Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Soren Speaks

SOREN:  We can use spiritual knowledge as a brick separator in our lives, separating our problems so we can go on our way.

Huh?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Sven's Vocabulary

I had intended to keep a log of all Sven's words up to age two, just like we did with Soren.  But, like Carl, Sven's language progressed so quickly that I gave up early.  By around 21 months, I was no longer surprised by any word he said and was probably using five to ten new ones every day.  Now, at two, he is producing multiple clause sentences.

He still says "carry you" instead of "carry me" but other than that, his grammar is impressively good.  We have another talker in the family.

Anyways, without further ado, here is the list that I maintained, up until it became unfeasible:

By 1 year
hi, ow, more, all (as in "all done"), mama

12 months
dada, please

13 months
ball, bye, whee!

14 months
up, no, uh-oh, shoe

15 months
down, diaper, stick, side (as in "outside"), flower, nose

16 months
ears, cat, juice, milk, day (as in "someday"), cake, night (as in "good night"), mine, rice, door, poop, thank you

17 months
stink, snack, meat, hot, sock, monkey, story, head, elbow, up, bike, car, apple, help, fork, spoon, eye, bubble, berry, not, toy, towel, go, open, yeah, stairs, bagel, bottle, rock, love you, teeth, brush, Darcy, cookie, meow, banana, sippy, stupid, outside, scriptures, done, Texas (as in the neighborhood boy), yeah

18 months (2 word phrases)
scissors, pizza, potty, stroller, pancake, Chomsky, bowl, chair, boom, Soren, mac cheese (as in "macaroni and cheese"), Carl, water, duck, walnut, happy, dinner, Oliver, pajamas, yummy, song, Max (as in the books about Max and Ruby), doggy, sit, gone, jump, peekaboo, watch movie, some, bunny, eggs, smoothie, salad, helmet, picture, honey, bed, stroller, swing, clean, spill, oatmeal, very, spoon, beep, blankie, cereal, want, hummus, lego, table, jam, bath, read, night, Thomas, pear, spicy, John, hot dog, dragon, bear, get, puzzle, Megan, chalk, one, money, animal, home, Peter, silly, the end, tablet, home, Evelyn, beans, timer, road, wheel, funny, mouse, going, see you, yogurt, morning, seatbelt, stepping, phone, block, boy, balance, curry, roti, chair, eyes, Piglet, clothes, belly button, tickle, hands, feet, away, alone, dice, muffin, needles, playdough, that way, two, three, four, yogurt, applesauce, button, again, Homer, donut, everything is awesome!, don't, Mr. Collin, popcorn, spider,

19 months
boots, grasshopper, cheerios, Ethan, Isaac, dinosaur, buzz, Charlie, again, zebra, butt paste, toilet paper, bathroom, puppet, hair, round, garden, itsy bitsy, George (which refers to the book Harold and the Purple Crayon), cricket, sucker, the end, nice, silver, buckeye, pee, blow, beads, house, pee, blow, high chair, couch, build, tower, hooray!, Circle Time, Nora (as in Noisy Nora), hush, Ethan, Isaac, boing, chicken nugget, C (as in "vitamin C"), noisy, buggy, Jackie, Grandma, buckle, strawberry, G (from the song "Go for G!"), waterfall, tram, alligator, scary, fish, elevator, Tim, swimming, sun, hot tub, Grandpa, change, wipe, making, Breezy, home, amen, knuckle, library, Thomas, turn page, moo, Becca, pine cone, doggy, another, candy, cream of wheat, bowl, that's a, Halloween, costume, trick or treat, motorcycle, open, close, peanut butter, cricket, me, I, chocolate, baby, bucket, milk, styrofoam, Jesus, bracelet, Michael, elder, give me, card, knight, another, spam, horse, Emmett, put on, need, you, harp, doing, could you, scrambled, Babar, sweater, cheese

