Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pleasant Weather, "Dumplings", Books, other...

Oh, these early peeks at Spring weather are so wonderful! We've been eating lunch outside, going for walks, and plucking at, poking at, digging at, a myriad of things which have slept underground throughout winter.

***Chinese Lesson***
John's Chinese teacher invited John's class to come to his home to experience making the traditional Chinese "dumplings" (pot stickers).
John brought the 3 oldest kids with him seeing as how Tyra likes to cook and ....learn anything new, Ethan loves anything to do with the Chinese culture, and Cedric loves to cook. There were times, during the event, that John had wished he had left the two younger ones at home but, all in all, I think it was a neat experience for them.
They made pot stickers and rice "muffins"- they brought home leftovers which I readily enjoyed. . . mmmm, perfectly delicious. They also watched a Chinese movie. Somewhere in between these things John's Chinese teachers' house was just about flooded by a clogged toilet (Ethan) and his bathroom walls were painted with urine (Cedric), but in the end - the house was left in one peace.

Our night time read-a-loud is The Door in the Wall. It's a bit hard to follow seeing as how the author used a more traditional English way of speaking for the characters.
But it's good enough that if I'm about to stop reading I still hear, "Keep reading! Keep reading!!!"

Ethan's Audio book has been A Single Shard. Which, it seems to me, has been an alright book for him. He doesn't seem real taken away with it but I think it may be a bit above his comprehension level.
As for his own reading skills, he's on chapter 59 in the "Teaching Children How to Read in 100 Lessons".... or something similar to that title.

The Unicorn's Secret book series are the book Tyra uses for her "vocabulary comprehension" books. (She reads a few pages, circles the words she isn't able to read or understand and we go through those words together.)
We also just finished this series this last week. At first Ty and I were reading them together but Ethan became interested and so they turned into our nightly read-a-loud book...I'm not too fond of how the author words the story but the end it quite good - Tyra was quite taken away with it.
***Homeschool Ways***
About a week ago I sat down and jotted down what our focuses have come to be within our home schooling efforts - and here they are! (not in any particular order)
German (every day): Songs, Rosetta Stone, Word Vocabulary, Video Lessons
Computer time: Typing, Math, English, science history
Independent Activities: karate & gymnastics, play with friends
Educational Activities: "field trips", tours, museums, exhibits...
Family Activities: plays, musicals, performances, hike...etc. etc.
Spiritual Growth: Scripture reading, family councils, saturday preparedness
Academics: workbooks, computer time, story of the world, science
Extra Learning: Share and Tell, Spelling competitions, poem memorization
Reading: vocabulary reading, other reading, read-a-louds, audio books
Individual Interests: Piano, art, science, robots, trains
Awareness: current news discussions, movies, all other learning, documentaries
Other: service and hard labor
Now, we don't do ALL these things ALL the time..I used to think all the good ideas I've had should be going on consistently. But, I've realized that good ideas go in and out of phases and that I just need to make sure I remember the good things we've done and go back and do them over and over again.
***An American Life***
Last week, as a family, we sat down and listened to a down loaded story from This American Life - it's a radio show where very well written (true) stories are told and letting us tap into a person's personal (and intersting) american experience. I thought it was great! The kids enjoyed the story...only, some parts of the story we listened to were a little eery and so when we mentioned we should get together like that more often they said they wanted to... as long as it wasn't another scary one.

And, as usual, here's another completely adorable photo of Millie.
Oooh, which reminds me, my sister(Katja) had her baby (Nyah) and she is one of the most beautiful newborn babies I've ever seen...I love being an aunt!


Rosanne Orgill said...

what cute pictures of the kids, keep up the great work, too much fun

Chris and Tara said...

I've been enjoying the spring weather, too.
Tell Katja that I say congratulations. Ü