Tuesday, September 30, 2008

WW: Wiggle Worm

Here's where I put him...
Here's where I find him about five minutes later. (and yes, I got fussed at for moving him back onto the mat.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Sunday morning poem by Jessie

Jesus lay in the manger,
On a very cold night.
The angels came down to adore him,
And the stars shone very bright.

Gone is the day, it is the night.
Gone is the sun that is bright.
All of us in our beds lie.
God is nigh.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Exploring the World with Benny, Week 5

This week's topics included the country of Israel and camels. Here's a look at what we read:


  • The Book of Jonah by Peter Spier
  • David and Goliath by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers
  • Exodus by Brian Wildsmith
  • Joseph by Brian Wildsmith
  • The Never-Ending Greenness by Neil Waldman
  • Noah's Ark by Peter Spier
  • Old Noah's Elephants : an Israeli Folktale by Warren Ludwig
  • The Happy Dromedary by Berniece Freschet
  • The Last Straw by Frederick H. Thury
  • Little Humpty by Margaret Wild
  • Small Camel Follows the Star by Rachel W.N. Brown
For a craft we modified the following paper camel craft. I enlarge the camel to about double the original size and cut out the pieces. Then I traced the shapes onto white card stock. The body and both legs, I turned over and trace a second time. Once all of the pieces were cut out, we assembled the camel with brads so Benny could move the head, legs, and tail.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Week 8: Plodding along...

OK. The title may actually be a bit of a misnomer. My kids breezed through the week with no problem. I'm the one plodding. Allergies and colds are just no fun when you can't take any medicine. We also had DH home for almost all of the week after he injured his elbow doing some lifting at work on Monday. All in all, despite some headwinds, we did accomplish almost all of our work.


Jessie finished up adding and subtracting with fractions at the beginning of the week and moved on to some new topics. She breezed through mixed numbers and then improper fractions and even did an extra assignment quite by accident. She skipped exercise 23 and did 24 instead this morning. Since 23 was really short, I suggested she go ahead and do it as well. She sat down and zipped through the exercise in under five minutes. Who says fractions are hard?

Violet spent the week finishing up multiplying and dividing by 4. Friday, we introduced multiplying by 5. She loves school again and even claims to love math (at least until we get to something else that is actually challenging).


Spelling is going well. In dictation, Jessie has switched to the battle section towards the end of The Horse and His Boy (her choice). She's completed all of the textbook work in R&S4 for section two, which covers different sentence types and how to diagram them. After a test on Monday, we'll be ready to move on to the next section. Her CW Aesop selection for the week was "The Eagle and the Fox". We didn't do quite as much editing as I wanted, but a foggy brain can only process so much. She did a bit better in being responsible for her independent reading this week. I think starting a new book next week will also help increase her interest again. Our biggest change for this week is a new pencil grip called the Writing Claw. It has three little cups that you put your fingers in to ensure correct pencil grip. I have both girls using it for all of their work. We're going to try to stick with it for a month and see if there is any improvement. Jessie had some trouble with the new grip for the first couple of days, but seems to be getting used to it. I truly hope this will finally help her give up her fist grip style hold that we've been struggling with for a while. The only downside is that I still have to watch their hand position. They have a tendency to forget to angle their paper and to write from the side.

Violet's spelling and grammar are both going well. In our modified FLL, we finished up pronouns this week. She hasn't memorized the full list yet, but it will still be in her memory box to finish learning next week while we move on. On the right is her copywork of the new poem that was introduced this week. She thought it was really cool this morning, when I copied a couple of sentences out of The Horse and His Boy for her to use for copywork. Personally, I just thought it was convenient because the book was already on the table. After seeing her face light up, I may try doing some passages out of books more often instead of sticking mostly to Bible verses and poems that she is memorizing.


Jessie is making excellent progress through the Ten Commandments and will most likely finish that passage sometime next week. Violet has finished memorizing the 23rd Psalm, so I really need to find something new for her to work on next week. I'm leaning towards Psalm 121, but haven't made a final decision yet. Both girls began working on a new poem this week called Love Between Brother and Sisters by Isaac Watts. I got a little bit of eye rolling out of both of them when they read the first two lines, so I'm sure the message came across loud and clear.


