Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Preparations

Robin is getting into the holiday spirit!  He helped make up gift kits for his cousins this week, and bake cookies.

We did some Saxon Math K.  Robin made a chart showing winter activities and how many of them were indoor activities and how many were outdoor activities.

We read lots of books.

Including one about animals and about the seasons.

Wolfy went for several long walks and bikes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Scrap Metal

Robin is really interested in making money.  He was fascinated when his dad and grandfather took many years' accumulation of scrap metal to a buyer this summer and this week he convinced his dad and brother and sister to work on collecting scrap metal from the woods near our home to take to a metal recycler to make some money.  They made two expeditions and should soon have enough for a car-load.  I think he has visions of hundreds of dollars, but in reality he could realistically expect to make tens.  Still worthwhile - and it's good to take the junk out of those woods (which people - illegally - use as a makeshift dump) and put it to use, too.

We did some math and reading and Robin watched some science documentaries.  His brother's been sick, so it was a low-key week.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Crackers

Robin had the opportunity to make Swedish Christmas crackers with his homeschooling group this week.  One of the moms in the group is Swedish and organized the craft.  

Robin's Saxon Math K introduced the idea of price tags and paying for things with up to 10 pennies this week. This is fun for Robin since he has a strong interest in business and the entrepreneurial spirit.  He is a little annoyed by the 10 penny limit as he says that the items we are pricing are worth more than that (he's right, since they are cans and boxes of food from our pantry, none of which could be purchased for under 10 cents!)

I read to Robin and we worked on his alphabet.  He found a game on an old toy "Batman Computer" we have which involved matching upper and lower case letters and was doing quite well at it.

We read books about 'whites only' amenities in the South, ancient Egypt, pirates, and the 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast.

And one about puffins.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Musical Dramedy!

Robin sat through 1 1/2 performances of his congregation's 50th Anniversary musical extravaganza of a show.  He was enthralled by the song/dance/drama.

Saxon Math K included Robin's first official worksheet - the number 1!

We did lots of reading.

Including a book about the first official national Thanksgiving (declared by Abraham Lincoln.)

Robin went on several long walks.

We also read a book about early mammals.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Visiting with Grandma

Robin has been loving visiting with his grandma this week.  They are both early risers, so he's been popping out of bed in the morning and going to her immediately to play Uno.  He's really very good at Uno, winning about 2/3 of the time!

Topics in Saxon Math K this week included making a graph showing family members' eye colors and matching numbers of objects with the appropriate numerals.  For some reason Robin had a hard time identifying the numeral 9 but all the rest of it was easy for him.

Robin did some drawing with his grandma and siblings.

We read lots.  We continue to work on Robin's alphabet by using writing, sign spelling, the alphabet song, and

We read a book about sight.

We read a book about the Middle Ages.

And one about movement.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sick, sick, sick

Robin was quite sick early in the week and has been taking it easy to recover.  So he learned a lot about fevers, stomach viruses, and appendicitis (which we don't think he had but were worried about for a while.)  We read a book about the sense of touch.

A recent topic in Saxon Math K was identifying pennies and quantities of pennies.

Robin continues to be read to regularly.

And he went bowling!  He got a strike and a spare (with the bumpers up).

Robin watched an episode of Mammals.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Elephant & Piggie

Robin continues to work on pre-reading skills.  He does very much enjoy being read to, especially books which are humorous.  One of our favorite authors is Mo Willems, especially the Elephant & Piggie books.  They are at about the level of simple Dr. Seuss in terms of number of words and vocabulary, and quite sophisticated in the emotional subtlety conveyed in the character's expressions.  We also like finding the pigeon somewhere in each book.  I think they're great!

Today we read a book about jazz that came with a cd showcasing each of the instruments in a typical jazz ensemble.  

Robin continues to use Saxon Math K.  Recent concepts include identifying pennies, ordering numbers 0 - 10, and ordinal numbers up to fourth.

We read a book about amazing animals, and Robin is intermittently watching a documentary series about mammals.

We read a book about in-line skating and Robin was inspired to go in-line skating for the first time in a while.  He's also been on several long bike rides recently.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Alphabet song

First, let me apologize for the lapse in blogging here.  It's been quite a month and a half.  Nothing drastic, really, just very, very busy for me at home and at work in so many ways.  We all had a virus for a couple of weeks, too.  We HAVE been learning, and even doing 'formal' learning activities.  I'm not really going to try to cover everything that happened in the last six weeks.  I'm just going to start from here.

