Friday, August 29, 2008

Hair, lots of it

Do you think Charlie could use a trip to the barber shop?

Last days of summer

The last day of summer for the daycare is here. This is what a week of just playing ... aka no curriculum ... looks like around here.

It has been beautiful weather. With sun every day and the temps in the low 70's in the am, 80's in the afternoon we have really been enjoying lots of time outside. Next week school begins for the older boys and we here will start concentrating on our FIAR and Letter of the week curriculum.

Just the little man and me

Its been a busy week. Monday 2 of our girls were shipped off back to college :-( Heather out to Westfield for her final year, and Amberlyn to Pittsburgh for her sophomore year.

Charlie has grown extremely close to Amby this summer and is now old enough to understand that she is away at school and not here. He keeps asking "Amby all done at school?" and "We take a ride and go get Amby?" Its sweet but sad, too. We wont see either girl again until Thanksgiving.

Chuck left for Conn. yesterday and wont be back until late Labor Day night. He has a show out there at the Woodstock Fair. So it is just the little man and myself ... of course I still have the boys and Tessa here for daycare today and Tessa for daycare over the weekend as well. My plan is to use this time to catch up on the unpacking that still needs to be done from the move and to get ahead on curriculum and have most of the prep done for upcoming lapbooks. We'll see how it all plays out ;-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Hello Ocean Lapbook

Last week we finished up our summer curriculum and completed our Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz lap books. All the boys made their own, this one here is Charlie's. There is a shell memory game, a sand castle he made, a fan with names and pictures of what you would find in a tide pool. There's some poems and songs, and a mini book about what your 5 senses experience at the ocean. This is a great hands-on lapbook he can look at over and over again. Thanks to for the great unit!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back in the groove ... I hope

Its Wednesday and things seem to have settled back to norm. Boy, I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

Yesterday we worked on a mural of the ocean as a group. The older boys are responsible for the actual mural art that is hanging in the kitchen at the moment. While the younger crew is napping, that is when they can work on the detailed coloring of the ocean floor.

As a group we are painting various sea life so they can be hung on the mural when it is ready.

With only 1 1/2 weeks left before public school starts, I'm hoping this great weather sticks around so we can enjoy the outdoors before the boys head back to sitting in a classroom all day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to square 1

Hail, hail, the gangs all here .... Everyone is back from the unexpected week off we just had. The boys are in "rare" form as I expected they would be, oh well.

I think school will be put on the back burner as I try to reign in the troops again. That's what so hard with a break in schedule. It seems, every time the boys return from a week in Maine with their Dad the same problems occur. Dylan's ego is shot and he either is saying he's stupid, or he's trying to control all the younger kids and being bossy. Tyler comes back way to full of himself with an attitude that he's always right no matter what and constantly tries to irritate his brothers and get them riled up. Austin returns very whiny and out of control but once he settles in seems to improve quickly, liking the stability. Justin always comes back, back to square 1 with potty training and baby talking and just plain "baby" habits.

This week, as far as schooling goes, is shot. Too bad because Charlie was really doing well and enjoying it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mid-week random thoughts

Mid-week update....with lots of random thoughts.

As it turned out, its been pretty much Charlie and I for the week. The boys I care for were out Mon. and Tues. because their mom was feeling pretty lousy. Since her childcare is a partial scholarship through the state, she cannot have the kids here unless she is actually at work. Last week she was excused from that ruling while she underwent 5 days of chemo but that was all they allowed. She was planning to be able to go back to work this week but she is still feeling pretty rough. Eventually the boys ended up at their Dad's house in Maine so she could recuperate and he will be keeping them there until Sunday.

Charlie and I started our Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz. We've been reading it everyday and working on a small project to put into his lapbook. Thanks to we've had lot of fun working on this together.

Today we had some friends come over to play that we hadn't seen in a while. Charlie had a lot of fun and it was great to see them.

