All Girls School

Starting Off Well
August 27, 2008, 11:49 am
Filed under: art, Bubba, games, guitar, library, schedule, spelling

Apparently we are a people that enjoy a good schedule. One that is flexible enough to maneuver around impromptu park times but that is consistent enough that we know what’s coming and that we’ll be finished in time to pick up Mimi from school. Last year we didn’t follow any real schedule. Actually, scratch that, we started off the year with an insanely detailed schedule. That didn’t last very long at all and caused major burnout. Then we went to the opposite extreme with only a rough guideline of what we wanted to accomplish throughout the year and some materials to use throughout. That was ok, but felt a little slapped together at times. This year, we have certain things that are done on certain days so that I can be sure we’re going to accomplish at least our minimum goals. Having to get everyone up, dressed, fed and out the door to get Mimi to school in the mornings is a great help in getting us ready to start the school day early. Plus, at that time of the day Baby is happy to play and read and color while we work. Bubba is a bit more focused during the mornings and hasn’t already been distracted by another project that she wants to do instead. We have our afternoons free to do whatever we want.

Yesterday Grandma P came over to drop off Mimi’s birthday present. When she asked Bubba what she had done in school that day, Bubba replied, “We mostly played on the computer and read a little.” It was true. What slipped between the lines in that statement is that Tuesdays are a light academic day since I’ll be helping at the preschool on those days. We did play on the computer doing Language Arts and Spelling games. She completed a spelling worksheet focusing on this week’s words. Reading a “little” consisted of me reading a chapter of The Wizard of Oz outload and Bubba finishing a Junie B. Jones book followed by a trip to the library to pick up an inter-library loan Spiderwick book, which she promptly read three chapters of. She also read aloud a human body book to the younger kids. She failed to mention that she had asked me to find her a math worksheet with adding and subtracting to do just for fun. Later, she and her friend played school with the younger kids where she read more books to them and tried to teach them some basic math. She has a week-long art project every week that she spent a little time on, too. Bubba also practiced her guitar for about half an hour. (I’m not trying to imply with this paragraph that Grandma P looked in any way disapproving about Bubba’s answer, I just found it funny how her quick off-the-cuff response negated a big meaty chunk of the actual learning that took place that day.)

I also want to note for posterity that while the title states that we are starting off well, Bubba has also spent the last half hour walking around with a cape on backwards so that she can pull the hood over her face to refrain from looking at me or speaking to me because she’s so angry with me. It’s all about balance, right? Up next: How Do I Teach Personal Accountability For One’s Actions? (otherwise known as, Sometimes It’s Not EVERYONE Else’s Fault.)


Party Pix
August 26, 2008, 11:32 am
Filed under: baby, birthday, Bubba, girlies, mimi, party

Instead of gifts, we asked the guests to bring or make special cards for the birthday girls. We loved the results…

Mimi is 5!!!
August 26, 2008, 10:46 am
Filed under: birthday, mimi

Today Mimi turns five. She opened her presents from us last night so that Dad could see. We had the parties over the weekend. She took “dirt” to school for a treat and they sang to her. Today we will call her Grandmother to sing to her as they share the same birthday. For her birthday supper she chose spaghetti and garlic bread. Another Grandma will be stopping by with her presents as well as the present sent down from Aunt S and family. I think there will be a library and park trip later to round out a low key but fun birthday.

This one is from last night.

We love you, Mimi!

Baby is 3!!
August 25, 2008, 10:29 pm
Filed under: baby, birthday

Today Baby turned three years old (although she tells most people that she’s five). We had a family party out of town on Saturday and the friends party yesterday. Today she opened her presents from us and her local family and got to pick out what we had for supper. She chose chicken strips, creamed corn, garlic bread and grapes. Dad brought home some strawberries, too, which were perfect. After that we went to her preschool for a back to school night and had ice cream sundaes. She chose to use chocolate, strawberry, caramel AND butterscotch syrup on top. Tasty.

(this was this morning)

We love you, Baby!

