Monday, June 30, 2008


This is Hunter playing with his shoes. He got out every pair of shoe he has and lined them up neatly in a row that reached about five feet.

I had no idea was he was doing and then he got some of his toy animals and started putting them in the shoes. He asked me for help to get his stuffed puppy in one of them and I asked why he was in the shoe, and he said "He's in his car."

"Oh, well of course" I smiled.

"And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof."
Zechariah 8:5

Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old

Studying Trees

Today while we were playing in the backyard my attention was drawn to our old Mulberry tree in the back of our yard which I remembered would now be ripe for picking. Those silly trees grow like weeds and I believe that ours is there as a result of a happy accident, but as a child I always loved eating the dark sweet berries that could be found in the most random spots especially for our enjoyment. Most of the trees we found were growing up unkept fences near the sidewalks we would ride our bikes on.
And now we had one in our yard that had fallen over as a result of a storm yet was still bearing fruit and was now at a level we could reach. Noticing some of the berries were not ripe I used that as an opportunity to teach a little vocabulary lesson in "ripeness". I showed him a hard green berry that was not ripe, then showing him a softer white berry that was still not ripe (and letting him taste it to let him get what "not ripe" means), then I showed him a pink berry that was almost ripe (and letting him taste it to see that it was edible yet very sour), then showing him the purplish-black berries and telling him that when the berries are all grown up and have gotten all the right nutrients from the tree and sun, they are ready to eat and look like this. When all the nutrients are in the berry they are sweet and soft and very good for us. God gave us berries for food, I told him.

Then I decided that it would be a great idea to start this long-awaited project I have wanted to do of making a tree book. You know, a binder with page protectors, some cardstock, and glued leaves inside of it. This project will, ideally, be useful to us for the rest of his education years as it will be a walking, growing memory of all the trees we've encountered.

How to Make a Tree Book

You will need:
  • A three-ring binder
  • Page protectors (plastic sleeves) with card stock in them
  • Leaves, pictures, or drawings you've collected and identified
Slide the leaf or picture into the page protector. Glue or tape it to the card stock. Write the name at the top of the page or on the back of the page.

It can be as detailed or simple as you like. I'm thinking about including a picture of Hunter in front of the tree as well as a bark-rubbing. Then the ten facts on the back, aka Doman's "programs of intelligence" on the back.

"Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel. At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel."
Isaiah 17:6-7
Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Playing in the Rain

Hunter was very excited to try out his raincoat today. So far whenever it's rained it's been too cold to play outside, but today we got to enjoy the summer rain from heaven.

He had a fun time, then he wanted to come in after about five minutes. Oh well, fun times.

"My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God."

Deuteronomy 32:2-3

Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old  

Friday, June 20, 2008


Today in school we played with bubbles on the back porch. It was especially fun after we added dish soap to the bubble solution to make way bigger and more impressive bubbles.

As we were playing in the yard today, it really got me thinking how much I love Doman homeschooling. Why? Because we spend more time playing with bubbles and splashing in the kiddie pool than we do on reading, math, and encyclopedic knowledge combined. Yet Hunter is still learning advanced science, detailed history, can read well, and can solve math equations faster than a calculator. I love how amazingly intelligent God made little children, and how I can invest just a few seconds a day joyfully teaching him which would take hours upon hours of difficult work later on.

Life is fun. Hunter is enjoying his childhood to the fullest. He doesn't miss out on anything good and worthwhile in life as some unknowing critics would propose. You can really have the best of both worlds.

Here are some pictures of my happy little boy. Enjoy!

"Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."
Mark 10:14

Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old

Little Helper, Big Heart

This is Hunter helping Grandpa make hot dogs this afternoon. He was playing with his bubbles on the back porch when Grandpa came out to fire up the grill, and the second he saw that he left his bubbles in the dust to go help.

I love how Hunter stops whatever "play" he's doing the second he has the opportunity to help with something worthwhile. Little kids want so desperately to be part of real life, and I'm glad Hunter is such a strong helper because he is needed and wanted in our house.

I recently saw a children's music CD titled "Born to Play" and was saddened by how poorly we adults understand little children. Little kids believe it is their JOB to grow up and we spent most of our time trying to convince them that this is not true, that their "work" and is to stay out of the way and play with plastic toys.

