Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Most Read of 2014

I've never done a post like this before, at least, I don't remember doing one like this before.....nope, I checked, never done this before. It's not exactly a "Top Ten" list, but it is a bunch of links to previous posts from this year. Thing is, my highest post counts this year mostly came from niche blog hops. So my first list is my highest view count NON-hop posts, and then the highest niche posts after that.

Top 6 Non-blog hop Posts (in chronological order):

DORA Review 

Writing Isn't Just Writing

Introduction to Car Schooling

Right Start Math Drop-Outs

Screen Time At Sceleratus Classical Academy

Open Letter to the Women in the Walmart Parking Lot

Top 9 Blog Hop Posts (also in chronological order):

Spring Skirts

Genius vs. Gifted

The Search for Friends

How a Gifted Childhood Prepared Me for Gifted Parenting

How a Gifted Childhood Prepared Me for Gifted Parenting: Part 2

Summer Skirts

The Search For Friends: Part 2

Are You and Advocate for the Gifted?

When Gifted Overexcitiblities and an Introverted Personality Collide

If you're interested in more topics like these I was also put on the Gifted Homeschooler Forum's Most Popular Posts of 2014 list so go check out all the other wonderful posts by other contributors!

So there's the list of the most viewed posts from this year. Was your favorite on the list? Or was there one you consider a "hidden gem" that didn't get as many views? Let me know in the comments, please!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Making a 3+ Doll Baby Safe Isn't What I Thought It'd Be

I didn't want to wait any longer: I bought Lady Bug a non-baby doll for Christmas. A doll that was labeled as appropriate for ages 3 years and up. I thought that surly I could make it safe enough for her to play with, and I did that. But as I was looking at the doll and thinking about it, I realized that there was more that went into that age recommendation than just safety.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Toddler Friendly Christmas Tree

Christmas trees are beautiful and magical when you're a kid (and even when you're a grown-up.) One day out of nowhere your mommy and daddy put this huge, shiny, lit up tower of awesome in your house and you.....aren't allowed to touch it?! I fought the don't-touch-the-tree fight with both the boys. Some years the little hands obeyed; other years it was miserable. This year with a mobile Lady Bug I'm done fighting against my baby's natural curiosity and wonderment and I made the whole bottom row toddler friendly. Or at least, that was the plan.

Friday, December 5, 2014


We finally moved! Thanksgiving week. Which meant eating out for Thanksgiving meal and then Lady Bug got sick on Monday so we still have a TON of stuff to move and deal with and put away. It's frustrating knowing that we're hoping to move in another year and few months, but it's what we're doing and at least our housing situation is stable again like it hasn't been for.....9 months now? And why do I own so much JUNK?!

We had no learning activities for this Thanksgiving; too busy packing and cleaning. We're only twenty days from Christmas and I still don't have our tree up. And I have a really cool idea for it, if only I could find the glue!

So, we're still alive, I'm still blogging, and I hope to have something cool to post about in a day or two.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Minecraft Birthday

I've been fighting the idea of this party for years now. I didn't want to completely encourage Builder Boy's obsession with a video game. But it's been almost three years now; it was time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

$5 Baby/Toddler Safe Nature Discovery Basket

I really wasn't quite sure what to call this. I'm labeling it Montessori even though it's not from my Montessori activity book. Based purely what I've read on Pinterest, I don't think it counts as an Invitation To Play. Maybe this is more Wardorf-y? I went to the dollar store looking for things to make a sensory box with, and this is what I walked out of the store with. I decided to start a bit smaller than a whole box.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Open Letter

To the woman in the Walmart parking lot:

You don't know me, and I don't know you. You seem to passionately care about children's well being, so we have that in common. And I agree with you that children should be talked to gently and kindly. But I disagree that yelling at children is child abuse that should be reported to CPS, like you said you were going to do to me.

You couldn't have known that I know what real child abuse is from personal experience, and you don't know how intentional I have been to make sure that is a cycle that is never passed on to my children. You don't know about the day I had had that day, and all the contributing factors that had me at such a breaking point that I acted so uncharacteristically. You weren't walking alongside me in the store and watching how my children acted while my baby cried and grabbed at me. You had no idea, and I didn't try to tell you, because your demeanor told me that you weren't interested in "excuses."

