My Five Year Old

Yesterday, my first born turned five. It’s a crazy idea to comprehend. It shoots him into the “school-aged” category rather than being a preschooler. Of course, he’s earned it. He is an amazing kid- full of curiosity and opinions. Year 5 promises to be a big year for him, and I look forward to watching him grow each and every day.

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We started the morning off with donuts and then went to one of his favorite places, The Houston Museum of Natural Science. He got to fully explore his favorite exhibits, the sharks and dinosaurs, and we even gave him the birthday treat of riding the Broncosaurus. He claims that was is favorite part of the day. The afternoon consisted of Little Gym and ended with his favorite dinner, chicken cordon-bleu. We even topped it off with some ice cream. All in all, it seems like it was a successful fifth birthday.

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October Review

Happy Halloween!

This was a short month for us since J spent a week away, but it’s still amazing to see how much we covered in such a short amount of time! We’re really happy about our current groove, and J is more than excited to do some school each day.

All About Reading (Level 1)

This month brought along some new letters: i, v, f, z, o, l and w. It’s really opened up a whole new world of words, and it’s clear it’s starting to spread out to actual life and not just when doing his reading. J’s favorite part (besides the stickers at the end of each lesson) is that he’s reading the short stories now. He got through four this month. I love having him read to me, and he is SO proud of himself. The confidence this program builds is my favorite part.

Math-U-See (Primer)

We finally saw the switch from super easy review to learning new concepts! J has been loving math the entire time (it’s his favorite subject, by far), but I was ready to start seeing him challenged. There was still some triangle identifying and practicing writing numerals, but he was introduced to place values: units, tens and hundreds. I was nervous that the jump would be too much for him, but I keep underestimating my boy when it comes to the math world. It made perfect sense to him, and he took to it immediately. He didn’t need any help in identifying triple digit numbers, but he’s coming from a place of understanding when he says every single number he sees anywhere now!

Nancy Larson (Kindergarten)

We finished Unit A: Exploring the Human Body and Five Senses by really getting into those senses. We are now about halfway through Unit B: Investigating Healthy Habits. He’s been learning about nutrition and exercise. We’ve been covering all of the main food groups and learning how to identify them. He’s really enjoyed working in his booklet, Investigating Ways to Keep My Body Healthy, since he feels like he’s writing his own book. There’s been no complaint about the snacks from the boys, either!

Artistic Pursuits (The Way They See It)

I’m still concerned that this level was a bit below where J is actually at, but not so much that I’m worrying about it. Both J and G are really enjoying the activities that go along with it, and that’s what art is all about! This month, we talked about using different colors and explored watercolor which brought a beautiful underwater scene to our house from J. We also had some fun with the visual motivator lesson by doing it at the farm! It called for us to go to a body of water and draw the experience. Since they have a lake there, it worked out perfectly! J really brought in some detail, while G just enjoyed coloring on the dock. We’re a bit behind schedule in art due to the crazy schedule that October brought, but we’ll catch back up. Eventually 🙂

 

Quality Time with the Little

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While big brother spent the week at the “farm” with MeMaw and PawPaw, G and I got some good quality time together. Daddy was off to Florida again, so it was just the two of us. I was pretty nervous about it since his two favorite people wouldn’t be there, but we had a great week! He loved having all of the personal attention, and it was great to really get to hang out with just the little guy. He’s at such a fun age (2.5), and it’s a time that I didn’t really have with J since I had just given birth to G! We took it easy and just hung out most of the week, although we did manage a few things outside of the house. My absolutely favorite memory from this week is taking a nap together. It was so sweet, and I loved the extra snuggle time (and the extra sleep, if I’m being honest).

Our big activity for the week was heading to the Houston Children’s Museum to visit the Tot Spot. Since it’s only for those under 3, it’s not something G has been able to do very much of with J being at home now. He was super excited to go and had a great time, although it was quite clear it was his farewell visit. Even though he’s still got another 6 months before ageing out, he’s obviously outgrown it. He spent the majority of his time playing with the babies and younger toddlers. It was reassuring for me to see so that I know that I shouldn’t feel guilty for not being able to take him there. The regular part of the museum is where he belongs (right alongside his brother)

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I treasured our week together, but I think we were both ready to be together as a family again. G started asking for J more and more as the week progressed and was constantly hoping he’d show up whenever we went somewhere. It’s good to know that they can be great on their own, but they still love being together.

