My First Blog Award!

Big thanks to Snack Bar Reviews for surprising me with the "Stylish Blog Award".  I've been reworking my blog for some time now, so it's nice to see that things are coming along and to be noticed!




Rules for accepting this award are:
1. Thank & link back to the person who awarded you this.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pay it forward to 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their Blog Award!


7 Things about Me
1. I am 40 years old but certainly don't feel like it.
2. We went through 5 years of infertility treatments which were all unsuccessful.
3. I gave birth to my son 4 years ago this past October. He is truly a gift from God.
4. I graduated from Culinary Arts school and now sell gourmet convenience food product which I love.
5. Hubby and I met in an unbelievable way, had a fairytale wedding and have been married for 11 years. He's my rock and best friend.
6. I believe things happen for a reason and God has a path for us.
7. I make the best Pumpkin Cheesecake with Maple Borbon Praline topping if I do say so myself!

Here are the 15 sites I am Paying it forward to:

http://momistheonlygirl.blogspot.com/
http://momto2poshlildivas.blogspot.com/
http://maternalbutterfly.blogspot.com/
http://www.kidscreativechaos.com/ 
http://theadventuresofmommyb.blogspot.com/
http://40somethingfirsttimer.blogspot.com/
http://realmomreviews.blogspot.com/
http://www.beautyandthegreen.blogspot.com/
http://www.pursuitoftitus2.com/
http://thequeenofswag.blogspot.com/ 
http://www.insanityisnotanoption.com/
http://www.onceuponabakersblog.blogspot.com/
http://jrnytogreen.blogspot.com/
http://www.mycup2yours.com/
http://raisingchildraisingself.com/

Sweet Boy Moment

Thinking aloud in the car today, I had mentioned I would like to give blood sometime. I explained to Din what that meant and how giving blood saves lives like a hero. Din replies very excitedly "After you give the blood, when do you get to turn into a Super Hero Mommy?!"

Learning Addition

The other day while at Barnes & Nobles Bookstore, I was looking for more ideas to teach my son about addition.  Disney makes this great line of books called Disney School Skills - Let's Learn Addition 
We started the book yesterday morning and it began using number stickers to fill in the missing numbers from 1 to 20.  On the next page, he then had to write in the missing numbers. Next he had to do number sets which included drawing in the correct number of items as requested on each question. 



The entire book has the Disney Pixar Cars theme so it's familiar and fun for Din. At the end of the book, there are two pages where it lists all the new things I can do.  Such as I can...  Count and sequence numbers to 20  and I can show different ways to make 4.  There are 24 of these "I Can" and once your child can do these things, he/she gets to put a trophy sticker.  I told Din, after he finishes the book and gets all 24 stickers, he could pick out a new Pixar Cars at the toy store.   He is very happy with this and even more excited to learn the different things he needs to, to be able to pick out his new car.

This morning, we worked on showing different ways to make 4, 5, 6 and 7.  For the first one, it shows the number 4 and then 4 uncolored cars.  The directions say to color the cars blue and yellow to show that you can make 4 in different ways.  The first activity was done in the book showing the first two cars colored in Blue and the next two cars colored in yellow.  Underneath the picture they wrote in 2 and 2 makes 4.  Din caught on quick.  Honestly, I wasn't expecting him to!  I asked him how else we could make 4 and he replied "1  + 3 makes 4".  And he colored one car yellow and three cars blue and wrote the numbers underneath.  The next couple of pages does this for the number 5, 6 and 7.  He got each one and loved it!

In fact, over lunch today I would say to him "Din can you name 3 ways to make the number 6?"  or "I bet you can't think of some ways to make the number 10!"  And he proved me wrong each time!  I was so surprised when he was just rattling off  what numbers added together make up 10.

