Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ice Skating at Cuddy

I took three kids ice skating, none of whom no how to ice skate. 

Linnea, rode in my stroller.  Completely content.

Oliver held onto my stroller a lot, but ventured out on his own too.  He actually got better after a bit and stopped clinging to me. 

Benton decided to ride in Hilkka's stroller, skates on.  He only got out once to play in a pile of snow.   Benton was the one who made it clear it was time to go home.  One second he was fine, the next, he was crying. After what felt like an eternity, I got everyone's boots on, stroller and skates in the truck, kids buckled in. After a few minutes in the truck with the heat on, Benton stopped crying and I asked if he could tell me why he had been so upset.  I suspected cold hands (he took his mittens off at the end), but he said "I wanted to listen to some music."  Ok.


Thanks to our friends who joined us!  Spike, in full hockey gear, Finley, and Charlie are all great skaters!  We'll have to go again soon.

Ready to Read

Oliver loves all things math related.  He'll add or subtract just about anything.  He counts in multiples (I think they call it skip counting at schools), he loves coins, multiplies and divides simple numbers, all in his head.  Meanwhile, he has shown no interest in learning to read. Now, don't get me wrong, he knows all his letter sounds,way beyond the basics, he sounds out words, reads familiar words etc.  But, if you ask him to read something or suggest that he can read, he scoffs at the idea.

It took me a long while, but I got our playroom organized (finally).  We now have a better rhythm around here.  We have all been spending more time in the play/learning room and Oliver has started asking me to teach him.  He wants me to get stuff out of my boxes of teaching supplies.  I put up a pocket chart with some beginning reading stories.  

As I expected, he didn't real need me to teach him anything.   He really enjoyed reading something that seemed "easy."   He quickly and enthusiastically read 4-5 stories and poems and asked for more.  I suggested we slow down and maybe work with the new words we learned.  Benton was reading along with us, as well.  

 I love giving kids tasks they can feel successful at, instead of making them work really hard and feeling frustrated.  This approach always works well with Oliver.  He is a bit stubborn, so say the least.

So, we stopped there for the day. We read them again the next day and while laying in bed that night, Oliver started telling me about the story he wanted to write.  

All of this leads me to this morning.  Oliver was ready to write his own story.  Instead of him suffering through the handwriting and sounding out words, I went the "reading and writing is fun" route.  I typed up his sentences, printed the pages and then he illustrated them.  

Meanwhile, Benton was painting, his favorite thing, ever.  


Here is a video of Oliver reading his story, "My Favorite Foods," and a hello to Nonna and Papa in Georgia!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Aviation Museum

I am not sure what I have been doing, actually, I do know, but it is not that exciting.  We are still trying to settle into our house here.  I have been doing a lot of painting and I'm still unpacking a lot of boxes.

 We had a great turn out at the museum a few weeks ago.  I can't say that I learned much, because the kids were too busy moving around and checking everything out for me to stop and read any of the fine print.  We did have a great time though.  My boys really enjoyed the flight simulator.  I am sure Oliver could have sat there for a long time. 

There an Alaska Airline plane outside.  You can't go in, but you can look inside.  There is also a big hangar outside the museum, full of different kinds of planes.

 "Jeep alert!"  For some reason, unknown to me, Oliver loves Jeeps.  This one was pretty cool.
We ended our day there with a quick, but super annoying movie.  In effort to make the movie kid-friendly, they added a character that made the movie hard to watch for parents.  I don't think the kids minded, but I don't think they would have missed that element at all.

Anyway, all and all, it was a great outing and I hope everyone else enjoyed themselves too.  Thanks for coming out to play with us!

The Learning Farm

I must have been busy, because I forgot to post about this place.  We went on a cold and wet day in October.  The boys and the other kids who were there that day (a mix of homeschoolers and preschoolers) got to meet all the farm animals and then got to ride the horse and buggy and a horse.


It was Oliver and Benton's first experience with a horse.  They were both so excited to get to ride her and wanted more time on her.   I love seeing how confident they were and comfortable on the horse (wish I knew here name).    

It was planned that we would have lunch there and do a craft, but by the time the all the horse riding was done, there was only about ten minutes left and I opted to head out.  I felt chilled (cold and rainy) and I was sure the kids were probably a little chilly too.  Also, Linnea had been in the backpack the entire time, without a single complaint.

We were all pleased with our experience at the Learning Farm and hope to go back.  It is a little expensive, but they did offer a discount for siblings and it is right here in town, so no long drive involved. 

Check out, if you get a chance.