Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy New Year!

Is it just me, or is it crazy to realize that it's 2010? Twenty-ten. Say the words. Crazy.

Our first week back to school is done. Although I should maybe backtrack to Christmas holidays.

School-wise: Did absolutely nothing. Because I'd been sick with H1N1 for November, that left the first few weekends of December to really catch up on household stuff: laundry, cleaning, groceries... (It's a reminder to me that I need to learn to teach the others in this house how to do this stuff and to pass off some of the responsibility!) Now, normally I start my Christmas shopping in November and other than a few last-minute things that dh and I maybe have to agree on for a gift, it's done early December.

This year, NONE of the family shopping had been done by the time Christmas break started. NONE. Well, not entirely true, since dh's family was done back in October due to having had an early Christmas. However, that still left 2 step-nephews/3rd cousins (um, yes, my step-sister is married to my husband's 2nd cousin, which makes their kids my step-nephews, but also my kids' 3rd cousins), my Mom (separate gifts from me/dh and from the kids), my step-Dad (same deal), my husband (separate gifts from me and from the kids), my kids (from dh and I, plus help them shop for each other), and then pick a gift with dh from "Santa" to us. That kept us busy enough until the 23rd! Then we were gone for a few days, then when back, we spent the 27th recovering from the lack of sleep the previous days.

I had had the thought of maybe trying to do some school stuff, but we really needed to just vegetate a bit. So, I decided to leave the kids be. They spent a great deal of time reading, and dd did some writing, so I really can't complain. I couldn't stop a smile for my 9yo ds near the end of the holidays when I saw him reading yet another Geronimo Stilton book--something like his 20th Geronimo Stilton book in a month. I asked him if that was the last one to read from the library (we had about 10-12 out at the time) and he said he'd already read it and was reading it again. lol. I found out that he had somehow managed to read close to 10 books TWICE over the span of a few weeks. It was fascinating to watch him go play some active BOY thing, then switch gears and sit down with a book for about an hour, then back to play, then back to reading...

This past week, I have to say I left my kids be because the 18yo had a course to finish plus exams to study for, as did her brother. It was intense enough with that that I had no desire to get moving on school stuff for my two. However, it's time to change that!

This week, 18yo and "Bob" have exams to study for and Bob has some full-year courses to work on. I haven't a clue what I'm going to do with the others this week. Dd actually started a lapbook last night (at 8:45pm, to be exact) and has been working hard on it for most of the day. I still have NOT finished the Europe pin map flags for her, so I could work on that. She ought to continue doing some math (decision has been made to NOT have her use a workbook next year! it's somehow way too constricting and stressful) and we ought to figure out together what the next step for her French studies will be. German has been woefully neglected.

For ds... Handwriting and math are my main concerns. I'd love to figure out what I could do with him science-wise. I feel like I'm missing the boat with him on what to connect him with. I could just see him in an actual Montessori classroom spending tons of time outside with things for insects, dirt, plants, or with indoor science materials. Not the research and vocabulary stuff, but the hands-on practical things. I obviously need to build myself up in this area. Once the pin map flags are done, I know he'll want to work on that.

For my almost 5yo niece, I want to keep encouraging her to work on the things she already loves doing: reading Bob Books (can read the first three), practising the cursive sandpaper letters (I think it's time to start some word building AND some writing single letters on a chalkboard), addition (she's got this thing for addition lately, although I've not shown her anything formal; I could show her the bead stair to do some simple questions).

With my 2yo niece... I think I need to find out more information on toddler activities. Although, I could probably start the easiest 3-6 activities with her. She is such a hoot and so smart. I could see spooning beans and maybe pouring beans a good starter activity with her. I ought to also keep her and her sister's little table clear and provide them with a cloth to clean the table when they're doing. All kinds of routines could be built with her, now that I think of it. I just need to take the time to sit and think! :)

Speaking of taking the time... Things seem to be falling together nicely, which is starting to give me more time.  This school year, although heavy with work and illness, has been soooo great. The kids are getting along famously (okay, admittedly there are a few 2yo and 4yo tantrums in there) and things are just much more peaceful and fun. Once the exam stress is done, I think we will have a fantastic 2nd semester! I hope so. It's going to be the last semester for the 18yo and for my almost 5yo niece. Both are heading off to school in the fall. *sniffle* It's not going to be the same around here. And the 15yo could be done in 2.5 years from now--depends on course selections. *gasp* And my 2yo niece will probably be ready for kindergarten the fall of that same year. Gosh, this is what it's like when your kids grow up and leave the nest! :(


. said...

Yes, got to show my 2yo niece spooning this week. Isn't this adorable? Scroll down to the bottom picture:

Correne said...

Well, if you're looking for science for your son, I highly recommend Real Science Odyssey (often confused with Real Science 4 Kids) by Pandia Press. I am very weak in science, and I generally detest it, but this program is EXCELLENT! The worksheets look a little babyish since it's aimed at K-3 kids, but the experiments and activities are very good for demonstrating real science principles that build on each other. You actually feel like you're learning something.

You can download a substantially long free trial and give it a whirl. Seriously. Do it.