First Ice Skating Lesson

Today my boy had his first ice skating lesson.  It was very heartbreaking to watch.  Din is the type of boy that wants to excel in everything and when he doesn't succeed at first, well it was difficult to watch.  On the way to the rink, I was trying to prep him and let him know that many of the kids, including him may be falling down. First the instructors had the kids practice sitting on the floor (off the ice) and practice standing up properly.  Next about thirty 3 and 4 year old kids were led to the door to enter the ice rink.  As soon as Din stepped on the ice with two feet, he fell on to his butt.  And that's when it started....for the next 30 minutes, every time he stood up or tried to, he would fall right down again.  I felt like a mommy turtle watching a baby turtle on its back trying to turn itself right from far away.  He was on the ice and I couldn't do a damn thing to help him since I couldn't go on the ice.  There was a dad there who occasionally yelled out to his kids on the ice and at first I was thinking 'Guy keep it down' but it actually then encouraged me because that was the only way I could maybe get some encouragement to Din. I started yelling out "Great job Din - You can do it!"  I don't know if he heard me but it certainly helped me better.  Even DH yelled out some encouragement to Din after I did.

I took some pictures and some video.  I was worried that he wouldn't want to try it again.  At times, he was laying on the ice, pounding it with his fist or skate; clearly frustration is what Din was feeling.  He was doing better towards the end of the lesson.  At first, he couldn't even stand up but by the end of the class, he was able to stand up and take two steps before falling again.  Din ended the class by having a complete meltdown to one of the instructors who did a great job trying to get him to try again and get focused.  He did try again but when it kept failing, he was done and the instructor carried him crying over to me.  Heartbreaking!

 DH and I told him how fantastic he did and how proud of him we are of all the trying he did. One of the problems we realized was that we put him in a pair of 2nd hand hockey skates and we should have put him in figure skates which has a straighter and longer back instead of the shorter, curvier skate of the hockey skate.  We brought his little teary eyed face over to the rental area and showed him the difference.  Promised him, we would try a pair of new skates next time.  I also showed him a video of him standing and skating for 30 seconds.  He was excited I had this video. He told me he thought he was just falling down and was so proud of himself when I showed him he can do it.  He was so cute too, told me he thought skating was going to be easy.  I'm so proud of him for all the trying he did today.

Addition

As long as I can remember Dylan has loved numbers and at age three he could do simple adding and subtracting if we visualized it for him.  I would say to him if you and N were at the McDonald's play area and Sally, Sue and Steve showed up, how many kids would be at the play area and he would think about it and spit out the correct answer.  DH and I were so excited, we started expanding the visualizing mathematics as well as doing subtraction.  Our excitement, caused much excitement in Dylan in learning.

Now that he is four years old and knows how write his numbers, I gave him a workbook with some math problems in it such as 2 + 1 =   and he writes in the number.  We just started this last week and he loves it.  I stumbled upon a website called Lake Shore Learning.  In their resource section, there are flash cards that you can make up your own addition or subtraction, print them, cut them and then fold and tape/glue them to use them.  They make a fantastic learning tool and great to use when standing in line or waiting for your food to arrive at a restaurant.  

Sweet Boy Moment

My boy is the sweetest and it's moments like these that I want to cherish and remember.  While Dylan was eating some Trader Joe's Peanut butter trail mix, he ran over to me in another room and said to me "Mommy, these are your favorite.  You can have this last peanut butter cup!"  And he proceeds to finger feed me this little peanut butter cup.  And as I type this, he runs out again and gave me the last raisin.  I'm so blessed.

Butternut Squash with Thyme

I love Butternut squash and finding creative ways to incorporate it into dinner.  Right now it's in season, which means you can find it locally and pretty inexpensive. One of the best ways I've been able to save money on meals is to buy it at my local farm stand. Last night, I made Butternut Squash Risotto for dinner and had some squash left over that I didn't want to go to waste.  I found a great recipe for Brown Butter Squash with Thyme on SimplyRecipes.com.  It only took about 20 minutes to cook up and went great with our salad for another meatless dinner which we are trying to do more of since it's healthier.

Mail Day!