History was a bit disjointed this week. I never did find a really good book to read about the Santa Fe Trail. We ended up reading a fictional picture book describing one young girl's journey on the trail so I decided to skip the narration. The book we were supposed to read on the Erie Canal had gone missing from the library system. We read a couple of paragraphs out of Guerber's The Great Republic instead. To be honest, I was too tired to do narrations so they got a second easy history day this week. For fun, they had one picture book with the words to the Erie Canal song and another about Erie Canal pirates. Violet was horrified when DH insisted that she tell him what the books were about, but I told her DH was allowed to ask questions about anything he chose and she was expected to answer. (Not the answer she was hoping for.) She wasn't happy, but she did finally tell him about the books. On Friday, we did maps of both the Santa Fe Trail and the Erie Canal and added both to our timeline as well.

In science this week, we wrapped up lesson 13 in Zoology one. Tuesday, we completed a flap book about grasshopper, crickets, and katydids. Thursday was an accordion book on aphids and cicadas that I put together at the last minute on Thursday morning before breakfast. Luckily for me, it was a short section or they would have gotten the day off.


Latin was one area where we struggled with consistency this week. I was too tired to review with Jessie each day. As a result, she struggled a bit more with the vocabulary and hadn't completely memorizing the grammar chant by the end of the week, so we'll have a bit of catch up to do next week.


Benny did an excellent job with all of his vowels this week in his vowel game. I still see a tiny bit of uncertainty when he does the e sound, but he definitely has the remaining sounds down pat. Monday we'll try a new page in PP and see how it goes. For reading this week our theme's were Israel and camels. I'm finding it a bit harder to correspond animals to countries than I had expected. Since a couple of the camel books were about a camel taking gifts to baby Jesus, it worked out well. As usual, Benny loves his camel craft. He especially loves being able to move the legs, head, and tail.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

WW: Morning surprise

What exactly is so surprising about my two DDs doing their school work in the morning? They did it all on their own. Baby Henry and I overslept in the recliner where I fell asleep the last time I awoke to feed him, and this is what I found after my shower. Violet had already finished her first assignment.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

School Planning To Do List

Since I only seem to be able to work in short bursts of time (which is coincidentally how baby Henry still sleeps), I've found that I am much more productive with those brief stretches of time if I have a list of things to select from when the time becomes available. So forgive me adding yet another list to my blog, but at least this way it doesn't go on a sheet of paper only to be lost.

  1. Make flashcards for lessons 19 through 32.
  2. Make tests for lessons 21 through 32.
  3. Print additional worksheets and review chapter tests.
  4. Add history reader into schedule starting at week 18.
  5. Consider adding extra practice conjugating and declining.
  1. Preread books for AHYS2 topics 37-42 and all of AHYS3.
  2. Create lesson plans for those topics.
  3. Find maps and create mapwork pages where appropriate.
  4. Print timeline figures for remaining topics.
  1. Finish creating booklets for Zoology 1.
  2. Create lesson plans and booklets for Zoology 2.
  3. Coordinate science with art using 1-2-3 Draw Ocean Life.
  1. Create lapbook to cover basic geography terms and schedule time to complete starting in January.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Exploring the World with Benny, Week 4

Our topics for week 4 were India, mongooses, and cobras. There are fewer books listed under India because the Robi Dobi book is actually a short chapter book, so it took several days to read at a pace of only one or two chapters a day. I did look for other books on mongooses or cobras but was unable to find anything at our library. It turned out not to matter because Benny loved Rikki-Tikki-Tavi so much we read it over and over again.


  • Nine Animals and the Well by James Rumford
  • Once a Mouse ... : a Fable Cut in Wood by Marcia Brown
  • One Grain of Rice : a Mathematical Folktale by Demi
  • Robi Dobi : the Marvelous Adventures of an Indian Elephant by Madhur Jaffrey
  • Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young
Mongoose and Cobra

  • Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling ; adapted and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.
Bouncy Cobra Craft

Friday, September 19, 2008

Week 7: Cruising Along

It has been a great week. The kids have done a great job of working and finished with plenty of free time to spare this week. Here's a look at what we accomplished.


