Archive for July, 2009

Score…

July 14, 2009

If you plan on homeschooling, you may be a little concerned about the cost.  It can be very, very pricey, but a lot of people do it for little money.  I’ve been trying to stock my house with as much educational stuff as possible.  I mentioned in a previous post that I LOVE the Dollar Tree.  Some of this stuff, like books, seems pointless to some people because you can get them from the library and never spend a dime.  I think a little differently.  I think very easy access to basic reference books is important.  We can’t just run to the library all the time because of gas prices and needing someone to watch Charlie.  It really bothered me when he got very interested in anatomy and I couldn’t answer his questions right then.  Of course, it would be helpful to get the internet at home.  I’ll work on that. 😉

After getting a lot of cool things at the Dollar Tree, I asked my mom if she had anything.  She has a basement chock full of all kinds of treasures.  We ened up with:

A human anatomy model, from the 1950’s, new in the box. Unpainted.

A solar system model.

A magnet science kit and also magnets you can build with.

A book with science project ideas and some supplies too.

A book on the solar system with lots of pictures and great for a 4 year old.

Scrabble tiles.

Poker chips.

Window paint.

Sand art.

A book about rain and rainbows.

A travel journal.

A marble board game.

A toy that reflects an object and makes it appear above it in 3D.

A wooden kazoo.

Awesome score right?

I hit the school supply sales this week and stocked up on glue, crayons, paper, notebooks, and folders.  I probably bought enough for 3 years and only spent about $10.

I found things around the house to add to his art supplies.  He’s learning that we should always try to re-purpose something before throwing it away.  How do you convince a 4 year old that we shouldn’t put a corn dog stick in the art bag because it smells like stinky meat?  “But I like how corn dogs smell mommy!”  Uh, no, it still needs to be thrown away.  Ick!

And I went back to the Dollar Tree.  And the Target dollar bin.  I spent maybe $15 and got tons of very useful stuff.  I’m super excited about the dry-erase writing board.  It’s lined like little kid paper and you can doodle on the blank side too.  And we got 5 books from the Dollar tree that are simple yet educational.  They were basic books on science, history, animals, ect.  Lots of picture and fun facts.  Easy to just pick up and read one page at a time.  We got a dictionary (can you believe I didn’t already have one?) and a spanish-english dictionary.  Both for a buck.  I know they aren’t the most comprehensive, but they’ll do for a 4 year old.

Then my mom found MORE stuff.  Now that she knows the type of stuff I’m looking for, I’m sure she’ll be keeping an eye out.  She likes thrift stores and goodwill and if she can afford it, she’ll do anything for both of these kids.  So I’m looking forward to her finds.  I just never have good luck like she does.

So you’d think this would get overwhelming right?  Too much stuff?  Actually, it’s not bad at all.  I’ve separated his educational stuff from his other toys.  I organized everything and put it in the front room, next to the entertainment center.  The cabinet in the entertainment center hold the science kits and book.  As long as I remind him to clean up after himself, it stays pretty organized.  I think I’m just about done buying stuff for now.  He has enough stuff to last him at least a year and never get bored.  His art supplies are overflowing and very diverse.  He has books galore.  His educational “toys” are all very open-ended and serve many purposes.  Dice can be used many different ways.  We can always print out new tangram games.  The food pit is always fun and exciting when we get it out.

I think total I’ve spent maybe $50.   Here’s hoping for a wonderful “school” year! 😀

Maybe as he outgrows some of this stuff we can swap it with other homeschoolers to save money.

Wow I got behind! The last 2 weeks….

July 14, 2009

So this is why I started my blog early….it’s going to take me time to get in the habit of keeping a record. LOL I have no clue how strict they are in Ohio about proving your child didn’t just sit around playing video games all year long.  I don’t want to take my chances though.  We are constantly on the go and learning new things.  This is just a snapshot of our lives.  For one thing, I only have Adrian a little less than half the time.  His dad has him the rest of the time.  And he’s on-board with homeschooling and I know he takes the time to work with Adrian….I just have to get him to record stuff too.   So rather than try to do a post for each day I missed the last 2 weeks…here is is in a nutshell….

