Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reading in a Tree

One day, it seemed like I had been gone a lot and then there was this gorgeously summer-like day and I was home. We just had to go to the park and spend some quality time together. Not on the playground, but have a picnic, hula hoop, or read our books in the fresh outdoors.  We found a nice accommodating evergreen. It was very much like the one just outside F. E. Warren's Base movie theater. I have very fond memories of playing in, around and on it as a child. Every child needs an evergreen fort. Something you can hide in, even while standing on the ground, under it's branches and something you can climb very easily because the branches start so low and are very numerous.  I was very surprised that my 4yo could climb the tree as easily as she did. And I even got up there just enough to take tree-loft pics on my phone.

We distracted each other to read much, but we tried. Then we all went to explore a set of storm drain tunnels. Running through them to the other side, exploring a bit, and then going back.  

It turned out to be a very nice day. 
And so, I did what I didn't want to do, post all at once. Well, I had the chance and that's just how it goes most of the time. ;)

RATS! I promised!

A Looong time ago, I promised more photos of our little caged puppies. er, rats.  . . The youngest named hers puppy and they are alot like little dogs.  They are social and friendly and pretty darn smart.  Ours are in a little bit of a slump right now as the humans dash about mostly ignoring them, but I think that will pass.  I wish I took more time to play with them and if I did, others would follow:

This is App, she is very curious. It was hard to take pictures because no one would keep still. They were too busy exploring the room. We frequently provide them with boxes, even cutting little holes or taping them together as mazes or tunnels, but this one just happened to be there. 

 They love fresh food. I believe they are eating snow peas here. We feed them fruit, veggies, store bought treats, and basic rat food.  They LOVE raw squash.  Occasionally, we give them a rare meat treat, but I don't think we've given them much sweats or grains.  This is Calmly and Puppy. Hermione is trying to squeeze in blurry. 

 Rats are good pets for young children. They are easy to hold, don't hurt easily and simply want to be near you! Our youngest is able to hold and carry her rats around. Supervised, of course. App just wants to get in her hair and whisper in her ear!

Because they are so tame it is not a problem to let them run around loose for a bit. They love to explore and hide. They will also hide food and chew on things- so watch your important papers or favorite blanket!.  When you are done, simply wait for them to run up to your lap or walk up to them, they don't really mind you, though they probably don't want to be locked up again. 
Afterward, you will want to sweep up after them. That's their only drawback. I've heard and seen the youtube video on 'potty training', but we don't have that skill here.

Ours are about 1.5 years old now.  My current teen did a research project on them for last year's homeschool science fair.

I have had their teeth trimmed it that vets. I need to check them again for that. Even though we give them things to chew, it's just not enough like the 'real world' to do the job right.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Unmet goals, growth and new paths

Okay Dad, so I didn't really meet my homeschool goals for this past year, but hopefully I've experienced a lot of growth for myself.  I spent a lot of time working for volunteer organizations and spending some mom time.  My new path or goal is to really push the SWR for April and May.  We had a few really good days recently and with other activities winding down* soon, I'm hopeful for a strong dash to the finish line. 

SWR List O-2, my homophone 'art'
For this list I worked with Cordell and Melodie separately. It worked out really well. I was really able to give them each the attention they needed. The drawback: I spent so much more time at it!  I think I will have to swap days- rather than try to do them both on the same day.  Right now though, I am trying to get as far in the Lists of spelling words as possible since we missed so many days this year.  It probably doesn't really matter, but I just want to be close to our end of the year goal. 

Lillian is now joining us sometimes when we review the phonogram cards. To ensure we cover 'hers' first, I marked them with a red dot, that way she can wander away later and not miss them. So far, I have only introduced about 9 cards, the ones in her name and the 'clock face' letters. 

I have cut a corner off each card so they are easy to assemble 'right side up' I marked the toddler's with red circle dot stickers across the cut corner.
This is a phonogram review activity for the 4 year old. She is to match her cursive cards to the pocket of the bookface counterpart.  I taped the file folders together so it folds up accordion style for storage and stands up on it's own when in use.  She decorated the file folders a little and helped me assemble it, so it was like a lapbook project.  

*winding down, doesn't really look like it or the next few weeks because we are getting ready for a dance recital, poetry presentation [multiple times], curriculum fair, and a big birthday party! How we will get consistent seat work in during all the prep time needed, I wouldn't know.  Dreaming of a beach. . .