Monday, June 28, 2010

FHE for the 4th of of July

I just found this and wanted to share.  The church put together a bunch of lessons for Bicentenial of the Constitution and now they have it available as a PDF.  The lessons in it would make great FHE lessons or just 4th of July week lessons.  They have a lesson for older kids and a separate one for younger kids so there is something for everyone.  HERE is the link.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Potty Training Woes

A dressed up Princess Jovi just came up and asked me, "Do you have a secret past?"  I said, "Noooo, should I?".  To which she answered a decisive, "Yes."  I said, " ok, I have a secret past.".  Then she asked, "Where is it?  Is it in your room?".  lol  Where do kids get these crazy ideas?  I tried to explain what a "secret past" is, but I don't think she got it. 

Anyway, I got on here to write about Corbin and potty training.  (future info may be a bit graphic, I talk about poop)  Corbin has occasionally been using the potty for a few months now and shows lots of interest.  He wakes up dry from naps and very clearly knows when he is pooping because he hides and tells us to leave him alone.  So two weeks or so ago I bought him some undies and even sewed him a few pairs (need to get a picture of them on here), but I used this pattern and really enjoyed making them.  I got him a book and my mother got him an even cuter book He sounded like he was totally on board, ready to be a big boy in undies.

He was not totally on board.  He started out excited, but refused to poop on the potty.  He waits till I put him in a diaper and when not offered that choice just goes in his undies.  I don't know what to do about it, but it has lead to an overall potty training issue.  Today he doesn't even want to pee in the potty.  Whenever I ask if he wants to go he gets angry with me.  Somehow forcing a wiggling, crying two year old onto the toilet seems worse than useless to me.  He had two accidents this morning and after the first one he hid from me which scared me to death.  He has started opening the front and back doors and ran outside and two houses down before I caught him a few days ago.  I was SO afraid that somehow he had gone out the back door unnoticed, but he was hiding behind my bedroom door quieter than I've ever seen him before for 5 whole mintues.  Anyway, after the second accident I put him back in diapers and he's been happy with that ever since.  Maybe I need to make a bigger deal about diapers being for babies, maybe I just need to wait a few months.  I don't know.  Maybe it is just today and tomorrow will go better.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Preschool

The last time I blogged about preschool I said I was going to write my own preK curriculum. Just to clarify, while I have written curriculum in the past, it can be an insane amount of work and so, I am looking for quality curriculum to use with the program, but I am not writing it from scratch myself.

Anyway, I've been surprised how much Jovi wants to play school with me. Every day she asks to play more school, so I'm starting preK early for her. I say, why wait, she wants to learn and I am happy to teach someone so eager.

We got two completely unused math "workbooks", the kind they use in the lower school grades in the clearance section of Half Price Books. One was Kindergarten level and one First Grade level. I don't have the teacher book with the exact directions so i've been winging it, but I think I'm getting most of it right. Jovi has been going through the kindergarten book but has kind of gotten bored with it. When they have 5+ pages of drawing 1-5 objects and then writing the number I don't blame her for getting bored. SO, we started the preK touchmath program today. Unfortunately I think she would enjoy the Kindergarten program alot more. This would be a perfect program for 3-4 year olds, but is a little lower level that what Jovi needs. I have a feeling she will move through this really quickly, but at least she is having fun with it and learning her touchpoints. Once she learns the touchpoints I should be able to use any math book.

I am planning on going to Mardel's tonight, getting a calendar set and laminating it. I'm also laminating words for our word wall. I'll post pictures of our upstairs "school room" as soon as it is put together.

I was having terrible school flashbacks while writing the words for the word wall. I was attempting to write in D'Nealian style because that is what Frisco ISD teaches. It is also what I failed at learning when in elementary school. Handwriting was always my lowest grade and I dreaded those sheets coming back from the teacher with lots of red marks where I didn't quite have the letter shape touch the appropriate line and I never had the right slant to my letters and my curves at the end of the letters were always too big or too small. Oh, how I hated handwriting, that and spelling were my most dreaded subjects. I was in heaven when we got to start typing our papers, no worries about handwriting AND I could use spellcheck. Anyway, my sister was sitting with me while I was writing the words and gave me a nice dose of reality when she asked; "Are you really worried that your four year old will be judging your handwriting?". I know she will just be happy to have them available so she can write the words. Oh, here is a site that has lots of free D'Nealian worksheets, which I obviously need to use as much as Jovi.

I finally found a reading program and we started it yesterday. I love it. It is the phonics program on Reading A-Z. It is more expensive than just a book, but less expensive than a program with readers. I love that the lessons are fully developed with games and printable books. The whole site is FULL of printable books. We started the phonological awareness lessons and Jovi loved the first one. Each part of the lesson is short enough that she didn't get bored and then there is a game to reinforce learning and a read aloud book you can print or an option for you to use your own book (something I think we will be doing fairly often to save on ink). Once she is ready for the actual phonics program each lesson has its own decodable reader and my favorite part of this program is that it doesn't just stop at teaching CVC words, it has lessons for blends, long vowels, digraphs and more. It is a great site for the price.

I also got these:

I like that both Jovi and Corbin can use them and they are really cute. This way Corbin doesn't feel left out of the whole school experience.

I'm working on adding some science and art every day. I plan on having a fairly integrated program in the Fall, with monthly themes but right now I'm just adding things as I can get to them. It is so fun teaching Jovi when she is so excited about it. She calls me teacher and tries hard to follow directions. I hope she is this excited about school forever.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Lost Vacation

Last week was Juan's vacation. We had great, exciting plans like painting the interior of the house and going swimming with the kids and taking them to do other fun things. But you know what we ended up doing? Nothing, nada, very boring. The week before we found out that Juan and I had acute bronchitis so we spent our whole vacation getting better. Going outside made us feel worse, way worse, so we were stuck inside too, something the kids didn't appreciate. In an attempt to have some fun we bought a bunch of legos and I have to say they did brighten the vacation. Juan loved legos growing up and I had one city set I fondly remember so we thought we'd try getting some. Juan and I love them and Jovi thinks they are great. She loves the minifigures and "decorating" the things we put together. There IS a reason why they have the age 4+ on lego boxes though. Corbin finds legos frustrating because he is always breaking the things he wants to play with. We've ended up making them a nap toy to keep everyone happier. While we are not 100% better even now, we are getting there. I'd say we are 80%-90% better which is a huge improvement. I'm even thinking about taking the kids to the pool today, something I couldn't even consider last week. It is taking forever to get over this, but hopefully we are almost there and I am SO grateful that the kids didn't get sick. Hopefully next year's vacation will be better.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Jovi had a great year at Applecreek preschool. She had two wonderful teachers, Ms. Jenn and Ms. Caroline and a small class of friends. A few weeks ago they did a presentation for their families. It was super cute and had a dog theme. Jovi even had a speaking part, introducing the days of the week song.
Then after the presentation they got certificates for finishing the 4 year old program.
It was a fun day and I'm proud of how much Jovi grew this past school year. She is almost ready to read and her writing had gotten much better, she can count to 60, usually without mistakes. She has gained back confidence that she lost when we moved and goes to class (preschool and primary) by herself without crying. She loves to play pretend and write words, draw and play card games. One of her favorite things to do is play school with me. The other day we did 41 pages of a workbook because she didn't want to stop. She still likes Scooby Doo, but her new obsession is Astro Boy. We've been watching the anime series through Netfix and she just loves it, so does Corbin. Jovi loves her little brother and is a good big sister. She looks out for him and they like playing together most of the time. Jovi has a great sense of humor and is so funny. I'm so glad Jovi is part of our family.