Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Montessori Math

Lately Hunter's biggest questions/concerns have been how much is one hundred and how much is one thousand. I think these questions started after we read the Usborne book "How big is a Million?" (shamelessly spamming myself! It really is a neat book, hardback and has a HUGE poster in the back with a.. well, I don't want to give away the ending but lets just say it has a million of something!)

So since most EVERYTHING is packed up I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to illustrate 100 and 1000 for him. One of the ladies on my diapering message board is into Montessori teaching and I had seen her post pics of her homemade montessori materials before so I asked her about it. I ended up making 10's bars out of pipe cleaners and pony beads, total cost $4.

So I put 10 beads on a half pipe cleaner and twisted the ends back into the beads to keep them from falling off. I made 10 of these. Then with Hunter we counted out 10 individual beads. Then I showed him how we could replace 10 of those beads with a 10 bar, and then did 11-20, 21-30, etc.. you get the picture. When we got to 100 he got a huge grin on his face and it was like a light bulb went off. He could SEE 100 and actually understand how we got there! AMAZING!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

5 going on 15...

This morning I get up to find Hunter's door closed with a sign on his door. I look closely at it and see that it is a collection of letters.. sounding them out I was able to surmise that "dotgonher" was to my learning-to-read 5 year old "Don't go in here" so I open to door to see what is going on and he informs me that the sign is for Nathan, because Nathan apparently bit him this morning. Later on he added more info-- "wouldn't bite me in here" and then some more words which I am not sure if they are intended to be words at all because Hunter doesn't know what they say either. Then he added the picture of Nathan with the circle and line through it to signify that Nathan wasn't allowed. So later today I informed him that it is THEIR room and not just "his" room so he removed the mean signs and put up nice ones. I asked him if I could have the signs for posterity. Jason and I really got a kick out of them!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Unintentional Unschooling

Lately Hunter has been asking me a lot of questions about numbers. The only formal schooling that we have been doing is a phonics program and occasionally we will touch on numbers, but just familiarizing him with numbers 1-10. So the questions have run the gamut from what does a 45 look like to how much is 1,000,000. The other night he was deep in thought, as he usually is, and then asked me if you could spell numbers just like you can spell words. Of course you can, GENIUS BOY!! So eagerly I got out the white board and wrote out 1-10 with their corresponding spellings. He was very pleased with that and tried to sound out each word. Then we continued talking about numbers and he wanted to know what 10,000 looked like. So I showed him.. then on a whim I said "hey I can show you something cool with numbers, how to add!" and he was very excited so I wrote out some 1+1=, 2+1=, etc.. problems on the board and talked to him about how addition works. Then we spent a good 30-45 minutes writing out problems for each other. I would write one for him and then he'd do one for me... mine were HARD like 10,000+10! I was so surprised that he came up with numbers like that. He did really well with that so I've started incorporating some addition into our daily schooling. He really seems to enjoy it. Today he wasn't as into it and we only did a few problems. I'm being very careful not to push anything because he is really enjoying learning and I don't want to squelch that excitement. I think I may look for some little swords or knights or something to use as counters for math to make it more interesting to him. Oooh or maybe some army men. Those are cheap and easy to find.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The offending nose

In case any of you were wondering about Maggie's nose, you know, the nose from my previous post which causes Hunter to vomit if he looks at it while eating.. well here it is:

I suppose it IS a little bit gross looking. Just weathered from the sun. ..its not her best picture.. And now you know. ;)

1 toilet + 4 people = ....

A very dirty toilet? Yes.
A mom being chased off the toilet while trying to poop? Yes.
Boys being told to go out and pee in the backyard? Yes.
Mystery puddles on the floor in front of the toilet? Yes.
Moms falling in the toilet in the middle of the night due to the seat not being put back down? Yes.
Scared at the thought of a fourth male becoming potty trained and using said toilet? YES!
2 bathrooms at the top of the list of MUST HAVE criteria in the next house? YES YES YES YES YES!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

..and another thing...

The one on the right was supposed to be asleep. I just couldn't help myself, when I'm feeling stressed about this job I can just go and look at them and realize that it is all worth it.. and wonder if I will get the same warm fuzzy feeling watching them sleep when they're teenagers and I'm wondering where their peckers have been...

HEY! I was just looking at this picture and realized that little one on the right isn't supposed to have that blanket! I wondered where it had gone to when I was doing laundry, it got peed on a few nights ago!!! Ahh the fun life I live. Off to retrieve it!

They're coming out of the woodwork...

... I keep hearing from more and more people that they read my blog! Of course nobody comments but Mary but now I know that I have readers, so I'm motivated to keep going. Besides, I post the stuff here that nobody wants to read elsewhere.

Like today while the younger two were taking naps (which was a total fluke, by the way. Nathan doesn't nap anymore, at least not intentionally!) Hunter and I painted these clay pots. I tried to be all fancy and artistic with mine (those things at the top are supposed to be strawberries, since we're planting strawberries in them.. though they turned out more like apples! I am no artist!) yet Hunter's looks better. Go figure. Anyway, I had a blast doing that with him. I even tried to put it out of my mind that he got acrylic paint on his only decent looking pair of pants. That is my fault, of course, because I for some idiotic reason thought that because this is the kid who can eat a popsicle and not get a drop of it on his face or shirt that he would *somehow* be able to paint a pot with acrylic paints, which stain clothing, without getting it on his clothes. I think I'll go bang my head on a wall!

Anyway we had a great time. While we were doing it I was trying to think of how this could be considered homeschooling, other than the obvious-- art class-- but then I decided to just enjoy the moment. He kept commenting to me about how great mine was turning out as I kept painting it and it just made my heart melt. He is the sweetest kid ever.