Next year may be interesting if both boys are up at the farm! It might just be a week all to myself!

Harvest Festival

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A benefit to having my parents move away is introducing us to new activities in their neck of the woods. My dad has recently gotten involved in volunteering at the Heritage Village in Woodville, TX. So, we all packed up and headed to their farm for the weekend and visit the Heritage Festival! They were excited almost immediately when they saw they could ride the shuttle to the front of the festival- a school bus!

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Since it’s a living history museum, there was the old town set-up that the boys loved exploring. The jail was a particular favorite, as was the little red school house. G was extremely fascinated by the model rail road set-up, which happened to be where my dad was volunteering.

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They had weaving demonstrations, people carving sculptures out of wood, bee-keepers and lots of other little shops and set-ups. There was live entertainment, which was mainly background music as the boys ran around and explored. They even got to decorate their own pumpkin, which they always love doing.

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There was so much to see and do that I’m sure we missed a fair amount of it. We did leave and miss the war re-enactment by choice, though. Too loud for poor little G! I’m glad we were able to go, and I’m sure we’ll at least be returning to take the boys to see it as it is during the year if not for the Harvest Festival again next year.

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7 Acre Wood

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We always try to make it out to a local farm during the fall, so we jumped on the opportunity to try out a new place this year with a new home school association that we joined. It was a bit smaller than previous ones we’ve gone to, but it was perfect sized for my boys to just run around and have fun. They had games set up all over it, such as mini golf and a giant chess board, but we skipped over all of that since they’re both a little young for those still. The biggest hit was the playground and two boats they had to play on. Not exactly “farm,” but they had fun playing with the other kids.

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We did get to go on a hay ride, which had a little spooky village set up to drive by, including a giant spider and some ghosts that we drove through. There was also a great assortment of animals, and we got quite a bit of information about them all from the “farmer.” Gavin touched a turtle on his head and sufficiently scared himself when the turtle reacted, and both boys got to hug a bull named Olaf. It’s size and distance from our house makes it a location that we probably won’t venture to again, but it was a great location for a group of kids to just be able to run around (not to mention it was a beautiful day!) and everyone had a good time.

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Zoo BOO!

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We love Fall in this house! It keeps us pretty busy, but it’s full of fun activities! One of our favorites each year is Zoo Boo at the Houston Zoo. This year was no exception! It sprinkled on us a little bit towards the end of our trip, but I think the ominous weather kept a bulk of the crowd from coming so it was perfect! The boys were able to wear their costumes for the first time together, pick and decorate a little pumpkin and do their first trick-or-treating of the year! The costumes didn’t stay on long since it was pretty warm (until it started raining, of course), but they were still able to enjoy the fun there without them. They always have a great area to talk about conservation, and J really got into it this year and was able to participate. Both boys loved the mystery boxes, as well, even if there was a little apprehension at first. Of course, we also saw a few animals and visited the new Bug House again. It was a great event to kick off our Fall festivities! I’m so glad we were able to attend since we’ll be missing some of our normal ones (but adding some new fun experiences!). The boys would definitely have missed the fun at Zoo Boo! J is already asking when they get to go again next year!

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It’s October!

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If I thought September was crazy, October is going to the next level! We love October in this house, though, and it’ll probably fly by just as quickly as the summer did! We’re looking forward to lots of outdoor time, festivals, farms of all variety, pumpkins, Zoo Boo, and all things Halloween. There should be plenty to keep me and the boys entertained as daddy heads off to Florida each week.

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Along with some fun fall/Halloween crafts, we’re adding in our study on the US States! We’ve decided to go in statehood order, so Delaware is up first. I found a great list of books for each state, along with using some of the printables from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom. J will test his art skills in an attempt to recreate the state flag, and we’ll read about each state in a neat little book we got from my parents.

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October also brings around our first “off” week, in which J will be heading up to East Texas to spend the week at my parents’ farm. He’s been looking forward to it for months, but I admit I’m nervous about being all alone with G the entire week! I’m afraid he’ll spend the entire time asking for his brother, but we’ll enjoy some fun activities that he wouldn’t be able to do with him there (like the Tot Spot at the Children’s Museum!).

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We’ve spent the weekend prepping for the month with all the activities and travelling, decorated the house, and even hit up the pumpkin patch. We’re ready for October!   sillyboys