On the whim of a 4 year old, we received a beautiful piece of art work with Din's name and his friend N's name.  It was put into an envelope by N's mom and mailed to us at home.  Din had awoken from his nap and we checked the mail box. Din was very excited to see a piece of mail with his name on it.  Din loved the picture N made for him with both their names on it.  It now hangs proudly on our refrigerator.  He quickly figured out that he would like to make N something and we got out our craft bin and away he went.  Drawing lines and cutting them out and making a card with their names on it.  He also glued on some squares and when I asked him what it was, he replied "It's called 'Mountain Desert'".  He then folded it up and stuck it in an envelope to mail to N.  This could definitely be the start of something good!

Scissor skills

Not only are scissors a fun and exciting activity for little ones but their little fingers get strengthened as well as gaining hand eye coordination.  Who doesn't love making snow flakes out of paper in the winter time or cutting out different shapes to glue onto a piece of paper?  Using scissors is a skill a child must learn.   Not sure where to start?  Check out Kumons First Book of Cutting for ages 3-4-5.    What I specially like about the Kumon workbooks are that the activities start easy and slowly as your child builds his/her confidence in doing things, the activites get more involved.  Cutting straight lines and then eventually to diagonal lines to wavy lines to circles.  Great confidence booster!

Finger painting

I've been trying to think of more ways to be hands on and creative when spending time with Din.  Today, we decided to get out the finger paints which is always a favorite. I picked up this little tray divider at Michael's Craft Store which is great for keeping the paints in one place.  I also like to give him a variety of "tools" to use such as various sized paint brushes, sponges with handles or in different shapes so she can explore with each of them. He also loves to mix the colors such as green and yellow to make blue.

My little Picasso made some great art work for our walls.  My favorite is when he put hand prints all over one piece of paper and on a 2nd piece he wrote his name using paints on his finger. He thought that was very cool as well to be able to write letters that way.


Apples, Apples and more Apples!

We went apple picking and we got a whole bushel of apples.  What to do with all these apples?  Well we ate them of course!  Every way we could think of from just eating them out of the refrigerator, to putting them in our dinner to apple pie.  Another way was to dehydrate them and have them as a snack.  Our four year old son loved them this way surprisingly since he doesn't usually like cooked apples.  It was almost like eating candy and we all gobbled them up quite quickly once they were bagged up!

We had a great apple peeler that I got from Amazon.com for about $25.00.  It certainly made peeling apples quicker and easier!  Din loved turning the crank on the peeler. Then, we would lay the slices on our dehydrator trays. 
I also sprinkled a little cinnamon on the apples.  I would then plug in the dehydrator and by morning we had our treat!

Fall Leave Craft

Today we did a wonderful new leave craft that I wanted to share.  I can't take credit for the idea, since it did come from a preschool story hour that we went to earlier today.   First we collected about 10 to 15 different leaves. Maple, Birch, etc.  Then we laid out a piece of clear contact paper.  Din pushed the leaves onto the contact paper - pretty side up however he wanted.   We also cut out a leaf from paper and he wrote his name on it with crayon and stuck that on the contact paper.  Finally, we used a piece of  Glad's Press 'n Seal and put that on top of it all. It was simple and fun.  It looks fantastic up in our window especially when the sun shines through.  Would love to do something like this again.  Thanks Ms L. for such a great and fun idea!

The Sleep Fairy is back

We are back to reading the Sleep Fairy book by Janie Peterson.  This was a great tool to use when Din was two to get him to sleep the whole night.  The book talks about Macy the Sleep Fairy who comes when you lay in bed quietly, don't ask for another drink or another story.  "Stay in your bed and the Sleep Fairy will place a gift beneath your head."

Now that Din is showing interest in sleeping in his big boy bed, I have brought the Sleep Fairy back as well.  Din really wants to sleep in his bed but isn't completely there yet and wants the comfort of his mom and dad which is how it has been for all his life.

We take things slow in our home, there isn't any rush to get him to sleep in his own bed. Just like potty training, I figured it would take a long time and although encouraged him to go potty, never pushed.  We praised and awarded and by 2 and a half years old he was done with diapers even at night!  Our goal to start is to get him to fall asleep in his bed.  We started a couple of weeks ago and it is off and on.  Some nights, he wants to sleep in his own bed and other nights in ours.  Either is fine  - it's his choice.

Last night he says to me very excitedly  as he climbed into bed "Someday I'm going to be a Big Boy, Mommy and sleep in my bed all night!"  He then asked me to read the book to him.  She won't come if you don't read the book.  Afterward, he rolled over and went to sleep. He had awoken about 3 hours later and asked to come into our bed.  Funny thing is, he really wanted to stay in his own bed but just couldn't do it.   We are very proud our little guy getting to be such a big boy.

Back to school time

Back to school time doesn't happen here since Din is always learning and has school on certain days whether it's Summer or a holiday break.  For us, it means time to begin a new school year with some new ideas.  I love hearing about ideas that work for other homeschooling moms, teachers, mom friends.  Many of my school lessons stem from an idea we have already heard was successful.

One mom friend told me about how her son's preschool will have each child write their name every day on a piece of paper.  The teacher will then save each student's paper all year long and then give it to the parent to show how the child's hand writing has improved.  We started doing this and I now have a small collection of  papers with his name on them to save and review at a later date.

Another thing I am hoping to work on this year are lower case letters as well as a Letter of the Week program.  Din recognizes his letters, knows the sounds of most letters and can also write pretty much all of the capital letters.  Lowercase letters is one of goals for this upcoming school year.  I would also love to start a Letter book with him.  I haven't figured out exactly what will be in our Letter book but I'm working on the idea of it.  One letter for each page, print it, cut it out and paste it onto paper.   Then I'll probably have him find some things that begin with that letter  in some magazines, he can practice his scissors skills cutting it out and pasting it  in our letter book.

Macaroni Necklace

I loved making Macaroni necklaces as a kid so I thought it would be a fun activity for us to do.  We finger painted uncooked ziti first.  I gave him a brush and showed him how to paint one by one.  My son, not to be undone, showed me how to dip multiple fingers in the paint and then paint about a dozen ziti at one time.  Of course, the colors were no longer pink and green and blue but now a rainbow gray.  :)

I put all the little painted ziti's on wax paper on a cookie sheet since I didn't want them to stick together while drying. They dried pretty quickly.  We then used glitter glue to smear on to each one; again he loved using his whole hand and smearing all over multiple ziti. Once everything dried, we strung it on strings for necklaces.


This was a great craft not only to paint but really be able to feel the paint and the ziti texture.  He loved it and they turned out great.  We have lots leftover, so soon we'll be gluing them to paper.  :)



Missing my little cosleeper

Din has been sleeping in his big boy bed in his own room nearly every night now.  Well, he starts in there and 2 to 3 hours later is in our bed.  Which is fine with us all right now because after nearly 4 years of cosleeping, well you get use to having a little body cuddle up next to you at night or kick you in side repeatedly.  He wants to be like some of his little friends and be a big boy and do big boy things.  He also wants bunk beds as one of his friends has. So I told him when he is sleeping in his big boy bed from bedtime to 6:00 am, then we'll talk. Every night, the amount of time increases even if it's only a half hour longer than the previous night it's great progress.  Tonight he has been there for nearly 2.5 hours and every other minute I keep thinking I hear him and I'm jumping up looking for him only to find him sound asleep in his little bed.  But truth be told, I want to see him, I miss him and I want him to succeed but it's hard on us mommies and daddies too who are so use to cuddling with him at night.

Our Point System expanded

The "Mario points" idea has really taken off and expanded more than I could have ever thought possible. My son who in his words is 3 and 3 quarters has graduated from counting individual beads to now using a chalkboard. We had been doing the bead counting for the past 6 months and it was getting a little monotonous but he kept up with it and can now count higher than a hundred.

I was thinking we needed to do something a little different but what.... Well one day we went to a little diner for lunch and they had a chalk board up on the wall to keep kids busy.  What a great idea!  I picked up a chalkboard at Staples, complete with chalk and eraser and hubby hung it up for us in the kitchen where we usually do our lessons.  Now instead of counting beads, when Din earns points, he will put that specific number on the chalkboard. He sharpening his number writing skills and learning to add.  He is learning how to count by 5s in head.  He gets 5 points for an activity sheet completely properly.  If he has six sheets, he will count by 5 up to 30.  He will then get to write the number 30 on the chalk board.

