Thursday, February 17, 2011

Valentine's Day Party

A really sweet lady at my church who has kids about the same age as ours undertook the huge task of hosting a Valentine's Day party for all the toddler/preschoolers she knew.  They live about 2 blocks from here and we've gone to her house several times.  She's lots of fun.  She was even really smart and decided to throw it 2 days AFTER Valentine's Day so that we could all get Valentines on clearance!

Although Lydia doesn't really understand about Valentine's Day, I figured it would be fun for her, if only to just get her out of the house and around other kids.  She has always struggled with being around other children, so any opportunity for her to get some "socialization" is good.

Lunch was provided and Lydia kept stealing the marshmallow hearts from off the table because she could reach them.  After lunch, which was served outside, she went around to all of the abandoned plates and ate everyone else's left over potato chips.  She's a funny kid and has always struggled with putting on weight, so I don't begrudge her a few potato chips, especially since they are a rare treat.  Luckily no one minded. (She's the kid in the middle of the blanket with all the food while the other kids are off playing.)

We colored bags and exchanged valentines.  Overall it was a fun morning!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Well, I've decided to refocus my unit studies.  I was having a hard time coming up with themes that Lydia would enjoy.  I've had my eye on the possibility of a Letter of the Week style program with her.  Lydia already knows all her letter sounds and she recognizes many numbers, shapes, and colors, but she's certainly not ready to begin reading yet.  She just doesn't have the vocabulary abilities and understanding to grasp blending.  As a result, my focus is more for fun and to help her develop her speech and fine motor skills.

This brings my to my new plan.  I will do Letter of the Week as done by Brightly Beaming Resources found here.  Specifically, we'll be doing the preparatory curriculum.  Basically, the idea is that every day you do a different shape/ vocab word/ letter /number and you also have a theme for the whole week as well as a small passage or poem to memorize.

Here's our learning board:

I did decide to switch up the memorization a bit.  I hate most nursery rhymes and see no need to make my daughter learn them, so I'm picking out small passages from the scriptures or other resources for her to learn.  I also plan on keeping them up for more than a week as memorizing these will be difficult for her.

Unfortunately, I already returned all our cow books from the library so I don't have a picture of them.  They were a hit, though.  Here's the titles we read:

Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type
The Cow That Laid an Egg
The Cow Loves Cookies
Millie Waits for the Mail

I'd have to say my favorite was Click Clack Moo, but Lydia enjoyed them all. I even found a really cute little animated video of Click Clack Moo on YouTube here.  We read each of these books several times throughout the week.

Oh, and the girls are totally loving our music study.  Today, I asked Lydia if she wanted to listen to Vivaldi or Bob Dylan, and she said, "OK, Bob Dylan!"  That made Daddy proud.  Even Ellie enjoys Dylan.  The other day she was whining until I put it on and didn't make a peep for the entire hour.  As soon as it ended though, she started whining again.  I guess we'll keep doing the music study, then!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Music Study Update- Bob Dylan

So, Tyler finally made a playlist for the girls.  He hesitated for so long because he felt like the task was so overwhelming.  How could he possibly make a one hour playlist for them to represent a single artist?!?  Anyways, after my encouragement, he managed to make their first "modern" music study playlist.  Rather than The Beatles, though, he chose to do Bob Dylan first.  I thought it was an interesting choice, but as I'm trying to use Grooveshark as much as possible for this and The Beatles aren't really on Grooveshark, it made sense.  So here's his first playlist.  You can listen to it here.

Bob Dylan:

Blowin' In the Wind
Tangled Up in Blue
The Times They Are A-changin'
Mr. Tambourine Man 
Subterranean Homesick Blues
Positively 4th Street
Don't Think Twice, It's Alright
It Ain't Me, Babe
Maggie's Farm
If Not for You
Like a Rolling Stone
Lay Lady Lay
You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
I Want You
Ballad of a Thin Man
Knockin' On Heaven's Door

So, my current goal is to listen to each of these (classical and modern) playlists at least once every other day.  If we want to listen to more, that's just fine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snowy Day and Potty Training

Sorry I didn't post last week.  Last week I decided to concentrate my efforts and potty train Lydia.  She's two and a half now and has shown all sorts of readiness signs.  However, it was a total disaster and after 4 days of next to no progress, I gave up for now.  I have also decided that potty training is one of my least favorite things about being a parent so far.  Yup, hated it. A lot.

Other than that, though, the last week and a half has been rather uneventful.  Tyler has spent a lot of time studying at home lately, and that always seems to throw me off a bit.  There's something about having your husband at home that makes you not want to work at all.  That, and this week he has been experimenting with not going to class at all and just listening to the recorded lectures at home.  For better or for worse, it seems to be working out much better for him, so I guess I just need to get used to not having free reign of the house all day.

In other news, today is a snow day here in Arkansas!  It is snowing a ton as I speak and we'll probably be home-bound for the next several days.  Lydia likes snow in theory, but she hates playing in it, so we probably won't be going outside.  Because it's so cold and our 70 year old rental house isn't really made for the cold, we are spending the day as a family in only two rooms of the house: our bedroom, and the girl's bedroom.  When the weather gets under 30 degrees, our house's ancient heating system (Basically a gas fire under a large grate in the hallway between our bedrooms.  It's crazy dangerous and Lydia has already burned herself on it a few tiems) has a really hard time keeping up, so we're trying to make it easy on it.  This means that Lydia is currently eating lunch on the floor, I'm sitting on the bed, and Tyler is across the room working on his studies.  I almost feel like a pioneer!

So there you have it!  Oh, I've also changed up my unit studies plan (not for the last time, I'm sure!) and I'll be writing a post on that soon.