I'm glad Hunter gets to be part of life and knows that we agree with him that it is his job to grow up, and spend our time allowing him to be part of real life. It sure makes your heart smile at precious moments like these to see a little guy with such a big heart.

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."
III John 4

Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I've really been trying to let Hunter play with blocks and other such manipulatives more often these days.

I remain convinced that you can never quite know all the things a child is learning at a given moment or through a given activity, as learning is an unspoken and unseen process of the brain, but some of the pointed out benefits of simple wooden blocks include manual dexterity (the skill and control of the hands) and eye convergence. Lots of science and problem-solving can be learned as you get to experiment with the rules of gravity, balance, and physics. Creativity and imagination are a high point as you are transformed into a mini-architect.

But of course, there I am trying to break everything down again and figure it all out.

Nonetheless, he enjoys playing with blocks just as before, and is up to building 15+ high towers now. He gets quite frustrated when he doesn't balance them right and they tumble to the ground. But here he is, extremely thrilled with himself that he finally built a stable tower. Once he got it stable he kept changing the top, adding more rectangles and then some triangles or semi-circles, until he had emptied the bin of blocks he had out.

"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth."
Genesis 11:4

Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old

What We're Learning

Here's the fun things we'll be learning in the next week:

Paintings by Pablo Picasso
Kings and Queens
of England
Parts of a Flower
Countries and flags of Europe
Japanese colors
Organs of the body
Telling Time

Greater than and less than with numbers 0-100

Reading words:
Parts of the body
Family names
Spring words (from Word Birds Spring Words by Jane Belk Moncure)
School words (from Word Birds School Words)
Creation words (from Genesis 1:1-3)

Treasure Island by Robert Lewis Stevenson
Beatrix Potter books

Stories from Genesis chapter 1-10
Memorize: Psalm chapter 6:7-10 & 7:1

Beethoven's 5th symphony
Perfect pitch and note reading: G#, A, A#, B, C,
Fairest Lord Jesus from Munster Gesangbuch
Jesus Loves Even Me by Philip P. Bliss
The Star-Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key
My Country, 'Tis of Thee by Samuel F. Smith
Onward Christian Soldiers by Sabine Baring-Gould

Writing Letters and Braille: A, B, C, and D

"Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little"
Isaiah 28:9-10

Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old

Our New Calendar

Recently I hung up our days of the week words to make a sort of calendar behind our door (one of the only free wall spaces in our room).

I labeled the top "days of the week" and hung the days from Sunday to Saturday at a level Hunter can reach. Just today I added a movable "yesterday", "today", and "tomorrow" aspect (before I only had "today") to help Hunter understand the concept of each of those words, and also to help him learn to read them.

I did this by sticking push pins next to each of the days and then laminating the movable words as they are going to be handled a lot. I used a three-hole punch to make holes for the push-pins.

He LOVES getting to move the words each morning after the pledges and prayer. We've used this calendar a lot to talk about what days we are going to do a certain thing. Just today, when he moved the "today" word to Tuesday he reminded me that he gets to go to Grandma's house today, which I had pointed out to him two days earlier. I'm really excited that he will finally be "in the loop" about such an important aspect of everyone's life, even tiny kids! You really can teach a little kid absolutely anything you present to them honestly, factually, and joyfully.

I'm working on making some sort of calendar chart that we can add a sticker or some other item to every day to help him understand the concepts of days within a month. He already knows his numbers so teaching him "the twenty-fifth day of June" should be easy. This will also open the door to the concept of seasons, which I'm sure he already understands roughly but he just hasn't yet been given the vocabulary to be able to describe it. And again we will soon be doing a unit on weather which we can record and track in a similar manner as this calendar project.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
Psalm 90:12

Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old

Learning to Swim!

Yesterday Hunter got to experience the thrill of the water as we swam in an outdoor pool at a friend's house for a good two hours at least.

Hunter was a bit timid at first as he wasn't used to swimming without an inflatable (he uses a jacket at Grandma's house) but within just a few minutes he was swimming like a fish, not the slightest bit afraid in any sense of the word.

We started swimming at the YMCA on a regular basis up until February when our membership expired and I have been so busy I haven't yet made the time to renew it. I thought that it would take him quite a bit longer to get used to the water again, and really swimming and diving like he was before, but he surprised me immensely with his boldness and capabilities.