Math has gone really well for both girls this week. Jessie finished the last of her IP work on Monday and started a new section on fractions in her textbook on Tuesday. She spent the week adding then subtracting fractions with and without common denominators. The extra time we spent on fractions last year seems to have paid off. She whizzed through her math in half of the time most days and even doubled up her lessons on Thursday to get Friday off from math.

Violet has also begun a new section on multiplication this week after working through a few review exercises. She worked on multiplying by fours so far and is loving math this week. I think the longest she spent on a lesson this week was 30 minutes. She also doubled up on Thursday to have Friday off.

Jessie's spelling is still zipping along. In grammar, she's been identifying and diagramming sentence types. This week we completed questions and commands as well as introduced exclamations. Dictation is going better. I think I'm going to have her try a different pencil grip to try to improve her grip because her hand tires out too quickly with her fist style grip. Her independent reading is starting to slide a bit. She's been "forgetting" to read in the afternoon and her narrations are less detailed than previous weeks. We need to work on more responsibility here in completing assignments as well as diligence in reading the selection more carefully for content instead of whizzing through them like she does with most of her library books. Our CW selection for this week was The Ant and the Grasshopper.

Violet's LA are also going well. We've covered all of the singular pronouns in grammar now. She's having a little more difficulty with her spelling exercises, especially the second page where she is sorting out the words based on a particular sound. It doesn't seem to be affecting her ability to spell the words when it comes time to test. Her handwriting definitely improved this week when I went back to writing out the selection for her to copy. She still doing a good job with her assigned reading and narrations. I believe we have two more weeks of Alice in Wonderland to go. Her fairy tale this week was "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood".


Jessie is making excellent progress memorizing the ten commandments passage for Sunday school. She was very excited yesterday to be caught up with the rest of the kids already since we started a couple of weeks behind them. Violet is just about finished with the 23rd Psalm. I think I'll have her work on it at least part of next week because she occasionally skips a line or forgets what comes next. Both girls have completed our current poem, True Nobility. I think we have time to work on one more before vacation in a few weeks so we'll start something new on Monday.


This week we did a lot of biographies. Together we read about John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) and Davy Crockett. I was unable to get the Johnny Appleseed book that I wanted despite the fact that our library system owns something like 10 copies of it. Note to self: Never try to get a Johnny Appleseed book during apple season. Individually, the girls both read biographies on John James Audubon and Jim Bridger. We narrated and made booklets for all four men in addition to assembling last weeks booklets on Eli Whitney, Osceola, and Sequoyah. For our timeline we added Eli Whitney, Osceola, and Sequoyah from last week as well as Crockett, Audubon, and President Monroe. Even though we're not reading bios on every president, I decided to add them to the timeline at the start date of their presidency as a reference point for the girls to see when things happen. I'm hoping after we come back from the beach to have them start memorizing the presidents.

In science this week, we began lesson 13. Tuesday we completed an trifold booklet on praying mantises. Thursday we completed an accordion style booklet on dragonflies and damselflies. Even though insects are not the girls' favorite topic, they are still enjoying some of the interesting tidbits we come across. Did you know a praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head or that dragonflies can fly backwards because their wings move independently?


Jessie completed lesson 5 in Latin for Children this week. It was our first review lesson so it gave us both a breather to solidify our vocabulary and grammar chants so far.


We finally added some music appreciation this week!! YEAH!! We're using the book The Story of the Orchestra by Levine and starting in the second half where the different instruments are introduced. We read about the string section, learned that pizzicato refers to plucking the strings on the instruments, and listened to the excerpt from Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 as an example. The girls like it enough that we also read about the Violin. The selection for listening was the finale of Franck's Sonata for the Violin and Piano in A Major. I think next week when we get to the viola we'll listen to this track again so they can hear the different in the sound between the instruments.


