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February 2014: Month-At-A-Glance

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Visiting elk that were surrounding our house as I wrote this

  We were very excited about the Winter Olympic games kicking off this month. Our town loves winter sports such as hockey, ice skating, sledding, and skiing so there was excitement in the air. There is a large frozen lake nearby where many locals come to enjoy fun activities on the ice. They even had a kickoff party for the Opening Ceremonies. Bud and his Dad went ice skating on the lake under the stars while Peanut and our littlest guy stayed in the lakeside lodge and drank hot chocolate. It was a fun and memorable night for our family!

Handwriting

We have almost completed the Pre-K Handwriting Without Tears book and Bud knows almost all the letters. We have been memorizing scripture during our Morning Basket time for a long time now so I have started having him write parts of his memory verses on our white board. He is learning most of Philippians 4 and so we were practicing Phil. 4:4 “Rejoice in the Lord…” Bud enthusiastically added an explanation point to the end of the verse on his own accord. I love these moments as his teacher.

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The white board has proven to be an excellent practicing tool. Bud loves that he can erase the letters as he goes until he is pleased with the result.

Peanut is also starting to get more interested in school. I will, of course, wait a few more years to start daily lessons with her but it is fun to see her ask Bud what he “learned in school today”. She enjoys writing on the big white board too. I hear her saying while she scribbles, “Big line down…little line across.”

Math

This month we practiced adding with tally sticks, buttons, the abacus, and various other objects. Bud enjoyed working on some practice problems and was surprisingly accurate in his answers. He gets that from his Dad!

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Family Studies

Bible

We learned about Esau and Jacob and Joseph this month. Bud has a wonderful Little Golden Book Joseph and His Coat of Many Colors that has helped him with the stories as we read them from our Bible reader. We also continued our memorization of Philippians chapter 4.

Geography

Alongside our discussions of the Winter Olympics we read some great stories from other cultures around the world. We ate some meals from other countries too and practiced saying “I love you” in Russian, Spanish and Italian. Each night we watched a couple of clips of the athletes competing. Now Peanut wants to become an Olympic ice skater. She “skated” around the room as we cheered on the competitors.

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Music

Since the Olympics were set in beautiful Sochi, Russia this year, we did a composer study on Peter Tchaikovsky. We listened to the My First Peter Tchaikovsky Album in the car and read Peter Tchaikovsky (Getting to Know the Worlds Greatest Composers) by Mike Venezia. These are great biographies and I always come away with new fun knowledge too! There is a wonderful old recording of The Nutcracker from vinyl here.

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Habit Training: Promptness

Bud has become quite the dawdler lately. It is tough to be on time to church or activities when it takes 30 minutes to use the restroom and put on shoes. We decided to make a sticker chart out of this and give Bud some motivation to get ready faster. I set a timer and if he could get ready in 5 minutes he got a sticker. With 14 stickers he got to go to a minor league hockey game with his Dad. He filled up his sticker chart and we’ve seen improvement in his promptness.

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