20 months (3-5 word sentences)
bread, puzzle, follow prophet, Monique, mouth, ride, red rover, elephant, tamale, tiny woman, tang, brown, moo, all, window, carry, knock, who's there?, shut, come in, clap, nap, throw, right, castle, marshmallow, minecraft, soup, cold, raining, watch, stand, monkey, do, wake, listen, feet, snow, Heavenly Father, hug, put on, take off, wear, panda, Owen, carrot, Sven, megablocks, you're welcome, Red Rover, pumpkin, animal, aunt, sister, paper, pie, boot, wash, birthday, pee, potty, draw, hat, dragon, bird, tiger, tornado, whale, hurt, porridge pot, fish, underwear, Sven-y boy, couch, boy, walrus, hippo, fall, beautiful, autumn

21 months
throw, away, let, mighty, bracelet ...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Best Things about Carl (at 5 and a half years)


1. He is friendly and happy when meeting/greeting people.
2. He responds when I talk to him.  He doesn't always like what he hears but I always know he heard me.
3. Sometimes, he responds with a cheerful, "Yes, Mom!"
4. I love to hear him sing.
5. He expresses sincere gratitude without prompting.
6. His lego designs are surprisingly elegant.
7. His new belly button looks great.  He had surgery last month to repair an umbilical hernia and he was a really good sport about it.
8. I appreciate how very attentive he is to baby Leif.  He asks to hold him at least once every day and likes to sooth him when he's unhappy.
9. He is also really sweet with Sven, who is going through an emotionally turbulent time right now.  Carl likes to help his little brothers feel better.
10. I love to watch his pretend play.  Frequently, he and his friends pretend to be lego minifigures.  Carl holds his fingers in a c-shapes in imitation of the minifigure hands.  If he is suddenly still in a strange position, you know that he has been hit with the kragle-lizer!
11. His eyes have changed color and now they are greenish.  Kind-of like mine.
12. He is picking up phonics here and there on his own and his creative spellings are fun.
13. He pitches in to help without being asked.
14. He loves going to preschool
15. and is friends with everyone there.
16. I like his artwork.  His strokes are careful and deliberate; I think he will do well with handwriting next year.
17. He has bonded with his dad over left-handedness.  They are adorably proud of their sinister natures.
18. Sometimes he will come sit next to me and put his head on my shoulder.  I like that.
19. He adapts well to different environments.  He is really good at figuring out the rules of a given situation and responding accordingly.
20. He likes to use a British accent in his pretend play.  It is so charming!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Milestone: Change of Teeth


When Carl first showed me his very wiggly lower central right incisor, I told him the story of the tooth fairy.

"When I was a little girl," I said, "my dad told me that I should put any teeth I lost underneath my pillow.  And then, at night, the tooth fairy would come to take them away and leave me a coin in their place."

"That's just a trick," Soren interjected.  "The tooth fairy isn't real."

"Well, I think she's real," Carl said.

Carl was smart to believe.  When Soren lost his first tooth, he ended up with nothing to show for it but a hole in his mouth.  He responded to my tooth fairy story with incredulity and then threw the tooth away.  In the trash.  So much for my attempt to share a fun, childhood tradition with him.

But with Carl, I got to try again.  One morning, he came out of his room, still in his pajamas, and very excited to show me his detached tooth.  He wanted to take it to preschool and show all his friends but I persuaded him to leave it safe at home in his treasure chest where he wouldn't loose it.  Because, you know, the tooth fairy would want it.

"The tooth fairy is just a trick from your dad!" Soren insisted.  (I think that he was beginning to worry about my sanity.)

I asked Scott to bring home a cool dollar coin after work.  Then, we waited until both Carl and Soren were sleeping to do the switcheroo.  It's kind-of fun to be the tooth fairy.  I'm glad Carl would allow it.

The next morning, Carl was very excited to show everyone the golden dollar he found under his pillow.

And Soren was very upset that the subterfuge continued.  I guess you can't please everyone.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Milestone: First Smiles

They're big.  They're beautiful.  They're finally here!

