Friday, August 26, 2011

First Two Weeks of School

Well the Brannon homeschooling has begun! We are ending our second week today. On the first day of school, we took school pictures. Fun! Iain is starting Kindergarten, and Cory is in Preschool. Laina is in Cute, and doing it well. :)

School pics:
Here's our fall curriculum:

One Year Bible Storybook

Language Arts:
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Handwriting Without Tears
Victory Drills
Iain: Specific Skills Series

Iain: Singapore Math A and B
Cory: manipulative play, counting, games, etc. Although he really wants to do Singapore.

Social Studies:
US Famous Americans

Some friends and I are putting together unit studies and taking turns leading and hosting them. This week was my week and we did states of matter, including root beer floats (root beer=liquid, ice cream = solid, carbonation=gas). It was fun!

--The boys both go to Timothy School on Tuesdays for enrichment classes. Iain is in art, and Cory in music.

It's been tricky finding a good rhythm, especially with a one-year-old who does NOT like being left out and a three-year-old who has been rather cranky lately. Iain's loving it though. He likes "pacific skills" best because "I like the A and B part." Cory likes "when we got those root beer things." Cory's pretty much saying every day that he doesn't like school, but when Iain and I start in, somehow he finds his way over and starts participating. :)

We like Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) especially. It's a fun program that has hands-on activities, music, and silly pictures and words.

Teach Your Child to Read is what I used with Iain last year. We are on lesson 76 now and he's doing great. This past Tuesday he just really got it and started taking off. Not the first big reading jump he's had (I love those lightbulb moments), but certainly one of the best. Cory is on lesson 8 (I think?) and knows the sounds for the long e, m, s, t, and short a.

(opening prayer with Dad our first day)

The first week of school I was so sick. Our first day, I was sicker than I had been in a long time. I thought about putting off the first day, but the boys were so excited. I had no voice for the first week, which made things really hard. But somehow we got through it and now we have a story to tell. Remember how on our very first week of home schooling you couldn't talk? :)

We started Five in a Row, but it's not working for me. Iain likes it, but it's just not my style. I tried it once before with Before Five in a Row and didn't like it. I thought this one would fit us better. But I don't care for reading the same book five days in a row. So I think we might have to drop that.

They're loving Timothy. I basically drop Cory off in music, sit in the hall with Iain and Laina until it's time to pick Cory up and drop Iain off, and then Cory, Laina and I eat lunch until it's time to pick up Iain. Lots of logistics, but it works. Iain came home last week telling me about an artist named Phil whose work they copied. And he won a sticker. Cory told me about singing the "music alphabet that's not like the ordinary alphabet because there's no H in it."

I had a good teacher moment last night when Iain correctly explained to Jeremy the three states of matter and how you tell which one a given thing is, and this hours after science class. Score!

We still haven't found the best way to structure the day, or even where we like to work in the house. And honestly I have spent more time this week disciplining a particular boy than I have teaching anything (I guess that counts as teaching character, right? Right??). But we'll get it.

Two weeks down. Twenty-some-odd years to go. Yikes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

This and That

When we found a new home for our dog Posey (did I mention we gave her away?), we promised the boys a fish instead. I love that that was an acceptable trade. The boys named him Frank. (Look at Cory the ham in these pictures!)

Right after we got Frank, we were driving somewhere when Iain said thoughtfully, "I wonder what Frank is thinking right now..."

(Some of these quotes are recycled from Facebook. Just didn't want to lose them.)

Cory: You are the boss of us, and Jesus is the boss of you.
Me: That's right.
Cory: That's because Jesus is a grown-up.
Me: Actually, it's because He's God.
Cory: And God is a grown-up. Just a really big one.

Iain: I've figured out some'kin. If I just do whatever Mama and Daddy ask right away, it takes less time and I can get back to my playing.
Me: (finally!!)

Cory: I know how to be wise in a pleasant way. Bring band-aids with you.

The boys both got new bikes! (Thanks Aunt Sam!)

(Iain with old bike and new)

(Cory cracks me up!)

(Laina watches her brothers ride.)

Iain, at the park, to me: I'm going to go make a new friend.
(to a seven-year-old boy): What are you doing?
Boy: (keeps digging in the sand, no answer)
Iain: My name is Iain Mark B. What's yours?
Boy: Andrew.
Iain: Oh! I have a cousin named Andrew as well.
Kelly, to me: Did he just say, "as well"?
(and then Iain and Andrew played for the rest of the time at the park. My boy made me proud with his friend-making skills. He's so great.)

Cory, looking at Laina: Mama, why is she brown?
Me: Because God made her that way.
Cory: I think being brown makes her cuter.
Me: Me too.

Cory: Having a baby is hard because then you have to be really not whiney if she does something wrong.

Speaking of the little lady, here she is:
Oh my word, is she ever cute. And funny. And smart. She's soo close to walking. I give her a month and she'll be off. She mimics sounds and words. She says night-night and hi. (She says "haaaaa" and waves to Jeremy every time she sees him--so cute!!) She mimics me saying shhh, and p-p-p, and other sounds. She regularly says uh-oh when she drops something. She gives hugs now, too, which is the sweetest thing ever. Love that girl.

If you go to church with us, you saw this one. We had a graduation thing for the pre-k kids who are moving up into Kids' Church. Of course, Iain is one of them, and is so very excited. So at church, the kids are all up on stage singing their VBS songs, and doing motions. Well, Iain was not doing the motions. More on that in a minute.

After the songs, all the kids are told to sit down on stage. Stephen B, one of the elders, gets the mic and says something like, "Now we're going to do a graduation for the kids who are moving up into Kindergarten." And my dear Iain stands up and says loudly, "That's me!"
Everyone: (laughing)
Stephen: Yes, you are moving up, aren't you? And--
Iain: This is my last week to be in preschool. After this I get to be in Kindergarten.
Everyone: (laughing)
Stephen: Okay, would you like to tell everyone what will happen next week?
Iain: (taking the mic and speaking loudly and slowly into it): I am going to be in kindergarten because I am almost five.
Everyone: (more laughing)
Me: (afraid of what he might say next!)
Stephen: (goes on with the program)
Iain: (still standing, calls out) I think it's going to be more funner!

After the service, several people commented on what a--ahem--confident young man we're raising. And when I asked him later why he didn't do the motions, he replied: "I was too embarrassed." Riiight.

Monday, August 08, 2011

check it out

FYI: I added a few pictures if the Lucy Museum to the Ethiopia post. Also, I will blog again someday. Honest.