Monday, June 29, 2009

Fractions

The boys got to play with pie fractions for the first time today.

Hunter has done fractions before - during the "problem solving" stage of the GD math program, many of the equations we did involved fractions (one half of ten equals five, one fourth of one hundred equals twenty five, etc.) Just by hearing the equations spoken out, he figured out what "half", "third", "fifth", etc. meant, and could easily tell me what half of eighty-six was, even though I had never explicitly explained it before.

But today was his first time working with pie fractions, as well as comparing equal fractions.

I started out by laying out all the pieces of a Lauri fractions puzzle that I got from my mom. It came with a "whole" piece (one complete circle), halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, eighths, and tenths.

I showed them to Hunter and asked if he wanted to play with the pie game, which he was quite enthusiastic about. We took turns giving Hunter and Anthony the same amount of "pie", working with comparing things that equal one half today.

We only did about three equations today, because it's so important to always stop before your child wants to stop. At first we used magnetic numerals, then he practiced writing them. He's looking forward to doing more tomorrow.



"This they shall give, every one that passeth among them that are numbered, half a shekel after the shekel of the sanctuary..."
Exodus 30:13
Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Singing patriotic songs in the car (mobile blogging)

Singing patriotic songs in the car (mobile blogging)

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Helping Grandpa find tools (mobile blogg

Helping Grandpa find tools (mobile blogging)

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Toad habitat (mobile blogging)

Toad habitat (mobile blogging)

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Fun Day at the Pool

We had an awesome time going swimming today. It was the same pool that we swam in last summer, and we did a lot of the same exercises, too.

Hunter did really good swimming. As expected, he was a little timid at first, but very quickly warmed up to it and was jumping in and out, in and out, in and out, swimming around like a little fish.

I was hoping that, this summer, he would learn how to swim above water (he still swims exclusively under water, which isn't very helpful safety-wise). We didn't really get that far today but, he had a really fun time, got a really good "work out" and build up a good deal of confidence about the water.

For exercises, we worked mostly on jumping in off the side and off of the diving board, swimming to the surface, climbing out of the pool independently and using the hands and feet to paddle. He's built a little bit of a "handicap" in swimming with his hands because, when he is at his Grandma's house he uses a sort of life jacket to swim, which he only needs to use his feet for in order to move. So it was a little bit hard to get him to use his hands but he was getting it after a while and was getting his head above water a few times.

But, other than the few exercises we worked on, we just had a fun time splashing around, playing with sand toys, and even occasionally relaxing on this warm summer day.


video








































After we were done swimming and were starting to load everything in the car, Hunter made this little bed for himself out of Jordan's disassembled playpen. He was worn out!





"...Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."
John 4:13-14
Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Vestibular activities at the park (mobile blogging)


Vestibular activities at the park (mobile blogging)

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Monday, June 22, 2009

Memory Card Game

video

Hunter was at his Dad's today so it was just me and my nephews for school this morning. Anthony, age 2 1/2, wanted to play this superheros memory game we have and did really good at it. We played quite a few rounds and he did really well remembering where a previously-turned over card was. His imagination, as usual, was soaring and he was discussing how this particular hero was his Daddy, and this hero was him, and this hero did this, etc. Hunter enjoys playing this game a lot too, it's a great game to build memory skills and, the neat thing is, when it gets too easy, just add more cards!


"The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot."
Proverbs 10:7
Anthony is 2 years, 6 months old

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trying Out Tux for the Wedding


"The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes."
Psalm 19:8

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Friend the June Bug


"Therefore shall ye observe all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: I am the LORD."
Leviticus 19:27

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our New Name

I decided to change my blog name from World's Best Education to Gentle Revolution Homeschooling.

The main reason behind this is because WBE, although something I still promote and a big focus of my blog (that is, the idea that parents, not professionals, can give their children the best education the world has to offer) it is not a project I foresee coming to completion anytime in the near future.

Also, the upcoming move to California prompted me to change the name to something simpler so I can start passing out my blog info to family and friends, who won't be seeing us nearly as often. That's right - I've never actually shared my blog with anybody I actually know personally, just those I've met online! My biggest reason for that is because I was going to wait until I had "everything together" before I shared but, after a year and a half of blogging, that still hasn't happened!

The new name was originally going to be the blog title - Life with a Preschooler - but considering that next summer Hunter will be in kindergarten (yikes! That's a crazy thought) I decided to simply go with Gentle Revolution Homeschooling. GR Homeschooling will serve as our homeschool blog for years to come, both in homeschooling Hunter, and homeschooling future our future children based on Glenn Doman's Gentle Revolution.


