Still Catching Up...

I wish I could devote more time to blogging these days, but the best I can do is to post when I can.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer School

Despite the long summer vacation - 5 days shy of 3 full months - we have been doing a lot of learning this summer. When school ended in June, the Tumbleweed seemed a bit disappointed, so I let her pick out a couple of workbooks so she could play 'school'. Well, she totally took to this, completing two pre-K books in nearly a week. I must admit, they were sort of impulse purchases with characters she liked and I did not fully check the content. They were a little too easy. But since she was quite eager to get new ones, I put a little more thought into what we were selecting.

Since early July, she has been working on her "Sight Words" (one of the workbooks from round two). Besides learning the words, she also gets a lot of handwriting practice with her lowercase letters - without just practicing "handwriting" (which she tells me is too boring). It has been neat to see her be able to put together the sight words she knows and the words that she can sound out to really be able to read some of her books (although sometimes it is hard to tell because she has memorized most of them quite well). In addition to her workbooks, she has also become a fan of word searches, color by number and connect the dots.

In order to keep the Dandelion out of her way, he too has a little workbook. Obviously, he needs lots of help and only has about a 30 second attention span, but he is making some progress. He has gotten quite good at his shapes - especially octagons, which he likes to point out while we drive. He has shown more interest in coloring recently, but does seem to be struggling to learn his colors a little bit. I am hopeful that he grows to like coloring even more, because I could really use an activity that will keep him busy while the Tumbleweed does gymnastics, soccer & dance.

To keep our new activities organized, I have set up an activity box. In it are all of the workbooks, stickers, crafts & flashcards. I only pull out a couple of featured things for each kid when we need a quiet activity, so they remain interesting & special. I also have a grab bag of papers with activities written on them. The Tumbleweed can choose one of these activities to do while the Dandilion naps --- play-doh, lite brite, puzzles, markers, stamps, board games, etc. So far it has worked pretty well, and she usually accepts the activity she drew first.

But, not all learning is organized. Here are some of the other things the kids have picked up this summer...

The Dandelion:
~how to climb out of his crib
~how to sing "C is for Cookie"
~how to build with (duplo) legos
~how to walk down the stairs
~how to turn on the water at the bathroom sink
~how to close the car door from the inside
~how to dump ingredients into a bowl
~how to put ice on a boo-boo
~how to put money in his piggy bank (and not his mouth!!)

The Tumbleweed:
~how to pick all kinds of fruit (raspberries, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, cherries)
~how to climb a rope & a rock wall
~how to [happily] swim with her face in the water
~how to tie her shoes (sometimes)
~how to jump rope (she goes backwards?)
~how to paint her nails
~how to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich
~how to put sippy cups away
~how to pull weeds

Now is it time to start school yet?!?

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