We did a lot of the ideas from How to Teach Your Baby to Swim. This book is geared towards parents who have started at the newborn to toddler level, and then taking you all the way up to six years of age, but we were able to adapt some of the techniques intended for tinier kids for Hunter. There really isn't that much to teaching a little kid how to swim, because in fact humans are born knowing how to swim. Here are some pictures of a few of the exercises we did:

This is what we like to call "dolphin rides" as he holds onto my neck and I swim around with him, and every now and then going "1, 2, 3, under!" for just a moment to get him used to being underwater. He didn't want to go under at first, and I didn't force him when he didn't want to, just gently coached him. Note that even though we haven't been swimming in a while we have been practicing "going under" and blowing bubbles almost every time we take a bath, as many kids are afraid of getting their faces wet.
By the end of our swim he excitedly counted down and exclaimed, "Under!" in anticipation when I rode him around.

Here I swam on my back and he held onto my shoulders while kicking. We made this one up because he wasn't wanting to be horizontal with the water and kick, and being on my stomach made him more comfortable. I'm looking to do more exercises like these to help him be a better swimmer in order to be able to swim on top of the water.

This is "twinkle, twinkle" as we call it where I help him float on his back while singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". He is very uneasy about floating on his back, as it is such a vulnerable position, but he did really well with a little bit of gentle coaching.

I made sure he had lots of practice climbing OUT of the pool as it is one of the most important safety skills if he were ever to fall in. I tried to give him minimal assistance to help him learn to do it on his own.

Here he gets ready to jump off the edge. At first he wanted me to be closer, closer, closer but after not very long he was comfortable with me being out of reaching distance.

Here he jumps to my excited arms.

This is his first time jumping off the diving board. Note that he WANTED to jump as he saw all the big kids doing it, but was a little nervous at first. I try to maintain a confident composure in spite of his tenseness. Also note that once he did his first jump I couldn't keep him off the diving board.

Here he has jumped in and is swimming to my waiting arms underwater. Even though he has barely begun to swim at all he can already swim a few feet underwater before coming up. At this point he can only get his face out up to the eye level and not yet get his hole face and, more importantly, his mouth out. But we'll get there soon.

Here is a later picture of him jumping off the diving board. Note how far away I am and how excited he is. I did not even have my arms up, as he jumped in, kicked to the surface and swam to me.

A big splash to waiting arms. :)

I am eager to share with other parents how much fun it is to teach your newborn, toddler, or preschooler how to swim. Even if you don't have your own home pool there are many opportunities to get some time in water in this 70%-water planet of ours, a starter would be your own bathtub. You only have to see one severely brain-injured child or worse, one parent of a dead child to have the motivation to teach your small child to swim. But beyond being a vitally important safety skill it is also a great deal of fun and highly beneficial to a child's physical and intellectual development as it stimulates so many different parts of the brain and uses so many different muscles.

This is the first set of pictures but we are looking forward to more on the way as the months progress!

"And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands."
Isaiah 25:11

Hunter is 3 years, 3 months old

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Little Man Helping Pump Gas

Today when we pulled up to the gas station, I told Hunter to stay put while I went in to pre-pay for our gas.

"But Mommy, you need a little boy to come with you." was his gentle reply.

In which I returned, "No, I need a little man to come with me. Can you be my little man?"

He beamed with excitement and replied, "Yeah" with a smirk as he climbed out of his booster seat.

Lately I've really been focusing on treating him "like a man" and letting him know how manly he is whenever I can. ALL little kids want to do is to "do it all by myself". How many times a day does he say that? I've lost count. Little kids believe it is their job to grow up, and we spend most of our time trying to convince them that it is their job to stay babies. Unfortunately, we often succeed, and by the time they turn seven or eight years old we then turn around and tell them they need to grow up. By then, it's often too late and we spend the rest of their school-age and teenage years fighting with them to get them to do a minute amount of work.

It's a sad cycle, but nonetheless, I handed Hunter a twenty-dollar bill and told him to give it to the cashier and ask for twenty dollars on pump number three. Boldly, he walked into the station, proudly walked up to the register and made his request just as I had told him, his hand barely reaching the high counter to pass along the twenty.

We left with a smile, I taught him how to press the button with numeral 87 on it, and he pumped the measly 4.7 gallons of gas that twenty dollars had bought us, and did so "all by myself". The whole ordeal took exactly four minutes.

And I was glad that it was summer, because I never would have dreamed of allowing him to help me in the bitter cold months of winter that we are accustomed to in the Midwest.

It was such a refreshing experience, seeing how proud he was of himself for being an active part in life and doing something that was truly valuable and worthwhile, that I've decided that from now on, in the warm months at least, I would never keep him strapped in his seat while I get gas. And, just perhaps, this four-minute investment will pay off even more dividends in the end, when he is perhaps a bit taller and he will be pumping ME the gas in the cold winter months when I stay warm in the car. Perhaps? Nah, don't doubt it: he will. Raising little men pays off in the end, for you and mostly, for them.

"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
Proverbs 31:27,28,31

"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Making a Genesis Terrarium

My brother David brought home from vacation Bible school a small jar containing some gravel, dirt, and a little figure of a man and a woman next to a plastic dinosaur. It was a terrarium depicting what the earth was like when God first created it, before the flood.

What a fun idea, I thought, and immediately wanted to make one of our own with Hunter. I found out that the gravel was necessary and we made a field trip to the pet store.

We decided to make a big one in an empty aquarium we have and put about an inch of gravel in the bottom.

We put about two inches of potting soil on top of the gravel and scattered random flower seeds in there to see which ones will grow. Okay, so maybe not the best way to do it: but of all the seed packets we had, they were all pretty old and I wasn't sure if any of them would grow anyway, so I figured with about five packets of seeds in there perhaps some of them will sprout. I also stuck in there all the little flower sprouts that grew in spite of me in our flower flat we've had for the past few weeks.

Alright, so I'm not the greatest gardener, but I'm learning. Maybe after we learn a few things from this one we will have a real one that we can work to keep up later on. But either way, the point of this terrarium is to demonstrate the way water was distributed when God first created the earth: it circulated through the air and moistened the entire environment. It was never too hot, never too cold, it never rained, and man didn't have to do anything to make the plants grow, because they grew on their own.

"And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."
Genesis 1:6-8

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old  

Field Trip to the Pet Store

Today we went on a "field trip" to the pet and hobby store to get some gravel for our terrarium. We rode our bikes and it was a perfect summer day, with a trip to the downtown ice cream shoppe afterwards.

I call it a field trip because I try to make all adventures around town into field trips. It's what I call "Family-Centered Field Trips". Sometimes we go on organized field trips with homeschool groups or family but most of our learning adventures take place doing errands around town and around the area. Errands are one of our favorite events because we plan a little extra time for them and always make each one a learning experience about our neighborhood, community, and world.

The pet store was great because all the cages are labeled so I could identify exactly what animal was in there and point it out to Hunter. Of course in the short thirty minutes we were there I did not get to all the animals but we still thoroughly enjoyed observing the ones I did point out. "Nemo" (Clown fish) and "Dory" (Regal Blue Tang) were favorites of the fish section.

When we went into the mammal and bird section he was really timid about getting near the cages, until one of the parrots said "Hi" to him! He was thrilled, and lost all shyness around the animals. Giggling excitedly, he began carrying on a conversation with the bird asking him about his toys, the rats, and his beak. After that he was interested in the chinchilla, rats, hedgehog, and gerbils without restraint.

It was fun. I'm sure we'll visit again soon, learn more, enjoy more. I just really love these little family-friendly field trips.

"For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them."

Ecclesiastes 9:12

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old  

Taekwondo Camp

I'm thrilled! Today I found out that the ATA school I clean for is going to be doing a basic Taekwondo camp which would go in the mornings from 9:00 - 1:00 for a week. The cost would have been $100 but since I work for them they said Hunter could participate for free! It is supposed to be for ages 5-12, but they said that Hunter was a good kid and should be fine. I know a lot of five-year-olds aren't that coordinated, and it is a basic-level camp, so I'm not too worried about his physical capability. I am wondering how he'll do with how long it is, though. They have a break for lunch but still, that's quite a few hours and he's not used to staying on one thing for that long. I'm considering possibly leaving early if he's not faring out too well, but it would be better to do it for just a little while than to not do it at all.

