Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Delayed in Charlotte

Returning from Cancun, we had a five hour delay in the airport, then an unplanned overnight in Charlotte. The Kid did great with all the waiting and delays; she had far more patience than I did!

The delay in Charlotte was so long that we slept there and still had a few hours to fill. We discovered the Discovery Place and had a wonderful morning exploring.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Learning on Vacation for Me

The trip to Cancun that I talked about in the last post was the first time in years that The Kid and I have traveled together without The Husband. What did I learn? That I need to be stricter about our routines when away than I do at home. The first two days were full of meltdowns (from The Kid, I didn't always have patience, but no full scale meltdowns!) before I realized that if I was exhausted, she was, too. Once I instituted a bedtime and a wake up time, she turned into a wonderful little traveler.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Learning on Vacation for The Kid

The vast majority of our vacation looked like this:

Playing in the sand and the shallow waves. And, of course, I forgot the camera when we went to El Rey, a smaller Aztec ruin site, the one part that looked like more traditional learning.

But some things that The Kid did get to experience: hearing lots of Spanish, eating new foods, watching the tides change, building with sand, and airports.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Forming New Habits

Why is this so hard?

I wrote last post about trying to form writing habits for the month of November. Didn't go so well for me. The Kid and I decided that in November, we were also going to try to form the habit of doing yoga every day. It would be a great habit to form, fun for both of us, but it hardly ever happened. We got the great Kids Yoga Deck, chose a handful of poses when we remembered, but did yoga maybe ten days last month. We're still working on this, though!

For December, she decided to try to form the habit of clearing off her art space when she was done working on something. I suspected this would not go well. She loves creating, and often the first step in a new creation is pushing aside the old creating materials, which is sometimes enough to put her off altogether, so it would be a great habit. Not happening so far, though.

I decided this month to work on Spanish every day using DuoLingo. It's amazing the excuses I've come up with to delay - mostly being sick and/or tired. Then a trip to Mexico, where I did at least work on my Spanish. I really need to get on this. We're planning a trip to a language school in Guatemala this spring and I want to make as much progress as I can through the free resource before paying for a tutor!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Writing Goals Update

At the beginning of November, I posted that The Kid was doing the Young Writer's Program for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This required that she write (well, dictate) her story nearly every day to reach her goal of 1500 words by the end of the month. It took until the last day, but she did it! Yay Kid!

Winner Facebook Profile

I also posted that I was going to try to blog every day. Obviously, that didn't come even close to happening. Probably just as well, as I'm still pretty sure I don't have 30 days of new stuff to say.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Do It Yourself

The Kid has been asking to "make things". Now, she makes a LOT of things. She has a craft desk and a lot of supplies and she is making stuff all the time. This time around, she meant something where she would have a finished product good for something other than her pretend play. A while ago, I had stumbled on Red Tool Box kits, but dismissed them as being too old for her. A closer look, though, showed they they have a Juniors line that has a recommended starting age of 4.

I showed her the possible projects and she was most excited about their candy maze. We ordered, it arrived, and she made. The instructions are very clear and she was able to follow them largely on her own, with some help from me to make sure things were more or less square. The junior kits require only wood glue and a hammer. This was The Kid's first time using a hammer, and I did provide a final whack on most of the little tacks to get them flush, but she did pretty well!

This conveniently came just before Halloween, so she soon had Halloween candy to put inside!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

RightStart Math Manipulatives

I remember being so excited when the big box came from RightStart, but then came the challenge of organizing all of it. I thought I had it all down and then I switched from Version 1's Level A to Version 2's Level B and acquired a whole new crop of stuff. Ack!

This shelf contains all of RightStart's manipulatives and the books for level B. It is about 13" deep and 24" long. I have two pieces of "equipment" holding everything - nine 4.5 cup Snapwares (you can find these at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and use coupons) and one fairly unique bookend.

This section has the books, fraction chart, geometry panels (which we haven't used yet - those may need to be stored differently later), abacus, and a couple odds and ends a little too big for the Snapwares. I know it looks a bit messy, but it stays put!

The Snapware section is all the small manipulatives, with labels so I can quickly grab what I want. The Snapwares aren't quite as deep as the shelf, so the math balance tucks in neatly behind them.