Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekly Wrap Up - The Week of Misbehavior and Exhaustion

We. Are. So. Tired.


It's amazing how tired one family can get in one week...and we didn't even have any more activities than usual!


This week was so exhausting, the kids went to bed earlier than normal each night.  W has been an early riser (very early) since day 1 and is usually a morning person...but for the first time, he actually slept in Friday morning until after 7. He's usually up around 6. I took a picture to prove that I was up first : ).

W slept in!
W had a fantastic week at preschool, other than a day or two when he was tired and didn't want to go in the morning. He participated in Tumblebus for the first time and LOVED it!  At home, he is working on learning some of his numbers and he is now pretty solid on counting to three.  We now have a pair of sticker/activity books that we are using for a simple start. He is very, very proud of himself for learning to draw circles this week (and we were proud that he learned the word "circle").  We did some sidewalk chalk this week while working on fine motor skills and colors, and he painted with watercolors today (in a children's watercolor book). He is learning to be sweet and gentle toward the cats and absolutely adores seeing the horses.  We are starting to hear him sing songs and pick up on the words to familiar songs.  We are allowing him to watch one or two TV shows each day, like Sesame Street or Umizoomi, hoping that he will continue to pick up on concepts. His vocabulary is expanding rapidly, and his speech is really improving.  He is still asking us what everything is and what it does. Our days are constantly peppered with "LOOK! LOOK!!What that? What that?" He is definitely not interested in many of the foods we offer, so I've begun to be sneaky with certain foods (to increase nutritional value...like blending pumpkin puree into waffle syrup to get some Vitamin A, while simultaneously reducing the amount of sugar in a serving).  This week, he was much more open to different types of foods in the store, so hopefully the participation will translate to braver eating choices.  He is definitely getting better with self-help skills, such as dressing himself (shirts/shoes are still a problem) and washing his hands.

Eli had a more difficult week. The majority of the misbehaviors this week were his (although W expressed some very interesting new behaviors, too!).  From spitting on the playground, to ignoring directions, to throwing rocks at his very best friend, to being excessively rude and disrespectful to Ms. E, to eating ice off of the floor in a restaurant, to trying to run across a parking lot when we left a playground and laughing in my face when initially corrected...it's been a very trying week. 

Son, could you NOT do that again?!

My sweet, loving, wonderful child turned into a "loco muchacho" for a few days.  On the bad days, we really didn't get much schoolwork done.  Today was infinitely better, as the lessons he's learned the last few days are starting to sink in. Yeesh.

And he clarified to me later that he didn't actually eat the ice off the floor in the restaurant...he said he was blowing on it to see if his breath was hot enough to melt it.  I could have sworn it was in his mouth...and he shouldn't pick things up off the floor in a restaurant...but I'm wondering if I can count this for a science lesson...? 

In other (planned) science this week, Eli learned about several parts of the car when I went for an oil change, and we've been consistently discussing parts of a plant and what plants need to grow.  With Eli's cucumber seedlings, we've discussed primary and secondary leaves; with the tomato plant and blueberry bushes, we've discussed how the plant produces leaves and flowers, and then the flowers produce tomatoes/blueberries after they've been pollinated.  He's been begging to work on his SNAP kit or to do some experiments, but I've been so exhausted, that I've not been able to pull it together.

As one of the consequences for his misbehavior this week, Eli lost the opportunity to go to karate class on Tuesday. This meant that in order for him to earn his next stripe on his white belt, we had to make up the class.  I debated the value of making him wait on the stripe, but I really want him to enjoy and learn from karate class.  So, I told him that if he did his karate questions that he could make up the class today...especially seeing how the questions were about respect/courtesy.  He really worked on his questions and was able to answer them, so we made up the class today. His attention to his instructors has improved significantly, and he's actually had two classes where he paid attention and worked hard the entire time. He did so well today that I allowed him to sign up for a tournament in a few weeks...so we'll see how that goes!  He practiced for quite a while this afternoon : ). Here's his 'attention' face:



Even though we missed Tuesday's karate class, we did make it to children's choir on Wednesday. Eli did very, very well and is excited about the songs that they are singing : ).

Surprisingly, even though we've felt tired this week, we actually got quite a bit of schoolwork done. Eli did not consistently do the homework I sent to Ms. E, but we made great strides in Language Arts and Math anyway.  Eli now only has about 3 sections left in his Language Arts book (1st grade level), so we will be finishing it by mid-May if all goes according to plan (it never does!).  He understands all of the material in the book, but I am going to have him complete the lessons for reinforcement.  We're in the same place in math. We have 3 chapters left in his Life of Fred: Apples book, and we are zooming through them. We should finish this one no later than mid-May, too.  I've begun to bridge Eli into some more complex math; he is definitely beginning to move from the 1st grade level to the 2nd grade level in math. We visited a lot of concepts this week, from writing 1/2 (and its meaning), to properties of geometric shapes (squares, rectangles, pentagons, octagons), to reviewing place values (1's, 10's, 100's), to addition review, to a review of writing the numbers from 1 to 120, and a review of skip counting by 5's and 10's to 100.

We also checked in with how Eli's doing with the Dolch words.  His Language Arts book has a list of the words in the back, and Eli discovered it this week. He wanted to see how many he knew, so I let him...he's at about 75% memorized, with several others that he can figure out if given time or the context of a written sentence.  When he realized that he knew so many words, he went to his desk, dug out some old flashcards that Ms. J made for him back in August, and said "I won't be needing these....this is for babies, and I know these words."

In other reading news, we are still reading "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back", but should (hopefully!) finish it this week. I've been looking at books for Eli to begin reading next; I want him to read something slightly more complex without it being too overwhelming. I'm definitely open to suggestions here, if anyone has some good recommendations. I really think he's ready to move beyond Seuss. His reading fluency continues to grow by leaps and bounds; it's to the point where he actually started reading one of  the word problems in his math workbook to me, instead of the other way around.

We have accomplished very little this week in terms of social studies/geography, and I feel so behind on our "50 States Fridays."  It's kind of sad that a child with two social studies teachers for parents is getting the least amount of instruction in this area!  That said, I think we at least sang the "continent song" at least once...!



Weekly Wrap-Up

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