enki or Waldorf, they would say he just isnt "awake" yet, and I would definitely agree!!! He was off to do his Busy Bigs Game, although it became a story about the bugs and they each had voices and issues etc.... :-)

Reading: Each of the boys read a story they chose to share. GM finished his book from yest and GD chose a new one.

The boys did great and ME was pretty good too.

The house...
So we bought my husband's childhood home, and it has been an adventure to say the least. Initially had to live with my MIL while her house was being finished, initally it was going to be for 3.5 months, but it evolved into 5.5 months instead. WOW, that is hard! Living in a house as a guest for that long with three kids is really hard. When I say guest I dont mean freeloading, trust me on that one!!!

After having a couple months with the house being ours we have started some work. Above are a few pics.

Kari and the smallest one Posted by Picasa

Thursday and my Hot Date

This was a "rest day" for our Budokon, so I slept in a bit until 7am. The kids slept in even longer, so I was able to gather our stuff and get ready for our morning lessons. In all my cleaning frenzy on Tuesday I actually moved all the furniture in the living room and vacuumed under it (after sorting all the stuff that was "hiding under there"). This is big, and I will tell you why, now when the kids are up and ready for their yoga, I can just slide the furniture out of the way, and BAM a nice clean open space for them to work in. Trust me, this makes me smile!! Here goes...

Morning Lessons:

Yoga : We do a rather gentle Sun Salutation, and some poses that are meant to aid in concentration and calmness.

Meditation: Again today I read the Robert Frost poem "Dust of Snow".

Journals: The boys each wrote in their journals, and drew pictures to accompany what they had written.

Story time: Again I read Snow Moon to the boys, we read the same book twice to "hear" it in a different way after having slept with it for a night. The boys then Good Books and drew a picture that made them think of something from the book and wrote a line from the book on the opposite page. Today they each wrote "there from all around the sleeping world, hundreds of owls twisted and twirled across the moonlit sky".

Math: today is a light math day, only a single page. GM did the reverse side of his Saxon sheet, which is the same thing he did yest, but slightly different for practice. GD Did a math puzzle on the floor.

LA: Today is a heavy LA day, so they each did reading comprehension pages in their books. GM has Aspergers Syndrome so comprehension is a huge issue for him. It is really important to practice it as much as we can. I wouldnt be doing this with him so early, but he reads pragraphs as though they are lists and comprehends none of it. This helps him to practice reading for comprehension and seems to work for now. I found some workbookie books at the local teaching supply store and bought them thinking i could use them here and there to fill in, plus I have a book issue where I have a hard time NOT buying them. Anyway, I like them. They arent just tidbits of a story as a single paragraph. Rather they are a continuous story so they will read a few paragraphs of a story and then stop to answer the corresponding questions. Then the next time they do it, the story continues. In the end they will ahve read a nice little story. Mainly fluff mind you, but still it is more interesting then just some random paragraph. After this GD did a sentence building puzzle which he really enjoys, and GM wrote out his twenty word spelling practice list. I dont give hime spelling tests but rather have him use them until I am sure he has them down. This list is harder though, so we'll see. I also had him do some exercises to try to find the missing word in a sentence. You know, the pick a word from the box type of thing. I again dont really like these types of activities, but it helps him to take in what he is reading and have to absorb it enough to figure out what is missing. He really struggles with it, so we only do two of them.

Reading: They each get a book to share with us. GM and GD

ME managed to rack up some pretty good damage to the house, so I then go and start to pick up from her little fiesta.

The boys then sit down with their lunches to watch "The Frog Prince" from the old Fairy Tale Theatre shows. By the way, they cuss. didnt really think that was gonna be on there, but it didnt take from the story, and the kids didnt even notice.

My husband came home for lunch so we had a big salad and visited a bit before he had to go back. Its nice because he gets to come home everyday now. This is great compared to before we moved and we didnt see him at all until about 7:30 or 8pm each night.

