Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Preschool Daughter

She is 3 and a half years old. Yesterday, she started her first year of preschool.

She picked out her clothes. She wanted to wear "lacy socks pulled up" and her tap shoes. We took her picture by the round bush out front, as per tradition.

She's goofy...

...and she gets a kick out of her goofy self.

I wonder if you wonder why we send her to preschool when we are a homeschooling family. Well, just in case you wonder, I'll tell you. I didn't start out as a person who planned to homeschool. I used to say, "I wish I wanted to homeschool." We sent our son to the MOST FUN preschool ever in the history of preschools. We also sent him there for kindergarten. But, since they don't offer first grade, I had to make some choices with him. After spending months searching, I realized that homeschooling was the best option for his particular needs. So I dove in. I was surprised to discover that I love doing it. I don't have to wish to want to do it, I do and it just feels right. So anyway, I'm not at all anti-school. Our preschool is play-based and child-led, feels like a family, and is super duper fun. Our son had 3 great years there, and so will our daughter, if she wants. I can't think of a better way for her to spend 2 mornings a week than painting and playing and making messes at this school.

For her first day, class was only an hour long and all the mamas stayed and played. I was lucky enough to watch her meet her teachers and talk to them a little bit. That was great because usually when someone she doesn't know asks her a question, she will look at me and say, "I want you to tell them for me."

She played in a big table of moon sand. She proclaimed this her
favorite thing of all.

She spent a while at the dollhouse.

She hammered some golf tees into styrofoam.

She also painted 2 cardboard letters and glued stuff onto them, played with the playdough, and doctored the baby dolls. She was glad to see that they were anatomically correct.

When Robin, the music teacher, came in strumming her autoharp and singing softly, my daughter was transfixed. She sat on my lap at Robin's feet and watched and listened to the songs. After a little while, Robin played Old MacDonald. When it was time to think of an animal, she pointed at my girl asking for a suggestion. She looked at me quickly and said, "Mama, let's go to a different classroom!" I about fell over, she is just so much like me. I do not like to be put on the spot, and neither does she. That was the point we turned back to the moon sand.

Tomorrow I am the class mama, and I get to bring the snack and stay to watch the children play. My son will be going to work with daddy for a couple hours, which is so special for them both. Next week I will leave her there by herself, and we will see how that goes. She is a confident girl, and I think it will be fine.

As long as they haven't swapped out the moon sand for something else.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Some Pictures

First day of homeschool pictures:

Scrambled eggs for breakfast.

My second grader. Doesn't he look so much different with short hair?

"Take my picture too, mama, with my lipstick and my purse."


Friday, August 5, 2011

It's Morning, So Here's A Rooster

We went to the fair 2 Sundays ago, and my husband took a portrait of a rooster. I really like it.

Whenever I see a rooster, I think, "Wake up!" Which is just what I need to do. I need to get busy. Although the last 2 hours of doing pretty much nothing have been good.

I hope you have a good day, whether you're getting busy or doing nothing.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Super Duper Day of Fun!

I had the idea that I wanted to fill a whole day with surprises for the kids, big and small. Here is the result.

I got everything ready, including myself, then woke the kids at 7:00 and had them get dressed. By 7:15 we were out the door. First we went to the doughnut shop, which I think would have been surprise enough for Walter.  Sylvia had sprinkles on hers, and later she said that the sprinkles were her favorite part of the day. I forgot to take a picture of the doughnuts.

Then we drove to Indianapolis and went to the zoo. When we pulled in, Walter said, "I knew it!" We got there right as they opened and it gave me a thrill to get the closest parking spot. I'm easy to please. Even on big days, it's the little things.

Shark petting--which did have a spookier feeling this time
since I've been watching a lot of "Shark Week" programming.

There's a bear back there.

Playground. It took her forever to work up the courage to
get on this, because if there was another kid within about 3
feet she felt like it wasn't her turn.

The new baby elephant, nursing! I loved seeing this.

We also saw the dolphin show, tigers, cheetahs, lions, rhinos, baboons, you get the idea. After 3 hours, I told the kids it was time to go to the gift shop to pick out a small toy. I NEVER let them get a toy at the gift shop. Well, maybe once or twice I have.  But on Super Duper Day of Fun! they got to pick a toy. Walter picked a box of shark teeth fossils. Sylvia picked a tube of candy with a toy giraffe on the top.

The next surprise was a picnic at White River Gardens. We are a picnic loving family.

The gardens.

We sat in chairs for this picnic, because the ants were crazy.

The kids were bursting to know what the next surprise was. It was the Children's museum, of course!

They repaired some coral.

They gathered and dumped rocks.

Cotton Candy break!

This is how excited she was to be in line for the carousel.

This is how excited she was while on the ride.
"How much longer until it stops, mama?"

This guy loved it though.

He amused himself greatly with this.

Here is he wearing a galabiya in an Egyptian store.

We did a bunch of other stuff at the museum, and after 3 hours I again told them they could go pick out a toy at the gift shop.

Then we were off to the next surprise. I parked in downtown Indy. Here are my kids on the street.
Sylvie was getting a little weary, but she perked up after dinner.

Dinner at their favorite restaurant.

Then we went to the next surprise place, miniature golf. I think riding on the escalators at the mall was as much fun as the golf. Also, may I just say here that it's a little scary when your nearly 8 year old boy wants to go to the public bathroom on the men's side? My gut wouldn't let me allow it, and so he had to come with me to the women's side. But I know the day is coming that I will have to let him pee with the men. Anyway, back to the golf.

She tried it like this for a while, then took to
dancing with her club and jumping off the platforms.
Either way, it was fun!

He liked it so much, he played through twice.
At the last hole, he got a hole-in-one, which
earned him a free game next time we come.

Then we headed home, and they were sure the surprises were done. But we stopped at the store and I let them choose some candy. She chose a pack of gum, and he chose a push pop.

We got home around 8:30, which left just enough time for a quick dip in the pool, and both kids asleep by 9:00.

That was yesterday, and today was a stay at home day, except for tae kwon do class. It all balances out.