I'm really excited about this opportunity because I was really wanting to get him started in martial arts, not formal lessons because they're far too expensive, but for me to teach him at home. It doesn't take that much to study how to certain kicks, punches, stances, etc. are done and with the confidence I've developed from all that I've learned about teaching little kids, I know he could easily learn whatever martial arts I present to him. Although I do have the benefit of being a brown belt in Taekwondo myself, that is not a prerequisite to being able to teach your child because, you can teach your tiny child absolutely anything that you can present to him in an honest, factual, and joyous way and that does not necessarily mean you have to be able to do it yourself. Ah, that is the wonderful thing about teaching little kids. And one of the reasons why I love my job so much!

Martial arts is another splendid physical excellence opportunity. After you have developed your child's balance, strength, and coordination through the physical excellence program you graduate to doing an actual sport. Highly recommended by Glenn Doman are gymnastics and ballet because they require such control, balance, and coordination in the many different positions in space (i.e. upside down, sideways, spinning, etc.) Although martial arts is not mentioned in Glenn Doman's book, it certainly tops the list as it requires so much balance, control, and coordination in many different positions in space. In fact, gymnastics and martial arts are very much tied together as moves such as flips, spins, and tumbling are evident in both sports. I am actually relieved to find such a wonderful similarity because I was not so sure how confident Hunter would be in training in gymnastics (or ballet) since they are generally considered such feminine sports because they are so graceful. Martial arts, though, is like gymnastics with a bang, being graceful yet powerful, controlled yet explosive, and very strong and masculine versus beautiful and gentle.

This camp will be a great opportunity to get us started on martial arts and to get him excited about it, as well as learning a few things along the way. I love finding these "hidden treasure" opportunities in the community.

"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
Deuteronomy 31:6

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old

Eating Thistles

"Look Hunter, it's Eeyore's favorite snack!"

And that's what started it.

While we were cleaning the gym today and dumping out the mop water, we noticed that the field behind the building was now bursting with beautiful purple thistles. I first pointed out the liking of these plants of Eeyore (a Winnie the Pooh character) and then recalled a childhood episode of eating these pleasant flowers, as there is a sweet nectar to the little petals.

"Look, Hunter, you can eat these."

I put a little purple petal in my mouth. "Mmm!" And that's how you get a three-year-old to eat a flower.

I never lie to him, never make a game out of trying to trick him, and as a result he trusts me. He eagerly ate a bite without hesitation, even though he's never eating a weed off the side of a building before. "MMM!" he replies. "Tastes like candy!"

Well, I wouldn't exactly call it candy, but I assume he was referring to the sweet taste of the nectar.

I carefully pulled off a few more petals and ate them myself, and before I know it I turn around, and there's Hunter shoving entire flowers - leaves and all - into his mouth, all the while saying, "Mmm... tastes like candy!"

Now, note that you really do have to be cautious with eating wildlife: don't take this advice and head to the woods to eat whatever looks good. Some plants are poisonous or partly poisonous, such as the leaves of raspberries. So make sure you know what you're doing before exploring edible wildlife. But once you do that, it sure is fun to know how many edible things there are in the woods. I don't know anyone who wouldn't take some sort of small rush of confidence in knowing how to identify edible plants in the woods. The idea that, you could win if you were ever to have to battle nature is a reassuring thought, even if you may never have to use it. Then again, it's also just a little rush of fun to pick up a weed off the lawn, pop it in your mouth and say, "Mmm... yummy." Either way, it's a fun learning adventure for a child.

"And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Genesis 1:12

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old

Monday, June 9, 2008

Stringing Beads

Today I got out some wooden beads my mom had in the basement and a big, sturdy string and let Hunter go to town.

I thought that this was something that Hunter would be interested in, and I was right. A lot of times I get puzzles and other sit-down activities out that he just doesn't seem very interested in, but this one held his attention. Especially since the end product was to make a pretty necklace for Mommy! Below you can see me wearing it.