Well tonight is a big night because GD has asked me out on a date. We did this before a while back and he still talks about it. So he was really looking forward to it and was all dressed to go when he got up this morning. :-) Im talking dinner jacket and all!! We had quite a bit of time though, so I used it wisely! I put the baby down for a nap, got the boys situated and watched a movie in my room. Mind you I can never get through a whole movie without about ten pauses and rewinds, but hey, its the only way I see anything anymore. After that I talked to a good friend back east and we had phone drinks. Again, the only way I get a drink anymore. :-)

Once my husband got in I was off on my date with GD. He took me to see Narnia and to Olive Garden for "spaghetti". His favorite!! I love doing that. He is just so proud and happy to be out with me all on his own. He paid for my iced tea (I gave him $$) at the theatre and held the tickets. He is a good date too, such a gentleman. He had already seen Narnia with Daddy, so he was kind enough to waqrn me when a "scary" part was coming, and tell me that "its okay Mama, Aslan will be okay".. it was just too cute. I wish I could bundle up times like that and save them for another day, so I can open them up and enjoy them all over again. It sure is all going really fast!!

Budokon and Our Morning

Okay, so we have each gained so much weight since returning to the southwest. The food (and drinks) are way to good to pass up. It has been 7.5 months and it's time to get a grip on the situation. Enter Budokon. This is one of those workout programs you get in the fitness aisle in Target. It seemed like a good deal because it incorporated what I was interested in, and it came with multiple disks for the same price of some that had only one. Basically it combines yoga, martial arts and meditation. All really great for you, and seemingly not too difficult. Yeah, right!! It is soooo hard to do. We started learning the poses on Monday morning; after which I spent most of the morning in bed recovering. It turns out that GM and I both still had a touch of the flu our family had been passing around for the past two weeks. So at least Im not a complete wimp! Tuesday was a rest day, so I did a lot of housework. Thanks to my ipod I was able to get a lot of crap done that I normally would avoid or put-off until some other day. This set me up for a GREAT Wednesday. The Budokon went well, at least I wasnt in bed afterwards. So there I was, awake, already had worked out and had a cup of coffee, so what else was there to do? Remember the house was clean, and the laundry was all done. Wow I guess that means I need to do some homeschooling. I went into the office and pulled out our stuff and got organized to have a nice morning lesson. The kids did their yoga and went right into lessons without any complaints. I REALLY believe the yoga helps to set them in the right train of mind to focus on their lessons and accomplish a lot. I actually think it does the same for me.

Morning lesson:

meditation: the kids lay on their backs and practice rhythmic breathing, after which I read them a poem to think about. Today I read Robert Frost's "Dust of Snow"

animal calendar: I found this great "advent" type of calendar which you basically lift the flap and read about how the animal under it (under the snow) survives for the winter. They love it and it fits into our desire to keep the seasons involved in our rhythm.

music: We started out by playing different rhythms on our wood blocks, and then moved to our lap harps. The boys worked on their counting and playing whole, half and quarter notes. They did well and began to learn Hot Cross Buns on their harps. GM loved this so much, he later asked to pull it out and practice on his own.

journal writing: The boys each wrote and drew in their journals.

storytime: I read them "Snow Moon".

math block: Each of the boys worked with their different math pages. GD practiced writing his numbers and counting objects. He then played with his Busy Bugs game. GM did a puzzle in his Math Paths book, did a page from his Saxon (I will share my thoughts on this later) and a few practice problems in his math lesson book (a blank book where I pre-write some practice problems to exercise areas that need it). We are practicing carrying over with GM, he gets it, but tries to do it too fast, so it leads to errors that are basically based in organization.

reading: Each of the boys read a book of their choice for practice. GM GD

With the exception of the things that we do on our own or that arent a part of our "lessons" yet are educational, this was our lesson for the day. GD played an episode on his Headsprout (an online phonics game that he really enjoys, so I let him roll with it).

ME played along side us for the most part, and trashed the house whenever she managed to occupy herself. Its a fair trade really. I have to work to clean up whatever she decided to "explore" while we were doing lessons, but at least she is happily occupied and I am able to help the boys through our lesson time.

Wednesday is dinner at the Great Grandma's house, so after resting and having a quiet afternoon, we were off to Grandma's by 4pm. There are many Aunts and Uncles and Cousins there and my Mother-in-Law is there as well.

I felt so accomplished, worked out, did lessons, had a clean house, AND visited family as the good daughter-in-law. Hey, for me that is an accomplished day!!