I don't know you, but your attitude suggested a history of your own. You claimed to see fear on my child's face, though I'm not sure how you could have from where you were when you came up to me. I have abuse caused PTSD, and I have been triggered by things, so I can understand where your reaction could have come from. There's another thing we might have in common.

But, ma'am, chastising me, accusing me of abusing my children, and saying you were calling people to take my children away from me was not helpful. If I had been a real abuser, that could have put me over the edge and caused much more harm than yelling. Instead you turned a really bad day in to one of the worst days I've had in a very long time. You could have been a light to me, madam. Had you come to me gently, asked if I needed help or if there was anything you could have done to help, I would have been so grateful. You would have been my hero, and helped salvage my day. Instead you tore me down even lower.

I'd like you to know that when I got home I apologized to my children and asked for their forgiveness, which they gave me. I'm pretty sure they were much more upset by the sobbing on my knees I did on and off the rest of that day than by the loud, frustrated vent you heard.

I've never been in the situation that you were in that day; and with my own PTSD, I don't know how I would react if I witnessed what you did. But I really hope that after what I experienced with you that if I am ever in that position I will choose to be a light and a help to another mother, rather than add another load onto her back. I hope I remember my own bad days, and offer her the benefit of the doubt. And I hope that she would let me help her.

Signed, the young mother in the bright pink skirt.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Baby Sensory Bottles

Last week I wrote about Lady Bug's first Montessori station. But a over a month before I set that up I had made and tested out some sensory bottles that I made, inspired by Pinterest.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Supplementing FLL2: Lessons 1-10

Once again I am supplementing First Language Lessons to make it more kinetic learner friendly. Not every child will need stuff added to this book; it is considered a complete program by itself. But to help things "click" my hands on learner needs things he can move or see, rather than just hearing what I say and talking to me about it. I know from reading on the Well Trained Mind Forum that I'm not the only one with a kid like that trying to use this curriculum, so instead of letting them give up or have to think up stuff themselves, I posted what we added every ten lessons for FLL1, and I'm doing it again for First Language Lessons Level 2.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Toddler Montessori Station

I've been inspired by many awesome pins on Pinterest to try some Montessori activities and ideas. I've also been frustrated with an almost eight year old who still sometimes needs help with his jacket. That is my own fault; I chose the fasted way to get them dressed and out of the house over teaching them to do things for themselves. So I purchased Teach Me to Do It Myself: Montessori Activities for You and Your Child to give me some better ideas to teach them. It didn't actually give me any ideas for the boys, but plenty for making sure I don't make the same mistakes with Lady Bug.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Screen Time at Sceleratus Classical Academy

Limit media! Reduce screen time! Computers and TV are rotting our children's brains!

Kids are so incredibly drawn to those moving pictures that I see parents on online forums, facebook groups, and blogs asking other parents for efficient reducing/limiting strategies to get their kids off screens and doing other, more worthwhile things. While I wholeheartedly agree that proper balance in life is important for everyone, and children need to be physical and not constantly stagnate, I also allow quite a bit of screen time in our home. And that's something most parents who do are unwilling to admit in public or online. But I'm going to tell you why I allow it and why I'm not going to feel shame about it.

Monday, October 27, 2014

When Gifted Overexcitiblities and an Introverted Personality Collide

Perhaps you've seen this meme before? It's a great visual representation of what it's like to have intellectual overexcitabilities. ALL things are interesting, all activities should be tried. (Except dentistry stuff; that stuff's gross and icky.)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Post Round-Up

This October we're supposed to be moving (yes, we've been supposed to be moving for several months now. It's complicated and really annoying.) So I'm not decorating. And it's been another one of those months, so I really don't have much to add to Halloween ideas. I'm so glad I got the family's costumes made in September! I'm the kind of person that if a project doesn't get done in one go, it is usually left unfinished. So all of my projects are simple, easy, and take only a reasonable amount of time. And don't cost a lot of money. So, for your convenience, here are all my Halloween posts, organized.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Skirts

