Before I forget what we did in week 1 ... here's a run-down, heavy on the little guys.
Water and Weather:
Pop went through a phase where he would come in from playing outside every night and ask to check the weather for tomorrow. The boys also watched a show about the effects of hurricanes: what hurricane force winds would do to a mobile home, how water could push a car off the road and wash it away, etc. Ever since we watched the NOVA Flood! back in the spring, the twins have been fascinated by floods. They build floods (using pillows and blankets) and pretend they are "flood monsters" who hatch out of "eggs" (they cover themselves with their pillows.) So I decided to start out with a relaxed focus on water and weather.
I made a weather chart for our first week. Farmerboy enjoyed filling it in, but we forgot about it a few times. I'll have to make another chart and get going again.
Week 1 was hot, so the boys played in the hose quite a bit. Playing in the hose involved flooding certain areas of yard and driveway, and doing experiments with matchbox cars and other objects, to see how much water force was needed to push which toys. I think Farmerboy did a few float-and-sink experiments on his own as well.
And we read a few books:
Pip and Pop drew pictures of thunderstorms, but for some reason I don't seem to have any photos. Hmmm. Could have sworn I took some pictures of their pictures...
Quite a bit of "random" and not so random art in the house during week 1. Over the weekend prior to our first day of school, I chanced upon a Jo-Anne's while we were out looking for clothes for Andy. I rarely get out to actual craft stores, so I jumped at the chance. Then I remembered why I don't usually go to craft stores; they make small children nuts. Anyway, I stocked up on a few supplies: clay, stickers, fabric for Katydid, wooden stuff to paint...
Pip loves to paint and will do it for long periods of time.
He's using a foam paint I bought a long, long time ago from Discount School Supply. I got it out for Chipmunk to smush around with his hands. The paint itself is like shaving cream. I'm not sure Discount School Supply carries it anymore.
Katydid used tempera paints to paint a crucifix.
It was kind of funny; as soon as I took all of the containers of dead tent caterpillar moths and dirt that once housed earthworms out of our science/nature area and cleaned it up, Pip immediately brought in an orange bucket full of dirt and we needed a place to dry treasure chests and crosses. Oh well. It exists to be used, right?
In the category of "themed" art, Katydid drew a Victorian girl to accompany her Sunflower Basket...
And Gareth, inspired by the book Swords: An Artist's Devotion, began a series of pencil sketches of swords, which he continues to work on. (He's experimenting with shading these days.)
We also got out the new clay.
And had baths.
The theme of the day seemed to be "farm animals". Pip and I made that cow in the center. Pip gets very frustrated when he can't make his hands and materials cooperate with the vision in his head. It's my job to provide him with direct instruction on how to use the materials, show him how to use the materials, and to be very, very patient. He really wanted to make a cow, but he couldn't get the "foot" to stick onto the leg he'd made. So I showed him how to rough up the clay and use slip to stick the parts together. Then he was still upset so I had him guide me through the process of making the cow. After we were done, he happily made a snake on his own, using the techniques I'd shown him to attach a head to a body.
(These are my new shelves, by the way. I originally wanted them for paint, but they seem to have begun holding in-progress work by default.)
ABCs and 123s?
Well, a bit. I was going to try to start doing some of Farmerboy's academic work with him in the morning so that the twins could sit in, too. The problem: keeping the twins involved in the same activity for more than five minutes, and keeping Chipmunk from eating the tips off all the markers. So Farmerboy is once again doing phonics and math in the afternoon.
Here are a few of the Montessori-ish activities (homemade) the 3 and 6 year olds did this week:
I made up some pattern/matching cards using stickers. (I originally say this activity a long time ago on one of Katherine's blogs.) The boys did all the fish and butterfly cards --although the twins seem to have trouble with the idea of "matching" when their natural inclination is to make all sorts of interesting sticker pictures instead. I have to admit that I'd probably rather make sticker pictures, too, but Farmerboy liked making the patterns and whizzed through the harder ones that I'd made for him.
Pop also did a bunch of scissors exercises, and Pip worked hard on coloring ladybugs and bees in the Handwriting Without Tears preschool workbook which I dug out of the basement for him. They both want to do "math" like the big kids, complete with books, so I will have to see what I can do.