Saturday, March 12, 2011

We love Hymns for a Kid's Heart!

Our family has been so very blessed by the book "Hymns for a Kid's Heart", volume one, by Bobbie Wolgemuth and Joni Eareckson Tada:
Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Vol. 1

We also have "Christmas Carols for a Kid's Heart," which we thoroughly enjoyed throughout the Christmas season: 
Christmas Carols for Kid's Heart (Hymns for a Kid's Heart, Vol. 3)

I never would have guessed the impact these hymns would have on my children, and I am so thrilled that they are not only learning hymns, but love them!  Each book also comes with a cd and we play the music often in our home.  We started off the year learning "Holy, Holy, Holy" and even Dorian has learned some of the words and the tune.  It is so precious to hear your children singing, especially when the music is praising God!

Right now, Davin really likes the hymn "This is My Father's World," so much so that he copied it into one of his notebooks.  It was pretty cute one night a few weeks ago we were watching American Idol and Davin said that he thinks he could do pretty well on that show.  "Oh yeah?" I said, "What song would you audition with?"  "Oh, probably 'This is My Father's World'," he said.  How precious is that?

One night, instead of having the tv on, we were just enjoying spending time together as a family and I asked Davin if he wanted to sing a hymn with me.  Daddy had never heard Davin sing any hymns, so as we were singing I look over at my husband and see the tears start to roll down his cheeks.  It was such a moving moment, hearing our precious, innocent son singing such a beautiful song.  It's moments like these that I don't ever want to let go of; moments like these that I remember what I want to guard for as long as possible:  the innocence of our children.  I never want to see that twinkle fade from their eyes. 

Mark 10:14 "...." Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." 

Diogenes the Wise (and funny) Man

I really love the literature from Ambleside Online's curriculum.  We have the Year 1 books and have enjoyed everything we've read from them.  One of the books is "Fifty Famous Stories Retold" by James Baldwin.  Davin has recently gotten tired of doing narrations, so instead of having him tell me the narration orally, I've asked him to draw a picture instead.  He loves to draw, so this has been a lot of fun for him!

Here is our copy, published in 1896!:

Here is the story, "Diogenes the Wise Man", by James Baldwin:

At Corinth, in Greece, there lived a very wise man whose name was Diogenes. Men came from all parts of the land to see him and hear him talk.

But wise as he was, he had some very queer ways. He did not believe that any man ought to have more things than he really needed; and he said that no man needed much. And so he did not live in a house, but slept in a tub or barrel, which he rolled about from place to place. He spent his days sitting in the sun, and saying wise things to those who were around him.

At noon one day, Diogenes was seen walking through the streets with a lighted lantern, and looking all around as if in search of something.

"Why do you carry a lantern when the sun is shining?" some one said.

"I am looking for an honest man," answered Diogenes.

When Alexander the Great went to Corinth, all the foremost men in the city came out to see him and to praise him. But Diogenes did not come; and he was the only man for whose opinions Alexander cared.

And so, since the wise man would not come to see the king, the king went to see the wise man. He found Diogenes in an out-of-the-way place, lying on the ground by his tub. He was enjoying the heat and the light of the sun.

When he saw the king and a great many people coming, he sat up and looked at Alexander. Alexander greeted him and said,--

"Diogenes, I have heard a great deal about your wisdom. Is there anything that I can do for you?"
"Yes," said Diogenes. "You can stand a little on one side, so as not to keep the sunshine from me."

This answer was so different from what he expected, that the king was much surprised. But it did not make him angry; it only made him admire the strange man all the more. When he turned to ride back, he said to his officers,--

"Say what you will; if I were not Alexander, I would like to be Diogenes."

Here is Davin's illustration from the story, which he thought was so funny!  In the top picture, Alexander the Great says to Diogenes, "Is there anything I can do for you?"  Down below, Diogenes says, "Yes, you can step aside to keep the sunshine on me."  "uuhhh," says Alexander.

Traveling to Super Mario Galaxy

The boys love pretending and going on adventures, and this morning they were having adventures in their "rocket ship"!  They even let Quinnlyn come along, but she got a little fussy in the video when she fell down and couldn't get back up.  Though, before that when she gives Davin a hug it is about the most precious thing....
The boys riding in their rocket together:

Now Quinnlyn has joined in on the fun:

She loves her brothers!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

An icky, mucky, let's go out and play!

My natural inclination is to stay inside when it is cold and/or muddy outside, but there are days when I know that the kids need to play outside, despite the weather!  I helped them get bundled up and they had a great time (and didn't even get that dirty!)

Dorian having fun swinging, always a cheerful smile for the camera:

Davin loves swinging!

Dorian posing on his way down the ladder (right before slipping and falling the rest of the way down, little sweetheart!)

Me and Quinny:

Davin with his rock collection he gathered.  He loves starting collections!:

Quinnlyn watching her brothers from the sunporch:

I haven't taken a picture of myself for quite some time, since the kids are much more interesting to look at!  I got a haircut from my sister recently, so I thought I'd document it :)   My hair is not actually red, but appears that way in this picture!

Later on, Dorian made "race tracks" out of his dinosaurs.  Very creative!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Our Workboxes

Before I dive into explaining what workboxes are and how I set mine up, let me just say that these workboxes are AMAZING!!  Davin has been so excited to complete his boxes and work toward his little reward breaks.  I feel just a little silly for not implementing this earlier.  I've actually had all the supplies since the beginning of the school year, but it was tucked away in the closet (where it didn't get used!)  Now that it is out and situated where we actually use it, it has been SUCH a blessing!