I'm going to do this Seasonal Skirts blog hop post a little differently because, well, you're already seen almost all the skirts I own already. I wear the same skirts all year round. Some people might wonder if that doesn't get boring, or don't other people notice? After all, you could wear the same pair of jeans every day of the week and as long as they were clean, no one would notice. But with skirts, people notice. Or do they? I have a denim skirt (shown in the summer post) and a khaki skirt (shown in the spring post) that are as close to nondescript jeans as skirts get. As long as I wear a more colorful, eye-catching top, I doubt people are looking at me and trying to remember if that's the same skirt I was wearing the last time they saw me. I mean, are you tracking what people around you wear?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Quick Update

"Hi" from Lady Bug
Argh, I was afraid of this. We started our full, outside of the house activities and regular school has not been so regular. I really need to go back on my vitamins and extra iron because despite going to bed at 10pm most nights and not getting out of bed until 8:30am (waking to move Lady Bug to our bed sometime in the middle of the night) I am exhausted. Thankfully the kids never caught the cold Principal Daddy and I got in week 4, but week 5 since the start of our school year was more like a half week with the amount of work we got done. Only one history lesson and no science, no handwriting, only grammar review and nothing new, well, you get the idea. And we're still trying to find a place to move to, so this week's afternoon subjects are still not going to happen. At least we've gotten all morning subjects done! I have pictures and ideas piling up in my head, and no energy to type them all out. And now I feel like I'm making excuses and complaining, which I hate doing.

Awwwwww; I just looked over and saw Lady Bug turning pages in a baby book and laughing at the pictures. These kids sure are worth it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Homemade Halloween Costumes (2014)

Every year since Builder Boy was one year old I have been making his Halloween costumes. For the past five Halloweens I have gone the much easier route of painting on bought t-shirts. Because that's what they are used to, thankfully the boys have never requested more elaborate (or expensive) costumes. So for as long as they're happy with it, I'm going to do it the easy way!

This year the boys decided they wanted to be Angry Birds from the App Game (and web videos based on the game.) They also thought it would be fun for all of our family to be various Angry Birds. Since it's mostly just painting on t-shirts with inexpensive acrylic paints, I agreed. My costume required an additional element, and we went a bit more elaborate with Lady Bug's, but on the whole it did not take too much work or money, and we are all pleased with the results.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Are You an Advocate for the Gifted?

Are you a parent of a gifted child? If you are, then you are a giftedness advocate. Because whether or not you are homeschooling or public schooling, asking for accommodation or going with the flow, chances are there are times where you have to explain your child to someone else. When you do that, you're being an advocate.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 4

I am not sure why Skedtrack added those three exclamation marks after the sick days. I know I was not thrilled about taking this week off just because it was too painful to talk. I did manage to teach co-op on Thursday, and the boys did half a math lesson every day to earn their screen time (half a lesson each was all I could manage to talk through.) Hey, we made it through three weeks of school before having to take a break for sickness. That may be a record.

No tea party means no tea party post on Monday, but I do intend to do a write up of what we have been doing for our geography co-op. Also have a blog hop coming up on the 29th, and this year's Halloween costumes will be posted on the 30th for those who might be interested in trying what we're doing this year.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Biscuits and Butter Knife Etiquette

For last week's Art Appreciation Tea Party (which now has it's own tag!) I had several things I wanted to teach the boys. I also was really hoping to try watercress, but alas, it was not to be. At least my other plans worked out.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 3

Good News: this expressive introvert survived leaving the house for activities three days in a row this week!

Bad News: we were all so tired and grumpy from the new schedule that we got even less done this week than we did last week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Story of the World: Ancient Times: Chapter 9

Last week we finished reviewing all the chapters of Story of the World Vol. 1 that we did two years ago. This week we started on new material; sort of. See, when we last did ancient India, we only did about half of the chapter. We did the brick experiment the first time around, which was cool, but not something I wanted to repeat at this time. There wasn't much else in the activity guide, so inspired by the memory of Colonel Brandon whispering in Margret Dashwood's ear, "the air is filled with SPICES!" I did some quick Googling and then went off schedule.