"A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."
Proverbs 22:1

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Changes

There has been a lot going on behind the scenes in the past few months. Among many other things, I have been updating and improving my blog, under a new website address, with the intention of releasing the fully new work within the next few days and surprise all my readers with the finished product.

Beyond a completely current and updated blog, I was going to let everyone in on a very special announcement - I'm getting married!

Yes, I don't think I have specifically addressed this before but, I have been a single mom up until now. It is not something I am proud of, but thank God that he is the one who "forgiveth all my iniquities" and "redeemeth my life from destruction". He has changed and blessed me so much since the time when Hunter was born, and now he has blessed me unspeakably abundantly with a wonderful, amazing, Godly man.

Brandon and I have been friends since we were fifteen. Circumstances eventually drifted us apart and we went for several years without hearing from each other, until about a year and a half ago when we got reconnected on a social networking site.

He was serving in the military in the middle east and I had recently begun teaching Hunter using the Doman methods. We talked online for months, visited while he was home for a month on leave this past March, and visited at his new command in California this past May. In the process of this all, we have become engaged and are looking at getting married at the end of the summer.

If all goes well, Hunter and I will be moving from our hometown in the Chicago area and starting a new life in California sometime this fall. If, with the way the military sometimes operates, overseas duties prevent this from happening, then comes plan B and we may not be getting married for another year or so.

Which is one reason I decided to go ahead and publish my new blog address, even before it's completely "finished", because right now life is just a little unpredictable and there's no telling what new thing may happen tomorrow, so I thought I would let everyone in on what has been going on with us.

So, welcome to our new blog, and welcome to our new life. Over the past three weeks I've published over 70 never-before seen posts, and worked on a lot more. There are many posts spanning from 2007 all the way up to the present that are sitting in my drafts box waiting for the finishing touches and, you will be seeing a lot of those released in the next few weeks.

We've started a new school year as of June 1, with a lot of exciting improvements in our learning adventures. I will be blogging more about that soon but, for now, know that learning with a preschooler is going fantastic.

I've been working on improving my blog, with a new (yet still work-in-progress) tagging system, new contact-me availabilities, and more frequent blogging including Twitter, mobile blogging, and a What We're Learning corner. I hope you enjoy reading because I know I enjoy sharing!



"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's."
Psalm 103:2-5

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Mobile blogging














Mobile blogging

Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Running Updates

We haven't gone running in a while.

Let's just say that sometimes, it's not always easy to stay committed. Sometimes, bundling up a preschooler to go on a run in the dead of winter is bearable. But bundling up three preschoolers in one of Indiana's seemingly coldest, longest winters (in my memory at least) is hard to motivate yourself for.

But, Hunter has been asking me to go for a run. A lot. We still haven't gotten all that much in the habit of it again but, we're getting there and I am very happy.

I'm happy, mostly that, he loves to run. Of course, all kids love to run but he went through a period of time when he really wasn't all that motivated. And me, being distracted with other things in my life, lost motivation because of his lack of motivation (I know, not the best idea but...). So seeing his enthusiasm is encouraging and we've been having fun going running again.

Hopefully we'll be able to be more consistent this summer. But even if we're not as consistent as I'd like to be, we'll still be enjoying having a lot of fun, growing the brain with an excellent cross-patterning exercise, and developing his heart, lungs, and muscles. Will keep you updated as to our progress!


"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart..."
Psalm 27:14
Hunter is 4 years, 3 months old

Monday, June 15, 2009

What We're Learning

K4, summer semester, unit 2 (June 14-27)

For the next two weeks we're going to be learning about the time of Noah up to Abraham. We will be building a model ark, talking about the ice age, the dispersal of nations, the beginning of languages, and more. In science, we will be learning about the planets and their characteristics, doing math with their moons and making pictures to hang on the ceiling. We will be praying for Chad and learning about its history, culture, and geography with some fun games, stories, and coloring pages. We are studying the virtue patience, learning a simple definition ("waiting with a happy spirit"), memorizing James 1:2-4, and practicing it in everyday life. For literature, we are reading a chapter a day out of The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli at nap time.

