A drive and cookies

An errand took us for a drive in the country today.

At the bank, the kids waited and counted different colored cars that went by–sorting and counting and colors. Check.

Visiting a friend who recently returned from the Holy Land, we were shown a map and many photos and discussed the Dead Sea, steps that Jesus walked on, the Sea of Galilee, fishing boats, and many Bible stories.

Pumpkin was asked if she could find some words out of a book, but she thought she could only read out of her practice reading books. Good thing to clear up! She read a few words in a kid book we had there and then something clicked and she read several signs all on her own on the way home.

We bought some crafts at Hobby Lobby, and they happily cut, colored, stickered, and glittered the afternoon away.

Cookie making this evening tested Pumpkin’s retention of fractions. We only had the 1/4 cup and 1 cup measuring cups. And she knew how to make 1/2.

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Ups and Downs

We read more of a Little House in the Big Woods today and learned about threshing machines. We then looked up a YouTube video of a modern threshing machine only to discover they’ve changed very little since Laura Ingall’s day–the main change being manner of power.

Later, the kids found brown paper bags and drew puppet faces and put on a show.

They may have then fought for awhile.

And before I knew it, they were both sitting down working on their workbooks. Pumpkin learned cents, nickels, dimes, and quarters as well as a LOT of practice with phonetics in her 1st grade workbook. Peanut asked questions about letters in her pre-K book and almost learned to do connect the dot pictures.

Then they fought some more.

Later, I found them playing hide and seek, working on Peanut’s potty training, and asking for books to be read. Pumpkin even created some darling artwork as gifts for people she loves.

Our days are up and down and exhausting, but beautiful all the same.

Letting them play

Peanut sat down and colored dots and lines very carefully and then discovered she’d drawn a “P” and excitedly showed everyone the letter she’d made–which led to her trying to draw more letters. In the last week or so, she’s begun recognizing all the letters that are for her family’s names. She’s not 3 yet. 

Pumpkin colored, then found a satchel and a hat and become the mail delivery person! She delivered mail to all of the family members (the pages she’d colored and written their names on). 

Later, Pumpkin noticed the chords written above the notes of some of her piano music. When she asked about it, it led to her learning what chords are and how to make them at the piano–then she began improvising which led to the discovery of C7 chord, major, minor, and diminished. 

Games and play

Once again, Peanut and Pumpkin are learning together by playing a game. How to take turns, follow instructions, etc. 

It’s a Washington D.C. memory matching game. I think it counts a little for history and geography as we become familiar with pictures of Thomas Jefferson Memorial, National Monument, Rosie the Riveter, Mt. Vernon, White House, and much more. 

As a family, we’ve been doing jigsaw puzzles lately. Peanut is pretty good at the 100 piece puzzle and Pumpkin knows how to sort and solve the 500-1000 piece puzzles right along with the adults. 

Pumpkin also spent the morning pretending she was the mission control operator for a team made up of Robin Hood and the Wild Kratts. It was full of maps, submarines, adventures, and rescues. 

Cards!

You’d think cards aren’t learning, but Peanut and Pumpkin learned a lot today by playing with a deck of cards. 

Pumpkin had to practice patience and conflict resolution in order to teach Peanut “Go Fish.”

For Peanut, this was practice with counting and number recognition as she learned to ask for and respond to questions for certain cards. 

All Hallow’s Week

Lots of sugar rushes and crashes. But we did enjoy time trick or treating, then teaching the kids some economics by buying or trading for certain kinds of candy that they aren’t allowed to eat. 

All Saints’ Day the Pumpkin and Peanut both insisted on dressing up as Saints even though we had just a half hour left before Mass in which to find and dress in the costumes. Peanut went as Our Lady of Guadalupe (thanks to MrsF3’s mom who made the costume over 20 years ago!) and Pumpkin went as Lucia (so our celebration of 100 years since the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima must’ve made an impression!). 

Pumpkin carved her own pumpkin entirely by herself this year–with a table knife, no less. Creativity, independence, and persistence are her trademarks!

All the kids are practicing singing chant with MrsF3 in preparation for a big choir event. Peach looks up and smiles and sings along too–and she’s only 2.5 months! Comes with gestating in a choir director/music teacher for 9 months!

Power (and TV)

Pumpkin told me today that electricity can be “made” with wind and water. That gave me a chance to describe coal and nuclear power as well. 

She learned the first two kinds from Magic School Bus, and to visualize molecules and atoms in helping understand nuclear power, I reminded her of the Magic School Bus Rides Again episode on states of water. 

Sometimes TV helps us learn! 

Pumpkin learned phonetics thanks to Super Why! a couple years ago as well. 

Other than that, we’re just playing today. And that is learning too. 

Autumn science (and home decor)

Another way we learn is by collecting berries, seeds, and leaves in the fall. We fill a glass jar or vase with all the exciting things they find and use it as our centerpiece. We talk about why we have fall (colder temps, tilt of the earth, and more!) and sometimes we talk about the different kinds of plant or tree: how does this tree/plant spread its seeds (burrs, blowing, birds, etc). 

We love observing the squirrels working hard to find and hide their acorns!

We also found a woodpecker skull recently. Once the bugs and maggots have finished their part in its decomposition, we’ll be looking at it to observe the way its skull is protected and absorbent of the constant impact from its pecking. 

Weekends

This weekend involved a kid oriented symphony orchestra concert with both Pumpkin and Peanut in attendance. 

We played different instruments beforehand and then clapped, danced, listened for high/low or loud/soft along with all the rest of the auditorium full of kids. 

Such an awesome way to experience great music and learn about the orchestra!

Other than that? Another documentary on Netflix, Life, and some new lessons in predators and prey! And we’re continuing to read Little House in the Big Woods (history and literature!) and make cards for people (lately it’s been making Happy Birthday art and cards for The Hunter–writing and art!)

Some days…

I’m not sure where the day went. We played outside a little, I managed to mostly keep up with the dishes, and then went to work for a few hours. 

Pumpkin and her Grandpa went to a string quartet concert, which she mostly slept through, and at bedtime, Pumpkin asked for help writing the playbill for her play “Fairy Knight.” 

Peanut had some potty training successes and some fails. 

Some days are just getting by. 

And Peach smiles and coos to help us keep our smiles!