Our Week: Beginning of February

I just love looking over the photos I have taken during the week.  It is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on special moments and enjoy all that we do together.

On Sunday before church TJ brought me his compass and asked how to use it.  I tried explaining in more than one way.  He was rather frustrated because there were some basics that he didn't quite get.  I went back and tried to answer all his questions.  By then we were going to be late for church so I was getting a little stressed.  Then daddy gave it a go and somehow it clicked.  In the car TJ was sorry he was frustrated with me.  I reassured him that I was not upset but happy that he found someone to help him understand. We all work together as a family.  TJ said "I am happy I was able to learn just want I wanted to know."  Later in the day we watched some YouTube videos about compasses and I set out a few things to inspire him further.
Math game, alphabet cards, balance scale, math story books

After tidying the house a little I decided to strew a few things around the house for the boys to discover throughout the week.  I noticed that most of what I put out were not used, but they did explore some other things instead.  MJ did scatter all the alphabet cards and while picking them up he asked me to help spell his baby sitters' names as he found a few of the letters.

We had a really big snow fall that closed everything down the following day. The boys spent the morning shovelling and clearing snow with daddy before he got going to work.  Grandpa also came down for a visit this weekend.  He was able to visit his sister and the boys had fun with Grandpa too.

After our walk with the birds last week TJ had been asking for bird seed.  His plan was to separate the mixed bag of seeds into each kind to see which type of seed different birds preferred.  He had a good start then found they were a nice sensory bin.  MJ wanted to make a bird feeder so then we all made several different styles out of recycling.

While the boys were busy with their seeds I cleared off the old nature table and got started for a new month.  We have a little valentine display next to everything else.

Because there are several festivals/events at the beginning of February I made up a story using our Super Sam gnome.  He and his friends learned all about groundhogs day, candlemas and St. Brigid's day.  It was fun to set up a little scene again with the toys as it had been a while.  MJ jumped in right after to tell his own story.

The boys rediscovered some plasticine they received at Christmas.  I suggested that they could share some of their colours with each other an have more options.  That went over well.  TJ began work on a park scene with flowers, pond, tree and bench.  He took time to rearrange and add items that he really wanted.  MJ was then inspired to copy TJ.  I explained to TJ that this was a compliment and they began to encourage each other in their efforts.  I believe MJ's park has a tree, pond, fish, bench and flowers.  I made a groundhog for the nature table.

We are very excited to be part of a nature based play group that my friend has initiated.  The goal is to allow the children the opportunity for free play and exploration without adults initiating or prescribing the activity.  As parents try to hang back and let the children communicate and explore on their own.  Of course we are there for safety and to help the children work through any arguments as needed.  It was amazing fun.  There were seven children this first play date and they explored trails and fields in the deep snow for over an hour.  We look forward to getting together once or twice a week spending several visits at each location we choose.

The week ended off with a homeschool history fair that the boys wanted to participate in.  Only five children ended up presenting but it was still interesting and good for the kids to encourage one another.  TJ presented Ancient Egypt.  He made two pyramids and we wrote facts on each side.  Inside the pyramids he made a mummy out of plasticine.  He also has photos of our museum trip from last week, and hieroglyphs for the kids to write their own names.

MJ decided last minute to make a project about tractors.  He picked out some pictures from the internet for me to print along with every photo we have of him on a tractor.  He brought some toys and books too.  Both boys spoke well and shared all that they wanted to about their topics.  Mommy was around to help a little too.

That night we were blessed with a wonderful dinner out at our friends' house.  It is so nice to join up with another family with young children because we understand that kids are kids.  Funny, emotional, tired, hyper, sweet all in one.  We had a good visit and were pleased that the boys slept well after a busy week.

I feel so blessed to be with these two boys all day.  I look around and find evidence of their creativity and imaginations all over.  MJ was playing with his magnetic human body and decided to make a silly mommy.  Later he took a whole bag of toys to set up a farm or something outside.  While TJ and daddy used the big snow plough, MJ took his plastic lawnmower out to help.  I must remember that it is a lawn mower in the summer, snow plough in the winter and tiller/seed spreader in the spring.  MJ also took out our rocks with painted lines and asked for help making his name.  So cute, so curious, so fun.  Natural learning at it's best.

Be sure to check out our Facebook page for some cute videos of the boys showing you some recent projects and things they have been doing.