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Archive for February, 2009

after her very own name, is…


Yesterday after reading Lentil for the very first time, I quickly showed her that Ohio is spelled with 2 O’s and a HI in the middle. I was stunned when she wrote it out on our basement floor today!!! But first of all, let’s get to why she was writing on our basement floor. 🙂


It was Saturday night, and I wanted to catch up on Idol with David, but Satori was begging me to work on her new Lentil lapbook. How could a mama say no? I thought it would be a great time to build our first “map”.


It was time for Language Arts rowing day, but I wanted to go over a bit of Social Studies review on small towns. So we took a piece of chalk, a bunch of wooden blocks, and sat down on our basement floor. It is a rubbery workout floor type, perfect for chalk. (Or so I hope, it better wash out easily, lol!) I drew the first example road and labeled it Main Street. I had Satori draw all the rest of the roads – Vine Street and the alley street. We didn’t know the name of the alley street, but all of a sudden she wrote out OHIO! Needless to say, I was somewhat stunned. So I guess we’ll call it Ohio Alley. The wooden blocks represent the buildings of Alto, Ohio, such as Colonel Carter’s house, the Alto library, the church, the park, etc… And of course we had Thomas the train engine represent the steam engine that Colonel Carter arrived to town with.

As you can see quite clearly the word OHIO, she was very proud of writing one of her very first words, that she wrote it again a few times. 🙂


Satori, we’re so proud of you, life is so much fun with you! Surprises everyday!


We also did go over our Language Arts day. I wanted to give her a glimpse into literature by explaining the concept of a story’s climax. So I had her draw a big grassy hill with a definite peak at the top. I attempted to demonstrate the Lentil story events on the hill by talking about them and marking them with an X, until the event where everyone is holding their breath at the climax.


After I explained what the climax of a story was, she wanted to draw pictures of a bear and bear footprints. We looked up on the Internet what bear footprints looked like, then we started to build the story.

Once upon a time a girl and her dog were walking in the woods. It was spring and she was picking flowers. Then she saw bear footprints on the trail… and half-eaten berry bushes… Then the CLIMAX – the BEAR appeared on the path!!! Satori was very scared and her heart was racing. Luckily, Maddie her dog saved her by growling at the bear, scaring him away, whew! She took her flowers home, put them in a vase, and called grandma and grandpa about her day. 🙂

She understood that the only part in the story where she might want to scream was not when she was picking flowers, not when she was calling grandparents, but when she saw the bear! And that is her story’s climax. I hope she doesn’t associate all climaxes with screaming now.

Here is the illustrations of the bear footprint, “the climax”, and the bear itself of Satori’s story. (I almost wrote stori, lol.)


And what’s Satori doing now? She got a huge kick that we were able to draw on our floor, so I just had to take the chalk away. Now she’s playing with her new “town”. Tomorrow our whole family will re-enact Lentil’s story, as part of our Arts day – a good drama, I just know she’ll love this!

Family field trip to Lafayette’s WOW! World of Wonder children’s museum today.For just $7 (Satori’s admission), it was an inexpensive way to spend such a wonderful day. 🙂

And here’s Satori in the biggest bubble I’ve seen! Many other kids loved this so much, they had to change their clothes as they got soaked! Luckily, the museum had spare socks on hand if you needed them.


There was so many different rooms – science, art, museum, dramatic play, logic, and air/flying!


Out little actress LOVED pretending to be a bank teller, and a train station ticket master.


Even mama got in on the bubble action (I love bubbles)!


Ask me a year ago and crafts would have been the last thing on my mind! This morning at breakfast I was reading a new book I just got: The Creative Family – How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections by Amanda Blake Soule, and David was reading the latest Mothering magazine which had a “Crafty Mama” article. I also read yesterday on another homeschooling blog that you should do crafts everyday with your kids and I was like, woah, could I really do that? We often joke about me being a crafty mama, because I have been the opposite, a techy type of mama. 🙂

But today as we ate our yogurt and I was surfing crafty kid’s websites, I came across this oh so very cute yogurt cat and dog! Because I stocked our schoolroom with all kinds of crafts, including felt, googly eyes and pom-poms, we were able to make use of all these materials for the first time!


And Daddy, the most wonderful, encouraging, and supportive husband/daddy helped! It was a joint family effort, with mama cutting, daddy pasting, and Satori placing and supervising. 🙂


Hmmm… how’s our very first family craft looking?


So within 20 minutes, we had our own set. 🙂 As a household with 3 cats and 1 dog, we think they’re super cute!


