Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Huh? What? I can’t understand you!

The tower you see here in this picture represents the Tower of Babel that JayBird made from blocks and using a simple color pattern. The little wooden guys? Yep, they are the prideful men that tried to build such a great tall tower to show how great they are. But as JayBird will share with you, as he did with many members of our extended family, God is the greatest of all and He showed this to the men by “making them talk funny.” (BTW, thanks to our family members for dialoging with JayBird as he continues to share what he learns. It is a perfect way to help retain and understand what he is learning!)

Building the tower with blocks did not catch JayBird’s attention much at all…until I suggested bringing out the wooden people and using them to act out the story. He was all about doing that! Just another example of how he loves to be more hands on…and he also loves to act! (Hoping to start some preschool drama classes soon…we’ll see!)

We then babbled to each other in our own made up languages to show that we could not help each other much if we couldn’t communicate and understand each other. This brought lots of laughter!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fun with Yoga!


In order for Mom to get any exercise done around here (which honestly, very rarely happens), I have to get the kids involved somehow. It’s easy when you find a fun kid’s yoga video set to music on YouTube. Both JayBird and JellyBean are learning lunges, tree poses, and downward facing dog. They catch on quickly to the terms and bounce right into the pose. Otherwise they can be found crawling under Mommy while she is in bridge pose or climbing on her back while in cobra pose. And I have to be careful, or my yoga mat will be taken over by little ones! I think they will be happily surprised come Christmas time when they have their own type of mats waiting for them under the tree. No more taking over mine or sliding around on towels. I do hope to continue some forms of exercise for my well-being. And hey, it may be even more involved with the kiddos around and they learn to love exercise too! PE is indeed a subject in the homeschool home!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Art, Science, and Lessons for the Heart through Noah

Interestingly, before even beginning learning activities revolving around Noah’s Ark, JayBird wanted to make an ark craft. Originally he wanted to make it out of popsicle sticks, but it worked out better to cut strips of paper. This also gave him practice cutting on straight lines.
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We then talked about a variety of things that God wants him to be obedient in. As you can see, it is written on the ark, each in a different color of the rainbow. This was such a fun spur of the moment activity!

And then, onto some drawing to fulfill his passion for art! This is a giraffe for the ark.
In learning that Noah was obedient and had to follow careful instructions to build the ark, we practiced our listening and problem solving skills with a scavenger hunt. Special little treasures were hidden around our backyard. JayBird (and JellyBean) were given simple clues to find these treasures.

Clues eventually led to the best treasure of all…

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We used our children’s Bible to count by 2’s by counting the animals entering the ark, but JayBird being the active boy and kinesthetic learner that he is jumped up, grabbed some counting bears, and made his own game of counting by two’s. He put the red and yellow bears in pairs of two. The blue bears are laying their side was to represent a dash in between each pair. For him, this made sense and helped distinguish each pair. He then practiced counting by 2’s up to 12…and almost 14 but not quite. He problem solved and did the math on his own to go from ten to twelve and when he figured it out, we hugged and were so giddy together that he figured it out on his own! He didn’t want any help at all or even for me to look while he was figuring out what came after ten while counting by two’s.  :-)

DSC01214(Oh, and those black crescent shaped moons on his shirt…well he was pretending to be a cow with moon shaped spots earlier in the day. LOL)

DSC01305Here JellyBean works on a brand new Noah’s Ark puzzle. I think her favorite part was making the birds fly in the air. :-)

When learning about the flood, our science experiment was seeing if items would sink or float. JayBird would make a hypothesis for each item and then place the items on a chart.

And of course we had to see if Noah’s Ark would float…


We also acted out the scene of Noah and his family coming off the ark and praising God for keeping them safe. Then we made banana rainbows! JayBird sliced up bananas that we arranged into the shape of a rainbow.
Both JayBird and JellyBean then sprinkled colored/flavored gelatin onto the banana slices to resemble a rainbow. I realized later that this probably could also have been done with kool-aid powder, and at a fraction of the cost!

They thoroughly enjoyed their creations! Mmmm! Such a good way to have fun with healthy food! My kiddos go through phases of loving bananas and not wanting them so much. So this is a wonderful activity to encourage them to eat bananas when they are in their no banana stage! We’ve already done it a second time!
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A beautiful rainbow represents God’s promise to never again flood the earth.DSC01111

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A first? Or just a rare moment?


