Saturday, October 10, 2009

Weekly Update 10/10

This week, we did almost no school projects. I did notice that Crumpet is starting to recognize numbers though. We were watching Blue's Clues and it was a numbers episode. Crumpet knew several of them. We have done no formal work with number recognition, because he got so bored and frustrated when we were working through the alphabet (he has somehow learned all the letters on his own). Instead we've been adding numbers to our calendar daily, and reviewing all the numbers at the same time. It seems to be working.

We did do lots of "life school" this week, and we had some good new experiences...
We went to a wonderful corn maze at a farm nearby. This was our second year there, and it is a blast. This year, there was a lot of new stuff to do. Crumpet had a duck race with his dad.

He "milked a cow".
There was a great petting zoo area. They had baby bunnies and chicks to hold, and Crumpet returned to this area a hundred times. One of my great goals in life was to foster a love of animals and respect for all living things in him, and it has worked. He adores animals, and is really gentle with them. It melts my heart (except when he is trying to save the scorpions we occasionally find in our house. Uggh.).

And we made it through the corn maze!
In other news from the week, Crumpet had a slumber party at his cousin's house so that his dad and I could go to the U2 concert (awesome, by the way!). There was a lot of worry about whether or not he'd behave at his cousin's football game, or go to bed when the time came (he's an awful sleeper). He was wonderful at the game, and he was asleep before anyone else in the house. Hurray, he'll be welcome back if we ever need to take advantage of my sister-in-law again!
We baked banana bread. Crumpet had been asking to do this for weeks, but we never had ripe bananas at a time when we could bake... It was yummy, and Crumpet is becoming much more of a help in the kitchen.
On Friday, we tried out one of the many preschool classes at a "local" community center (for us, a half hour drive is local...). The mudpuppies class we went to was held at the same place. This class was a gym class with lots of running, ball throwing, and play with a giant parachute. Crumpet rarely participates in such things, but he had a great time with this and did almost everything with the other kids. We've noticed a huge change in him over the last month or so, and he is becoming much more outgoing and willing to participate in group activities. Hurray! After our travel chaos ends next month, we will start going to these classes regularly.
This is one of my favorite pictures from the week:
Bye from the farm! We're off on our trip(s) now!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Tot School- Arizona!

Tot School

Hi Everyone! We were in Arizona last week, and it was a wonderful adventure. It was Crumpet's first time on an airplane in a while, and his first time visiting the desert. We saw and learned so much!

First we went to the Wupatki Indian Ruins. Crumpet was very concerned about where the inhabitants are now.

We saw a blow hole, which is a deep crevice in the Earth that blows air out or sucks it in, depending on the air pressure outside the hole. This day, it was sucking the air in.

We went to the Grand Canyon. I had never been there before, and it was amazing. Crumpet was disgusted that we wouldn't walk to the bottom with him! Here he is with Grammy.

We went to Sedona, and hiked around some of the red rock formations. This was Bell Rock. We saw a snake crossing the path which was neat, but otherwise, Crumpet felt that this hike was "too desert-y"!

We saw real cactus plants! Lots of them. Learning about prickly cacti has sparked a lot of discussions about how other living things protect themselves from predators.

We went to a really neat wild animal park. We got to feed a camel and a giraffe. We saw big cats being fed, and playing with toys in a pool. And Crumpet got to pet this giant snake. He LOVED this experience, and now asks to own a python frequently (um, NO). He was putting his arms under this guy to hold him, and everything.

We went to the Arizona Science Museum and had a blast. This was a magnetic wall where we spent a long time building tunnels and paths to roll balls through.

Crumpet was incredible on the airplane. I brought lots of activities, including this feelings lapbook that I found at the 1+1+1=1 website. I'd been looking for something just like this, and we really enjoyed it.

And I printed out a bunch of file folder games that I found at Crumpet loved these, but was way too good at most of them. We flew through my whole stack in no time!

Now that we're home, we're working on making a Dreamcatcher. Crumpet has been having bad dreams, and we saw these at all the gift shops out west. I'm hoping that hanging one on his wall will make him feel safer... We just need to go to our nearby bird rescue this weekend to get some colorful feathers to add and our version of a dreamcatcher will be done. This was a good bead stringing exercise.

I have finally started working in some calendar time each day. We're adding the numbers each day so we can work on number recognition and counting past 13!

And we're doing a weather chart. I copied this from Nicole at Tired, Need Sleep.

Crumpet has a new obsession: Legos! He can't get enough of these. He's really not old enough for the little ones, but he manages to build some things, and his dad and I spend LOTS of time helping. It's amazing to see his creativity emerging as the projects get more elaborate!

During our week at home, we've been to our library story hour and a small amusement park. We also left Crumpet at my playgroup's Parent's Night Out event, and it went incredibly well. This was the second time Crumpet has been left there, and he was much happier this time. When we picked him up, he was interacting with kids, and not worrying about us at all. My goal this year was to get to a point where Crumpet was more comfortable around groups of people his own age, and it seems that we're getting there. Hurray!

The next few weeks are going to be manic, with tons of activities and traveling. (Atlanta, Ga; Washington, DC; Savannah, GA; Daytona Beach, FLA; and Disneyworld!!) I believe that field trips and life experiences are the best way to learn things, but eventually we're going to have to stop for a breather and maybe have a few sit down lessons! We have been doing projects from our Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready book, and those are going well, but they often don't translate well into pictures for blogging!

Have a great few weeks. I'm sure I'll have lots to share when we get back!