For encyclopedic knowledge, a simple "Bit Time" video will introduce to following information:
Art: Paintings by Paul Cezanne, set II
Biology: Dinosaurs, set II
General Science: Constellations, set II
Planets of our solar system
Geography: Countries of North America, set II
History: Composers, set IV
Human Anatomy: Bones of the hand
Languages: Animals (sign language)
Literature: Authors of children's literature, set II
Mathematics: Regular polygons
Music: Notes of the 5th octave
Solomon: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba by George Frederick Handel
Scripture: Generations from Noah to Abraham
Sons of Ham, Shem, and Japheth
Reading: Prepositions

That's all for now, details on how it all goes, coming soon!


"And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship"
Exodus35:31
Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer






























"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him."
Psalm 34:8


Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

A Basketball Tree

While we were playing in someone's backyard today, there is a tree with an old basketball hoop attached to it, which probably was done over ten years ago as the tree has grown around the hoop!

Today Hunter was sitting next to the tree and started picking the bark off of it, to which Hunter was told, "Hunter, don't do that, it hurts the tree. How would you like it if I peeled your skin off of you?"

"But the tree doesn't have any blood!" was his response.

"Yeah but it has sap, I think. All trees have sap, don't they? I can't remember what kind of tree it is..."

Then Hunter jumped in and answered the question for him, "Silly, it's a basketball tree!"


"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
1 Corinthians 13:11

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Early Writing

video

This video was taken in March of 2007, right before Hunter turned 2. He wanted to spell the names of his aunt and uncle, Crystal and Levi. He loved that little pad that we got from the dollar store, and we always used to write names together and draw pictures on it. He loved pulling it apart and saying, "All gone!"

I love his itty bitty voice, he was so stinking cute!

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven."
Exodus 17:14

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm Not Tired

These are Hunter's famous words nowadays. "I'm not tired" he will utter even when all evidence exists to the contrary. He just simply does not want to go to sleep and miss out on all the interesting and exciting things that life has to offer.

Even though he's somewhat famous for using those words (and very frequently), today he cracked me up in his persistent denial of the sleep factor.

He had fallen asleep on the hour and fifteen minute drive home from Illinois this afternoon, and was more tired than usual when I got him out of the car and brought him in the house. I sat down with him on the couch and took the opportunity to hold him on my lap snuggling, a rarity nowadays since he is constantly on the go. Figuring it would probably be a good idea to not let him sleep much longer (since I intended on him going to bed at some point before midnight) I started talking to him, asking him questions.

"Are you tired baby?"

"No, I'm not tired." he says with his eyes closed and his head snuggled into my arm.

"Did you have a nice nap in the car?"

"I wasn't taking a nap... I wasn't sleeping, I'm not tired."

"You weren't sleeping in the car? What were you doing?"

"I was awake, I'm not tired, I wasn't sleeping" he mumbles, still only half awake.

I try to stand him up, asking him if he wants a snack. He lays down on the couch.

"Are you tired honey?"

"No."


"My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother... When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee."
Psalm 6:20,22

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Attention!

For several months now, we have had this fun little game called "attention" where Hunter has learned to exercise self-control, immediate obedience, and attentive listening.

When I say the word, "Attention!" (similar to the way a military drill sergeant would), Hunter immediately does five things (which he memorized in a little chant):

Hands together, feet together, smile, look at me, and say "Yes ma'am!"
It is all done as a fun little game. Anthony, Hunter's two-year-old cousin, knows the rules too, and quickly jumps to attention on command.

We practice this game frequently, just to get them accustomed to always obeying immediately (which is SO important. Think about if a child runs out towards the street, is about to step on something harmful, or a million other situations where it could mean their life if they aren't trained to obey instantly).

And besides being great obedience practice, it is a wonderfully handy habit to have: undivided, respectful, focused attention from your preschooler. I use this little game all the time when I need to give them instructions, tell them what we're about to do, or other things when I need their undivided attention.

The game is over when I say "At ease!" (yes, another little term borrowed from the military). Sometimes I just call them to attention for a few seconds, sometimes I let them practice for a few minutes. It's not always easy for a toddler or preschooler to keep from wiggling, but it is a great way to learn self-control, which I would argue is the root of all other virtue - the ability to say no to what you want to do and yes to what you ought to do. The ability to control yourself, your impulses, and appetites and submit to duty, not just desire.


"Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth."
Job 37:2

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back Porch Games

Playing dominoes with his new best buddies: Avery, 4, and Alanna, 6.


"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings."
Psalm 36:7

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Of Elephants and Science Videos

So today we were cleaning up our room, Hunter was picking up a stack of DVDs that had fallen over and asked me,

"Mom, how do elephants turn into other things?"