Robin has been using Saxon Math K.  He is getting a lot more familiar with the days of the week and the months of the year.  Nothing we've done so far other than that has been at all challenging to him, really.

Robin is getting a lot clearer on his alphabet.  Some days we use the Kumon wipe-off cards I got for him to practice with.  Some days we sing the alphabet song.  And yesterday I started teaching him the Sign alphabet.  I figure a variety of learning modalities is always a good thing.  We attend Storytime at the library regularly, and read at home regularly, too.

We have read some books on geographic topics, including one about Japan recently.

There have been some interesting discussions of anatomy and physiology with the births of two cousins.

Robin continues to be very active!  We walk/bike/scooter regularly and Robin recently upgraded to a 16" wheel bike.  He is going ice-skating today!  We participated in an effort to get the most children doing jumping jacks for one minute at a time.

The library Storytime one week had a section that for some reason included a fire safety lesson on what to do if you are on fire - Stop, Drop, and Roll!

We had a magazine about fungi recently and Robin collected a variety of fungus from the woods around us and photographed them for posterity.  On the same day we baked fresh bread, and observed the action of the yeast (fungus!)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hurricane, Flood, Extraction . . .

Last weekend I did not post because we were on our way to the beach for the weekend.  That was a pleasant interlude.  Robin learned to boogie board and says it is the most fun thing EVER.  However, the weekend before included a hurricane (Irene), now it is raining and everything is flooded, and yesterday Robin had a tooth extracted because it was abscessed.  Quite a couple of weeks!

Robin continues to use Saxon Math K.  Recent lessons included graph making, and identifying rectangles and circles.

Robin draws sometimes.  Recently he has been using a book showing how to draw complex things with a few lines.

I read to Robin regularly.  We have been practicing writing the alphabet with a Kumon set of write-on tracing cards.

We read a book about India.

Robin learned about dental health (obviously.)  We read books about bones, eyes,  and reflexes.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Robin was outside in a driveway area with his dad when the earthquake happened on Tuesday this week.  They said that they couldn't feel the ground moving but they could see the buildings and windows shaking.  There was no damage, either there or at our home, but it was quite exciting for everyone.  I read Robin some of the news coverage and attempted to explain the Richter Scale to him.  We looked at maps to understand where the quake occurred.  In other science education, we read a book about amazing animals.

Robin continues to use Saxon Math K.

Robin began using Kumon Uppercase Alphabet tracing cards.  I read to him as well.

Including a book about how cuts and bruises, etc. heal.  

Robin rode his bike.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Tree Trimming

Our Sweet Gum tree had a large, dead branch hanging over our rope swing which needed to be removed, and the rest of the tree needed trimming out.  The tree trimmers came on Monday this week and Robin was fascinated and watched the whole thing.  Here are before and after pictures:

We read books about clouds and geologic change.

Robin continues to enjoy Saxon Math K.  We visited the Lego Exhibit at the National Building Museum.  Here is Robin with his contributions (the tall tower on the left and the blue/grey building to the right) to the city-scape they allow visitors to create each day:

We read a book about shapes in art. Robin selected a fabric to use in making a quilt square

And lots of other books.

Including one featuring three African-American spirituals.  We attended a special music presentation at our local library featuring Uncle Pete - sort of karoke on cupcakes.

Robin went swimming, walking, running, scootering, and biking.

Robin learned about the care of insect stings when he and his brother were stung by yellow jackets after 'finding' a nest with their feet.

Friday, August 12, 2011

August Week 2

Robin is really enjoying Saxon Math K.  I think partly he enjoys the subject matter, but mostly he enjoys having my full attention for the length of time it takes to "do" a "lesson".

We read a book about shapes in famous artwork.

I read a lot to Robin.  We also expanded our reading of the Harry Potter books this week by going to the theatre to see the last of the Harry Potter films.  I think he liked it.

We read a book illustrating Mussorgsky's Night on Bare Mountain and listened to a portion of the orchestral music.

Robin walked, ran, biked, and scootered.

