Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Kids at Ollie Koala's

Ollie Koala's is similar to Chuck E. Cheese, but it seemed cleaner, less rowdy (more spacious perhaps?), with more visibility from the seating areas. You put money on a card and the kids use them to play the games. They each got two dollars to spend. So for six bucks they had a great time and I got to catch up on some reading and talked to some friends I ran into. Not too shabby.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

An Idea that Caught Hold

A few thoughts from Charlotte Mason on "Education is a Life" (CM Blog Carnival):

"For the mind is capable of dealing with only one kind of food; it lives, grows and is nourished upon ideas only; mere information is to it as a meal of sawdust to the body."

"Look at any publisher's list of school books and you shall find that the books recommended are carefully dessicated, drained of the least suspicion of an idea, reduced to the driest statements of fact."

"Probably [the child] will reject nine-tenths of the ideas we offer, as he makes use of only a small proportion of his bodily food, rejecting the rest. He is an eclectic; he may choose this or that; our business is to supply him with due abundance and variety and his to take what he needs."

I remember a science text-book we owned growing up. I read through and found it interesting that there was so much information about "stuff" in there; but instead of the ideas being fixed in my mind, I always thought to myself that it was great that we had this book so I could look up anything I needed to know if the time ever came to need to know something. I especially remember the star maps in the back of the book. I thought it was so neat that I could use them. But I never used them. I was glad to have the information at my finger-tips, but never once have I gone back to that science book and the ideas have slipped away.

A couple years ago we traveled from our city to Husband's small home town. Elizabeth, our 9 year old, was enthralled with the beauty of the sky and couldn't believe there were so many stars out there! An idea caught hold in her mind.

This year for school we used Apologia's Astronomy for our science. What a thrill this book was to Elizabeth! She read through it quickly (though we've moved at a slower pace for school). Since this living idea caught hold, she has researched space on the internet, watched for the recent Super Moon and got up at 3 am to see the Lunar Eclipse; we've gone to a park where our local Astronomical Society meets once a month with their huge telescopes and have stargazed; The Universe series is a regularly requested program (we learn a lot about discernment and respect by watching these since they have some beliefs that are not in line with our own). She has written stories, drawn pictures, made rockets and space clubs, dreamt up new astrological inventions; our screen saver is now "space"; we have books on space and constellations..... Whew! An idea caught hold.

I would never have thought to try to interest my daughter in this subject. I don't know that she'll ever become an astronomer, but I know she's learning an immense amount, and most importantly she is glorifying our God with her amazement at His creation. I know He revels in her wonder. I'm seeing the sky in a whole new light now too, and learning more than I learned from that old science text-book years ago.

Space Club "Expert Astronomy" It reads: "Launching Pad, Stay Out, E. A. members only" (Now she's changed the name of her club to AEA: Almost Expert Astronomy. I think she doesn't want to sound presumptive.)

Screen Saver

Monday, March 21, 2011

Update on Weight Gained

After two weeks Harrison has gained 8 oz. Half of what the doctor ordered. We saw a different doctor (from the same office) today, and he wasn't worried at all about his weight. I looked up Elizabeth's baby charts and she was under the chart on more than one appointment. So no worries! Not that I was worried before....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Steady Progress on a Careful Plan

Teaching our children the discipline of good habits can be so discouraging! I would like to tell them what to do, train them in the habit (in maybe a day or two) and then set them on their way not having to think of the lesson again. But alas, as I walk through my home and see lights left on, clothes on the floor, yelling at one another, teeth not brushed correctly, slipshod schoolwork; no, I cannot leave the lesson behind. So instead of getting discouraged, I try to look ahead. It will be a long process of training.

"These [virtues], and such as these, wise parents cultivate as systematically and with as definite results as if they were teaching the 'three R's'." ~ Charlotte Mason

Teaching good habits will take as long as teaching my child how to read. Harrison (9 months) is learning how to say sounds. He's now at 'da-da' and 'beh'. Phoebe (4 yrs) can mostly sing the ABC song correctly and is starting to recognize letters and what sound they make. Jonathan (6 yrs) is learning to put sounds together to read words and sentences. Elizabeth (9 yrs) can read quite well on her own, but needs a little help with unfamiliar words like 'larynx' or 'mauve'. So they are all at different stages of learning this "R".

I can't expect Phoebe to be at the same place Elizabeth is at on her road to reading. Neither should I expect as much in habit training. They will all be at different stages. It will take time to train them in good habits. But I do have all of childhood to work with them, and it is so worth it to have a child who can "bring their will to bear" and make themselves do what they ought to do instead of just what they want to do. Steady progress on a careful plan will produce desired results ~ this encourages me as I disciple my children and train them in good habits.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nine Months

Well, this little booger had his 9 month check-up. He's a pretty healthy guy except he's small. He wasn't even on the chart for weight. I think he was in the 50th percentile for height. (15 lbs 10 oz and 28.25 inches long) So doctor is worried that he doesn't weigh enough. I'm going to do 4 solid food feedings a day (she suggested adding in avacado). And nurse him in a room by ourselves and for a longer period of time. He gets so distracted with the kids around or the TV on. I remember Elizabeth being under the chart as a baby though. She's always been tiny and Harrison may just take after her. The doctor was very surprised that Jonathan and Phoebe were only 6 and 4. They're both so tall! We'll go back to the doctor in two weeks for a weigh-in. She's hoping he has gained a pound. So be praying for a pound for our baby boy!

There Will Be Mud!

Jonathan received this awesome John Deere t-shirt in the mail from Nana and Aupa. He loves anything John Deere.

This is what he did when I told him to smile.

He prefers his picture taken with this expression. Doesn't he look like a surly teenager? Can't wait for that. :-)

He's actually a very funny kid. He does crazy moves to make others laugh. If you take too much notice of him though, he'll get shy and go away.