Monday, September 23, 2013

the simple ways of learning

September has been full. Bug has his weekly therapy appointments at home and away from home. We have Awana one evening a week, and this year we started BSF one morning a week.  Bubby asked to do soccer again, so I signed him up and that started last week right during the dinner hour. On top of this have been various medical and educational appointments revolving around the three-year-old transition as well as our new diagnosis. All of that to say, there hasn't been a lot of structured learning around here this month.

And that's okay.

The youngest has developed the fine motor skill of putting together towers and creations using Duplos. The oldest is at that in-between Lego size. He has started making airplanes and other structures to which I kindly say, "Tell me about that one," instead of, "What is it?" They sit in their room most afternoons together and build. My heart fills to overflowing, and I know that the best learning is happening as the sun streams through the warped mini-blinds.

We make it to story time most Tuesdays now, which is one of the benefits of no longer doing childcare.  The librarian has learned their names, and after the stories and music there are art projects and sensory activities.  I haven't done Five in a Row in a couple of weeks, but it doesn't really matter.  The boys bring me stacks of books to read over and over again.

Babushka sent Halloween costumes. As we wait for the October days to enjoy the new costumes, the boys turn the box into a firetruck wearing mixing bowl helmets and using big plastic spoons as hoses.  The weather has decided to finally be beautiful. We have spent the last two afternoons outside with bubbles and chalk and me yelling, "Watch out for the poop that might be over there!" When I am exhausted we watch PBS DVDs from the library, which is usually every day after lunch for a bit.

I make pancakes and chocolate chip cookies, but not on the same day. Each time I get thank you's from Bubby, especially if I have let him help mix in the ingredients. I take them by myself to the zoo on Saturday because I am a little bit crazy. I let them use Play-doh after I vacuumed today, and from that I realize I am learning just as much as they are.

I am letting go. I am learning. Life is messy. Life is good, even when it is hard. And we are simply learning. Together.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Katy No-Pocket - Five in a Row Style

While talking on the phone with my sister-in-law tonight, she mentioned this blog. Then I realized how much I have been slacking on both blogs lately, but especially this one. Last week (I think!) the boys and I rowed Katy No-Pocket. Although I was familiar with the Curious George books (same author), I don't think I had ever read this book. The story was a little sad to me - a kangaroo without a pocket for her joey, but both boys really liked it.  Some of the highlights included:

Checking out a few non-fiction books about kangaroos. The kangaroo life cycle was pretty unique. I learned some fun facts, too, such as a kangaroo can hold an embryo until her other joey is ready to climb out of her it pocket. Interesting, right?

I taught my boys the Australia is a Mighty Fine Place song that my second grade teacher taught me. Yes, I remember the words AND the actions. I also taught them the Kookaburra song.  There was also a really neat picture book from the library called Kangaroo and Crocodile by Bronwyn Bancroft. I was surprised how much Bubby liked the pictures in the aboriginal type of style.

I made paper pockets and the boys drew the animal they would want to carry in their pockets.  Bugaboo picked giraffe (his favorite animal lately), and Bubby picked a skunk because he is ridiculous. Later that week we smelled a skunk on the road, and I asked if he still wanted one in his pocket. He said no.

On Sunday I took Bubby to Lowe's for our first Build and Grow Clinic. This was perfect since Katy No-Pocket meets a carpenter who shares his apron. Bubby and I built a very sad looking airplane. However, he loved it, he got his very own apron, and we both had a pretty good time.

Our other art project I cannot find anywhere around the house. We did aboriginal art. I put them up to dry, and then they got moved when I was making dinner - and now I can't find them. It makes me sad because it was a multi-step project that turned out really great, but I only have pictures of the first step.  The idea was from this blog, but the directions can be found here. I made a kangaroo template for the boys, and then they painted it. We glued it on other paper and then I showed Bubby how to do the dots around it rotating colors in a pattern each rotation. He got the hang of it pretty well for a four year old. Bugaboo liked making dots with the paint on his paper, so that worked on his fine motor skills.

Bubby did a lot of bouncing this week, and as always we are working with Bugaboo in physical therapy on how to jump.  We have taken several days off from FIAR as we are still trying to figure out this new semester.  This week we have just started reading Angus Lost.  Our own dog, Scout, escaped from the yard a week or so ago, so I thought this would be a good next choice.