Monday, September 15, 2014

German Pancakes: Take Two

For last week's Art Appreciation Tea Party I tried again to do the pancake fruit cups/German Pancakes that facebook used perfect pictures of to taunt me. I found the original recipe: check! No cheap shortcuts. I followed the instructions: check! Well, at least, I thought I had, but apparently using Pam on the muffin tins wasn't the same as "grease well." And the result?

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 2

Last week I gave a review of our week by subject. This time I'm going to do it by day. Because it has been A Week. *Warning!* This got really long. And involves what kind of looks like complaining. Feel free to skip this one. BUT, there is also a learning progression that happened for me, that might help others if they're in a similar situation with their homeschooling. So maybe it's worth reading.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Architecture School: Day 8

It's another Thursday and co-op doesn't start until next week. So that means another Architecture School Day! The big activity from the next lesson in Architecture: It's Elementary! was to draw their bedroom from memory. The perspective that they wanted the kids to draw from, however, is completely different from what they are used to. If I had just told Builder Boy to draw a picture of his bedroom, thanks to Beginning Geography, he probably would have drawn a pretty good top-looking-down view map. But that's not what the lesson had in mind, and I thought it would be good to stretch their minds and get them to think about it from a different angle. But how was I going to accomplish getting them to change their mind's eye?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

9/11 with Young Kids

(Picture from last year.)
Last year as part of an attempt to teach my kids about basic American holidays, we did a lesson on 9/11. Thanks to the gentle way we worked with the subject matter, my sweet, sensitive boys did okay. I did not show them ANY photos of the sight of the attacks, or anything that was not in "cartoon" form. I'm not going to teach them about it every year at this age; so we're not mentioning it this year. I don't want to overwhelm them; we'll do this lesson again next year. But I'm re-sharing the lesson for those who are looking for a way to introduce a very difficult subject to young or sensitive kids.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Guest Post at To The Moon and Back!

Did I forget to share this back in March? I keep looking and I'm not seeing a mention of it anywhere! Back in March, the fabulous Dusty who blogs at To the Moon and Back let me guest post on her blog! I wrote about the rules I have for working with a young learner who isn't up to a lot of output, but desires and is able to do a high level of input. Please check it out if you're interested. And look around her blog while you're at it; she's amazingly crafty! Dusty is the one who guest posted for me this great post about encouraging creativity that was posted here back in February.

Edited Later: OOPS! The link was wrong. NOW it goes to the post.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Art Appreciation Tea Party

On Thursday afternoons we have added to our schedule an afternoon tea party at 3:00 at which we will absorb and discuss various forms of art. I can't claim credit for this idea; I've seen it on several blogs, though I don't remember which blog I first saw the idea on. However, I was immediately in love with the idea, but it has taken a few years to actually get to doing it.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Week 1 Wrap-Up

Our first week of the 2014-2015 school year was completed on Friday! Despite a printer breakdown right when I was trying to print out papers for this week, and a baby girl who thinks erasing the white board while I'm teaching from it is hilarious, we got school done! And I feel really good about that. Even some of the new things I tried this week worked!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Architecture School: Day 7

Today is Thursday. Most Thursday mornings we will be doing co-cop this year. But co-op hasn't started yet, so we did another day of Architecture school. We didn't do as many days this summer as I had hopped, so I am happy to continue through the school year when we can.

The next lesson from Architecture: It's Elementary! was about measurements and....a little bit boring. So I came up with our own lesson plan. I wanted the boys to actually experience the problems with non-standardized measurements.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Handwriting Without a Pencil

I never did any pre-writing skills with Builder Boy; I just gave him the pencil with a pencil grip to help and we started in the book. In hindsight, I'm not sure that was the best approach for him. Handwriting has been a tough subject for him, and we've been sadly inconsistent with it. I am happy with the handwriting curriculum I chose; I just think I should have prepared him better.

Monday, September 1, 2014

First Day of School!

Today proved that students aren't the only ones who learn something at homeschool. I learned a very valuable lesson that until now I thought wouldn't need to apply to us because we homeschool, but something that almost all parents know: bedtime must be strictly enforced when the next day is a school day.

