All Girls School

Wizard of Oz
September 25, 2008, 5:20 am
Filed under: Bubba, exploring, fall, history, math, reading, science

Bubba and I finished reading the Wizard of Oz on Tuesday. It was my old copy of the book from when I was a child. I had never actually read it, though, so it was new to both of us. After we finished reading it, we borrowed the movie from a friend and watched it together. After that, Bubba prepared a list of contrasts between the book and the movie. There are so many as the book has tons of other little plots and storylines that the movie leaves out. At one point I feared the book was never going to end as we had already killed the witch and Oz had floated away without Dorothy and we still had three or four chapters to go.

Yesterday I introduced subtraction with borrowing. She caught on very quickly, but it’s easy to see that this is not her favorite activity. Bubba much prefers addition to subtraction and there was a lot of prodding on my part to get her to refocus and finish her work. (does anyone really prefer subtraction, though?)

Also, on Monday, seeing as it was the first day of autumn and all, we took a nature walk through the park and brought home a bag of fall goodies. We set up a nature table in the living room. There isn’t any blank table top space in our house, but there was a lower shelf of a plant stand that sat bare, so we used that. About five minutes after taking this photo, Baby was spinning around and knocked into the stand and scattered everything off of it. So, it doesn’t look like this any more. It looks like a pile of debris shoved on the bottom shelf of a plant stand. But the thought was there.

We also incorporated a homemade “volcano” into our history lesson. We didn’t have a good bottle to use, so we used a glass instead. There was no height acheived from the spew this way, but the kids were sufficiently impressed anyway.


Goodbye Summer.
September 21, 2008, 9:02 pm
Filed under: baby, Bubba, exploring, girlies, mimi, summer

We took a long long stroll around today to soak up the last few moments of summer. The girls did all kinds of exploring.

Don’t look at the next one, Grandma R.

But my favorite “discovery” is when Baby looked across the lake and said, “Look, mom, it’s Wall-E!”

I have been so swamped with school, work and birthdays lately that I haven’t been updating here. I’m currently trying to decide if I should play catch up or just plow forward. We’ll see.

Bubba is 8!!!
September 17, 2008, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Bubba

Eight seems so old to me. I can’t believe I am the mother to an eight-year-old. But this post isn’t about me, it’s about Bubba and her special day. She doesn’t get to open presents until after her guitar lesson this afternoon so her dad can watch, too. Luckily, with age comes patience and maturity as she is just fine with this. We finished school for the day and she is going with her grandmother to have a special afternoon of cooking some sort of treat with her. Grandma will take her to guitar and then home. After presents she will help me make her special birthday supper. She requested mexican lasagne, garlic bread and cherries. There were no cherries at the store so she chose fruit cocktail instead. Her party will be this weekend. Unfortunately a few of her good friends are busy that day, but we will still have fun with the friends that are around with a pinata and carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

Bubba is growing up to be such a charming and sweet and crazy and fun person. She loves reading and playing with her friends, riding her bike and scooter and making all sorts of art projects. Her imagination blows me away sometimes. She has really gotten into music lately and it’s been lots of fun rocking out in the car with her and her sisters. We love you, Bubba!

(Bubba was born pre-digital camera days, so I have no little baby pics of her on the computer. We do have paper prints in an album, how archaic is that?)

Current Activities
September 4, 2008, 10:18 pm
Filed under: art, baby, Bubba, curriculum, guitar, history, math, music, phonics, preschool, reading, schedule, science, sewing, spelling, writing

Spelling – a list without a pretest. Bubba was struggling with the pretests last year as she’s such a perfectionist and there’s really no point in testing her on things that she hasn’t been taught yet. I almost feel like we should let our spelling instruction come naturally through our writing tasks. When I thought about that more, though, I really want the writing tasks to focus on content and structure and I don’t want to point out every misspelled word and distract from the actual writing. So, structured spelling lists it is. There are supplementing pages that are actually kind of fun and a little bit challenging, so she doesn’t HATE spelling this year. (four days per week)

Phonics – I detest this subject as I think it is super super boring. So does she. I think we’re going to nix phonics or at least skip to the few items in the book that would be instructional and useful to her. I’m going to have to look through our book a little more to weed out the busy work. (once per week, but maybe not at all.)

Science – We’re doing a unit on the human body with lots of activities thrown in. She’s also doing quite a bit of writing by logging our daily tasks and making little booklets and stuff. We’ve checked out a bunch of human body books from the library and she has been reading them with and to her little sisters and taking them in the car when we go pick up Mimi from school. The other day she was reading about the heart and we ended up having a great conversation about the relationship between the size of an animal and how quickly its heart beats. We’re planning on a trip down to the Science Museum to see the human body exhibit before it leaves next month. (twice a week)

Math – Right now we’re doing mostly review of addition and subtraction of multiple numbers. I’ve found lots of fun activities that incorporate these. I’m going to work with her on a sewing project to work on our measuring skills (and estimating skills, as I am a laaaaazy sewer). We’ve also done some cooking and we practice our fractions. I expect that the cooking will increase as the holiday season gets nearer and we’ll do a lot of practical math like doubling recipes and figuring out the metric system and equivalencies. She really wants to move on in math and get to multiplication and stuff, but I am feeling that we should ease back into the subject. (three times per week)

History – We tried to do an entire year of history over the summer, but burned out on it. We got about a third of the way through it before we shelved it until the school year. We are still in ancient history, but Bubba loves it. She really gets into most of the stories and we have some fun discussions after reading them. It is always amazing to me the details and names she remembers after reading. There are some that I have to go back and look up that she rattles off really quickly. This is one of our favorite subjects as we always learn something new and there is always some sort of fun project to go with it and reinforce the lesson. (twice a week)

Writing – Most of our writing is done within our other subjects as Bubba balks at having to sit down and write just for the sake of writing. One day per week we do do some sort of writing task. Lately we have been working on different brainstorming techniques. At first she was lazy and bored with it until she ended up coming up with a really fun and creative story based on some of her brainstorming. Every Friday is poetry day and we do something different. Last week we had a book from the library about rocks (her current passion) and it was a long poem about different types. We read it and then she chose her favorite type of rock from the poem and copied out that page in her best writing. We have a book of Roald Dahl poems for tomorrow that I’m very excited about.

Reading – Every day I read a chapter of The Wizard of Oz outloud to her. When we’re finished with the book we’re going to watch the movie and compare and contrast it to the book. I think we’ll do it orally or I’ll have her write down the main points and present it to Dad or something. I’ve been thinking about all of the different books we could read and then watch the movie to compare and the options are huge. I think it will give her a better idea of how much better the books typically are, too, and promote more reading. She also reads for half an hour to herself or to her sisters outloud.

Music – She practices her guitar every day except for lesson days. She was given two new songs to practice at her last lesson. We were also informed of her first recital coming up in October. I can’t wait to watch her play in front of everyone.

Art – At the beginning of every week we start a new art project. She then has the entire week to work on it and refine it in order to have a very thoughtfully and thoroughly finished piece. The first few projects in each unit are more technical, exploring each element (line, texture, etc.). Then there are a few really creative projects that incorporate the techniques previously studied.

(On a side note, Baby started preschool today, but I haven’t had time to get the photos off of the camera yet. I’ll write about it when I have them on the computer. Suffice it to say that she had a blast and it sounds like the day went really well.)

In Loving Memory
September 2, 2008, 10:11 pm
Filed under: baby, Bubba, family, mimi

We lost my grandfather last Thursday. We went up to be with family, dig through old photos, reminisce and attend the memorial service. It was beautiful and simple and sweet and full of loving memories. The girls were amazing through the whole thing.