Tuesday, June 26, 2012

B is for Boys!

Last week we worked on the letter B.  The week before we did A, but forgot to take pictures.  Caleb really likes B, as did his brother when he was little.  Something about that letter, I guess!  We started with a big letter B printed out on paper from Confessions of a Homeschooler, on which the boys glued beans.  I forgot to take pictures of that, too, but they turned out pretty ok.  Ben, of course, had his beans lined up perfectly on his entire B outline.  Caleb tossed a few on and decided that was good enough.  I'm learning that his attention span is not as long as his brother's, so we need to do quick projects that are a few minutes or less.  (You learn as you go, right?)

The next day, we did a B hunt.  I put several small objects on the table, and had the boys find the ones that started with B to put in their baskets:

The next day, we made B baskets.  We did some bubble wrap printing first (painted in B for Brown, of course!), 

Then used some foam letter B's I had on hand from when I taught kindergarten to stamp B's on to the basket:

The stamps didn't come out very clearly, but Ben had a good time with it anyway.

Caleb was sleeping while Ben did his, and by the time he got a turn the camera was put away.  It's a good thing, because Caleb can get a bit messy with paint.  Caleb put a few more B's in his basket than Ben, and every time he stamped the letter onto the paper he'd say "B!!"

Two things I learned:
1. Caleb's attention span is short, so I need to find/make activities that jive with that.
2. I need to take more pictures of this stuff!

Monday, June 25, 2012

We're Learning!

I don't want to brag (well, maybe just a little), but did you know that Ben knew all of his letters, both upper-case and lower-case, and the sounds they made, by the time he was two years old?!  That's crazy to me!  Of course, I did have plenty of time to work with him on his alphabet (oh yeah, he could sing the whole alphabet song by that time, too), so I'm sure that helped.  He also knew most of his colors (except things like purple and pink and gray), numbers 1-10, and a few shapes.

Now, did you know that Caleb is already over two years old and can recognize a couple upper-case letters, and knows that "B" says /b/?  I AM SLACKING!!!  I have not done a single thing to work with Caleb on his alphabet, colors, numbers, or shapes!  He does know the color blue, but that's because his blanket is called "Big Blue".  So, everything is blue.  He can count to five, but doesn't recognize written numbers.  And forget shapes.  Shapes haven't even entered the picture yet.

So, I've decided that we are spending the summer doing a bit of learning.  Caleb will be learning his ABC's and all that stuff, and Ben will just get a light refresher for the things he does know.  I've been incorporating letters, colors, numbers, and shapes into our every day lives.  I'm sure I sound a little strange when Caleb points out a ball in the store and I say "Yes, that is a ball!  That ball is green!  That ball is round, like a circle!  What does ball start with?  /b/, /b/, /b/, Ball!  Ball starts with B!". 

But you know what?  I don't care.  That's how they learn.  We do this all day long.  And I think it's starting to sink in a little.  Yesterday, he pointed out an E in the newspaper.  That's progress.

In addition to incorporating all those things into our every day lives, we are also doing a letter of the week.  I know there are many ways to introduce letters (having been a kindergarten teacher, I fully understand the myriad of ways in which a person can introduce letters), but for the sake of remembering which on we're on I've chosen to start at A and end at Z.  I'll periodically blog about what we're doing through the course of our "summer school", but don't expect too much consistency from me.  This is me, after all!

With that being said,  I am off to start a Monday of learning for my boys, who just rolled their sleepy little heads out of bed.  We're on C this week!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Incident

I love my boys.  I truly do.  I could never imagine life without their sweet little voices singing out loud at the top of their lungs or their funny giggles or even their little tiffs that they have with each other.  What I really love about them, though, is that they provide me with some really good stories that I can entertain you all with.

When Ben and Caleb start getting too rowdy in the house, I act on my grandpa's advice and send them outside.  You can run and jump and scream as much as you want... OUT of the house!  Usually they stay on the back deck, which is good, because then I don't have to go out there with them.  If they choose to go down to the yard, I have a hard time letting them go by themselves because I can't see what's going on and God forbid they get abducted or something.

So the other day they were getting a little rowdy (ok, a LOT rowdy), and I sent them out, and out they scooted as Scott stood at the kitchen sink washing dishes and I sat at the kitchen table feeding my daycare baby.  Scott and I took full advantage of a pretty much quiet house and started chatting about our days and our plans for the week.  It was nice.  Heavenly.  And a much needed moment for us, as it feels like with two very chatty little boys we can hardly ever get a word in with each other.

Suddenly, Scott looked out the window, and said "Is that...?  Is..?  HE IS!  BEN JUST POOPED ON THE DECK!  OHHHHHHHHH!  AND BEAU IS EATING IT!!!!!!!!"

Time stood still for a minute.

Then I got up and went to the door to find that yes, indeed, Beau (the dog) was licking his lips as Ben stood there with his pants around his ankles.  Caleb was squatting down next to Ben, pointing to the area where he had just pooped on the deck (?!), saying "Ben poop.  Beau eat it," over and over again.

We quickly ushered Ben into the house, where he admitted that he did, indeed, poop on the deck.  Apparently he just couldn't hold it in anymore and decided to drop his pants right there and do his business.  On a side note, Ben has a long history of being constipated (sorry, buddy), and had tried to go several times that day but nothing happened.  I'm sure that when he felt that urge again, he dismissed it, thinking nothing would happen again.

Scott took Ben into the bathroom to clean him up, and I sat back down to finish feeding the baby, completely oblivious to what Caleb was doing next to me.  When I heard a splash, I looked over, and realized that he had taken an old cup with dried milk in it from lunchtime off the table and was using it to scoop water out of the dog's dish and drink it.

I think the two of them had a meeting when we sent them outside and said "Let's see how much we can gross Mom out today.  That'll teach her for sending us outside!"