You may notice we finally charged up our point & shoot camera, and it is now Satori’s very own real camera! This is the one I’ll be using as well to shoot video for our blog. If the little 4 1/2 year old girl on TV can shoot pictures, edit them, and send them to family, darn it, Satori can too!

This craft idea courtesy of:
Her Cup Overfloweth

Playdate today! First up was Cranium’s game – Hullaboo. This is a great game for energetic kids, and easy to play! At an easy level, the game calls out for kids to crawl, spin, hop to a certain color, shape, food, animal. We haven’t played the harder level yet, but I think it gets a bit like Twister, with everyone putting certain body parts on certain pieces. 🙂



We also played fishing to practice our numbers, but our visitor was a bit younger and I had to name her numbers for her. I am still new to homeschooling Satori, so I am learning everyday what she knows and doesn’t know. She recognized all the numbers that her fishing rod caught (numbers were 1-10). This fun game, called Fishing for Numbers, I bought from Lakeshore Learning and the mats can be turned around and show quantities, not the actual numbers for an added challenge. I also plan to use this game with the magnetic alphabet (both upper and lowercase that we already have here).

* On a whim, I quizzed her on numbers 0-10, and she knew every number by looking at it except 6, 9, and 10. She is getting confused with the letter P for some of these, which is understandable when first learning these. I have the Math U See Primer (for pre-K/K) on the way and we’ll start that next week so she can know her numbers.


Lentil – Social Studies day

On to Social Studies day to kick off Lentil! This is our third FIAR book, and our very first one that is set in the United States. After learning a bit about Ohio, where Lentil lives, we colored in the Ohio flag. The Ohio flag is shaped like a pendant, the only American flag not shaped as the typical rectangle!  We really study geography in a few different ways, so by the end of the lesson, she’s fairly good at picking out Ohio on a map.


And because I don’t have a good picture of our laminated maps up yet, here they are!


Satori was playing with her friends all day, so no pictures of the little girl today.

Instead, I prepared our lessons for the week for rowing Lentil, by Robert McCloskey. Lentil is a little boy in 1940s Ohio who saves the day with his unique talent. We’ll be learning about Ohio, small towns, life many years ago, the climax of a story, harmonicas, taste buds and sound! I’ve got lots of fun experiments and ideas lined up, I think we’ll be having some fun.


Also, when researching the Lentil lapbook materials, I came across this site that offered “Lentil Science”, which helps kids learn with lentils! They have hands-on blend of science, math, social studies, language and art. It sounds like a super fun way to learn, and I’ll have to try it out.


We started reading aloud to Satori long chapter books with no pictures. I wasn’t sure how she’d do just listening, especially with a book with scarce pictures in it. But tonight we read for about 15 minutes and I think it’s going to work out! I’ll know for sure after we do this a few more times. ;)  But she has the patience and the interest, so I’m thinking it will be a cherished time for daughter and mother, and hopefully we can continue this tradition for quite a long time.


UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2009: This area looks nothing like it did back in February. 🙂 We’ve converted this to our “Learning Loft” which holds Satori’s “office”. 🙂 We now do most of our read-alouds in the Reading Room or in bed at bedtime.

Daddy, this one’s for you. It’s a picture of Satori and her dog Maddie. Satori is crying because she misses her daddy. (David travels during the week for his job.)


Here’s what the scribblings are saying, as Satori dictates her words to me:

“Dear Daddy,

I wish you didn’t have to go to Minnesota. I’m sad about that. You go to Minnesota again and again and again, gain, gain.

– Satori”

We look forward to the day Daddy doesn’t have to fly out every week. This was kinda a sad post!

And this concludes our Madeline FIAR readings! It was great to save the video for last, as it tied together all the books we read, as well as ones we didn’t read. Satori now is familiar with France, Paris, the Eiffel tower and perhaps some Paris landmarks. Yesterday morning she shrieked that the Little Einsteins were in Paris! Then they were at the Eiffel tower! She was sooo proud she knew of this place. She also is getting to know parts of her body – stomach, liver, large/small intestines, heart, and of course appendix.

The below photo shows most of the work we did for Madeline study, including our lapbook (many flaps not shown, I’ll have to get this on video soon), all our books, some artwork and her new doll. Not shown are things like our picture disk on our laminated map (she can point out France on any map or globe now), our research on our Anatomy CD, and the artwork on symmetry.

Now Satori is working hard at writing a book. She is reading it to me now, it is about a little girl who lives in India. (She’s been obsessed with this concept, and I’m not sure where she got it from or even that she knew India was a place, lol!) Just this past week she has been “pretending writing” books.


We have quite a few of this scribblings now, how cute! Can’t wait until she can really write, I look forward to all her stories. She has such an imagination!