Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Spring Break"

Okay so technically it was spring break, but of course, learning never stops so there's still plenty going on around here. I remember during a summer break as a pre-teen, my cousin and I were playing a game that required simple addition. Since we were no longer being forced to do math, we decided we weren't doing it at all, so we insisted on using a calculator. It was all fun and giggles about it. But I'm kind of liking the idea of not having the on and off switch in our experience with the kids.

So anyways, this month we discovered a program called ABC Mouse that's geared for Pre-K and Kindergarten and we're doing the free trial. The kids have been on it almost every day since we got it. One of the favorite parts is that they earn "tickets" for the activities and then spend them on stuff for their virtual "room" and "aquarium." This alone has really helped with the concept of saving up as it applies to money. I got to watch Ava come to an understanding of this. At first she spent her tickets up just as soon as she got them, not grasping that if she saved up she could buy something even cooler. After a while, she picked out what she would save for and worked toward it. I loved watching this light-bulb go off for her.
Later, the kids started playing "store" in the living room. "Selling" their toys to eachother over a make-shift counter wall. They hadn't played this before so it was cool to see them apply what they learned from the program into life like that!

 Ava on ABC Mouse learning about Washington where her friend Meira lives!

 Noah doing a Letter A worksheet from the program.

The kids playing Store.

Later, the kids worked on some clay art activity that John brought home for them which they loved. Ava wants to try out the clay art class now at the art center she goes to. She made an awesome frame. Noah made about a dozen clay worms.

Ava found on http://www.coolmath.com/ a very challenging game that has you arrange a room to get a knight out the doorway. It was hard enough that I actually couldn't do a couple of the levels. She however, played through every level, about 25 in all. John and I have really noticed that she is very good at logic and math related thinking. Which is really cool to watch and listen to. She sorts things out well in her mind. You can hear it in conversations with her that she has a very elaborate thought process. Along with that side, she is also very artistic and loves writing too. And she's our social butterfly everywhere we go. She has such a wonderful blend of interests and talents. It's easy for us to forget she's only 5 1/2 sometimes!

 Noah and Amora playing play-doh with their friend Malcolm

Noah has been fascinated lately by a book about Ocean Life I picked up. We have looked at the entire text about 5 or 6 times now. He loves hearing the names of each fish and how big they are and what they eat. He is intrigued by animals, though not the "scary" ones. He loves fish and bugs especially. His other big interest is, of course, cars/trains/monster trucks/dirtbikes etc. Often times he will bring his entire tote box full of cars to bed with him! He's very imaginative and I love to just sit and watch him pretend with his ninja turtles and cars and trains. He could do it all day long. Noah's the home body right now. He loves just hanging out at home playing all day. He's always been a bit more of a loner but he will still hold conversations with everyone we meet when out and about, and loves to ask everyone about a thousand questions about what they are doing (ask many a grocery stocker)!

Homeschool group this week was a fairy-themed birthday party for one of the girls in the group. Ava learned how to make a fairy, Noah played with the boys, and Amora got in some Twister!

 Noah at the Mall Of America by the Cars exhibit.

 John and the kids making the best of the Spring snowstorm!

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