Benny has mastered the short o sound and started his final short vowel! GO, Benny!! In counting to 20, we've made it up to 14. Our country for the week was India. For animals, we simply read a beautifully illustrated version of Rikki-Tiki-Tavi to cover mongooses and cobras. Lest you think we needed more animal books to read, I must explain that we read Rikki-Tiki-Tavi once on Monday and twice on Tuesday and Wednesday before I finally had to tell Benny we needed to read some of the other books before the end of the week. Sometimes less is more when the quality is excellent. For his craft Benny made a cobra to whom of course he gave the name Nag. This one required a bit more help than usual, but Benny loves it. It even went to town with us this morning when we ran a few errands (and no it didn't stay in the van despite my suggestions). I'm still looking for a good mongoose to make into a puppet so he can act the story out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WW: Bouncy Boy

The perfect toy for my bouncy boy. He can jump like a kangaroo with both feet...
or hop from foot to foot like he's dancing a jig.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Exploring the World With Benny, week 3

The themes for the past two weeks were Japan and dragons. I chose dragons because I couldn't find a good selection of books for other Asian animals. Since dragons are also prevalent in Asian folklore and culture and since Benny loves dragons, it seemed like the perfect animal for the week. Here's our book list and craft.

  • The Boy Who Painted Dragons by Demi
  • The Crane Wife by Odds Bodkin
  • The Greatest of All : a Japanese Folktale by Eric A. Kimmel
  • Little Inchkin by Fiona French.
  • Jojofu by Michael P. Waite
  • Kenji and the Magic Geese by Ryerson Johnson
  • The Paper Dragonfly by Mary Watson.
  • The Silver Charm : a Folktale from Japan by Robert D. San Souci
  • Ten Oni Drummers by Matthew Gollub
  • Tree of Cranes by Allen Say

  • The Book of Beasts by E. Nesbit
  • The Deliverers of Their Country by Edith Nesbit
  • The Dragon of an Ordinary Family by Margaret Mahy
  • The Dragon Snatcher by M.P. Robertson.
  • The Egg by M.P. Robertson
  • The Great Dragon Rescue by M.P. Robertson.

Dragon craft

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Week 6: Busy, busy...

It's been another one of those interrupted weeks here. Benny had his very first dentist appointment on Wednesday. Of course, they only do new patients in the morning, so we had to pack up school to take with us. Friday we had the opportunity to shop at a consignment sale. I've tried shopping that particular sale on the weekend before and made a solemn promise to myself never to make that mistake again. It's just too busy. Anyway we're a bit behind in some of our work, but we still managed to get the majority of our work done this week.


Math for both girls this week has gone slowly, but well. Jessie has spent the week working on the section for multiplication and division in the Intensive Practice book. Because she hasn't completely memorized her multiplication facts a couple of the days were really long. She can work the problems just fine. It simply takes her longer to do them that I had expected. The limited space on the page also seemed to contribute to a few more careless mistakes as she tried to work mostly in her head instead of using the margins or the dry erase board to work out the problems. Friday, she only completed half of the problems in the word problems section that I had scheduled, but it wasn't because she was goofing around. I decided that she had put in a good days work, and we'll pick up where she left off on Monday.

Violet has also spent most of the week working on the mental math section of her Intensive Practice book. She has done extremely well this week. She opted to do most of the work in her math notebook instead of using sheet protectors. The majority of her mistakes this week were not in her calculations, but simply the result of copying errors. I considered writing the problems out for her, but being able to copy problems carefully and correctly is something she would have to learn eventually so we stuck it out.


Grammar for Jessie this week is still a review of last year's material. We finished diagramming statements, and discuss how to find the simple subject and predicate and diagram questions. Spelling has been fine. She missed a few more words than usual at first. I had her write each word five times, and the next day she could spell them all correctly so we kept moving on. In dictation, we've moved on to The Horse and His Boy for our selections. We've started working through the section where the boy slips away from the city to try to meet his friends out by the tombs. Jessie did get Friday off from dictation simply because we ran out of time. For her independent reading Jessie is now working her way through Pollyanna Grows Up. For Shakespeare, her story this week was King Lear, and we didn't get to the Parables From Nature on Thursday because I hadn't printed it out. In CW we did manage to complete the writing portion of our fable, "A Boy Bathing".

