Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kindergarten Graduation

It's so hard to break out of that K12 mentality I grew up with.  I've come to the realization (after C told me in her own little words) that I am holding her back.  She basically told me she was bored with what we were doing, and asked when we were going to do harder stuff.  Wow.  I was trying to follow CM's method of not starting "serious" studying until she reached 6, but in doing so, I am making her wait, just like government school would.

I looked over the kindergarten requirements, and sure enough she has mastered everything.  So, I'm graduating her today.  I will officially have a first grader.  I am a little sad, and yet joyous in that God is teaching her so much, because it surely isn't my doing.  I seriously look at what I've been doing with her in our very relaxed way, and wonder how she's picked up everything.  God and my daughter continue to amaze me.  It is beyond me.  This is between God and her, and it's so wonderful.

We took her out to dinner at her favorite sushi place in celebration, and presented her with her own diploma.  She was very excited, and we were very proud.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Butterflies and Symmetry


Our homeschool group took a field trip to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.  The girls loved it!  We will definitely be going back.  These are the books we read over the previous week.  We also covered symmetry because it fit in so nicely with the butterflies. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Visiting Grandparents

Apple Picking!
Mason Neck State Park
Mailing first pen pal letter and playing at park.

Classifying Animals

C was playing with her blocks one afternoon. (8/26/10) She ran downstairs and excitedly asked me to come see what she made.  So I did, and this is what I found.  She had classified all her toy animals.  It really reminded me how much kids learn on their own, because we've never done this before.  I've never sat her down and said, "Classify this, or group these, etc."  It was just so wonderful to see another example of her demonstrating what she already knows and understands. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Detective C's First Mystery: Surprise Sunflowers

video
A handful of sunflowers have popped up in my grandparents' backyard.  I was discussing with C how Grandma said she hadn't planted them.  I asked C if she could figure out how they got there.  It was so neat to see C's logic and thinking skills in action.  After she figured it out, she wanted me to record her answer to the Surprise Sunflower Mystery.  =)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Backyard Nature Study

We found a different type of mushroom growing in the backyard's mulched area.  They were a tad dried up by the time we found them.  C wanted to see if watering them would help, so we did that.  It also rained later in the day, so we'll check in a few days to see if they revived at all or if any new ones sprouted up.  It was neat, because this was her first self prompted science experiment.  I love that these nature studies are encouraging that type of thinking.  We also happened upon some tiny spiders.  C was amazed that within a few square feet of us at one point, were about half a dozen spider webs that we could see.  We also noticed quite a few dragonflies flitting around as well.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Green Gilled Mushroom

These popped up in our front yard after a lot of rain from the previous week or so.  I took the girls out in the heat to do a quick nature study.  We talked about the parts of the mushroom and the environment's conditions that were favorable for it's growth.  We identified it as a Green Gill Mushroom, which apparently is extremely poisonous, but we discussed why we should never eat wild mushrooms.  I had C sketch this as her very first entry in her nature journal.  I'll have to scan it in later.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tiny Creatures

While working on the front yard, Daddy found four cicada shells for C.  She was fascinated by them and immediately wanted to look them up online. This was her favorite video:


Later while helping Daddy, we also found a small common toad in the bushes.  She loved looking at it for a while, and finding it in our wildlife book.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Duck Pond & Aquarium

Hubby found a great little business park that was really a nice nature spot in the middle of the city, so we took the girls one morning.  They enjoyed being able to freely explore.  C was enamored by the ducks.  She kept wanting to get up close, but since she didn't have bread, they were not interested.  D loved tailing behind her big sister.  We also saw a lot of dragonflies, and even a huge group of caterpillars all on one tree branch.  We did a bit of bird watching as well.  The girls truly enjoyed themselves.  Too bad it was insanely hot, or we would have stayed longer.  We also had a trip to the aquarium planned.

Monday, July 19, 2010

C is starting Kinder!

We have officially started Kindergarten!  C is very excited to start doing "schoolwork" again.  We started really early because she doesn't quite understand the concept of "summer vacation."  For C, there is no vacation from learning, and honestly, I like that. 

We'll be using the Charlotte Mason method.  I adore her educational philosophy, and truly they are the beliefs I have held all along.  I'm so glad that there are so many resources out there that follow her method.

I will try to post more regularly.  Even though I have records for everything on my computer, it will be nice to document in pictures along the way as well.  (I should have taken a pic of her first day!  I forgot!)

So, here's to the many more "little discoveries" that we will encounter this year!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting Ready for Writing

I've been having C work on developing her finger dexterity so that we can start working on her writing this upcoming school year.  She is writing some, but just however she decides to, usually in all upper case letters.  She'll start learning to write the correct way when we start her kindergarten level work.

So, to keep it interesting and fun for her, I've been having her do a variety of projects:  loom weaving, playdough, perler bead creations, making sticker pictures (peeling and placing stickers herself,) sorting and lacing beads, coloring, painting, puzzles, and paper mosaics (I have her tear little pieces and glue them on a coloring page.)

She's been having fun with these projects, and loves to be able to see the tangible results of her efforts.  She's also excited because I told her that she needs to work her finger muscles if she wants to learn crochet, which she has wanted to learn for a while now, but hasn't had the dexterity to do it.  I'm looking forward to that future project!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Beach Books

Backyard Nature Studies: Robins and a Rabbit


Our lone pine tree in the backyard had become the home of one (maybe two) robin families.  We've been observing the nest and noticing when the parents would hunt for food and feed the babies.  Lately, the birds have not been using the nest, and I feared the babies had been knocked out during the last storm.  Surprisingly, last night, we saw one of the babies alive and well.  His parents were hunting for food and feeding him right there on the ground.

Another critter that has felt welcomed into our yard is the little wild bunny.  We've watched him munch on the endless amount of clover available in the backyard, and have also noticed evidence that he's found the wild strawberries that grow along the fence line. 

The girls were so excited to watch from our back door.  I'm so glad that these animals feel safe in our yard and have chosen it as a place to live.  We are very lucky to be able to watch them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Trip to the Beach

Went to the beach for lunch with C's grandma.  The kids played in the sand, collected sea shells, observed the waves, observed crabs, and best of all spent quality time with Grandma.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dinosaurs at the Museum


C's great-grandparents took her to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum where she got to see dinosaurs and fossils.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow!