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Archive

Archive for June, 2009

Second week of summer here and the past few weeks I’ve been reading blogging/forum mamas talk about how HOT it is. Well summer finally hit us!

It’s 92 degrees in the shade, and while that may not seem like anything where you’re from, remember, we are almost two miles above sea level, this sun is unmerciful!

92 degrees

92 degrees

I have been wondering what to do about the sun, I thought one of those automatic shades would be cool (literally). But then I remembered our wedding gift from Uncle Justin! This handy shade cover thingie!

Shade relief!

Shade relief!

I almost passed out from the heat putting it together, even though it was very easy. My hands burned from the hot metal rods.

If you can see from the above picture, I had a large one foot chunk of ice I threw in Satori’s pool, and told her it was an ice berg for her penguin. 🙂 A few seconds later, below you can see it already melted apart!

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Daddy left for Mexico a few hours ago, but just wanted to post these pictures for him so he can see how we’re handling this very hot day!

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Satori and I should have our new passports sometime next month, and maybe we’ll be taking a trip to Mexico soon. Dad wants us to do a quick unit study on Mexico this week, so I’m off to research that!

We dedicated the middle of our day to writing to Satori’s pen pals, which is fun handwriting practice. This has been an enjoyable hobby, even though not every pen pal that wants us to write to them writes us back. But the joy Satori gets from reading the postcards and letters is priceless. We did get a postcard from Spain, but no return address, please let us know your address so we can write you!

Satori writing pen pals

Satori writing pen pals

Satori drew some great dinosaur pictures on her letters. 🙂 Our most familiar one lives in Michigan, so we decided to send her a special treat. 🙂 We picked flowers last week, pressed them, and put them on a little board.

Colorado wildflowers

Colorado wildflowers

It turned out so cute, we picked more flowers today! They are now being pressed in some heavy books, and we hope to send these out to Aitlyn in Indiana tomorrow. Mama tried to identify the flowers on-line, but gosh, the flower photos on all the flower websites are pretty bad, it’s hard to figure out. The mountains are bursting with flowers though this time of year, so Satori and mom will take a hike this week to take pictures, identify them from our books, and post them.

fresh flowers

fresh flowers

Satori also wrote to her first international pen pal! A little boy named Tuva who lives in Norway. Of course she wanted to know where Norway was, so we pulled out the globe.

Pen pal in Norway

Pen pal in Norway

Since Satori covered place value up to hundreds last week, I splurged on this Dino Math Tracks game that people had recommended. The whole family played last night. We liked it! It is a good quality, fun, learning game. And it had the coolest dinos, how appropriate during our dino month.

Dino Math Tracks game

Dino Math Tracks game

The rubbery vinyl dinosaurs were a hit, Satori wanted to be all of them at one point. 🙂 You take your herd of either brachiosaurus, stegosaurus, triceratops, or wooly mammoth and race them across the screen. The four numbers dice corresponds to 1s, 10s, 100s, and 1000s places. Since Satori has only hit up to 100s, we only did the first 3 values. There are included math game cards, but they are more for advanced math players.

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This game was by Learning Resources, and it looks like they have other math games. I look forward to playing Money Bags and Sum Swamp as well. 🙂

Dino Math Tracks

Dino Math Tracks

Last time we visited Mud Lake (forgot my camera), we saw TONS of crayfish, and Daddy picked them up all wriggling for us. We couldn’t wait to visit again, but wanted to bring dad along, as neither Satori nor I had the guts to pick one up.

Mud Lake

Mud Lake

To our extreme disappointment, there weren’t the dozens and dozens of big crayfish wiggling along the shore! Oh wait, there are BABY ones! Satori was the first to scoop up a baby crayfish successfully.

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Mama did find one big crayfish, but it was recently deceased. 🙁 David thinks it laid its eggs and then died, but we don’t know. Maybe we’ll do a Crayfish unit study someday. 🙂

Crayfish

Crayfish

We then took a hike and checked out all the colorful wildflowers.

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I finally succumbed to the Workbox System craze, after avoiding the famous FIAR 37-page thread. It was inexpensive to setup, and here is our new workbox system. (I decided not to crop out that cute little monster in the background.)

Workbox System

Workbox System

We’ll see how it works out for us. 🙂 For now, it will give me incentive to throw in fun activities rather than just the same old math and reading stuff. Check out more about Sue Patrick’s Workbox System. It’s been a few months since this craze shook the homeschooling world, and of course, creative mamas have created their own workbox systems to fit their families. Check out more workbox photos.

Also to keep me more organized, I bought a timer, some throw this in a workbox set at 20 minutes along with an activity card. For me, I thought it would be handy to figure out how much time we actually spend on each course. For my little one, I want to keep things short and sweet. 🙂

Timer

Timer

Today was Friday and Daddy was working from home. We waited to do school until he was done with work, so he got a glimpse of our day. 🙂

In AAS lesson 2 they start you listening for the sounds in words. One of the tools you’ll use is their colorful translucent tokens that you line up, and pull towards you as you say each sound in a word. Satori has a thing about lizards and amphibians ever since we studied them this summer, so as a reward for sounding out a word, she gets to free one lizard. Then they all line up and get to watch Satori work!

AAS Tokens and lizards

AAS Tokens and lizards

I found these lizards at Target for $2.99 in their party favor section, and Satori went nuts over them. They match our AAS tokens quite nicely! However, I’m not sure it’s ideal to have these little lizards around, she starts playing with them a tad too much…

Tonight Satori decided she wanted to draw the tree of life with animals on it. I have no clue where she got this idea from, I never specifically talked about the tree of life, maybe she remembered it from a book.

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

According to Satori, the above animals are: leopard, zebra, snake, sea turtle, owl, colorful lizard, alligator, and a gazelle. I love it!

Then we did a handwriting “test”, this is right before we officially go over practicing handwriting capital letters. I gave her a sheet of paper and told her to write her alphabet, no guidance provided. She got all the way to J before having to sing the alphabet to remember what’s next. As you can see, we have quite a ways to go to perfect handwriting, but I don’t think it’s bad for a preschooler!

Handwriting, dated 6/25/2009

Handwriting, dated 6/25/2009

Every month for the next few months I’ll be posting an update on her handwriting the alphabet, first in upper case, then in lower. I’m hoping we’ll see tons of progress using Handwriting Without Tears. 🙂