If you're not familiar with workboxes, they are basically a way to organize the school work that needs to be done for the day.  It's a great visual for seeing how much progress (or lack thereof) has been made in the day and also is set up so that kids can work more independently and develops their responsibility.  Inside the boxes can be the typical daily work, but also educational games, flash cards, puzzles, etc.  There's so many possibilities!  Here's some sites with more information:
Here's where I got the workbox picture cards:
Here's how I set it up:
    Sterilite 3-Drawer Organizer - ClearView Wide 2093 (White / Clear) (10.25"H x 14.5"W x 14.25"D)
  • I used three Sterilite 3-Drawer Organizers stacked on top of each other.  I got them at either Target or Wal-Mart and they were around $10 each.
  • I printed the workbox picture cards, laminated them, and used velcro dots to attach them to the front left of each box.  I have many different subjects that can be interchanged and used (Art, Latin, Nature Study, Bible, Math, History, Piano, Music, etc) .  
  • After each third drawer, I put a "reward" on the right side, such as: computer time, free reading, play outside, puzzle, etc.
  • On top is just a school supply container with pencils, crayons, colored pencils, markers, and so on. 

A closer look at the drawers, with the "Math' drawer pulled out:

When the subject is completed, Davin simply pulls off the card and puts it on top of the workboxes:

In case you're wondering where we store this, it's right in the corner of our dining room, where we do most of our school work at the dining room table!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Baby's First Play-Doh, Dodo's First Floor Drawing, and more!

Today I let Quinnlyn play with some Play-Doh for the first time!  I had to watch her the whole time, of course, since she's still very much in the "put-everything-in-my-mouth" stage :)  I was amazed that she played with it a good 5 minutes before attempting to taste it!  She really liked the squishy feeling of it, and had fun squeezing it in her hands.  Then she started pulling little pieces off and concentrating so intently on the task at hand.  Finally, once she decided to take a taste of it, she cried her sweet little eyes out when I took it away!  Little dolly.... :)

And here is the first artistic piece of Dorian's to grace our basement linoleum floor.  It's actually been on the floor for months and I haven't bothered to clean it up.  I'm so glad I didn't, because today Davin said, "I have to show you something.  I think Dorian's a genius!"  He showed me this and I said, "Yes, I know, Dorian scribbled on the floor."  "No," Davin said, "Look closely, stand over here.  It's a drawing of a face!"  Can you see it?     

Today we also did some activities from "Little Hands to Heaven", which is a fun, gentle, preschool curriculum for ages 2-5.  Here is Dorian doing the action for the letter "A", "A-A-Adam!"  There's a little fingerplay we do that starts with: "A-A-Adam, can you believe?  God made animals and you and me!"

Next, we read the story about Adam and Eve having to leave the Garden because they disobeyed God:

Then, the boys' favorite activity today: pretending that the striped scarf pictured below was a snake (the "serpent" in the garden).  The boys had so much fun jumping over the wiggly snake as I held the end and made it move!

Then, Dorian held the other end while Davin tried to go under without getting caught by the snake:

Here's Davin trying to sneak under the snake:  Why the snake is flying in midair, I'm not sure :)

Dorian crawling under the snake:

Scooting under again.  I swear they could have played with this all day long! 

Dorian pointing to the A's:

Coloring a tree Davin drew for him:

Using scissors for the first time!  I was pretty impressed with how well he did, for it being his first time.

He helped glue his 1 tree onto the page.  Doesn't his face look so sweet?

He was quite proud of the finished product :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fearless Quinners!

Recently, I went into Quinnlyn's room and found not only Quinnlyn, but Dorian in her crib!  They were having a grand old time playing in there :)

Yesterday, Quinnlyn discovered that she can climb onto Dorian's toddler bed, which she thinks is great fun!  The problem is, she has no sense of caution and dives or falls right off!  We need to keep a close eye on this little girl!!

Exploration Day (105): Science with Water-Mixing

My Father's World 1st grade: Day 105

We had another fun day exploring using Science with Water and learned about "Mixing" today and how different things mix with water.  We also talked about separating mixtures, what solutions are, and how to separate solutions.  Davin said it was "the funnest experiment ever!"

Science With Water (Science Activities)

I set up some trays with four different substances to be mixed with water.

 The first one Davin mixed was the sugar:

After stirring it, he noticed that it took a while for the sugar to dissolve into the water, but it did dissolve completely.  Later, I heated up the water and Davin noticed that the sugar dissolved faster in the warmer water.

 The next one to mix was shower gel:

 After stirring slowly, nothing seemed to happen.  I suggested that he stir more quickly and he was delighted to see bubbles form...."Ohhh, bubbles!":

 The next one was dishwashing detergent:

 Davin remarked that the water looked "misty":

 Next was some vegetable oil.  This was his favorite one to play with:

 He liked making different designs by dropping the oil onto the water.  He noticed that unlike the other substances, the oil did not mix with the water and seemed to float on top of it.  I asked him if he thought the oil and water could be separated and how he would do it.  He thought that since the oil seems to be floating on top of the water, it could be scooped out with a spoon.  Pretty smart!  It didn't work perfectly, but theoretically it could be separated:

 We talked about solutions: mixtures that mix so well that they cannot be separated by scooping or sieving.  Davin figured out that our first three mixtures were solutions: the water + sugar, water + soap, and water + dishwashing detergent.  

I decided to get some coffee grounds and had him mix those:

 He saw that the coffee grounds didn't dissolve, but did turn the water brown:

 Then I got out my little coffee cone filter and let him filter the coffee:

 He had fun pouring it in and watching it drip:

The End!