Our pumpkin plants bloomed!  We woke up one morning to big, beautiful, yellow flowers.  Which is Adrian’s favorite color by far, so that’s cool.  Now the little pumpkins left behind after the blooms fall off aren’t doing so well, so we’ll have to see what happns with those.  Maybe we’ll get lucky and have a few little pumpkins for him to paint for halloween.

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We have lots of beans!  Not tons, but enough for a side dish with dinner twice a week or so.  I taught Adrian to decide when they are ready to be picked and he’s so funny about it.  He studies each one and narrates as he’s deciding, “Well this one is kind of long but not very fat, it can grow another 2 days”, “This one is way too tiny, it needs to be much, much bigger!”, “This one is way too big!  We have to pick it and eat it NOW!” LOL

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We visited at Grandma’s house on July 5th.  Adrian’s little friend Bohdi was there.  They get along great and both are kind of laid-back little boys, which is nice.  No breaking up fights or constant screaming and crying.  When they started to act bored, I suggested that my mom get out her gardening tools and let them dig in her dirt pit.  They had a great time.

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Then my mom asked if they wanted to help water the garden.  Adrian ended up running through the hose and getting soaked.  Then he went BACK into the dirt pit.  I’m trying to be comfortable with these things.  It goes against my nature to let him get so dirty and not do anything about it.  He’s always been the cleanest kid.  When my friends’ kids are running around in mud, Adrian plays in the sand.  When they dig into their food with their hands, he uses a fork or picks up the food very carefully with his thumb and pointer finger.  Then asks for a napkin.  Lately he’s been acting more and more like a mud monster.  And I’m just reminding myself to BREATHE.  He’s not hurting anyone. LOL  We hosed him off, stripped him down and stuck him in the tub.  And it was all fine. 🙂

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He’s having a good ol’ time with magnets.  My mom found a science magnet set and some magnets you can build with.  Yes, he’s holding his crotch in the first picture.  He always waits until the last second to use the bathroom with he’s having fun and playing.  I can’t complain…at least he always makes it.

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And these are the magnets you build with.  I have to say, they even kept ME occupied for well over an hour.  I found some more at Target on clearance and couldn’t help myself.  When you find a good toy, you go for it.  These will last for years.  They are technically for ages 6+ because I guess kids swallow them and they can fold the intestines and kill them.  My mom was concerned about that, but at some age you do just have to trust them not to eat their toys.  I know from experience that if Adrian accidently swallows a toy, he tells me.  And that was 2 years ago.  I still know how many is in each set.  If I’m concerned, I can count them and see if any are missing.

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We’ve had a LOT of friends over and a lot of playdates.  I’m a little overwhelmed with how much there is to do, how many people we try to see regularly, and trying to have some quiet, home time as well.

We haven’t done a lot of structured stuff….just a lot of living life.  Isn’t that what summer is about?  He does occasionally ask me a very specific question and we have to go look it up together.  He wants to learn Spanish and so I try to offer him new words here and there.  He’s working on his grammar.  Nobody even prompted that…he’s learning on his own.  Last week I noticed he was using “well” instead of “good” in the appropriate ways.  I asked his dad if he’d been correcting him…nope!  I think he’s just picking up on it and trying to speak more like a grown-up.  Which makes me proud that he can hear the subtle rules of grammar and try to work it into his own speech.  Most ADULTS don’t seem to know when to use “well” instead of “good”!

We made a birdfeeder with a Tim Allen wood kit my mom found.  I had to do most of the building because Adrian can’t hit the nail hard enough yet, but he painted it ALL by himself.  I’ll get pics later.  We haven’t put food in it yet.  It was funny…when the paint finally dried and I told him we could take it outside to hang it, he got really excited.  I took the birdfeeder and said I had the perfect place to hang it, on the shepherd’s pole.  He started to get upset, “No mommy, that’s not where it goes….give it to me, I’ll show you where it goes!”  Giving him the benefit of the doubt, even though I didn’t see any other place and we have no trees, I gave it to him.  He ran outside, around to the kitchen window, climbed up on his little tykes toy, and hung it on a tiny hook he’d found sticking out of the frame of the window.  Huh.  I hadn’t even seen that little hook there.  But he was a step ahead of me.  He’d been thinking about where to hang that birdfeeder long before it was finished drying.  AND it’s cool that we’ll have birds come right up to the window (another observation of his).  Gotta give credit where credit is due…the kid really thinks things through!