Friday, August 28, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up: Family Visit

This week went by in a blur!  We've been trying to catch up with family, since Patrick's brother, Lee, is in town with his wife, Miyu, and their daughter (our niece), Emma.  Emma is just short of 2 years old and is adorable!  Since this part of the family lives in Japan, we don't see them in person that often, so it's been a really special time.  We have a lot planned for the time that they are here, so the boys have been (and will be) very busy while our family is visiting. Surprisingly, we actually did get some school work done, though, and some new milestones are being met by the boys!

Hanging out with cousin Emma!
Eli is definitely in the learning groove, and is rapidly picking up new skills. We really didn't touch his spelling book this week, and his interest has waned slightly on this (probably temporarily). However, he's done a ton of reading this week. He finished his Curious George reader, which was a combination of 12 books. He also read a couple of short picture books, and was able to read a new Paw Patrol book to W.  He's almost ready to transition to some simple chapter books (like Magic TreeHouse, Junie B Jones or Billy & Blaze), but I don't know if he's quite there yet.  We have several picture books that I want him to read at home, especially since one of my generous friends at work gave us a couple of boxes of very gently used books, but I may grab a Junie B Jones book at the library to see how he does with it.

Eli has also made some excellent strides in math this week. I knew that, at some point, I'd have to teach him to carry (when adding) and borrow (when subtracting), but it happened sooner than I thought. I'd once casually shown him what carrying was, but he wasn't quite ready to take on the process, so I left it alone. However, he's really been practicing addition within 100, and it came up naturally when he created some problems that required carrying forward.  After explaining it once or twice, he caught on quickly. He's got the idea - but will need to practice a bit.  I showed him how to borrow the next afternoon, using base 10 blocks, and he took this in stride as well. As he's practicing the addition/subtraction problems, I am definitely noticing that he has memorized some of his simpler addition facts.  He is also very efficient at using his fingers as a tool, which I encourage.  I'm hoping to get several "Life of Fred" lessons in this week, as he's ready again to move forward in the book (Cats).

A rare moment that Eli stood still...!
 W is learning and is hitting some new milestones. He is beginning to realize that writing/written words have meaning and is definitely starting to recognize that words are made of ABCs.  He was surprised this week when he opened a book and, upon looking at the words on the page, started saying, "Hey! Hey look! ABCs!!"  He is really enjoying being read to more and more.  We read several books with W this week, including "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" and a new Paw Patrol book. W has been doing a lot of practice writing (mostly in the form of tracing shapes, lines, or letters) and coloring, while practicing how to properly hold a pencil/crayon. He is frequently asking to 'work on ABCs', and does not want to stop when he gets started.  His speech is beginning to really develop and he's speaking in more complex 4-5 word sentences. He is beginning to use a few adjectives, like big/small, and hot/cold correctly, too - which is HUGE for him. He's still not accurate with colors, but we DID work on recognizing the color green this week.  He is definitely in a sensitive period for language, and we are trying to give him as much as we can while he's this receptive.

In other news, W is becoming more adventurous in what he's willing to eat and taste, which is also HUGE. He even tried palak paneer (an Indian dish with spinach and paneer cheese) and seemed to enjoy it. He almost drew the line this week, though, when I ordered him a "cup of dirt with worms" at a restaurant....but got excited when he saw this:

W wasn't expecting pudding, cookies and gummy worms!
Itty Bitty is growing, eating, and sleeping well. I think he's in what some have called a "wonder week", though. He's been rather clingy this week and has wanted to be held during all waking hours. I actually wore him in the baby carrier for a couple days, to spare my arms. At the same time, though, I've not minded - because at night he's been SLEEPING.  As in 8-9 hours straight.  Our entire household is very happy about this, and I pray that he continues to sleep well.  Itty Bitty is now smiling at everyone and laughing all of the time. He still does not like tummy time during the day, and, when placed on his tummy, automatically rolls to his back for playtime.  I'm enjoying each day with him!

Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. I had to teach my daughter how to carry with addition this week, also. It is so nice when baby starts sleeping all night!!

    1. I felt like singing the Hallelujah chorus the second time Itty Bitty slept through the night...the first time I assumed it was a fluke! Now...if only W will quit wandering the house at odd hours...!

  2. It's always good when regrouping math facts comes easily. Hopefully, the trend will continue for you.

    1. We generally use a combination of Life of Fred and Montessori methods/materials for math. This combo is incredibly concrete -I think that's part of the reason he understood these concepts so quickly. BUT - not everything comes this easily to him!