This picture here is a very rare moment. Actually, I am hoping it is the first of many! JayBird and JellyBean were both playing blocks…without knocking each other’s blocks down! Mainly it is JellyBean bugging her big brother and knocking down his block towers and castles. But today, ahhhh, today they allowed each other the space to create. It was a wonderful site to see! And yes, now it is marked down in history so that if it never happens again, I can remember the one time it did. Or better yet, remind them of what it looks like!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Adam & Eve…and the serpent

JayBird spent a nice amount of time making this scene of Adam & Eve, the Tree of Knowledge, and the serpent. In fact, he used every single color of playdough that we had and pretty much used up every amount of it! (I have since bought some more to increase our stash!) This was completely his idea to make and he seemed to really enjoy doing it. It was very time intensive for him but he continued through to completion!

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Here the kids brought in different kinds of play food to represent the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Their task in these pictures were to jump over the serpent (a puppet snake) without touching it. This was good jumping practice for JellyBean…not sure that she actually jumped though. Almost looks like it in the picture though! JayBird practiced jumping over the “serpent” forwards and backwards. Then we just had fun with the puppet as we teased each other with it and tried to run away, staying far away from it as possible, just like we want to stay far away from temptation and sin.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

JellyBean’s recent activities…

tDSC01239 JellyBean is taking some developmental leaps. She is getting much more verbal, saying more words, and learning some of the words to Jesus Loves Me and some of the letters to the ABC song. Oh, and let’s not forget Barney’s I Love You song! (TV…what? Nah, that doesn’t happen here! Hehe) We have saved Barney's ABC episode because she loves singing the ABCs with Barney. I think that will be one of her best learning tools in learning the alphabet because of her love affair with Barney.

DSC01086 JellyBean has enjoyed getting right in there with JayBird with drawing (well, scribbling) and cutting. Yes, she’s using scissors! She doesn’t hold them correctly, but she does manage to cut the paper all around the edges.

Through our summer adventures, she has gotten over her sensory fear of sand and has gotten down and dirty at the beach…well, maybe not that dirty, but she did play in the sand! (Oh, and JayBird got over his fear of the water and the waves. Yay!)

Okay, well…she almost got over her sensory issues with sand…
JellyBean continues to take part in some tot school activities. Some she loved and others she could do without. She was not into dropping stacking pegs into the cardboard of a paper towel roll, but she LOVES sorting colors with our counting bears. She caught on quickly and always caught herself if she made a mistake. JayBird joins right in with her tot school activities, sometimes because they love to play together and sometimes because they are just fighting over toys.

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And here is a video of JellyBean’s favorite activity…the one that left her saying “More!” She caught on so fast with sorting the colors. We also tried working on verbally saying and remembering the color names and sign names, but that is still definitely a work in progress.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back…and finally blogging!

DSC00917 I’m back! :-) So where have we been? Well, back in July we went on vacation for a week and a half to visit friends and family many states away. Once we arrived home my husband Jonathan went on a missions trip to Belize for a week. In that time the kids and I tried to get unpacked and back into the swing of things here at home…not that I really know yet what the “swing of things” is! Really, I keep thinking about forming more of a routine for our day. I know it would help us out. I know that when I have more of an idea of how our day will go and the activities and projects we will do that our days will go smoother. So why don’t I do this more consistently? I am just not sure! We just have not found our “swing of things” yet. We need to find our groove! And in these past few weeks that we have been back home, while I have wanted to write a blog post (or two or three), I have just done other things higher up on the priority list.

Though we have not consistently worked on our actual preschool curriculum since we’ve been back (another reason I haven’t blogged), we have done plenty of things that we can go right ahead and classify as preschool (which is why I actually DO have a lot to update about)! We have enjoyed some fun in the sun summer activities with friends, squeezing in some playdates and such before many of our friends start preschool at school. We of course have have been reading books and playing play dough…and really, just having a fun time playing together in our home!

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And of course, JayBird turned play dough time into letter time. He loves forming letters our of everything and anything.

The main thing that JayBird has been doing lately is art! While traveling in the car on vacation something just clicked in JayBird’s brain and he began drawing all sorts of things! Where he used to just draw and paint a rainbow, he was then in the car on vacation with his dry erase board drawing pirate ships (lots of pirate ships!), and cars, and Noah’s Ark. Now he LOVES to draw! He took his new love into our home after vacation and just keeps on drawing. ..and cutting…and drawing some more. So fun to see! And now my house is adorned with artwork taped to the wall everywhere and my dining room floor is cluttered with markers and paper scraps. This new found love of drawing has taken away from his interest in reading…but that is coming back and will as he is ready to continue to learn to read.

I captured some of his drawings in the car with my cell phone…

More drawings done after vacation…

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These are of me doing yoga.  :-)  JayBird said the first drawing is the warrior pose and the other is my arms up in the air getting ready to stretch to the side.

Mommy, JellyBean, and JayBird on a sunny day.

A Beautiful Butterfly