Violet started a new topic in FLL this week. We're now working on pronouns. She tells it that it's easy because she's been listening in on Jessie's grammar. She has a few more spelling words that she are still on her list of missed words, but as I recall beginning stayed on Jessie's list for a while also. We may actually make a point of memorizing the spelling rule next week to see is that helps. For handwriting, I've been a bit lazy allowing her to copy off of her memory card instead of writing it out for her. While it may be easier for me, the results aren't nearly as neat so we'll switch back to having writing the assignment on the paper for her to copy next week. In literature, Violet is currently reading Alice in Wonderland. I personally still find the story odd, but she is enjoying herself. Her fairy tale from The Blue Fairy Book this week was "Little Red Riding Hood". She was quite surprised to find out that the story ended when Little Red Riding Hood was eaten by the wolf.


The girls are both making good progress through our current poem, Don't Give Up. For scripture, Jessie has decided to memorize the ten commandments with the kids in her Sunday school class. Violet is now over half way through the 23rd Psalm, which means she'll finish well ahead of her Sunday school class so I'll have to choose another selection for her to work on until the new quarter begins at church.


History this week was our hardest subject. The first problem we encountered on Sunday at the library. Two of the books that I had put on hold to read aloud were not available to be picked up. So on Monday, instead of assigning the book on Eli Whitney to the girls, we read it together and made summaries. We talked briefly about the Industrial Revolution. We also read a book called Bobbin Girl in order to highlight some of the problems with the Industrial Revolution. I'm not sure how much the girls absorbed this time around, but hopefully we've planted enough of a seed that we can have a more fruitful discussion in four years. On Wednesday, we did manage to pick up the other library books, and the girls read a biography on Sequoyah. It wasn't until Friday afternoon that we finally got a chance to read the biography on Osceola and get their narrations done. We didn't get any history booklets made or add any figures to our time lines. Rather than try to catch up this weekend, I think we'll just wait until next week.

In science this week we completed chapter 12 in Zoology 1. On Tuesday, we learned about beetles in general, and then about scarab beetles, fireflies, and ladybugs. On Thursday, we made a booklet about flies, mosquitoes, robber flies, and true bugs. I personally found it interesting that one fly leaves behind more bacteria when landing on a piece of bread than several cockroaches would by crawling over it.


Jessie completed lesson 4 in Latin for Children. No Spanish or sign language completed.


Benny and I spent the week reading the rest of his books on dragons and Japan. He's doing very well with his vowel sounds. We introduced the short O sound about halfway through the week. Then added the O cards to our vowel game on Friday. Since I knew we would be shopping on Friday, I didn't prepare a craft for Benny. As it turned out, Benny came up with his own craft while the girls and I were catching up on our history reading. Below is the puppy face Benny made all on his own. He worked very hard and did a great job.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Benny's First Dentist Appointment

Last night I reminded Benny that he had a dentist appointment this morning. Of course, he immediately had to run back and tell his sisters he was going to see the dentist. This morning he was so excited that I lost track of how many times he asked me when we were leaving for HIS appointment. I'm quite sure neither of his sisters was ever this enthusiastic about going to the dentist.

Well, we finally arrived, filled out the paperwork, and got called to the back. The hygienist asked him where he wanted to sit, and Benny just looked at her so I suggested the green chair. He sat in the chair and listened as she explained how the chair worked and giggled when she made the water in the cup disappear with Mr. Thirsty. He would nod when she spoke to him but didn't utter a single word so I had to pick his flavor for the fluoride treatment. When she laid the chair back, he put his hands on his belly before she even asked and laid absolutely still. Other than an occasional movement of the mouth, he could have passed for a statue. It was like he was completely frozen in place, but not afraid because he would still smile when she said something funny. The hygienist asked if we had practiced at home, and I replied no. She commented a couple of other times at how good he was, and even went so far as to say he could be the model patient for the dentist practice. I just smiled. I've never seen him lay that still when he is awake, and quite honestly it struck me as funny but I didn't want to laugh. I had told that he would need to lay still and hold his mouth open in the dentist chair, but he certainly exceeded my expectations. He even stayed still while the dentist scrapped away a bit of tartar although I did see him flinch once or twice.