We read books about animals, reptiles, snow, and cloning.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Robin is very capable of finding things to do to help if one of his parents is working on a job of some sort.  He moseys around, is a good go-fer, and thinks of independent projects (finding a radio station, vacuuming up dust, etc.) that will be useful.  We were reminded of this this week as we are starting to paint a space of my dads.

We read a book about shapes and patterns.  This is an elaborate pattern he made as part of one of his Saxon Math K lessons.

We read lots of books.

Including one about a visit to an art museum.

One about a Black community in Nova Scotia.

One about fire-signals in 19th century Korea.

And books about seeds and animal camouflage.  We also identified a Ruby Throated Hummingbird.

Robin went for several hikes, scoots, etc.

Friday, July 29, 2011

"I don't like peace!"

One of the books I read to Robin this week was Dear Ichiro by Jean Davies Okimoto, illustrated by Doug Keith.  It's a very skillfully done story about peace and what it means, at a concrete level which is perfect for early elementary age kids.  While I was reading it Robin said, "I don't like peace!" which was great, because then I could ask him what he thought peace was.  "Being quiet" he said.  And then I could explain that sometimes peace doesn't mean being quiet - instead it can mean being in good relationship with another person so you can do really fun, exciting things together.

Robin continued to work with Saxon Math K.

We went for several walks, bikes, or hikes.

And read books about the rain forest and the wind.

Robin was able to look at money from Great Britain when his godmother came over with cash still in her wallet from a recent trip overseas.

Robin had the opportunity to observe the extinguishing of a small kitchen fire after his brother accidentally lit a paper cup on fire.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Climbing Old Rag

Robin climbed a good part of the Old Rag hike in the Shenandoah National Forest this week with his dad!  We figure it was probably about a 5 mile round trip walk & climb - and he was REALLY tired when he got back.  But he did it!

He did all of the White Oak Canyon trail two days earlier, too.

Yay, Robin!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Kindergarten Math

Robin got to the point with using his brother's beginning-of-1st-grade math sheets where I felt it was too difficult for him.  Hence, we have (a little early) got him Saxon Math K, and started using it!  It is a little basic for him, but I feel like he needs a bit of extra foundation in the basics.  I asked him tonight if he liked it and he said it was a little too short.  But agreed that it was better for it to be too short than too long.

Friday, May 20, 2011


Robin was so excited today that his math sheet (I've been giving him the beginning of Wolfy's 1st grade math book that Wolfy didn't use) had "real" addition problems on it, like "2 + 2 = ?" etc.  He was able to do them, by putting up the right number of fingers on each hand and then counting them.  He was also able to fill in missing numbers on a grid from 1 - 20.

However, it is clear to me that he isn't fundamentally understanding at least some of this.  I think we will go ahead and go through Saxon K math next year, at least to start with, so he can really grasp how to write all the numbers, etc.

I think my other favorite thing Robin's been doing is giving and getting lots of hugs and kisses from his little sister!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy 5th Birthday, Robin!

Robin is 5 years old today!

He received presents from his sister and brother, and from me and his dad this morning.  Then I took him and his siblings to see Rio in the theatre with some friends and cousins.  Popcorn and a great time were had by all.  Then we walked to a nearby ice cream shop and everybody had ice-cream and Robin opened a few more presents.  We sang Happy Birthday in the parking lot.

At home his dad took him for a long bike ride near our neighborhood.  A neighbor came over for dinner and a birthday cake.

I think he had a happy birthday :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trip to Texas

Last week we went to Texas to visit Robin's grandparents, three aunts and uncles, and 5 cousins, with 2 more on the way.  I'm sure Robin's favorite part was visiting with his cousin Gray who is 3 months older than he is and with whom he spent TONS of time up until Gray moved to West Texas almost 2 years ago.  They were so happy to be together again!

We're back now, and today Robin learned to pump himself on a swing!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Reading and Math

Robin likes to "read" me a book when Wolfy reads me a book.  He picks out a board book he pretty much knows by heart and recites it, sometimes with a little prompting.

He is also doing the very beginning of the Saxon 1 Math book we got for Wolfy.  Wolfy needed to start about 40 lessons in, although much of it is still really easy for him at that point.  Robin is well-able to do the first lessons, although some bits of it he likes better than others.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Robin under the influence of chocolate: