Author: Amy

I am a software developer, currently focusing on web technologies in the .Net world.

Christmas Day 2016

Today we were up early to brewing coffee (smart kids learning early)!  After coffee and fresh teeth we got to the gift opening.  We all got gifts that are awesome, including hand crocheted Pokémon that a friend of ours made.  A good meal and time hanging out with the family rounded out the day. The monsoon rains were a bit strange for December. Unfortunately we all ended the day sick with fevers.  Overall it was a great Christmas filled with lots of love.


Afterschooling Update Feb 2016

I just finished listening to the Ed Snapshots podcast where Melissa Wiley talks about Tidal Homeschooling.   This philosophy really resonated with me and right now we are in a low time with organized Afterschooling.  The boys are doing more of their own learning.  I thought I would post a quick update as to what Afterschooling PS Kindergarten looks like in our house right now.

Reading:

My boys are still under the misconception that they are required to do the reading for the BookIt program.   Grandma is very good at making sure that they read every day.  So far they have read every single day since October.   Conor is really enjoying reading Skylander Comic books.  Owen is enjoying reading the Billy & Blaze series.

For read-alouds we are slowly working through Pinocchio and just started Betsy-Tacy.

We just finished listening to Peter Pan which we all loved!  We started up with Sparkle Stories again.  There is a new set of stories where Martin & Sylvia are going to Nature School.  The boys are loving it.

Math & Engineering:

A bit of Life of Fred and we also have been playing the game Shut the Box.  I upgraded our rules for a game with the Cribbage board to be addition and subtraction.  I am also adding the game Snap Circuits, they are obsessed with it.

Nature Studies & Outdoor life:

We have not been out much.   The temperatures have been dipping to below zero so we are primarily indoors.  The boys have been enjoying some Burgess Bird stories though.  Currently a favorite game that we are all enjoying is Wild Craft, it was a Christmas gift from Grandma Jenny.

Ambleside Online:

We have slowed down quite a bit here.   Truthfully I needed a bit of a break and we have been pretty sick for the last few weeks.  I’m hoping to pick back up this week and keep working through our ‘Sections’.

Video Games:

I decided to add this section because this time of year we spend a lot of time playing video games.   The boys have been enjoying time with Reading Rainbow and PBS Kids on the computer.   We set up an older iMac so that they can start getting used to using a mouse and keyboard.  They have also been playing a lot of Skylanders.  The skills I see them improving while playing games are reading, spatial reasoning, hand eye coordination, and working cooperatively.

Public School:

School seems to be going really well.  The boys missed quite a bit of school recently due to illness but it didn’t seem to affect them at all.   Their teachers are both trying to give them more challenging work.  I don’t feel like either one is truly being challenged academically in the classroom.  Socially though they are both enjoying time with their friends and classmates.

 

Rememborizing Poetry

Capture

 

Rememborizing = A word invented by my children that means to practice remembering things until they are perfectly memorized.

 

 

 

A while back I heard a speech by Andrew Pudewa on the importance of poetry memorization in young children.   I picked up a copy of his program and started it with our boys.  So far we are 1 year and 2 months into the project with 24 poems perfectly rememborized and 2 in the works.   Here is what it looks like in our Afterschooling home.

I have a small notebook that I keep track of our poems in.  Each poem we pick to “rememborize” gets hand written, by me, into the book. I add the date as well as the person who chose the poem.  It’s fun to look back and see who chose our favorites.  Each poem also gets a number.

We are doing a slow and steady pass at AOY1 and I add our poetry list to each weeks list to do.  Both of my boys are at the same level and I found that having them recite the same poems each week was a bit much.  So each week one boy recites the even numbered and the other does the odd ones.   They recite 3 rememborized poems each, 4 days a week.  If they say it perfectly they only say it one time.  If they mess up any words they recite the poem 3 times with me correcting the words they get wrong.

For new poems we keep a list of fun ones that we run across when we are reading poetry or stories.   Sometimes a poem or a set of song lyrics just jumps out at one of us and we automatically add it to the book. When I feel like they have a good grasp on the existing poem list I choose 2 new ones to add to the bucket.   Each boy gets one new poem to start learning.  They have to recite it 3 times each, 4 times during the week.  Then it goes into our regular rotation.

My boys LOVE reciting poems and getting to check the little boxes off the list.  It’s fun when we are out in public and they hear a word or phrase and recite a poem from our list.

My end goal is to continue with them long term and for their high school graduation give each boy a copy of our family poetry book.  I want to hand write the poems into a really nice leather bound journal.   It’s a long term project and I really hope I can keep on track with it.