Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Silly Fish

Here is one of Amelie's compositions, written on March 10th and titled "Silly Wish." She did this one on a day that they had a substitute and it just came home in her backpack with nothing on it from the teacher, so I think it must have been completed solo. (I showed Ms. Hanney the next day, though!)

A fish thought she could make a wish. He wish he could have a pet shark but he did not know that a shark would eat him and that is why he was a silly fish and he got a shark and he got eaten. That is the end of his life. He could have wished he could have a pet fish.

I love the invented spellings. I particularly liked:

"yie" for "why"
"atin" for "eaten" -- but maybe she was saying "ate-en"?
"ind" for "end"
"wisht" for "wished"

Monday, March 28, 2016

Teach Your Child to Read

We've been doing Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons at home with Amelie for the past couple of months. (She is learning lots at school, too!) At first we checked it out from the library, but eventually we had to return it and ordered a copy on Amazon.

This is what the first lesson looked like.

And this is Lesson 61, which we did Saturday. It's going really well, though I've been skipping the letter-writing practice that comes at the end and just concentrating on the reading.

And here's a video of her reading the story from the lesson. The text of the story is below the video. (I realize three minutes of a Kindergartener reading is not the most exciting video footage of all time, but I also posted minutes and minutes of her on a blanket and in her bouncy chair as an infant, so this is par for the course :) In the middle, when she asks, "Can I see it again?" she is asking for a card that we have that says "bed" to help her remember which is "b" and which is "d."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter Eggs

We dyed Easter eggs! (Link to last year.) They seemed skeptical at the beginning:

 But got interested quickly. The plan is to turn them into deviled eggs tomorrow.

I like the blue the best.

And yes, that is James sitting on the table.

The finished product:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bernie Park, etc.

We went for a very quick trip to the bootheel for my grandma's birthday. It was unexpectedly chilly (it even snowed on us!) but we did get to go to the big park with our cousins and play on the rocket, which even Nana Jana played on as a kid.

Amelie managed to get on the high scorer board on a few of the games. 

And she showed us some yoga poses.

I completely failed at getting pictures with any of the family that we were there to see! Also not pictured is James getting stuck up in the big evergreen tree in Nana Jana's back yard and Sam having to climb up after him. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chapter Books

Amelie has listened to 50 chapter books. I made a blog post near the beginning of when we started reading chapter books instead of only picture books, and it was in October 2014, so we started when she was probably just a little over 4. I'm hoping that James can start around the same age - maybe we'll read some over together with Amelie. 
Reading these together at bedtime is really enjoyable; the only bad thing is that if I have to miss a night and Sam does bedtime, I've missed what happens. Now I'm just waiting until she's 6 to read The Hobbit :)
  1.  The Complete Beatrice Potter
  2.  The Mouse and the Motorcycle (twice)
  3.  Mr. Popper's Penguins (twice)
  4.  The Cricket in Times Square
  5.  Little House in the Big Woods (twice)
  6.  Little House on Plum Creek
  7.  By the Shores of Silver Lake
  8.  The Long Winter (Once we got into this one, I realized it was too depressing for a 4 year old. I blame Sam, who'd read it more recently and said it would be fine!)
  9.  Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
  10. Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
  11. Winnie the Pooh (I would highly recommend this one! I hadn't read it as a child and didn't realize how high quality it was. There's a lot there for the adult reader)
  12. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (They performed this at the Christmas pageant at church and we read it right after)
  13. Just So Stories by Ruyard Kipling
  14. RT,  Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH
  15. Harriet the Spy
  16. Stuart Little 
  17. The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich (This one was suggested by the children's librarian because she enjoyed the Little House books so much and is about an Ojibwa girl)
  18. Zigzag Kids: Bears Beware (this one came from the Little Library in our neighborhood)
  19. The Twits
  20. Rascal
  21. The Wind in the Willows (the language here is probably too dense, but I asked Amelie if she wanted to keep going and she did - I guess it's similar to the Beatrice Potter stories.)
  22. The Golden Goblet
  23. Judy Moody (like a modern-day Ramona)
  24. Ramona the Pest (It was fun for me to read this and think about Kindergarten in the 1950’s versus Kindergarten today)
  25. Peter Pan 
  26. Ramona the Brave 
  27. The Tale of Despereaux
  28. Beezus and Ramona
  29. Paddington, Here and Now (We watched the movie and it was lovely.)
  30. Another Paddington book (I'm not sure which one! I guess I didn't write it down and scrolling through a list is not helping me.)  
  31. The Phantom Tollbooth
  32. The Classroom at the End of the Hall
  33. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
  34. The BFG
  35. Matilda 
  36. The Witches
  37. Charlotte's Web
  38. James and the Giant Peach (We started this movie, but it was too scary.)
  39. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (I'd like to watch this movie, but we can't agree on which version. I'm enjoying the Roald Dahl immensely. We should read more.)
  40. Alice in Wonderland
  41. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (We saw an absolutely fantastic local theater production of this - both kids loved it and started us reading the book and watching a BBC version of it, too.) 
  42. Prince Caspian 
  43. The Bad Beginning (Lemony Snicket #1)
  44. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 
  45. Clementine (they  read this one aloud at school)
  46. One Crazy Summer
  47. The Reptile Room (Lemony Snicket #2)
  48. The Wide Window (Lemony Snicket #3 - We watched the Lemony Snicket movie one day when Amelie and I were home sick since we thought it would be too scary for James.) 
  49. A Light in the Attic (by Shel Silverstein - Amelie has gone on a poetry kick lately. She wants to dictate her compositions to me.) 
  50. Where the Sidewalk Ends
  51. The Miserable Mill (Lemony Snicket #4 - I think Nana Jana was somewhat horrified at how gloomy these are, but Amelie seems to like them a lot - she was hesitant with the first one but has requested the rest over other books.) 

Up next on my list are probably some additional Roald Dahl, The Wizard of Oz books (we started awhile ago, but it was too scary), some of the other Paddington or Winnie the Pooh, Amelie's requested the rest of the Narnia series, maybe more of the NIMH books, at least the first Boxcar book, and more diverse books. I'm all ears if you want to give some recommendations!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

In some of Amelie's recent schoolwork, she's written that she wants to be a fashion designer. On Saturday, she designed a teenage mutant ninja turtle costume out of construction paper, ribbon, and staples:

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Rainbow Facepaint

It was Ridgeway Funday today - it's Amelie's school's fundraiser. There was a ring toss and a cake walk and a maze made out of cardboard boxes that the kids went through with flashlights.

Also, face painting:

Amelie and James independently chose the rainbow - they were sitting at different tables:

James is supervising the making of rice crispy treats, by standing on the counter, because of course.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sunday, March 6, 2016


I found this mold fossil at Grindstone Nature area! Isn't it neat? 

We kept looking and found several fossils - I was more excited about it than the kids were, but Amelie was game for setting up a shop to sell them to some other kids playing in the creek bed. Ha!

When we got home, we watched a video about how mold fossils are made. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Amelie has been struggling with writing in Kindergarten. (Mostly, she just doesn't want to do it and dawdles during writing time and has to finish during "choice time" - and a few times she's dawdled during choice time, too, and had to finish during recess or at home.) But on Thursday, she did two and a half pages! Her teacher sent me this picture. She is so proud.

P.S. I'm pretty sure all I ever had to do in Kindergarten was 1 sentence with a picture on top.