I was puzzled by this question at first but then I looked at the video he was holding and remembered, "Oh yeah... Incredible creatures that defy evolution..."

I got those videos a couple months ago from Vision Forum and have been very pleased with them. These, along with Moody Bible Institute's Science Video Classics set, are pretty much the only videos that Hunter watches, with the exception of a few foreign language DVDs here and there.

They're not exactly "preschool level" but I have never believed in limiting kids to that which we think they understand. I know from experience and common sense that there is no possible way of ever really knowing how much he understands, and that he probably understands a lot more than I think. So, just as we don't wait until babies understand language before we start talking to them and exposing them to it (but rather we talk to them so that they will understand), likewise we shouldn't wait until we think kids understand before exposing them to other concepts - we should expose them so that they will understand them.

Anyway, these DVDs are high quality science videos with great shots of animals, experiments, and much more, and they present a lot of interesting concepts. Yet, when Hunter watches them he usually isn't paying all that much attention for a significant portions of it, which is fine - I know that little kids don't need to sit there staring intently in order to be learning. Tiny kids just absorb.

Yet, even though I know these things, because of his lack of "paying attention" I sometimes wonder how much he is getting out of them. It's funny though how on occasions, like today, he will make funny comments like that that show me that he is picking up on things.

I'm sure though that you're wondering what on earth these videos are teaching that would make Hunter say that elephants turn into other things. I will have to admit that he did get it a little confused but, what he was thinking about was the section where they were talking about manatees. They talk about how evolutionists theorize that manatees are somehow the decedents of elephants, who supposedly one day decided that they were going to be water mammals and started living in the water and growing fins.

I explained to Hunter that what the video was saying that no, elephants actually didn't turn into other animals but that God had specially designed the manatee with all of its incredible features. So even though he did get his facts a little mixed up, it did show that he was absorbing it, and later, once it had already been stored in his brain, he was reflecting on it, sorting it out, and analyzing the information with his growing amount of understanding. Give kids the facts, they'll figure out the rules that govern them. Which, might I add, stands as another reason for not waiting till we think that kids can understand before exposing them to interesting and advanced subjects - with little kids' ability to absorb raw facts, they have the benefit of absorbing and storing the information now, while being able to understand it deeper and deeper as they grow.

Here is a little clip off some of the content of these great videos...




"And now will I shew thee the truth..."
Daniel 11:2

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Parts of the Sun

For science this unit we have been learning about the sun. It is the first theme in our science curriculum this year. We're doing earth science this year, but the curriculum we're using starts out with an introduction to astronomy, the sun being the first topic on the list.

We have been doing parts of the sun bits, with the core, radiative zone, convection zone, photosphere, chromosphere, and corona highlighted on each flashcard.

Today he colored a coloring page that I printed out for him, and did a really good job. He did the whole thing without any input from me, and chose the colors orange, red, yellow, blue, and brown to color the various layers.

One thing that I thought was really interesting though was that he actually made his own chromosphere (the blue layer, picture shown at right) which was not on the coloring page. He just made it himself after only seeing the flashcards a few times!

Lots more exciting news about fun things we've been learning about the sun, soon to come!

You can download this coloring page from google docs for free.


"They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations."
Psalm 72:5

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Reading

Hunter has known how to read for a while now. He knows many whole words, the basic rules of phonics, and has had lots of exposure to words being pointed out, and lots of practice sounding out new words.

But, he doesn't always like to read on his own much. As he's still just learning, the process is still a little too slow for him and so he would rather that I just read it for him.

However, since he hasn't been taking as long of naps lately (he usually only sleeps for an hour or less, whereas he used to sleep for two or more) I came up with an idea that would facilitate his changing sleep habits, as well as motivate him to read on his own more.

It's pretty simple: I told him that, when he's a big boy and can read by himself, he doesn't have to take naps anymore, and instead of sleeping with the babies he gets to stay up and quietly read books. And of course, being the anti-nap fanatic that he is, he gladly accepted the offer (and informed me that, "Mommy, I can read!")

So today he laid in bed and quietly read Bob Books, and a few other story books for an hour or so. It works really nicely because, I really need that afternoon quiet time. And, he needs some quiet time too. Plus, he is learning how to read better, and that, I am very excited about.

"And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life..."
Deuteronomy 17:19

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Days of Creation Craft

For history this unit, one of the things we're learning about is the creation of the world according to the Genesis record. With this new school year, we're going to be doing a lot more crafts rather than exclusively open-ended art activities. Not that we're cutting out painting or playing with playdough, not by any means. But up until this point we haven't done that many crafts because most of the time, the preschool craft ideas I see are just plain dumb.






I got this idea from a half-made craft similar to this I saw with my mom's old homeschooling supplies.

I used six-inch high card stock numerals that I traced and then cut out myself (template to be available as soon as I can get my scanner to work). Then, we decorated each day as follows:

Day 1: God makes light and darkness

I glued black construction paper on the bottom half, and Hunter sprinkled white glitter on the top half.
Day 2: God makes the atmosphere

Hunter's favorite! He colored numeral blue, then tore up and glued on pieces of cotton balls.

Day 3: God separates the dry land from the water, makes all vegetation

Hunter colored the top half blue with waves, bottom half brown and green, then glued on leaf and flower cut-outs.
Day 4: God makes the sun and moon

I covered the numeral in black construction paper, then Hunter glued on handmade sun and moon cut-outs, as well as little star cut-outs.



Day 5: God makes all birds and creatures of the sea

Hunter colored the top half light blue, the bottom half dark blue, then glued animal stickers on.
Day 6: God make land animals, insects, and man

Hunter colored parts of it green, and drew a picture of Adam (since we didn't have any "man" stickers on hand). Then he covered the rest in animal stickers.

Day 7: God rests from his work

Hunter colored the numeral a light blue and then drew Z's all over it.






I hope this doesn't sound too complicated, because it really wasn't. All I did was think about what was made on each day, then went around the house looking for something that could represent the work of that particular day.

The stickers for days 5 and 6 came from scrapbooking materials we had, and the stars for day 4 came from a specially-shaped hole-punch, as did the flowers.

A few days before we did the craft, I gathered all the materials, did all the prep work (such as gluing black construction paper to days 1 and 4), and then placed it all in a bag, ready to use on that day! Preparing ahead is SO, SO important. I can just imagine spending half the morning searching around for all the materials, doing the prep work, getting everything set up, and then by the time it's all said and done, that's the only thing we got done that morning!

It was a really fun craft, which Hunter REALLY enjoyed (and has wanted to make more crafts ever since then, especially with glitter and cotton balls). I'm looking forward to more craft ideas for the coming year that will reinforce our lessons as well as be a fun keepsake for years to come.

Get free template for numerals by clicking here.

"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good..."
Genesis 1:31

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old




Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Buddies

Hunter has made really good friends this spring with our neighbors, Avery (4) and Alanna (6).

They have lived next door to us for several years, and last summer they got acquainted a little and played a few times, but it has just been this year that Hunter has really made close friends with them.

Just about every day they have been coming over and knocking on the door, asking to play outside with Hunter, which they then proceed to do an hour, half hour, two hours sometimes.

Today Hunter and Avery played while Alanna was in school. They jumped on the trampoline, played in the sandbox, colored with chalk and carried on some imaginary adventure with a fishing net, stuffed animal, and other interesting props.

It's fun to see Hunter continuing to grow more and more social and develop stronger friendships with children with a variety of ages and backgrounds, even without the "help" of institutional socialization.








"A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
Proverbs18:24

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Look mom! It's Mozart! (Mobile Blogging)

Look mom! It's Mozart! (Mobile Blogging)

While we were at Barnes and Noble today I found Hunter with his chin resting on the edge of the shelf, carefully looking at the front of this CD case. When I walked over to see what he was doing, he said, "Look Mom. Mozart!"

It's always fun when he recognizes encyclopedic knowledge that I have taught him in random places like this.

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old

Monday, June 1, 2009

Fashion Crisis

Hunter usually picks out his own clothes, and he's is actually a pretty good dresser. I've been surprised a lot of times when he will pick out outfits that perfectly coordinate with each other, and my surprise probably comes from the fact that my dad and brother often needed my mom's assistance in the fashion department, so I assumed my little boy would be lacking as well.

But today we had a little lesson in the do's and don'ts of outfit coordinating when he came in the house in a red stripped shirt and red, black, and white plaid shorts.

Now, I'll have to give it to them that the colors do go very well together, but I explained why we can't wear plaids and stripes together, because the patterns don't match and so it makes our eyes confused. He was reluctant to give up his hard-picked outfit, but agreed to wear something else, and learned a little principle in suitable dressing.


"Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel..."
2 Samuel 12:20

Hunter is 4 years, 2 months old