But now our point system has expanded to more than just home activities. It is now his reward of choice especially since I've instilled the rule that he must have at least 20 minutes to turn on either the computer or the Wii system. I've awarded points when he is good and taken away points when he has unacceptable behavior. He gets very upset when I take points away, even just one point, so I don't do it often but it does happen and then he learns how to subtract points as well!

Color by numbers

My son, Din is three and a half and today while waiting in the doctor's office with me, I gave him a color by number page.  Normally, he would just color the number and not the whole space within the lines that specific color but today I showed him how and he did it!  I am so proud of him for understanding and being able to get it.  Love this kid!

Moving forward...

I've been putting off my blog for a couple of months now.  Since my last post, my mom passed away, my husband's grandmother and our family dog of 14 years. Every time, I went to my blog to update or write, just saw my last post and couldn't do it.  But time is moving forward and so am I.  I am homeschooling our son and everyday is an opportunity to learn.  So with that, we are moving forward.

I'm not ready to say good bye

While this blog is mainly about being a mom to my son. I write this post nearing the end of my mom's life. She was a confident strong minded woman who was also caring and nurturing when we were children.  As we grew up, like her, I became a confident strong minded woman and the problem with this is we often butted heads and a small rift between us grew bigger and bigger until our relationship was torn apart and we didn't speak for 8 long years. We were both stubborn and stupid.  I miss and regret those 8 years without her.  Why couldn't we agree to disagree.  Now I've been a mom for the past three years and I need her.  She is in hospice care and not expected to live much longer.  I have a flight to see her a week from Saturday and we were told, she may not be here when that visit comes to pass.  I'm not ready for this just yet...

Learning & Rewards

One of the ways, I keep my son focused and determined to complete his work for the day is a reward system.  He enjoys doing the activities I give him but there are some mornings when he would rather be bouncing around the house instead of sitting at his desk during school work time.  We do stickers for sleeping in his big boy bed and than a night out at Chuck E Cheese when he completes the chart, so I wanted to do something a little different.

Din is a gamer.  Whether it be a board game or on the Wii, he loves playing games. His latest phase, is playing New Super Mario Bros on the Wii.  If we let him, he would play all day long.  I did let him play for quite a bit after the holidays and when he was sick but now it's time to curb the play time and get him back into learning, dancing, playing etc.

For every worksheet (back & front) that he completes CORRECTLY (or at least tries), he gets 5 beads into his "Mario Container".  There have been times, to get through the work, he just doesn't care or acts silly and those times, he understands, he will get nothing.  I never do more than a half hour of school work at a time, because he is young and I know he gets burned out easily.  It's a lot of work focusing. I get that.

This Mario plan has been working beautifully!  Every bead is worth 1 minutes.  This morning, I had 6 sheets for him to complete (back and front) so 12 activities.  In the end, we sat together while he counted out 5 beads for each sheet.  We started the Mario plan 3 days ago.  Since then he has learned that 5 + 5 = 10.  He has learned that the number after 29 is 30 and not twenty ten.  He has learned that the number after 39 is 40 and not forty ten.  In fact, he has learned to count all the way up to 76!  He is getting fine motor skills picking up and counting these beads. He is more excited about learning and earning more beads. 

Another thing which he has learned and has really surprised me is he has learned to "bank" his time.  One night, while I was getting ready to make dinner, I told him he had 20 Mario minutes he could use while I got dinner on the table.  He actually told me, he was going to go play his drums and save those minutes until tomorrow morning!!

He isn't asking for Mario all day constantly like he did before we started this plan.  He knows he has to earn the time.  I have also given him Mario minutes when he cleans up his room and/or for any other exceptional good behavior. 

