## Friday, May 18, 2012

### Why?

I just have to mention really quickly that I am ecstatic that joey started asking why last month! I thought they were fluke why's but nope, he is still going strong with wondering - yay!

## Friday, March 30, 2012

### Bible Verses for Babies - Yes!

Just what I was hoping to find - Thank you, God! :-)

http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/2-year-old-curriculum/weekly-lesson-plans

and this led me to this site: http://www.abcjesuslovesme.com/2-year-old-curriculum/weekly-lesson-plans, which i'm still browsing through.

## Thursday, March 29, 2012

### Calendars, Routines, Assessments - Oh My!

I finally have pocket charts - woohoo!  Whodathunkit?  Anyway, I'm a busy bee now trying to put it all together to my liking, but I wanted to share some great links for free printables, skill assessment sheets and more!

Here's the one for skill assessments (of course, I'm altering it and will eventually post that too) - http://www.daycareresource.com/skillsheets34678.html (i like this one because i can edit it)
http://www.nationalschoolforms.com/index.php?option=com_ixxocart&Itemid=11&p=catalog&parent=25&pg=1 (i like this one bc it seems like an 'official' guide that i can help gauge our progress vs what the masses are up to). But still, assessment rubrics are so great when homeschooling.  Here's another great source for a math one: http://www.jmeacham.com/docs/math.centers/math.docs/Math%20%20Assessments%20%20Rubric.pdf.

And here are a few for calendars and other pocket chart goodies - http://www.daycareresource.com/preschoolprintables.html (i love the assessment pages and a few other items)
http://kellyskindergarten.com/Calendar/calendarmaterials.htm (i love the chart idea and the template for the calendar pockets)

And what good would printouts be without a good ol' laminating (we've already have had a few casualties that weren't protected). I haven't yet tried it out, but I heard from the grapevine that this works well enough and is so much cheaper - http://www.walmart.com/ip/Duck-Laminate-Peel-and-Stick-Shelf-Liner-Clear/16224481.  We'll find out soon enough! I plan on picking it up tomorrow.

Although it's not completely ready, Joey and Kaelie have both expressed interest, and Joey has even helped in putting the numbers in place (a few at least).  This will be so great for them when we start using more frequently! Can't wait :-)

Here are more links for counting and weather: http://www.mathwire.com./routines/weather.pdf from http://www.mathwire.com./routines/morning.html.

## Sunday, March 25, 2012

### Hands-On Chemistry

I've been scouring the web looking for a great way to present the periodic table to the kids, and although I'm still searching and will eventually update with my eventual find, for now, I wanted to make a quick post about a great place to eventually visit if you're in Minnesota (aside from the Mall of America) :-)

Looking forward to eventually checking it out with the kiddos some day.

Also, here is a neat version of the table found here: http://elements.wlonk.com/Elements_Pics+Words_11x17.pdf

As well as other wonderful pdfs that we will be using (http://thinkzone.wlonk.com/).

Another great site for more links: http://farmschoolathome.blogspot.com/2007/11/cybils-review-periodic-table-elements.html

## Tuesday, March 6, 2012

### Oliver Twist's Chapter Books into Joey's World

Thanks to several posts by DadDude, Larry Sanger, about reading 'advanced' books to his son, I was inspired to start reading chapter books to Joey before bed.  Prior to that, I felt like the majority of our reading time was spent with him having to 'work' at it, and didn't want him to lose the joy for reading.  I want(ed) to be sure he was inspired to want to advance his reading abilities.  So, I gave him the choice between Alice in Wonderland (that's not the title, but you know what I mean), and Oliver Twist.  Both books I had previously picked up in the dollar bin from Target, knowing that I eventually wanted the kids to know what these classics were.  I was pleasantly surprised by my son's interest!!  Each chapter is only a few (4 to 7 or so pages), so it doesn't take me long to get through it.  I was planning on stopping after the first chapter, until Joey begged me to continue. :-) It was late, so we only did a few chapters, but I was so surprised that he was genuinely interested and paying attention!  That was Saturday night.

Sunday night was hectic, so we didn't read from the chapter book.

Monday night was another wonderful surprise.  Again it was much later than expected, but Joey requested Oliver Twist before bedtime prayers, which is the last thing we do before he falls asleep.  So, I agreed, and since we skipped the night before, did a quick review of what we had read.  Each set of pages has one picture, so we just used those as guides to get us through to where we would start reading. One of the pages he stopped me on to say "help, help!"  I wasn't sure if this was because he read it on the page or if he recalled it, but I thought it was neat that he did it, still.  When I finished the first chapter of the night, he pleaded with me to do more, so I did.  And although he pleaded for more when that was done, I told him he had to wait until the next day.

This morning I shouldn't have been surprised, then, when Joey asked me for Oliver Twist!  I've noticed that if we tell him things at night, he ALWAYS seems to remember it the next day.  That's probably why I try to use story time to add or reinforce information that I'd like for him to retain.