Needless to say, he loves his new toothbrush, bouncy ball, and sticker. Oh, and he's also back to his normal chattering and wiggling.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

WW: Getting stronger every day

My drooly boy has finally learned to enjoy being on his stomach.
We have always called this the baby command center. He sits, stands, jumps, dances, and turns whatever way he wants.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Week 5: A Juggling Act

It's been one of those crazy weeks where nothing goes as planned. DH has been home for 3 days, which always means I relax our schedule as much as I can so the kids can have time outside with him. The other two days we had morning appointments in town so we moved a few subjects around and took some school work on the road. In spite of the juggling act we still managed to get through most of our scheduled work. Here's a look at our week.


Jessie started a new section this week called Multiplication and Division of Whole Numbers. It started out with some review of multiplying and dividing by a one digit number. Then we spent the second half of the week learning how to multiply by a two digit number. Having always just followed the pattern of how to multiply numbers in school, it was nice to actually see why it works. Jessie was a little intimidated by the larger numbers the first day, but she did very well on her exercise this morning. On the left is one of her number crosswords from Thursday.

Violet has been finishing up the textbook portion of the mental addition and subtraction section of 2B. She didn't always choose to do the problems mentally, but she has still done an good job this week. The one issue we need to work on is being more careful in doing our work correctly. A couple of the lessons were very short, and she was able to finish them quickly. Once she realized she could have more free time, she began rushing a bit which of course always leads to an increase in careless mistakes.


Jessie has finished up another dictation selection from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I think we'll probably pick one more selection from this book and then move on. Spelling seems to be going well. Jessie did very well on her unit 1 grammar test on Wednesday. Right now, she learning to identify sentence fragments and run-on sentences in R&S 4. Our selection for CW Aesop this week was "The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing". I'm glad to see that Jessie is more relaxed in narrating the story back to me in her own words. Our biggest struggle last year when I let her do the key word outlines was that I couldn't get her to understand that it is actually OK to make changes in how you tell the story.

Violet's been copying the 23rd Psalm this week. For grammar we talked about seasons of the year, which months are a part of which season, how to abbreviate the months, and how many days each month has in it. On the right is the chart we made during our discussions. For spelling, I believe that I'm going to switch from oral tests to written ones. Violet seems to have more trouble spelling the words out loud. It's like she loses her place and ends up either adding extra syllables or leaving one out. When I asked her to write the word instead, her spelling was fine.

The one part of school that keeps falling through the cracks is our afternoon literature time. It's always harder with DH home urging the kids to go outside. Hopefully next week we can buckle down and get back on course with our read aloud.

Jessie has finished memorizing 1 Corinthians 13!!! YEAH!! I'm very proud of her. It's by far the hardest passage I've ever assigned. She's really looking forward to starting something new next week. Violet is about half way through the 23rd Psalm and making steady progress. Both girls have now finished memorizing the poem Don't Give Up. (Now I just have to get them to keep applying the lesson it teaches.) Violet's already moved on to our next poem, True Nobility. Jessie will be ready to start on Friday.

Jessie is still enjoying her Latin lessons although the end of this week finds her a bit more confused. She doesn't really understand why there are so many noun endings. Since the point seems to be simply recognizing that there are endings and what they are, we'll go ahead and move on to lesson 4 next week. I promised Jessie we could take a break at lesson 5 and review to make sure she was comfortable with all of the vocabulary and grammar before we moved on. Spanish and sign language also fell through the cracks this week with our hectic schedule. We'll work them back in next week.


This week in history, we reached the presidency of James Madison and the War of 1812. I decided not to cover the war in too much detail this time around. We highlighted the burning of Washington, the battle of Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key wrote The Star Spangled Banner, and read a couple of short historical fiction stories about other battles. For their independent reading the girls both read biographies this week on Robert Fulton and Samuel Morse. For our time lines we added James Madison, the War of 1812, Francis Scott Key, Robert Fulton, and Samuel Morse. The first two topics were combined in one booklet on James Madison while the remaining three each have there own booklet.

