Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Number 1

When at first we look for one
We find it in the shining sun.

This week we started Math. Boy did I ever have myself stressed out! It's not because I am concerned about math. I like math! I think it was just that a change was occurring. Now I have to have a morning lesson planned, and a somewhat structured afternoon practice time, not just a puzzle or some other project Brother already does on a regular basis. Once we were started it felt really good.

So we read the fairy tale "The Stolen Bairn and the Sidh", which is a Celtic tale. The tale itself included a lot of items that characterized the essence of the number one. one baby, one path, one king, one old grandmother, one hurt person, etc.

After reading the story, sleeping on the story, and then recalling the story, we discussed the story. Brother found 11 different "ones" in the story. Then we drew our picture in our "Good Books".

We had the common elements that I wanted him to put in the picture - the digit ONE, the written word, the dot, the roman numeral. Then Brother added a couple items that he came up with on his own - the moon, and the clock. My additional item was the baby from the story.

Here's Baby's picture. He sat at the table with us and wanted to be included.

After we were finished with our math exercise, Brother wanted to create a picture based on the story. This is the Sidh King in his hall. I didn't realize that there was a castle in the story, but he did. He really loves castles!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Form Drawing - back in the saddle!

Brother's - When will I learn to say "Would you like purple or blue" instead of saying "What color are you going to use?" For some reason Brother really likes to use light colors. But, I can barely see the drawing against the background. Oh well, next time!


So, since I really frustrated Brother two weeks ago with the mirrored image, I thought I'd go with something really "easy", 4 straight lines. This exercise really shows how the brain works - at age 6.5 anyway. This seemingly simple form drawing had hidden challenges. The first time he drew it, the lines were all drawn from top to bottom and were drawn at the correct, stepped down length.

But, that is not how we walked it.

When we walked it, the first line started from the bottom to the top, then the second was walked from the top to the bottom, the third from the bottom to the top, the fourth from the top to the bottom. Wow! When he tried to draw the form the way we walked it, it became really challenging for him. We practice on the chalk board and in a "sand tray" before we put the form to paper in our "Good Book". In a lot of the drawings, at least 2 lines were the same length. He did get it in the end though.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spring! Spring! Spring!

Wow! We went to the Washington Park Arboretum for our Spring Equinox celebration. My friend had oreo cookies to celebrate 1/2 light and 1/2 dark. What a neat idea! My other friend had made some ginger, honey cookies to welcome back the bees. I made deviled eggs. ;) And there were some fabulous salads! mmmm. I'm still waiting for those recipes girls!

Unfortunately, we had to leave early because Brother turned out to be sick. Poor Kid! I think we will try and head back soon. I want to see the pond. I'll bet the cherry tree is in full bloom!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Whew! Spanish is such a stretch for me as I am learning it a long with the kids. We are listening to a spanish music CD in the car 3x a week and I have 3 statements I say that require a physical response, like sitting down. This weekend we started our next activity. We are playing the game Dwarves and Dice, which is a color game. There are 3 dice with colored dots on them and 56 cards with dwarves on them. Each dwarf is wearing a hat, pants and shirt. You match the rolled colors to the dwarves clothes. Since there are 56 cards with different combinations, so it can be challenging! The Spanish element is that we are using the spanish words for the colors instead of English. The kids had a lot of fun. Baby is only 2, so he just helped roll the dice. ;)

Here's a link to the game.

D and P

Yes! D and P

Here is his writing. We read the Enki Fairy Tale "The Prince, Princess and Dragon." He really liked the fairy tale. I'm still carefully choosing tales that do not include an entity who is intentionally trying to do harm to the other characters. So, no Snow White yet.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Guess the letters!

Here is my hidden letter picture.

This is our last lesson from our first block. Wow! What a milestone. We've made it through our first block! Anyway, we've done three led drawings in a row. That means he is supposed to follow me and draw essentially the same thing I am. I wanted to switch it up a bit. So, we drew side by side, but he was able to create whatever he wanted based on the story.

Spring Flowers

Spring is here! Brother loves to help decorate the house seasonally, so we made spring tissue paper flowers. We used eight pieces of tissue paper and glued them to a brown piece of construction paper. After they had dried overnight we fluffed them up. Now we have hung them on the braided crepe paper garland that frames our dining room window.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Sand castles

Brother is still really driven to build sandcastles. Here are two he has built recently that he would like posted. Brother is a 6.5 years old.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Our new plum!

We have finally planted our plum tree. The boys had helped me clean out the chosen area. Brother especially enjoyed removing ivy.

Daddy and the boys digging the hole.

