What We Did, Mid-Late January 2008

Bible: Finally got back to reading regularly (or at least a few days a week). Since I like coordinating our Bible story readings roughly with the church calendar, I skipped all the rest of the OT stories we missed in November and December and jumped straight into the New Testament. Jesus in the Temple, Baptism, Nicodemus, Temptation, Calling of Disciples, several miracles, the Sermon on the Mount.

I go back and forth on the idea of ever teaching a catechism to the ducklings, but I love introducing doctrine through stories. After all, God started with stories. Our reading of the past few weeks have let us bring up baptism, Satan, the new birth, discipleship, etc., all in a real context.

Hymn: How Great Thou Art. I figured I should occasionally teach them hymns they will actually encounter in church.

Memory: Review of past passages. I really need to finish up the Ten Commandments pages so we can learn the rest of them.

Poetry: We’ve been reading a poem a day (when we have our story time!) from When We Were Very Young. D1 is memorizing "Happiness" with motions.

Books:
Snow Music and the Kamishibai Man remain as popular as ever.

Babies in the Bayou, by Jim Arnosky. I’ve been hoping Arnosky had nature books suitable for younger children, and behold, he does! Beautiful and simple, with realism that’s not too gruesome.

They Didn’t Use Their Heads, Jo Ann Stover. A little preachy, but it’s given D1 and me some good grounds for discussion, especially as she reaches an age to move beyond mere obedience into considering her actions for herself.

Chicka Chicka ABC, by Bill Martin, Jr. The abbreviated board book version. (I don’t think I’ve actually read the original.) If you insist on teaching the sounds before the letter names, this book just doesn’t read quite right. However, D2 has not noticed and has asked for it over and over, poring over the last page with the heap of letters and asking me the sounds of each one, comparing shapes of new letters with the letters he already knew.

He was confused when he pointed to the y and I said, "That’s ‘Y’ for ‘yellow’." "No, it’s not," he said, "It’s gween." So for him, "y" will have to be for "yummy."

Anno’s Counting Book, by Anno. An old favorite (that we own) getting pulled out again. So beautiful and so much to look for.

A Chair for My Mother, Vera B. Williams. Another old favorite they’ve been asking for again.

Activities:
For Christmas they received two games: The Very Hungry Caterpillar game (a simple sequencing card game) and Two by Two (Concentration with animal pairs). They love both of them and are for the first time really starting to pay attention to the rules of a game, turn-taking, etc. I am amazed at how well they both do with the Concentration game. It’s fun, too, because DOB loves playing games and it gives them something new to do together, especially since with a fractured foot DOB isn’t up for much roughhousing right now.
Cut paper scraps and made thank-you cards.
Most of their activities have been of the low mess and parental involvement variety: blocks, Duplos, play dishes, coloring.

Observations
They’ve both taken on increasing work with both parents hardly able to walk for awhile.  D1 can take things in and out of the refrigerator now and even tried spreading peanut butter on the bread one day.
D1 spent one day fascinated with spelling out words and names using magnets, with my help to sound them out. She can spell her own name and D2’s easily. Grandma saw her writing the first three letters of her own name, initial capital and then lowercase, without prompting or a model. However, she usually sticks to printing capital letters that only involve straight lines. She has been sounding out more letters, too, although she still doesn’t hear the whole word. She needs to learn to always move left to right.
D2 seems to be picking up a few more letters, too, and seeing more of the sound/letter connection.
D2 learned to use scissors for the first time and D1 progressed to cutting long lines instead of just single cuts across.

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