Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back to School!

Oh how nice it feels to be back to our usual schedule! The kids have been excited about some new things we've added to our week and we are enjoying using many of our Christmas presents as a part of our school time.  :)

Joshua picked up right where he left off, flying through his first spelling lessons book. He's using All About Spelling Level 1 and loving it. He's exactly halfway through the book now and I'm only doing the lessons and practicing when he wants to do it....which is almost every day. :)  He still isn't very comfortable in his writing so most of the time he's spelling with the magnetic letters, letter tiles or some other form like playdoh or writing them in salt. I think next year I'll go through the book as a review with him when he is writing a little easier, but for now, he's sure having fun learning! He LOVES all the spelling rules and has all the ones up till this point in his lessons memorized. The book has them in a sing songy form so that they are easy to remember and that makes it more fun.  :)
He claimed the little Korean table as his 'desk' on Monday morning...It was fun until he realized that Samuel could reach anything he was trying to do. That frustrated him a bit and he decided to join us at the big table until Samuel went down for a nap. :)
He's enjoying having me fill up his workboxes each day with activities for him to do while I'm having one on one time with Joy or Faith. He's always so excited to see what's in there each day and it's never anything super special, but I think he just really likes having some of his day planned for him. He likes to  see what he's accomplished and what he's going to do next. Sometimes one of his boxes will have just a book in it for him to read or look at, sometimes it's a puzzle or easy craft or cutting practice. This one he is building pictures that I made for him to match with his Duplo Lego Blocks....
The stack of these kept him busy for quite awhile!
We are loving our new Melissa and Doug Snap n' Sort Color Match game! We played with it this week during our Tot School time. Faith and Samuel have play time with Mommy while Joy and Joshua have things to do independently. Faithy really loves this time and always wants to shut the playroom door so it'll just be us! She actually said to Joshua earlier this week, "Go away Josh! It's MMMYYYYYY school time right now!" I had to laugh at first, and then we had to talk about sharing Mommy and how it was okay for someone to come in and ask a question if they needed to. It makes me happy that she looks forward to this time, I love it too.  :)
Even Samuel was playing with the Snap n' Sort. He was helping Faith Elaina and handing them to her. She made him happy by dramatically thanking him so sweetly each time he gave her one, so he kept this up for a long time.  :) We talked about the colors and practiced lots of counting.
Joy chose the Fox and The Crow book to read and do a page on for her reading notebook. Usually I'll pick out a few for her to read aloud to me during the week, separate from her reading curriculum, and then let her choose one that she wants to do a page about. Since it was our first week back after a long break, I did the writing for her. She was a little tired of writing by lunch. :) So she narrated some things to me about her favorite character, the moral of the story and how she would have ended it differently if she had written it. Then she made some pictures....her favorite part. :)
She is studying Early Crete this week for history and we've been reading all about the Minoans and their ships and also the story of King Minos and the Minotaur. On Friday we'll be wrapping this one up with 'The Mysterious End of the Minoans' chapter and a very fun project for all of us to do together! I asked her what some of her favorite things she's learned about them have been and she said, "I liked learning about the king who built big ships to wipe out the pirates and patrol the sea and how the greatest palace of Crete didn't even have walls because the Navy was so strong that no bad guys could even get close to the shore!" History is by far her favorite! She's always wanting to move on to the next chapter! We LOVE our Story of the World books and curriculum, they really are written so well and are so much fun to read!
We started KinderBach this week! We'd really like the kids to learn to play the piano at some point, but I'm completely NOT musical...unless tapping with my feet counts! I can keep a better beat in my tap shoes than I can with my hands! LOL! :) Anyway...we're in Korea for a long while and I really didn't want to wait until we get back to the States to begin some sort of musical exposure and exploration. So I found Kinderbach and thought it would be a great addition to our day. The kids have loved it!
It's meant for very young kids, like ages 3-7, but Faith really enjoys it and Joy is still learning a lot (Me too!) even though it's obviously meant for teaching young kids. So far it's moved a little slower in parts than she would like (she wanted to play a whole song the first day) but that hasn't stopped her from wanting to do it everyday! It's on DVD's and also came with CD's with the songs to play along with, and CDROM's with printable pages and music to learn to read.

So far we've all learned what a quarter note is and looks like, finger placement and the names of some of the keys. There is a character that 'lives' on each key and each of their names begins with the same letter as the key that they live on so it's easy to remember. We've met Dodi the Donkey so far this week and he lives in the two black keys! :) It's been really fun and I'm excited about learning to play right along with all of the kids. After the six levels we'll have a good basic knowledge of reading music, and in the lessons there are several 'Everyday Songs', 'Christmas Songs', 'Hymns' and 'Patriotic Songs' that we'll know how to play. It sounds like a good music foundation to me for a 7 year old and so worth it x4 kiddos!!  :)

So ALL that to say that our first week back to schooling is going pretty good and we're having fun, as The Adamses always do! :)

3 comments:

  1. So awesome! Looks like a fun first week back. I think Ben would love those lego design pages... =) Could you email them to me please? That is a GREAT IDEA!
    You Rock again! - J

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  2. Okay ME TOO! :) Please email them if you don't mind sharing???? Luvs!
    Mandie

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  3. What fun you all have! And I think my littles would like the Lego designs too! Do you have my email address? I would love to have them too if you're sharing! Thanks!
    Laura

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