January Five in a Row Books
This month we read Katy and the Big Snow, Night of the Moonjellies, Storm in the Night, Papa Piccolo, and The Very Last First Time. We are using the Five in a Row method. You read the book each day for five days in a row and have a discussion or an activity following each read aloud. This was our first month and Luke loved it. The repetition was actually really great. Later I could hear him acting out the book while playing with his blocks or sensory table.
- Bud learned what personification was during our Katy and the Big Snow week. Now he loves giving all of his trucks and cars names. He says that he is giving them “personification”.
- Bud really connected with our lesson about jellyfish anatomy. We posted it in his fort and he talked many times later about the “stinging tenticles”.
- We made our own menu after reading Night of the Moonjellies and Bud had a blast serving me fries and burgers from his pretend diner.
- Bud loved going into a dark room and talking about the sounds, smells and feelings he got just like the characters in Storm in the Night.
- Papa Piccolo introduced Bud to the wonderful world of watercolors. He really connected with this medium and spent a long time on his beautiful first painting.
- Bud learned about pointillism with The Very Last First Time and had fun creating his own dotted masterpiece.
Field Trip: Homeschool Days at the Botanic Gardens
- Bud got to plant his own Norfolk pine. He was very upset when he dropped it so I put a band-aid on it. He also wrote his name for the first time on the pot! So exciting for me to see!
- The kids learned why some leaves have smooth edges and some have jagged edges
- We saw how plants evolved from algae to moss to pines to flowering plants. This was a great demonstration!
- The kids loved playing outside in the amphitheater. Just a big grassy area…what could be better?!
Habit Training: Tidiness
One of the most useful things I have learned from Charlotte Mason’s teachings is the importance of habit training. I decided to really take the advice and focus on one habit for several weeks and here is what happened.
“He Made Quite a Mess”
That’s what Bud’s Sunday School teacher said as I walked up. I looked over shamefully to the corner where my dear son sat playing amidst a large pile of cardboard blocks. The room was pretty tidy except for this portion of the space, where my little guy had gotten out numerous things and left them all over the rug. Embarrassed, I knew in my heart that this was my fault for not teaching him proper tidying habits at home. I decided to make that our next habit to tackle.
The next day at home I told Bud that he would need to pick everything up before we would start our lessons. He wandered around aimlessly and I gave him a bold ultimadem. “Whatever is left on the floor at 9:30 is going to be donated.” He wandered around some more, whined, and moped about. I reminded him several times as the time approached. At 9:30, I got a box and loaded it up with all the books, trains, and blocks that were left on the floor. I put the two kids in the car and drove straight to the donation center. Bud sadly watched me hand the box to a kind gentleman. That started our habit training off with a bang. Needless to say, the next day the floor was completely clear of toys when it was time to start our lesson. I spent the next few weeks carefully training him to pick things up. We would have points in the day (before school and before meals) when we would tidy up.
PMM (Proud Mommy Moment)
Smiles were abundant and proud hugs were given the next time I picked him up from Sunday School. As soon as he saw me at the door he quickly cleaned up the toys he had gotten out. As he passed through the Dutch doors we high-fived and I new I could check that habit off the list. Success!
Quote of the Month
“The habits of the child produce the character of the man, because certain mental habitudes once set up, their nature is to go on for ever unless they should be displaced by other habits. Here is an end to the easy philosophy of, ‘It doesn’t matter,’ ‘Oh, he’ll grow out of it,’ ‘He’ll know better by and by.’ ‘He’s so young, what can we expect?’ and so on. Every day, every hour, the parents are either passively or actively forming those habits in their children upon which, more than anything else, future character and conduct depend.”
Charlotte Mason, Volume 1: Home Education