In science this week, we have finished chapter 11 by studying and completing booklets on wasps and termites. That means I have some work to do this weekend since I haven't read or made booklets for the remaining Zoology 1 chapters yet.


Benny's time has been a bit disorganized this week. We were supposed to read books on Japan and dragons. We've only read one of our Japan books. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, we have read three of the dragon books over and over again. We've also been reading from the pile of books that Benny found by himself last weekend at the library. We did go ahead and make are dragon face this week which Benny is very proud of. I think we'll just keep the books and finish up next week when things have settled down a bit. DH has a lot of overtime hours scheduled for the rest of this month, so I felt it was more important for Benny to spend time with his Dad this week. He's been reviewing number recognition to 10 with DH using a deck of cards, and we're continuing to work on the vowel sounds for a, e, and i. He's still a little unsure of e, but his accuracy is improving, and he's still having fun.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Books for Dragon Lovers

For those with little boys (or girls, moms, or dads for that matter) who love dragons, I wanted to share a series of 3 delightful pictures books that Benny has had me read over and over again this week. Actually, he loves these books so much we're putting them on his Christmas list. Otherwise, we might single-handedly wear out the library copies of them. (I've also noticed the girls mysteriously appearing next to us several times while these books were being read, but don't let them know I spotted them.)

The Egg by M. P. Robertson
"George knew something wasn't right when he found more than he had bargained for under his mother's favorite chicken." You can probably deduce what he uncovered that morning simply by looking at the book cover. From caring for his new-found egg to the first delightful chirrup of the new baby and beyond, George does his best to be the best dragon mother that he can. With it's beautiful illustrations, it's definitely a winner for everyone.

The Great Dragon Rescue by M. P. Robertson
George's dragon friend is in need of some help. One morning as George climb in the chicken coop to collect the morning eggs, he suddenly finds himself coop and all flying through the air to the land that is neither here nor there. Deep in the forest they come upon an old witch holding a baby dragon captive for her very own barbecue. How George frees the dragon and what happens to the witch make this beautifully illustrated story a perfect sequel.

The Dragon Snatcher by M. P. Robertson

In this 3rd adventure George must save the dragons from a frosty old wizard whose only concern is completing his beloved collection of dragon eggs. Although things don't go exactly as planned, once again George saves the day in the land that is neither here nor there. As for the wizard, well I'll let you find out for yourself.

Happy reading!! To find out more just follow the links to amazon for more reviews and information.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WW: It's all about the color...

Benny's completely colored tiger from Friday

Violet's drawing from our dry erase board in the basement

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Benny Goes to the Library

Normally taking all of the kids to the library is part of our weekly schedule. At least until this summer. In an effort to save on gas and trips to town, the summer I scheduled Jessie and Violet for swimming lessons on Saturdays when they could go at the same time; and while we were in town, we ran all of our remaining errands for the week (library, groceries, etc.). Since my DH has been home almost every Saturday this summer, Benny has chosen to stay home with DH and go fishing on Saturday mornings. As a result, it had actually been several weeks since Benny's last trip to the library. But this past Sautrday was different. DH was planning a fishing trip with some of his friends and wanted to leave at lunch time so Benny had to come to town with us.

When we got to the library, we rolled the crate in as usual and dropped off our returns. Then I sent the kids back to pick books while I stopped at the computer to see if I needed to renew any books. Benny pulled the rolling crate behind him and headed off after his sisters. Two minutes later when I caught up to him, he already had quite a stack in the crate. He had found a couple of Rainbow Fish books, a few Curious George, and was heading for the bins around the reading area. We thinned out a couple of books, but when I turned around to help Violet find something, he was off again. All told he ended up with about 25 books I would guess half of which I had put on hold for him and half of which he found on his own. My poor coffee table is crammed with books, but we definitely won't run out of books to read this week. It amazes me how well he can find books just by remembering where the ones he's looking for are kept.