Like all the plans we try, this plan might not work next month, but it works for us now.  :)

Stitches

Ugh, my little guy Din was using the arm rests of two chairs, swinging in between them when his hands slipped and he landed his chin directly on the corner of a metal stair.  I looked at it and immediately thought 'Stitches'.  We went to the doctors. Because he is only three, Dr. L, didn't want to use a shot to numb the area so he used a topical lotion.  It was about noon time, Din was tired from running around at gym class that morning and then overstimulated with the activities of having to go to the doctors for a boo boo that he had no idea why there was so much fuss over.  Every other time he has gotten a boo boo, we've kissed it and/or put a bag of frozen peas on it.  He had no idea why we were at the doctors and why did everyone keep telling him to lay down.

He laid down while we waited for the numbing topical to do its stuff.  He was very restless so I read him some books to try to occupy him.  Twenty minutes later, Dr L and a nurse came in to begin the suture procedure.  Dr L asked if I was going to be okay watching this.  "Sure" I told him.  Least that's what I thought!  Dr L started to put the needle on Dylan's lip to begin the first stitch.  Din who usually has a high tolerance for pain, immediately started wailing "It Hoorts!" in his little boy voice over and over again.  It broke my heart.  I wanted to grab the doctor and tell him to 'Stop hurting my baby!'  Of course I didn't but every time, Dr L, stuck the needle into his lip, he would let out an even bigger cry.  I felt a wave of nausea had to let go of my baby's hand even though he was calling out to me.  I thought I was going to faint, I couldn't stand to listen to him cry.  Two nurses had to run in and get ME a drink of water and a sugary Popsicle to raise my blood sugar back up.  Amazingly, once they were done with Din, my faintness went away as well.

I can't believe what an ordeal it was watching Din get stitches. Now, a few hours later, he is seemingly fine and I'm still trying to get over the whole thing!

Lesson Plan

Colds have been all around us and I finally they are diminishing. Colds like to slowly creep into your life and then even more slowly creep out.  Every day we are feeling a little better.  We haven't been doing much schooling since we've gotten our colds and it's time to get back into it.  Colds are energy zappers and I'm trying to find the energy right now to get together today's lesson plan.  We've been working on writing the letters K, M and W and I think we'll continue with that this week.  It's also the week before Valentine Day's so we'll be working on some special Valentine day fun as well.

Flash Cards

I opened up a pack of 3 Letter Flash Cards to my letter loving son today.  I got these at Barnes & Noble Booksellers.  These cards are great for lower case recognition as well as for learning words.  Lay down the three cards to piece together a specific picture which then spells out the word.  As you can see on the box, the word 'bus' is spelled out when the child pieces together the picture of the bus.  On the flip side of the cards is just the letter so these are great to work with either the pictures or just with the letters/words.

Here is an example of the word cat and how the cards are pieced together so to speak.  When I introduced my son to these cards, I picked out two words for him to put together.  He loved it!  He was piecing the words together, say the word and then I would have him spell it out.  We did a total of 6 words for our first session.  He is looking forward to doing this again and he was so proud of himself!

Great stuff for learning!

Snow

Din is napping and I'm sitting at the kitchen table watching the snow fall, drinking a cup of coffee while working on my gourmet food business.  The snow is so mesmerizing. And after last week's snow vacation, I actually find it relaxing and peaceful which is something I would have never thought about snow. I can't believe I'm actually going to be saying this but I want the snow to pile up.  The shoveling and cleaning out our cars is certainly no fun and I really can't complain since my wonderful hubby does most if not nearly all of that but I used to hate the snow.  And today, I'm wishing we could go sledding or skiing or maybe sometime get snow shoes so we can go take a nice walk together.  But for now, I should get back to the business before my little storm wakes up from his nap and the quiet is filled with loudness and laughter.

Everything happens for a reason

Everything happens for a reason and after what I thought was a bad day yesterday, now I see it as God didn't want us out driving yesterday and that is why the car didn't start. I truly believe this.  Today things are better and we'll be heading to see some friends in Portsmouth.  A long ride in the car without a DVD player but we'll have music and snacks and hopefully he'll sleep.  Hoping you all have a super fantastic day!

Venting...