FYI: Story time for us usually starts with "Once there was a boy name ... JOEY! ... " And is used to relay something of importance.  That's how he learned my telephone number, and how he's learning/reinforcing the continents/countries/states, etc, in addition to other tidbits.  I also use it to recap the day's events to help reinforce his memory of the day or the week or the month.  I love seeing where his imagination take it.  I learned this from another parent and am so grateful because prior to that it was just reading little books.  If you don't do it with your child, I definitely recommend it. :-)

PS: One of the reasons I liked chapter books in theory and now in practice is because it aids in memory while adding to Joey's vocabulary and ability to self-express.  I'm contemplating adding French and Spanish reading into our book time too.  We'll see.

## Monday, March 5, 2012

### We FINALLY start SoftMozart, Along with Synthesia & Kinderbach

SO!! We've FINALLY STARTED!!

Joey is 31 mo and Kaelie's enthusiastically pounding away at the keyboard at 9 months.  I won't consider here officially starting until she's trying to match notes or obviously trying to peck out a song.

The whole family is taking a stab at the piano - yay.  Dad joining in has been an unexpected, interesting, and welcomed addition.  I hope we all progress nicely!

So, our music BACKGROUND & interest:

KAELIE: randomly & joyfully banging away at the keyboard since christmas/new year's, which has just recently (this past month) been placed at a reachable distance, dramatically increasing her 'playing' time.

### Learning Piano with SoftMozart

I called and spoke with Hellene Hiner yesterday, creator of SoftMozart because I was looking for a trial of her program.  Turns out, she has one you can link to from the main page by clicking on the yellow "TRY NOW' in the middle of the page lol I don't know why I missed it before!  I told her that it doesn't look like a link, just graphic text.

Anyway, we've officially started the journey.  Prior to now it has just been playing, dancing and singing to a variety of music; some youtube videos added to our playlist that mention theory; and the trial lessons from KinderBach, which he did enjoy.

So, the journey begins.  All we did, since we're out of town, was practice the notes duration game last night.  He liked it, but didn't quite get it.  We don't have a routine that we keep while we're out of town, sadly enough, but we'll definitely add it to our schedule when we return home.

Looking forward to chronicle his progress - and Kaelie's too :-)

### 2012 Learning Goals for J & K

Here's a paste of an email I sent out to the Gifted Village a few days ago.  Maybe it will be of some inspiration to you :-)

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It is truly a passion of mine to learn and share everything that I know with you all about how amazing our kids are.  There's something about sharing the experience with others who are like-minded that really gets me energized - I feel blessed and honored that together we can encourage one another to joyfully, lovingly encourage and watch our children's talents emerge! I look forward to all the wonders that we will witness this year, especially when it comes to our little ones.  On that note, I'll share my list for 2012 in hopes that it will get your dream machines to turn with all the possibilities that can manifest this year and that you will return the favor by sharing!  So, here goes:

FYI: I have two kids - Joey (29mo) and Kaelie (8 mo)
HEALTH & HAPPINESS are a given on the wishlist for my kids. Aside from that, by this time next year, I would like us to grow in the following areas:

READING: I'd like for Joey to be reading at 2nd grade level and Kaelie to have several sight words under her belt and ready for phonics. (Joey has already started writing and reading - phonetically and sight words)
WRITING: I would love for Joey to be able to write all of his numbers and letters clearly & for Kaelie to know how to spell her name. I think we will start a journal with him - aww!
MATH: I would love for Joey to have his basic math operations (PEMDAS) understood well and for Kaelie to know her numbers 1-100, forward and backwards.
GEOGRAPHY: I'd like for Kaelie to be able to point out the various continents, countries and states, and for Joey to know the capitols too, as well as learn about great US places to visit.
LANGUAGES: I'd like Joey to keep up his ASL, Spanish & French, and to add to his Japanese. I'd like Kaelie to be fluent in all four.
ART: I'd like for Joey's drawings to become more realistic, and for his appreciation for different artists and styles to continue to grow. For Kaelie, I'd love her to have her colors understood and for her to start EK (encyclopedic knowledge, doman inspired) along with her brother.
BODY: I'd like both of them to know how to swim, and for Joey to continue with gymnastics and soccer and Kaelie to start by year end. I'd love to get them started in some sort of martial arts by this time next year, as well as learning yoga and breathing techniques.
MUSIC: I'd love for Joey to learn to read music and play basic piano this year and for Kaelie to have a growing interest and be ready to start. Depending on how the year goes, maybe violin too.
INTERPERSONAL: I hope Joey starts asking 'Why' by then :-) Also, I'm hoping Kaelie is using her potties regularly by Dec 2012. And for Kaelie to be able to point to her various body parts and for Joey to finish learning the parts of the body - skelaton, muscles, organs.
INTRAPERSONAL: I'd like for Joey to keep learning about emotions and for Kaelie to develop confidence.