Tessa should be back tomorrow for daycare. We haven't seen her since her birthday party on Saturday ... she made it to 1. I think that has to be the longest time we've gone with out a family visit or daycare. Should be interesting ;-)

On another note regarding the boys in y care. I spoke with their mom after she attended the school meeting today. It was an meeting to go over the results of the testing he had. The school system feels he is not far enough behind to warrant admittance in the spec. ed preschool program. I am completely shocked with that.

He is pre-k age and he cannot count past 2, does not know his colors and shapes or recognize any letters. His speech is very difficult to understand, even to me, and I've been with him daily for since May. In my opinion he also has sensory issues. He doesn't like the feel of sand, will only eat certain food, prefers his shirts inside out so the seams won't touch him to name just a few. He has trouble adjusting to changes in any way. I think Mom is just to sick/tired to fight at the moment. Looks like it will be up to me to try and get him closer to where he needs to be during this coming school year.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Our 1st lapbook

We're moving on. We are ready to go from somewhere in the galaxy to deep in the ocean.

The boys have finished their unit on space. We learned about the sun and the moon and how they effect us here on Earth. We made a mobile of the planets in our solar system, putting them in the correct order. The older boys colored the planets as accurately as they could getting info from various places.

We made our 1st lapbooks with this unit. Each boy chose a picture to color and cut out to glue to the front. Inside they had pictures of all 8 planets, the sun, a moon dial that showed the phases of the moon, and lots of facts about each. We also talked about astronauts and made flip books about what astronauts mights wear, eat, and do in space. They all came up with some fun thoughts and I either wrote them down for them or they wrote it themselves. Here's a few examples:

Charlie (2 1/2) "they wear jammies and go to bed"

Justin (2 1/2)"they eat hotdogs and french fries"

Austin (3 1/2)"They fly"

Tyler (6)"They eat space food, float around and do science stuff"

Dylan (7)"They learn about new stars and look for aliens"

This coming week we will by introducing the FIAR concept to start our ocean theme. We will be reading Hello Ocean by Pam Munoz and working on a lap book that goes along with it from . We'll dig deeper into sea life according to the interest levels of the group. Check out the large shell collection I have and learn all we can.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pre-preschool has begun!

Pre-preschool has begun! Today we started our space exploration unit and everyone enjoyed it. The theme was chosen by Tyler (6). I read the book "The Sun: Our Nearest Star" by F. M. Branley. We sponge painted yellow suns that we will use later in the week to make solar system mobiles. After lunch the boys were able to sit at the table and color a choice of space vehicle pictures while everyone finished eating.

The older boys worked on some of the fun activity sheets that I had for them while the younger half napped. They also chose to cut out the space ship they colored and glued it to their space folders. By the time school starts they should be already in the swing of learning :-) That's the plan anyways.

We spent time outside in the morning and in the afternoon. Everyone had a pretty good day. Hopefully now that we are settled in and starting "school" the routine and focus will keep mischievous mayhem at bay.

Tonight, Charlie and I will start "The Wind in the Willows" for our read out loud book.

Friday, August 1, 2008



Its been a long one, that's for sure. The boys and Tessa all came back for daycare Wed - Fri and it was one of the longest 3 days ever. But, we managed to get through it.

The house is semi-set up. That's to say that yes there are still many boxes left to unpack, but they are mostly clothing and up on the 2nd floor. The kitchen, playroom, dining room, and for the most part, TV room are easy to move around in and safe for the kids.

Austin has had a hard time dealing with the change. He's been easily set off and excitable and his 2 older brothers delight in doing just that. That has been the hardest part of the days. Hopefully next week he will have settled in enough that Dylan and Tyler wont be able to get him all riled up so easily. Austin's Mom will get the results and recommendations from the school department on the 13th from the evaluation he went through at the beginning of the month. I am almost positive he will be attending the public sp. ed. preschool at least 3 days a week.

This weekend I will be (hopefully) finishing the unpacking. Hey, maybe I can even find my desk and sewing table under the boxes. I also need to set up the example lapbook on space and get ready for that topic next week. The 2 older boys chose space and ocean as our last themes of the summer.