The day started out great and I even posted a big happy positive status on Facebook.  That will teach me!  Even now I'm trying to see the positive of things but how can I make the fact that I had to clean up two diarrhea dog poop piles on the floor a good thing?  And then we we're running late for Din's music class and we run to the car to find that the electrical locks aren't working and gah yes that's right the battery is dead!  So we run down to his class in the cold.

We just got back and I call AAA asking them to come jump my car.  I'm thinking okay this will be easy.  The guys shows up in 10 minutes and then I watch as he can't get the hood open.  We've always had trouble with the hood and today is no different.  I call my favorite garage and he can't see the car until Thursday Maybe he says.  So the tow truck guy tows it to his mechanic at an Auto Body place.  I better not get ripped off...  Sheesh all it needed was a jump.

Next time we go away for a week in the winter, we are leaving the car with my mother in law so she can start it a couple of times while we are away.

Weekly Calendar

Din loves knowing what we are doing on each of the days.  He has always asked me "What are we doing in one day? how about two days?" and on and on up to like 9 days onwards.  Recently, I put the days of the week on the refrigerator and he has been enjoying learning the days of the week and what we do on each day.  Today, I thought it would be fun to create a schedule for him to view so he'll know what's coming next.  We have some great small size poster board and I just cut out the days of the week.  Gluing them to the top of the page and then putting pictures under each days for what we do.  I was thinking we could make this as easy or as extra creative as we wanted to.

Bad days can be turned around..

After the long holidays and much going on with that we are trying to get back on track for homeschooling.  Today, I picked out some sheets to practice slanted lines, the letter 'X' and the letter 'Y' which he has done before.  I also planned on opposites and things that are the same.

I made the mistake of not starting right after breakfast which is what we will do from now on. He is at his best first thing in the morning.  So starting on a sour note, we did 4 sheets on same and opposites and he turns to me and says "I'm tired."  Which is good that he told me but much sooner than I thought he would tire of it.  So we took a break and we did silly opposites around the house which proved to be much more fun for both and he learned.  We ran fast and shouted "FAST" and then slowed down and said "SLOW!"  We jumped up high and shouted "High" and then we jumped "LOW".  He came up with some silly opposites and overall I would say it was a great learning experience.

After naptime, I brought out his tea set and play doh.  We had a tea party with two stuffed animal friends and we made apples and cheese and such out of the play doh.  Here's a picture of our tea party fun.


He then asked me if we could do some "Looin" (learning). I brought out the papers with the slanted lines and he practiced making slanted lines from the left and from the right.  At first he was great and then he started getting extremely sloppy which told me that it was time to move on but he insisted he wanted to make a letter.  I went on against my better judgment and he practiced X's and V's.  Then he threw his crayon on the floor as he looked me in the eye defiantly.  Two time outs later, we are cleaning up and moving on.  Oh well it was good for most of the day!

Extracurricular Activities

Today, I took Din to to gymnastics at a youth gym in our neighborhood. He really enjoyed it and listened well.  Since we are homeschooling, I still think it's important for him to work on his listening skills as well as be with other kids his age during the week.  I also like how he will see the same kids and it will build a routine for him.

The class was great.  The teacher had the kids listening, following directions and doing things on their own in a structured fun environment.  We signed up to continue for the next 7 weeks.

We will also be continuing Music Together for another session as well.  Din being our little musical guy, he really enjoys this class as well.  Freedom to run and march but still be in structure of the class. He loves playing air guitar and drumming on the floor.  He always seems to find music in everything and is blossoming well in the music class.

Memorizing & Letter Recognition

I just wanted to share another activity we've been using for Din to learn letter recognition.  He has a wonderful desk which we picked up at a consignment store.  When you lift the desk cover up, there are letters that stick to the underside of it.  Magnetic letters on the refrigerator would work just as well for this activity.  First together we go through and put the alphabet in order from A to Z. Then we take turns closing our eyes and the other person pulls off one of the letters and hides it behind his/her back.  The other person has to guess which letter is missing.  He loves this game and makes him have to repeat the alphabet to guess the letter.  He can play this one for a long time!