Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday, Beeps and Books

Today, my baby turned 2 years old. I don't know where the time has gone!

We actually started his birthday on Saturday, when Daddy put together his nifty John Deere tricycle from Grandma and Grandpa. He loves it! He doesn't really get how to pedal just yet, but he will walk it around, and put things in the bucket for dumping later. I learned that day that his favorite things to put in the buckets are flowers picked from our neighbor's mailbox flower bed, and that his sister seems to think it's fine to let him pick them...

We were supposed to go to the beach today. Isaac LOVES the beach. He's been asking to go to the beach with Grandpa for several days now, in fact. When we looked at the weather forecast for Wilmington last night, it showed a fairly nice morning, but thunderstorms for the rest of the day. We thought we'd still chance it, and even if we spent the afternoon at the aquarium, it would still be a good day.

However, when we got up this morning and checked again, it looked like thunderstorms had already started, with no sign of letting up all week. Todd and I decided we needed to revise the plan. Three hours is a long drive for the aquarium, when all a tiny boy wants is to go to the beach.

We started off with Hopper's House, a nifty jumping place in our neighborhood. All three kids had a blast, and Isaac was not interested in leaving when it came time for lunch! However, once we got to Moe's, he ate his lunch, part of mine, and some queso and chips. Then, it was off to A.C. Moore with a coupon for a new "Thomas." Isaac does love his "too-tooch."

After making our final Thomas selections, we headed home for a nap. I got in a little knitting time and Todd got to play with his new Mac software. :-) I was able to take Abbie to gymnastics and watch her, which was a big treat for me! Todd stayed home and played trains with the boy, and even took him outside for an hour or so, which was another big treat. Isaac loves to be "outside sunshine."

Abbie and I brought home the pizza and the cake. Isaac at a little bit of his pizza, but he was really holding out for "cake-cake." I don't know why he likes to say it twice, but it's pretty cute. I think he blew the candles out twice before Todd wised up and held him back so we could sing and take a video.

After cake, we gave him his presents, which were comprised of books and "beeps." Isaac has called vehicles of any type, really, "beeps" since he started talking a few months ago. He does call buses "b-bus," airplanes are "air p'dane," and boats are "booooot" with a lovely U.P. accent. In general though, they are collectively known as beeps. Anyhoo, he got enough beeps to keep him busy for a good long while, I think.

The one thing we didn't get out was his new scooter. If the weather holds tomorrow, we will get that out and play "outside sunshine."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The New School Year

Well, we were supposed to start school this week, but we all have colds, so I'm putting it off until Sept. 1. My birthday was today, and Isaac's is next Monday, so I think we will just wait until all the celebrations are over and then buckle down.

I'm excited about our curriculum for this year! We're using Living Books Curriculum Year 3, which covers Ancient Greece and Rome for world history, and Westward Expansion for U.S. history. The girls will also learn Bible, storytelling and science from our LBC materials. We will do picture studies of ancient Greek and Roman art, as well as art in early America. We will do composer studies of ancient Greek music, Palestrina, Vivaldi, and Bach. They also start Shakespeare this year.

Since Emma is in 4th grade this year, I have to teach North Carolina history. I would rather teach Michigan history, but I suppose there will be time for that after we meet the requirement for NC. It will be good for us to learn about North Carolina, since I've lived here for 11 years now and the kids are natives. :-) I have a North Carolina history textbook, as well as some other, more fun things to use. I'm also hoping to include a few field trips.

We will still use Math U See, and I think it will be a lot of fun. We're going to spend a lot of time on math this year, so that we can get caught up. The girls are both good at math - time for the mama to stop worrying about it so much!

We will use Simply Grammar for language arts, and I'm thrilled with that. It looks excellent. It includes everything I would want to teach them, but wouldn't know where to start. They should be able to do it independently, too, which is great. I need them to start being a little more independent so I can keep an eye on Isaac and still get some school done.

We're also still using All About Spelling. I love this program! The girls do really well with it. It's funny to see that they do so well when we're specifically working on spelling, but when they're writing on their own, they forget to apply what they've learned. It's also pretty funny that Emma looks at Abbie to spell words for her! Emma just doesn't want to think about it herself, I think. She's such a perfectionist.

We're going to start Latin studies this year, using Lively Latin's Big Book of Latin I. It looks like a lot of fun, and will go along nicely with our studies of ancient Rome.

My plans include a lot of language arts, and we may end up backing off some of them. I'll have to see. We could probably let go of other grammar and stick to Latin, for example, but I hate to do that. Anyhoo, these are the plans as they stand today. I hope the girls are as excited for school to start as I am!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Great Board Book!

I found this book yesterday at Borders in Apex for $2.99:

Isaac LOVES it, and it's very cute. Anything that makes noise is good in his world. The little frogs stand out of the book similarly to the ladybugs in Ten Little Ladybugs, which the girls both loved at this age. Additionally, the frogs have little levers on their back which you push down to make them croak! I'm fairly certain that was the big selling point for the Snort.

For those of you who are, shall we say, more educationally inclined, the book takes the frogs and other pond critters through the seasons, and it rhymes. I love rhyming books. It makes the reading go faster, which is important when you read the same books over... and over... and over...

I would like to get the other book by this author:

I don't remember seeing it on the bargain books rack, though. Maybe I will go back and check - it would be an inexpensive birthday present for my almost-2-year-old! In fact, I may go back and get copies of the frog book for all my toddler friends for Christmas. Just wanted to let you know it is there - it's a great little book! If you happen to have a small child to whom I am likely to give a gift, please don't buy it. :-)