Can you tell what we’ve been talking about today?

Background: I’d just brought the kids in from playing outside (before they wanted to), and even hot chocolate didn’t quite counter the blow.

“Coco!” is definitely an established word for Elisha now, though.

Natasha to Melody [bossy, not frightened]:

No! You can’t go outside without a grown-up. There are people who will come into the yard. If there’s not a grown-up there, they might think you’re theirs and take you away with them.

That’s why there always has to be a grown-up around when you’re playing outside so anybody walking by will know you belong to someone.

Not quite the way I explained it, but it works on an (apparently) un-frightening kid-level.

I always like to know how their thought-processes are working, and hearing her explain it in kid-language to her sister both allowed that and saved me a conversation with Melody that might have been frightening before it was understood.

Controlled Vocabulary

I am working on a short fairy tale to submit for publication (sort of a breather from the novel, you might say).

Naturally the language is how I would tell it.

So I’ve begun to go through it with my “Children’s Writer’s Word Book” checking the words I guess to be more challenging than the others.

I was thinking I was doing alright, most of those words were acceptable at a 3rd- or 4th-grade level, until I got to enchanted.

As in, “enchanted castle.”

Enchant is designated a 6th-grade word.

I called Natasha over and asked her if she knew what the word meant.

“Um, magic?” Good enough for me.

I told her, “This book says you have to be 12 to know that word.”

She looked at the ceiling and laughed quietly.

“You can be four too,” she said.

I’ll check the rest of the manuscript, but if that’s the most challenging thing we’ve got in there, this thing’s ready to look for a publisher.

Kindergarten Curriculum Compiled

Well, after Saturday’s hunting trip through the bookstore, I have everything I could possibly need for our home curriculum‘s areas of focus.

Very specific things like the three grade-level artists and scientists will need to be supplemented by the library, but everything else is well-covered by what I’ve collected at Forget-Me-Not Books. ($.25-$1 per book)

  • Art
    • Drawing with Children
  • Health/Manners
    • Health, Safety, and Manners (From the A Beka Health series)
  • Language Arts
    • *Gobs* of read-alouds covering all subjects
    • The Reading Teacher’s Books of lists (original edition)
    • Untangling Some Knots in K-8 Writing Instruction
    • Stories, songs and Poetry to teach Reading and Writing
    • Games for Writing*
    • A Celebration of Literature and Response (K-8)
      • it maybe more for me than her, it still looks really interesting
  • Mathematics

    • Saxon Math K
      • A big, fat book that is a year’s worth of lesson plans, with activity sheets to copy in the back.
      • It seems to have a good ratio/emphasis on hands-on learning
    • Linking Mathematics and Language
      • Now doesn’t that sound like the perfect book for me?
    • Maths on Display (activities for ages 5-8)
  • Music
  • Physical Education
    • Not using a book
  • Science
    • Building structures with young children
    • *Gobs* of non-fiction read-alouds (covers the life-science basics)
    • Sense-able Science (integrating math and science in activities exploring the senses)
    • 2nd volume of a teacher’s edition Kindergarten science text. Covers basics of Physical Science in an outline/activity format.
  • Social Studies/History
    • Read-alouds about other times
    • Folktales– to talk about social responsibility, interaction and consequences.
  • Religion
    • Family bible* version: ESV. It’s what we memorize from (or are beginning now, as a shift from our hodge-podge till recently).
      • It’s what Jay reads, and what they’ve started using in this latest Sunday School class at church
      • We read bible stories/storybooks too, it’s just we wanted to settle on one version to read “straight” from so the memorization that happens without trying (I’m convinced this is where the majority of my memorization comes from) can begin to take root.
      • (Though I still prefer the Holman for my personal bible-reading/study, I like the ESV well enough I don’t feel like I’m competing.)
    • Navigators Topical Memory System* for now
    • Hero Tales*– trues stories from the lives of Christian heroes (Found Volume 1 at Guliver’s, and if we like the format we’ll probably continue with the later volumes.)

(*) marks things we didn’t buy at Forget-Me-Not. Not a whole lot.

Naturally some of the read-alouds (what I’m calling picture books that are “consumable” in a single sitting) came from sources other than F-M-N, but some did, so I didn’t note (*) those separately.

I feel compelled to speak the acknowledgment that I don’t expect to use all these book in their entirety in Natasha’s first year. But they all are books that begin to be applicable at this age, so I’m including them in my list.

The completeness of this list, from as random a source as a used-book store, is what I find so delightful and exciting about it all:

I am no longer “scrambling” or wondering what we will do when we knuckle down. And having more than I need, rather than less, is a very reassuring way to start.

Natasha’s Kindergarten

I’ve gone through the FNSBSD “Curriculum Guide for Parents” and compared objectives for K and 1st grade, making a new set of objectives based on where NJ is currently at (she *so* has K Language Arts smoked. And half of 1st-grade’s, I’d say.)

Under this new organizing the only things she is doing exclusively at the the guide’s kindergarten level are Art and Science.

Each grade has a theme for art and a trio of artists loosely based on that theme.

e.g. Kindergarteners focus on self-portraits, and they “study” Van Gogh, I suppose because he had a famous one. Not too closely I hope. His is far from a G-rated story.

Three scientists are listed for each year, also.

Anyway, for this year at least, we’ll try to match these that her cousin will (in theory) also be learning since they’re the same year in school.

Jay is *Awesome*

He corralled three kids for nearly 2-hours worth of shopping and trying-on of things tonight.

He is looking forward to tomorrow when the tables turn and I run herd while he looks through he discounted Men’s section.

Praising God for His provision and timing!

The new clothes were as cheap as thrift-stores’ and much more efficient, as trying on one shirt or pair of pants gave you the yes or no to everything on the rack. (Wouldn’t you buy 5 new pair of pants at $1.79 apiece?)

Our old clothes have needed retiring for a while.

I wore a dress to Christmas Eve service that I bought for a solo competition in high school. When I bought it I had to hold it up not to step on the hem. Now it falls to the upper calf.

I didn’t grow that much. It’s just been washed a *lot*. (Not that I found a dress to replace it, either, it’s just the best example I have of how old some of my clothes are).

Cutes and Funs

Thursday Night Elisha showed an understanding of… something new.  I don’t know what to call it.

    • “Oops, sorry that was me.”
      • He cried out when I bumped him, and stopped when I apologized
    • Pretending to be asleep
      • In his car seat.  This comes from copying his sisters who do it wanted to be carried in.
      • It was hard not to giggle at him.  He even tried a pretend snore, and I don’t know where he would have gotten that, since the girls haven’t used it.
    • understanding apology/restitution
      • Asking it of him (to apologize– still in sign) and having him accept his sisters’ apologies (and mine, like above)
    • going to sleep w/o the cuddle-down first
      • Gave him the option: “Do you want a snuggle?” and he said  “No.”