He's developed very consistent sidedness (that is, the organization of the brain that makes it so you are either left- or right-handed, footed, and "eyed"). He is right-handed, for sure, using his right hand in the dominant roll and his left hand to assist, as well as kicking with his right foot. Doman recommends activities such as these to develop the manual dexterity controls of the brain. Some activities that use this function (uses a dominant hand and an assisting hand) are:

  • Pouring liquid from a pitcher to a cup (right hand pours, left hand holds cup)
  • Picking up objects and placing them in a container (right hand picks up, left hand holds container)
  • Cutting with scissors (right hand cuts, left hand holds paper)
  • Stringing beads (right hand strings beads, left hand holds string)
  • Playing a violin (right hand holds the bow, left hand holds the violin)
  • And one of the most sophisticated tasks, writing (right hand writes, left hand holds paper)
I'm sure there are a hundred more examples of this brain function, but I think you get the point. Crawling, creeping (crawling on hands and knees), and brachiating (doing monkey bars) really help develop this coordination between brain hemispheres that enables a child to do these things with skill and ease. I am really concentrating on providing him with more opportunities to use his hands on activities such as these, because he often becomes frustrated when he can't draw something like he wants to or can't cut or write something the way he thinks it should be.

Him helping me more in the kitchen is one of the best ways to use his hands in a skilled way, pouring, measuring, sifting, stirring, squishing, cutting, dividing, etc. I'm also going to let him play with a lot of puzzles during J.E.L.I.C time and focus on drawing together more (we haven't done much art lately). Playing with blocks is another thing that is really good that we haven't been doing much. I also really like the cutting strips I made him a long time ago but haven't used. I found this picture (to the right) of Montessori cutting strips that are just different types of lines and designs that can be cut out. Straight lines and triangles are the easiest, circles are the hardest. I made a bunch myself and we're starting with the simplest ones until he becomes more skilled. I'll have them available to download soon. :)

"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:10

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Alphabet Mat

A few days ago I got the idea to get Hunter a floor mat to use for tumbling exercises. I picked out the alphabet one from toys r us that has twenty-eight squares and measures about seven foot by four foot.

It was not very expensive, only about $25 for this set. It sure is a lot nicer to have this, so we don't have to get out the little mats we were using before every time we do our rolls.

Some different games we've played on it so far are: doing our exercises. We do somersaults (forward and backward) and rolling like a log, both clockwise and counterclockwise. The purpose of these exercises is to stimulate the vestibular portion of the brain and help develop balance.

We've also: jumped in different patterns, such as diagonally, forward, backwards, and sideways, spun around on it, and played on the hopping ball on it. He plays with his blocks and other toys on here now, and it is nicer than the floor since it's not so cold.

Because of the letters in it, I anticipate using it for a lot of language games, such as spelling and three-letter word making (think running to different letters as you spell, say, hippopotamus).

It was a fun investment, and I know it will enhance our physical excellence program in a fun way.

"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them... And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea."
Isaiah 11:6,8-9

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Field Trip to the Zoo

Wednesday was our first field trip of the summer. We went to the city zoo about an hour away and it was quite enjoyable. Hunter’s only regret was that “We didn’t see the bears” (we ran out of time).

I enjoyed pointing out all the animal names to him. I told him their real names, for example, saying “Look at the black howler monkey!” instead of just a generic “monkey”. The zoo made this easy for us since all the real names are by the displays. They also had all the scientific names, but we haven’t gotten that far yet (but we will as soon as I make the bits!)

I really enjoyed learning so much with Hunter (I didn't know their real names!), and I know he enjoyed receiving it even more. It’s sad to see parents hauling their tot around in a stroller, occasionally pointing out the “pretty bird” or the “horsy”. Kids are capable of benefiting from and appreciating so much more. And it definitely makes it more interesting and enjoyable for BOTH parties when you are teaching them something worth remembering.

I’ll have to admit I became a little bit distracted video taping and taking pictures. But we still did have a lot of fun together. And hopefully next time it won’t be quite as cold. I’m really excited about looking into all the community resources that are available. There are so many wonderful educational opportunities, and they are NOT just obtained through the schools. In fact the schools tend to mess it up a lot of time: you learn so much more and have so much more fun when it’s just your family, rather than a large group to be tallied.

I plan on taking him there a few more times this year. Next time I go I'm bringing a note pad and taking note of all the animals that are in each display so I can teach Hunter about them between visits. I can't wait to see how much fun it is going to be when we know about all the animals!

"But ask no
w the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee."
Job 12:7-8

Hunter is 3 years, 2 months old