Bubba’s in Second Grade
August 20, 2008, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Bubba, math, reading, rocks, science

Bubba and I started school on Tuesday. It was supposed to be on Monday, but it just didn’t happen. So far so good. I’m always amazed how a hiatus will prompt a real spurt in her abilities. I’m always thinking that we’ll have to ease back into things after a break, but somehow things have melded in her head and she comes out of the gate stronger than before. Her reading is so quick and easy now. (Although she did read quite a bit over the summer, so she didn’t have a real break from that, just no mandatory reading.) Her adding and subtracting are coming much more easily than before.

I’m excited for this year. She’s started really delving into subjects that interest her lately. Rocks are her new passion. Ever since our trip to South Dakota, she’s been quite the rock hound. We’ve been to the library a couple of times and I think we have now checked out every book they have on rocks, crystals and gems. She’s also taken the hammer to our landscaping river rocks trying to find geodes or crystals or something. I’ve had to nix that, but am impressed with her passion. We brought her back some polished agate slices from our Utah trip. When I handed them to her Monday morning she looked at me like she’d just won the lottery. It was great. What she doesn’t know is that we also brought her home a small stash of already opened geodes but are saving those for her birthday in a couple of weeks. We’re planning on a geology unit so we can incorporate this rock love, but need to start with the human body science stuff so that we can visit the human body exhibit at the science center. It’s only here through October, so it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

School Begins for Mimi
August 19, 2008, 9:07 pm
Filed under: kindergarten, mimi, reading, school

Mimi started kindergarten last Thursday. We went the evening before to meet the teacher, see her room and unload her supplies. She and Baby were having a lot of fun running around playing. The next morning, Mimi showed a touch of hesitation as we walked through the door, but after that first step, it was like she’d been going there for years. She hung up her bag and sat down in her new Hannah Montana t-shirt and busted out the play dough that the teacher had placed on each of their desks. In the subsequent days she has been excited to go in the mornings and full of fun anecdotes about recess (her favorite thing about school so far) when I pick her up. They began their “Animated Alphabet” this week and started with the letter “p”. This technique worked really well for Bubba and I’m hoping it will do the same for Mimi. Mostly, though, I’m just glad that she likes school, feels comfortable there and is happy with her teacher.

August 7, 2008, 10:52 am
Filed under: baby, Bubba, kindergarten, mimi, preschool, school, summer, swimming

Bubba has decided that she’d like to start school on the 18th this year. I have learned from last year’s drama not to try to push her into waiting until after Labor Day and let her start when the masses start. Technically that should be the 14th, but Dad and I are taking a solo road trip that Thursday, so she’s chosen the following Monday. This means that I have spent the past three days quickly putting together our curriculum for the year. I had most of it ready, but I wanted to look more closely at it all and make sure I wasn’t leaving out anything important. Plus, some of it I am creating myself, so that has required some research on my part. I also developed a loose schedule. It’s not something to adhere to, but a general guide that will help us stay on track to accomplishing our goals for the year.

We have been school supply shopping with the older two girls so far. There’s just something so great about $0.20 crayons. I probably should have purchased another set of drawers to hold all of the crayons and markers and paints we’ve purchased. The thing is, come next summer, we will have to scramble to find any left to use. Oh well, that’s why we stock up so heavily when they’re cheap.

Mimi should find out who her teacher and classmates are today. We’re going to a good bye party for some dear friends tonight and the house just so happens to be next to the school, so we can go look. We have a meet the teacher night on Wednesday and then school starts on Thursday. I am really hoping that she’s in AM Kindergarten so that I can take her and pick her up from her first day before we have to take off. If she’s in PM, I’ll only get to drop her off and I’ll probably cry the whole way to Utah for not getting to talk to her and hug her after her first day.

Baby begins preschool this year. She’ll go two days a week and I’ll get to be in the room one day per week. She is very excited and can’t wait to go buy her very own backpack. We go to back to school night on her birthday and then she starts after Labor Day. (as it should be, thanks Ms. K)

It’s too bad that this last full week of summer is so stormy here. We did spend three hours at the pool on Tuesday, though, so that should get us through to Sunday when we hit a water park with a bunch of friends. It’s kind of our last hurrah.