Since before this "school year" we started at 10 am, it was never a problem if the kids slept in some because the night before they had gone to bed later. But with the increased workload this year we need to start at 9:30am at the latest. The boys slept in until 9am, and our special start of the school year breakfast took an hour to cook and eat. Add in pictures, and we didn't start school until 10:20. And the late start affected attitudes as well...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Color Therapy Follow Up

A few days ago Nichole at Through a Stronger Lens wrote about her experience trying out my color therapy self portrait. I was really touched by her post, and her husband's reaction to her drawing. Here's the link to her blog post, and here's the link to my original post. I also did another piece that I posted with my guest post on Red, White, and Grew that you can see here. I considered doing another one yesterday, when I was dealing with the emotions and memories and triggers of talks about suicide. (That blog post here.) But thankfully writing that out helped me enough, and having gotten it out of my system, I feel much better today than I would have if I had held it all in.

A special thanks to my husband who let me go through the emotions I was dealing with without trying to fix it or take offense at my attitude last night.

I promised I wouldn't let these posts take over my blog, and I'm not going to. Back to happy, cute pictures of the boys learning tomorrow, I promise.

If you have tried out the color therapy and are willing to share, I would love to see it. If you blog about it, I'll share it, or if you just want to leave a comment.

And if you're wondering how anyone who deals with depression can possibly homeschool, here's the blog post I wrote about that.

Monday, August 11, 2014

What's True In Our Minds Is True

*Trigger Warning*
The following was written inspired by the possible suicide of Robin Williams and a friend's post imploring mourners to reach out to others dealing with depression during this time so that maybe something good could come out of this tragedy. The following is about my own experience with this topic. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

 *Possible Trigger Warning*
Not that the warning is only a possibility; it's a reality. I'm just not sure if what I'm going to write on this post will be an emotional trigger or not, but I want to have the warning at the beginning of every post in this series anyway. Because I am assuming that just about every person who reads my blog is a parent or wants to be a parent some day and I'm going to be mentioning things that will hurt an empathetic parent's heart. If hearing about child abuse is an emotional trigger for you, you've been warned. I've read things with trigger warnings and sometimes I've stayed away and been grateful for the warning. These sad posts are not going to take over my blog. They're just something I need to get out, written down and thrown out into the universe so that I can get some distance from them. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Search for Friends: Part 2

In May I wrote about the trouble we've been having in trying to find friends for the boys. Some things have worked out, some have not. Early Bird and Builder Boy spent every morning for a week at our church's Vacation Bible School. Early Bird came out of it with another friend; Builder Boy didn't. I asked Builder Boy about it, and he said that the other boys (there were so many kids that they were divided by grade and gender) were "stinking and annoying."  I asked him what he meant about that, and he did not like that they were "pushing and kicking and cutting [in line]" while he was the only one following the rules. On one hand I was proud of him for being discerning, and not following the crowd in bad behavior. On the other hand I was sad for my isolated son in whom I saw so much of my own, lonely childhood self.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Skirts

It's time for another Seasonal Skirts Hop post! And, yes, I really do wear ankle length skirts for most of the summer. They're airy and plenty cool, and at that length I don't have to worry about wind blowing it up, or bending over, or being active with the kids or anything. I'm not much of an outdoorsy person, and I burn horribly in the sun, so air conditioning is my friend. Yes, once in a while there is.....sweat. (Keepin' it real, internet!) That's when I like to stand over a floor vent to cool and dry off. And, since my skirt is so long, there's no need to worry about a Marlyn Moment.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Architecture School: Day 5

Demonstrating Columns and Beam
I do intend on getting more than just one day of Architecture school done a week. But since it's summer, we're being flexible for play dates and other activities.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Post at Red, White, & Grew

Pamela Price over at Red, White, and Grew graciously hosted a guest blog that I submitted to her a while back. (Here's the link.)

It has been more than a month since I wrote that, and I'm doing better with the anger about the misdiagnosis. Lately though, I've been feeling a lot of hurt. Back when the hurts occurred, I think I internalized them and tried to ignore them. Now I'm facing them and the feelings they create, trying to put words to my pain so I can get past the hurt.

