Monday, February 6, 2012

A few things I've done

This is a scarf I made for Daniel with some yarn I had floating around the house. It's not the best picture but if you look carefully in the middle there is cabling. This was my first time doing cabling and it's crocheted not knitted. It looks really nice. The only problem is he doesn't like it as it's too bulky to fit with his coat which fits him really snug. I had a fun if frustrating time learning how to cable though. Maybe next year with a looser coat he will like it better.
I've meant for a long time to post pictures of the kids bathroom which I painted last year and have never done it. So this morning while I was taking pictures of things I included it. Just this wall is blue (Robin's Egg it is called.) It had previously had some nasty wallpaper on it and isn't textured like the other walls so I had to do something different with it. I love blue and white together, and the ocean scene on the shower curtain adds a lot. Took make this look on the wall I just took an old towel rag I had laying around, dipped it in the paint with it wrapped around my fingers and started patting the walls. It was a bit like finger painting actually. I think it turned out rather nice.
This is the other wall to Reagan's room. I've been working on it for quite awhile. Mainly trying to figure out what I was going to paint. I'm not thrilled with the hillside I painted so I'll be painting back over that soon. I'll probably add a stack of books under the tree, and maybe a bird or two. I struggled with what I was going to write on the wall. I finally decided on "Once Upon a Time In a Land Far Away" which I think is particularly apropos as we live in a land far away.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

School 2012

I just discovered that this post had never posted for some reason. It was supposed to post back the middle of January, so for your reading pleasure~
School this calendar year got off to a rocky start due to a monster flu that attacked us the day we got back from Missouri. This week we have been doing a bit better with just a few digressions...
I was really excited as my MIL gave me a couple of folk/children's song books for Christmas. I have been wanting to include folk songs in our school curriculum for some time and have just not gotten around to it. But this gave me the kick start I needed. The kids and I went through one of the books and I let them pick out which one they wanted to learn first. And it was - "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". If you're not familiar with the song, she first swallows a fly, then a spider, a bird, a cat and it goes on from that. They are thrilled with the song and I just throw it in after our regularly scheduled Children's church song that we are working on learning. Reagan begs for more.Luckily too one of the books comes with a CD so we can pop it in the car as we are driving to appointments.
Recently I read an article (which I can't find to link for you at the moment), on how folk songs are disappearing and they are not being taught to children anymore. It talked about how this is one of the ways we pass on our culture to our children and it has been that way for 100's of years. But that is changing and I'm not sure that that is a good thing. Children should grow up singing Pop Goes the Weasel, and Skip to My Lou. It's something that crosses boundaries of time and connects us with those who have gone before. It also exposes kids to music in a nonthreatening way so that they feel they can participate and aren't worried about whether they sound good or not.
In other news on the school front, Daniel surprised me this week in knowing what 100 and 1000 are. So we have spent the week working on place value, and reading random numbers from 1-1000. I love the math curriculum we are using (Math On the Level) because when something pops like this that he is interested in we can pop over to that subject matter and learn it while we continue reviewing what we have already learned. I'm pretty sure place value for 1000 isn't going to come up in most kindergarten curriculum's. But he understands it so why not re enforce it and cement it now?
I've started prereading a bunch of his school work for next year and I am SO excited to share it with him, I can't wait for June! I'm learning so much myself. The curriculum we are using is Ambleside Online which you can find the link to on the right of the screen. It uses literature to teach most subjects and it is so rich! I've been reading Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall which we will use for several years for history, and I've learned a lot in the 1/8 of the book I have read so far. It is a book for children about British history which precedes our American history. We will also introduce him to Shakespeare next year which will be really fun and I can't wait to preread that. Reading is such a great adventure! It opens so many new thoughts and avenues.
I'd love to share more but the making of dinner awaits (and then I can indulge in a bit more prereading).

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

These are pictures my sister Eliza took while we were in Missouri in December. Reagan's newest favorite thing to play is that she is Sleeping Beauty. She makes a beautiful one.  

 I especially love these black and white pictures Eliza did of her.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Mother's Proud Moment

Why would this picture give a Mother a very proud moment? Let consider that her son until about 4 months ago really struggled writing anything. When we started doing formal school work it took everything he had just to be able to write his letters or numbers. It was very hard work for him. Coloring anything was something he avoided like the plauge. All of a sudden a few months ago he started decorating his workbooks. 2 weeks ago during church this is what he drew. It's very detailed. There are flowers in the windows. There are wood, flames and smoke in the chimney. There are several different types of vehichles on the street. Going from struggling to write to willingly doing it on his own. Halleujah! Physical therapy and Occupational therapy are really working. I cannot tell you how happy this made me. 

For Christmas Daniel got a set of real tools. Here he is trying out his hammer for the first time. I'm hoping to use these tools frequently for him both because it teaches a useful skill and it's good therapy for him.

You will notice he is sans glasses. They broke a week or two ago and we are waiting for the new pair. This will be his 3rd pair since he started wearing them in October of 2010. Daniel was very excited about this pirate ship he built at his Play therapy. He is very interested in pirates right now and this is the toy he goes for everytime at Play therapy.