Baby's first smiles:


This picture really doesn't do them justice.  But you know how hard it is to get a baby to smile at a boring, electronic devise.  I had to use a little bit of misdirection to catch even this shy beauty.  

He started busting them out just yesterday.  At least, those were the first real smiles that I saw.  Soren was raving about smiles on Saturday but I refuse to believe that Leif smiled first for Soren.  Soren does nothing for that baby!  I slave over him!  Sigh ... I guess babies have no concept of fairness.  

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Homeschool in February

We kept coasting on bare bones this month: read-alouds, composer study, and picture study.  Sometimes I would throw in a game or a math lesson but mostly, I just didn't bother.  There have been more important things to do this month.  Like adore a newborn.  And buy a house.

In Kindergarten

The Bremen Town Musicians - In spite of the fact that I wasn't doing much for 1st grade and Soren, I was eager to get back into the swing of things with Kindergarten this month.  For my first post-baby unit, I chose the Brothers' Grimm story "The Bremen Town Musicians".  The kids loved it, maybe more than any other story we have done this year.  They were rolling on the floor with laughter every time I told it.  To accompany it, I shared silly rhymes about animals (like "Hey Diddle Diddle") and taught the kids to sing "With Songs of Praise" (Hymn No. 71).  If you can't tell from my lovely fingerpainting, the artwork above is of the thieves' house in the story.

The Boy Who Went to the North Wind - The second story for this month was, apparently, also hilarious.  At least, that's what Megan tells me.  She said this Scandinavian story really tickled Carl's fancy.  It features a magic stick that will beat whoever is holding it when the owner shouts "Lay on!"  You can imagine how that played out in the kids re-enactments.

In First Grade

One of the things we have been working on lately (although not as much as Soren would like to) is continuing The Story of Sunshine, the container story we have been using to explore mathematics this year.  Since finishing up our unit on the quality of numbers just after Christmas, the story has taken an interesting turn.  Sunshine was able to enter the Land of Numeria where he is seeking the Enchanter's Tower; the enchanter is the only one who can help him get back home.  I began this portion of the story by having Cypher tell Sunshine the Grimms' fairy tale "Mother Holle", which is about a girl who falls down the well and her adventures there.  The important thing about her story is that she is always helpful and kind; this was meant to be a hint to Sunshine that he should always be helpful and kind while in the Land of Numeria.

With that clue, Sunshine set off.  And he has met many people who needed his help so far, all of them in the form of some logic puzzle.  Right now, Sunshine is in the Fractured Forest, where Soren is learning to manipulate fractions and also (more interestingly) a little about fractals.  I told my neighbor about this part of our homeschool and she said that it was kind-of like a DnD campaign.  And so it is.  I hadn't made the connection but it totally is.  Sunshine is Soren's character and by solving the logic puzzles, he can move his character through the Land of Numeria.

Soren loves the story of Sunshine and has asked me several times if I would turn it into a real book so that he can keep it.  I am thinking about it, although it would be a lot of work.

Monday, February 23, 2015

More than Just Making It

Goals for Soren:
* keep up with Ambleside Online reading schedule for homeschool
* finish the container story for main lessons before moving to Illinois
* learn to resolve disputes with Carl

Goals for Carl:
* no hitting or kicking other kids during Yard Time
* obey "The Lego Rules" during Quiet Time
* don't keep brothers awake when they want to sleep

Goals for Sven:
* no shrieking!
* Table Time at 8:30 am
* stay on the rug during Rug Time

Goals for Leif:
* be put down for naps awake
* eat no more frequently than every 3 hours at night
* be delightful

Goals for Carolyn:
* pray and read the scriptures in the morning
* eat breakfast and lunch
* drink water, not Coke

Goals for Mom:
* supervise Carl constantly and enforce rules of polite interaction with other kids
* don't say "I don't care" when Soren tattles
* stay awake when feeding/soothing Leif at night