I've been talking with a small group of people who have had a similar experience to mine. It really helped to realize that I wasn't alone in this; it happens a lot. I hope that sharing my story will help others, as I have been helped by the sharing of others.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Teaching a Kid the How's and Why's of Hammering a Nail

(I really, really hope I'm doing this right. If you're an expert, and I'm not explaining this right, please comment so I'm not giving out the wrong information!)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Architecture School: Day 3 & 4

We did do another day of Architecture School last week, but we also had errands and a doctor's appointment, so it was shorter than usual. We did more today out of the book, but didn't work on the art project, so I'm combining them into one post.

Monday, July 7, 2014

How a Gifted Childhood Prepared Me for Gifted Parenting: Part 2

Yup, that's me.
After writing and posting my contribution to the Parenting the Gifted Blog Hop I realized that I was not yet finished with my subject. Since the theme of this month's GHF Blog Hop is also Gifted Parenting, I thought I would finish the post. (Part 1 is here.) As commenter Dusty pointed out, the things I wrote about are not exclusive to gifted kids; nor is learning from your childhood. Rather, it is the intensity of emotion and potential damage things can inflict that are a greater concern for gifted kids.

I only recently learned about gifted overexcitabilities. I first read about them here and more at SENG here. I was looking for information for my children, and found myself learning about myself as well, It was one of the missing pieces that once in place with my PTSD realization helped free me from a misdiagnosis of Bipolar 2. (More about that on another blog post coming soon.) I think I'm going to need to write a Part 3 for this series, because I keep thinking of more and more things. But for now I'm going to talk about just three: Fairness, Communication, and Protection.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"This isn't my first child."

I've found myself saying that a lot lately. Mostly when I use my mouth to clean a dropped binkie, rather than rushing to sterilize it with boiling water. Or, when I'm letting Lady Bug chew on something that, while unusual, is perfectly safe, but is making other people look at me, scandalized. Or when she's scooted more than five feet away from me in church, and I continue to talk to a friend, instead of rushing to get her.

The other day, I had Lady Bug in my lap (10 months old) not holding on to her, just letting her sit, balanced. Another mother came over and sat next to me and commented on how "relaxed" I was, and wasn't I worried she would fall off? Not really; I can feel the shift in weight and balance before it happens and grab her before she falls all the way. Plus, we were on grass, so if she did fall, it would be a soft gravity lesson.

I wasn't like this with my first baby. With him, I tried so hard never to make any mistakes. I followed all the advice, and was excruciatingly careful. I put him in a crib right from the beginning, to spare him the "trauma" of having to transition to it later. I kept to the food introduction ages right on target; no exceptions. I made sure I won every tantrum that I (mistakenly, I know now), saw as a power struggle. I left the house during the "cry it out" training (with my husband in charge) so I couldn't hear it. I was determined he was going to be raised the "right" way. By the book.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

How Did We Do?

So, our main schooling part of the year is over, and we're on to our lighter summer program. This was The Plan set up at the beginning of the "school year."  And here's what really happened.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lady Bug is Eleven Months Old!

No, you didn't miss last month's. Circumstances happened, and the pictures didn't. I put off these because Lady Bug fell on her nose and scraped it up and I wanted it to heal before taking the pictures. Plus, I'm in complete denial about the fact that we are less than one month away from her first birthday. WHERE did this year go?!

Lady Bug has grown a ridiculous amount, it seems. I look at her, and I just don't see a baby anymore. In the past six weeks she's gone from receiving a therapy assessment referral because she wasn't doing any pre-crawling actions whatsoever to crawling about and pulling herself up on stuff. And by stuff I mean mostly me.

Her eyes are no longer just gray but have a greenish brown ring around the center. So I'm going to stop predicting what color they're going to be. Her hair definitely has a reddish tinge and is getting a tiny bit of curl, though much less than her brothers had at this age.

Her eating is doing very well, and she can feed herself baby snacks and end up with more in her mouth than her lap. Her favorite food always seems to be what everyone else is eating, even if she's got the same stuff or better. Oh, and she's cut through a third tooth! It's on the top, and to the side.

We've had a follow up hearing appointment (follow up recommended because she was born early,) and there was an inconsistent result. There may be a problem with the hearing in her right ear. So, if you're inclined to pray, we would appreciate it. She is meeting milestones in her own time, and I have no other concerns.

