A Week of A

Last week, we began our journey through the alphabet.  Jackson is almost 6.5 and is about to lose both of his bottom front teeth.  His interest in learning to read and write letters has grown immensely over the past six months.  I wanted to slowly make our way through the alphabet and keep things light enough so Miss Izzy (at 3.5) could come along for the ride.  Jackson and Izzy are very creative and LOVE to draw, paint, craft and sculpt, so schoolwork absolutely must involve each and every one of those activities.  And the stories… how they adore stories, so I went a bit story crazy.  Izzy sits still during story time just mesmerized.  Jackson absolutely must be doing something else to keep his body busy during the story – he cannot sit still.  He builds with blocks.  He runs in circles.  He throws beanbags or balls.  He’ll even act out the story being told on occasion.  I embrace his movement because it allows him to hear the story.

I told the A verse from LMNOP and All the Letters A to Z daily and we drew the picture with the letter A.

We began the story of The Wise Enchanter.  All the kids fell in love with this story and cannot wait to hear the next chapter.  Jackson and I made a main lesson book like in the story.  I sewed up the pages and used a file folder cut to size for the cover.  It turned out beautifully and how it pleased Jackson!

I also told the story of Michael and Mrs. Applebee from Serendipity.  All the kids were pleased with this story too.  Izzy was delighted with the fairies and being about to color them.  Jackson and Alex identified with Michael.  They were intrigued by the botany aspect and enjoyed learning about the saints from the magical red book.  I’m pulled between making little felt saints like these and trying to make little flower fairies to go along with us on this journey.  Both would be too much.

I carried over some ideas from Letter of the Week and introduced a few other concepts: Squares, the number 1, and a nursery rhyme.   They already knew “Hey Diddle, Diddle” and confidently shouted it out each day with smiles on their faces.  We cut and glued a picture of all squares.  We found squares all over the house and on our nature walk (which did not go over well with the temperature being in the teens, but we did it anyway.)  We counted single items.  We played with playdough, and Jackson made all sorts of A’s of his own initiation.  We baked apple crisp and made A’s out of blocks and playsilks and any other medium we could find all week long.  Jackson asked to practice writing more, so I found some free print-outs and let him go.

And when they asked for yet another story, I pulled stories from EarthSchooling, Little Acorn, and these two free treasures that I found at Google books.

He has positively beamed all week long and couldn’t wait to show daddy his work at the end of each day.

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Kindergarten

Interesting article about academic kindergarten.

Family has asked many times if Jackson will be starting kindergarten this year since he’ll be turning 5 in September.  Nope, I’m not.  He needs time to just be five!

And when he does start kindergarten, we’ll likely be taking our cues from Waldorf philosophy, and keep things active and playful.

My Little Nature Hunter

All in one day last week, Jackson found a slug and two varieties of caterpillars.  He was oh so proud of his finds!

Catepillar! Slug Close up of Catepillar

And yesterday, he called me over to the side of the pool to watch a cicada emerging from it’s old shell on the ground.

He misses nothing and is so aware of everything outside.  He’s constantly trying to point out wild edibles and want to be immersed in it all!

It’s a wonder that I’m able to drag him inside at the end of the day!

Happy Birthday!

James 33 Birthday

Another birthday celebration here yesterday, this time for one special papa!  I helped Izzy make the cake in the morning.  Alex did the base layer of frosting and….

Cake decorating Izzy Boys cake decorating

All three kids got a bag of colored frosting and went to town decorating the perfect birthday cake!

33 Birthday Cake

I think James liked it!  Even though he had to work, I think he had a darn good day and will be enjoying all of his new camping stuff very soon!


Sprinkler!

It felt a little more like summer here this weekend when we hooked up the sprinkler for the kids and roasted some marshmallows over the fire.  I won’t mention the big old thunderstorm that blew in as I was roasting the last one and got me a wee bit wet.

The boys positively adored the sprinkler.  Izzy wasn’t so sure of it and kept her distance.

Sprinkler Sprinkler 2 Sprinkler Jackson Alex Sprinkler