The plum in all of it's splendor. It will be really nice when it branches out and gets leaves. Then we won't be able to see our neighbor's roof anymore.

Spring Nature Table

Here is our Spring Nature table. I woke up the bears!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Letter and copywork

Brother is so very playful. To give room for his playfulness during "lessons" he draws in the border of his letters.

Mine for comparison.

Brother's copy-work. He wanted to completely fill up his page, which is really too much for this beginning writer. I finally convinced him that he was getting too tired so he is taking a break. I'll give him a chance to finish it up, and then he'll need to draw his border. BTW - Yellow crayon is not a good idea! He couldn't see where his writing was. It was just one too many things for his brain to decode, so he ended up missing a couple letters in the word Journey. It was good for him to see this for himself though.


We've been reading the books "The Wind Blew" by Pat Hutchins and Gilberto and "The Wind" by Marie Hall Ets. In both books the wind turns and umbrella inside out. After our winding walk this morning, Brother wanted to have the wind turn our umbrella inside out. Fortunately, the area behind our house is too sheltered by the trees to get enough wind!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jumping Mouse

"Journey afar," he heard a voice a calling,
"Joy awaits in a far-off land.
Jump over desert, and jump over mountain,
Jumping Mouse, jump as far as you can."

Jumping Mouse journeyed through darkness and danger
Giving away his nose and his eyes.
"Jump," called a voice, "Jump even higher,
Jump 'til you soar on the winds of the sky."

From Enki First Grade Fairy Tales

Guess the letter!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Form Drawing

Brother's - this time his waves are more rolling, which is an improvement!


I've been using a supplemental curriculum for form drawing. The curriculum essentially has a list of forms to draw in order. We started off following the list, but this week it became really apparent that it is moving along too quickly to meet our needs. So, we are backing off a bit by taking a week off, and then we will continue exploring straight and curved lines and their combinations.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Baskets update

Our seeds have sprouted. The little bowl received no additional water after the seeds were soaked. The little plastic container is filled with sand, and the pink basket contains regular potting soil (and will be watered.) Brother is very interested. We put the baskets on the table at dinner so he can notice the differences.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


We have essentially had a unit block on Egypt for social studies. Grandma and Grandpa had a trip to Egypt planned and gave Brother a book about Egypt and building blocks with Egyptian motifs decorating them. The blocks also came with a book showing examples of ancient egyptian architecture. On Sunday, Grandma and Grandpa had the family over to see a slide show and served a wonderful Egyptian dinner. It was a fabulous (and tasty) introduction to Egypt.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Letter Revealed!

And the letter is:

Here is our copy work. It didn't go as well this week. I think part of the reason is that I did not make home made granola for breakfast. That yogurt and granola breakfast is very well balanced nutrionally and is packed with healthy energy. I think he was just tired! And I also used an orange pen on the "chalk board". I think his eyes couldn't track as well. We'll see how it goes next week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seal Oil Lamp letter fairy tale

Our letter fairy tale this week is the Enki tale "Seal Oil Lamp." After reading the story three days in a row, I muddled my way through the telling by memory today. Which is actually really great. When I mess up and forget something, or tell something wrong, he jumps right in to correct me. And there we have first grade recall! Even though he isn't summarizing or recalling the whole thing to me, because I am telling it from memory he is silently recalling it in his brain. And to have him correct me is even better. Our curriculum writer told me that in a classroom setting some kids don't participate verbally in the recall activity until second grade.

Guess the letter!

Brother really wanted to write the boy's name, Allugua, and include the food left for the boy by his mother. He also put the structural lines in the back ground representing the blocks of ice making up the igloo.

Play Silk Science

Brother has covered the heater vents with the play silks to capture air or "make bubbles".

Downstairs in the older, colder part of the house.

Upstairs in the warmer, newer part of the house.

He is noticing that the play silks in the down stiars portion of the house become flat as soon as the heater turns off, but the play silk upstairs stays full of air. He has even theorized that the reason is because the upstairs surrounding air is much warmer than the downstairs. I'm so impressed with his observation and reasoning skills.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Form Drawing

Here is our form drawing for the week. He seems to be much stronger with the straight lines, and less comfortable with curves. I am going through a list of forms once, to get a good base point and then we'll go through again.



He is getting the idea though!

Monday, March 1, 2010


Today we went to the zoo! It was a lot of great exercise for me and a lesson in health for Baby (some of the primates were mating right in front of the window). Just kidding, Baby had no idea what was going on and Brother had run off already.

What was really neat was that Brother saw a Falcon. It fit in really well with our "Little Falcon" story from last week.