Lady Bug now waves a different way too wave "hi," and she also greatly enjoys nodding "yes." She jabbers away sometimes, says "da-da" (but not when you ask her to,) and "ma-ma" a few times.

The nine month sleeper doesn't fit comfortably anymore. I'm dressing her in 12 month clothes and even 18 month clothes when the laundry is low and she's messed through several outfits.

Her favorite toys right now are anything that makes a noise when she shakes it. I find it cute that she shakes both hands at the same time, so she waves and shakes a rattle at the same time.

Her hair is getting longer, and she has two cowlicks up front. I enjoy putting bows in her hair. I hope she gets the curls her brothers had.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

So. I try to be honest on here. Honest about my short comings, my failures, my mistakes. By doing so maybe you can avoid some of my same mistakes, or learn something about the process. I'm not perfect; and I don't want to ever come across like I have it all together to such an unattainable level of perfection.

With that in mind, do you remember that gardening project I started? I was going to teach my kids about companion planting. Even though I have a black thumb. Remember that pretty little patch of dirt? Well, this is what it looks like now:

Yup. Pretty sure those are thistles, which is NOT what I planted. What happened, you ask? Well, first I noticed my seeds kept appearing out on the top of the soil. A few weeks of replanting and I finally realized a cat (or several) were pawing away at my dirt patch and bringing up the seeds. I purchased several items to help me solve this problem, but never put them out. Then we went on a big car trip, and then I had a month of depression and dealing with PTSD reactions, and.....yeah....

Now we've been given the information that we're going to have to move. Maybe; sometime this year; probably. We're getting a lot of mixed information. So do I weed and re-plant, in the hopes that something can still be accomplished before we have to move....IF we do end up having to move? I am undecided. But next year (eternal optimism!) I'm planting in giant pots or something. Yes, even corn, beans, and pumpkins.
Architecture School is on hold until Early Bird recovers from a fever.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Supplementing FLL1, Lessons 91-100

A continuation of how we're adding to First Language Lessons Level 1 to make it more kinetic learner friendly. (Click here for my posts on previous lessons.)

Right before we started this last section of FLL1 we happened to read the book Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This is an excellent book. On the surface, it gives kids a better understanding of the expression behind various punctuation marks. On a deeper level it addresses trying to fit in when you're clearly different and embracing your inner awesome. Having read this book the boys had an easier time understanding and applying the four different types of sentences. I highly recommend it. We found it at our public library, but I intend to purchase it.

(Lesson 92) Definition of a sentence. Hand gestures are a mixture of actual signs and our own gestures.

A sentence is a group of words      (with "w" hands, tap together near your chest, then make a circle or group with them, tapping your "w" hands together in front of you.)

that expresses      (open hands palm up touching your torso, then pushed out away from yourself)

a complete thought.      (tap temple with one finger.)

Builder Boy and Early Bird loved practicing the different types of sentences and played the wonderful new game "Command" daily for over a week. I let them jump up and down or wiggle or dance when they were exclaiming (just like the exclamation mark in the book) and we tilted our heads when questioning. Even though it only took two weeks to get through the last part of the book, the four types of sentences, thanks to the book and the movements, are well cemented in their memory.

And.....we're finished! We started, almost two years ago. If you don't have a horrible pregnancy, and aren't complete slackers, it should not take you this long. Unless you want it to, which is totally fine.  It goes by level, not grade. We enjoyed it, my kids learned a lot, and they don't hate grammar. That's a curricula win if ever there was one! I thought about starting FLL2 this summer, but since we're doing Architecture School, I've decided we'll wait until fall. I have an idea for when we reach adjectives and adverbs, so I will probably continue supplementing FLL2 with more kinetic activities.  I hope this has/will be a help to the parents out there who really like First Language Lessons but need a little extra for their kids who learn a little differently than just what the book has. ___________________________________________________________
The lessons and the definition we got from FLL1. The original link is an affiliate link for buying it straight from the author, the picture is a link to the Amazon listing. Thank you for supporting our homeschool and my curricula habit by clicking on affiliate links.
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