Monday, January 25, 2010

Chitter Chatter

MaKenna is quite the talker! I think having older brothers makes her feel like she has a lot to say. Lately, she has been making these high pitched squeal-like sounds that puts smiles on all our faces. Here she is "talking" and licking the chair...something she does on a daily basis.

For Grandma

Thanks, grandma, for my awesome new hat!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Tooth Fairy Cometh!

Look who lost his first tooth (and two more will soon follow!)

Creekside Academy

I realized that while we are a homeschooling family, I really haven't mentioned much about our days! I am not sure how that happened, but I am hoping to include more of our lessons, etc. for my own future reference. Here in North Carolina we are required to register our school with a name. I had chosen Creekside Academy based on how much time we spend at the creek at our local Nature Preserve. Some day, I hope to live on a piece of property that has a creek, but for now we will settle for a 10 minute drive. Anyways, we just finished up our 2nd language block of the year. In Waldorf education, subjects are presented in a block. We rotate through Language Arts, Math and Science, each block lasting 3-4 weeks. It is during this block when new material is introduced, so for example, this last language arts block we read the novel The King of Ireland's Son, covered vocabulary and created our own reader based on the novel. No new math or science material is presented (although we do review material in the form of movements and games!). This allows the material to "rest" and live into the child. We will do a week long Winter Nature block and then proceed into our 3rd Math block of the year.

Here we are doing one of our favorite winter crafts...paper snowflakes!
wet on wet watercolor painting. We are exploring the color blue at the moment. I am telling winter themed stories prior to them painting for inspiration.

Here is a pillow Blake sewed for his doll (more on that later!). He was having a difficult time knowing where to place the needle until I remembered a great tip I read on another blog...I used a sharpie to mark where he needed to sew and he had it done in no time. He was able to then stuff it with wool and finish sewing all by himself.

Handwork in progress

Morning Lesson Time: Blake is working on his vocabulary while the other boys are drawing pictures. They are free to join us at the table or to go off and play as they will. This is when I wished we had a seperate table for school/arts & crafts. I must clear the table at least 5 times a day of various crafting supplies/debris just so we can eat. I love how much creating occurs in our home...something that wouldn't happen in a traditional school setting!

The result of our snowflakes (we painted them with glue and sprinkled with sea salt for the glittery effect).
One of the wonderful things I love about the Waldorf philosophy is the delay of academics. Formal learning is not begun until the child is near 7 years of age. Up until that point, play is the main form of learning. Even once formal learning is begun, there is a sort of "easing" in to academics with a focus on approaching academics in a holistic manner. I have seen what a positive effect this gentle approach to learning has had on Blake (who ended is Kindergarten year in public school stressed and showing signs of anxiety!).

Kenna Roo

My sweet little baby just doesn't seem like a baby anymore! She is in such a hurry to grow up and keep up with her brothers. Just a week after crawling, she began to pull herself up onto furniture, toys, etc. In fact, it is one of her favorite things to do (that and to lick things...don't ask!). I can't seem to slow time down so I guess I will just have to embrace it. We are also in the midst of major teething woes which has led to some major sleep regression, but who needs sleep anyways. I had tried giving her solids about a month and a half ago and she really wasn't interested, so we waited some more and she has just now shown a BIG interest in eating. We are following Baby Led Weaning, so basically she feeds herself. So far, she likes lima beans, corn, sweet potatoes, peas and apple sauce. She did have a small taste of French Vanilla Yogurt thanks to a very kind and sharing brother ;-) At this point she gets more on her and her high chair then in her mouth, but she sure has fun trying!

Here she is sporting one of the hats my mom crocheted for her!
I love how happy she looks here!

Another one of her favorite things to do...hold on to two chairs and "move" her feet. I am telling you, this girls wants to walk!

We can't forget the yummy toe sucking. Pretty much everything goes in her mouth.

Happy to be hanging out. She really is such a happy baby even when she was up a bazillion times during the night and refusing naps!

we're still here

It seems that these past few weeks have flown by in a fuzzy blur of days. We started back up with school right after Christmas and soon after the New Year, the kids and daddy were all sick with a pretty nasty cold that seemed to go on for forever. We also had some of the coldest weather here (high only in the 30s...brrr) which kept us inside more than we are used to! Needless to say, we are all healthy and back to our rhythm and things are going well! So here are a few random pics. Peter accuses me of showing favortism in my photos....I have no idea what he is talking about ;-)