PATRIOTISM: It'd be cute to see them signing the pledge. And to know the bill of rights, star spangled banner, and a few other songs that we currently have on our playlist that Joey's picking up.

SPIRITUALLY: For both - 10 Commandments, Lords' Prayer, We're getting through the Bible stories - kids version now ... keep on, keep on. FYI: Eventually, yes, I'd like them to learn about different faiths, as well as energies, chakras, etc.  I believe in God, but I went full circle in my understanding of God, which meant learning about other faiths too to better understand my own.

Phew, what an attainable list - only because they're so little and capable, though! lol It seems like I have quite a busy year ahead of me, especially considering that this is only a list for the kids. And I'm sure that I've left some things off!

Well, I hope my goals prompt you to reply and get the conversation going!  Tell us what your kids are up to and how you hope to see them grow this year.

Looking forward to meeting you all soon!
Marlita/bka Joey & Kaelie's Mom :-)

### The Color of Music with 'Notes of a Different Color' & 'Synthesia'

I love the rainbow piano concept as a starting point for kids, but I've had problems finding anything to use that keeps the colors consistent with roygbiv.  Piano Wizard's colors are all over the place and SoftMozart uses symbols.  But, I did come across these videos and have been playing them and both kids love them (ages 8 and 29 months). I've contacted the creator and he says he's interested in doing more as well as some apps, he just wants to be sure that there's interest.

Another neat one:

﻿
﻿And here's a really neat vid produced with Synthesia. WARNING: Profanity Involved, however, I still found it funny and fantastic, especially at 0:34 seconds. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkyGQnZNLYY&feature=related

### 'TOUCH' - Math: The Series

I don't watch too much tv, so I think, but I must say: I am really looking forward to watching this show!!  I get so excited by numbers, patterns, codes, etc.  I think about how much other generations were able to accomplish because they had/made time to figure things out.  If we can take 1% of the population and raise them to be curious, I believe so many amazing things could be deciphered.  Anyway, check out the clip.  Kiefer Sutherland also did the series 24. This one is about the Fibanacci code.

How it relates to nature, according to wikipedia today: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci_number
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In nature
Yellow Chamomile head showing the arrangement in 21 (blue) and 13 (aqua) spirals. Such arrangements involving consecutive Fibonacci numbers appear in a wide variety of plants.
Fibonacci sequences appear in biological settings,[6] in two consecutive Fibonacci numbers, such as branching in trees, arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruitlets of a pineapple,[7] the flowering of artichoke, an uncurling fern and the arrangement of a pine cone.[8] In addition, numerous poorly substantiated claims of Fibonacci numbers or golden sections in nature are found in popular sources, e.g., relating to the breeding of rabbits, the seeds on a sunflower, the spirals of shells, and the curve of waves.[49] The Fibonacci numbers are also found in the family tree of honeybees.[50]
Przemysław Prusinkiewicz advanced the idea that real instances can in part be understood as the expression of certain algebraic constraints on free groups, specifically as certain Lindenmayer grammars.[51]
Illustration of Vogel's model for n=1 ... 500
A model for the pattern of florets in the head of a sunflower was proposed by H. Vogel in 1979.[52] This has the form
$\theta = \frac{2\pi}{\phi^2} n,\ r = c \sqrt{n}$
where n is the index number of the floret and c is a constant scaling factor; the florets thus lie on Fermat's spiral. The divergence angle, approximately 137.51°, is the golden angle, dividing the circle in the golden ratio. Because this ratio is irrational, no floret has a neighbor at exactly the same angle from the center, so the florets pack efficiently. Because the rational approximations to the golden ratio are of the form F(j):F(j + 1), the nearest neighbors of floret number n are those at n ± F(j) for some index j which depends on r, the distance from the center. It is often said that sunflowers and similar arrangements have 55 spirals in one direction and 89 in the other (or some other pair of adjacent Fibonacci numbers), but this is true only of one range of radii, typically the outermost and thus most conspicuous.[53]

### The bee ancestry code

Fibonacci numbers also appear in the description of the reproduction of a population of idealized honeybees, according to the following rules:
• If an egg is laid by an unmated female, it hatches a male or drone bee.
• If, however, an egg was fertilized by a male, it hatches a female.
Thus, a male bee will always have one parent, and a female bee will have two.
If one traces the ancestry of any male bee (1 bee), he has 1 parent (1 bee), 2 grandparents, 3 great-grandparents, 5 great-great-grandparents, and so on. This sequence of numbers of parents is the Fibonacci sequence. The number of ancestors at each level, Fn, is the number of female ancestors, which is Fn−1, plus the number of male ancestors, which is Fn−2.[54] (This is under the unrealistic assumption that the ancestors at each level are otherwise unrelated.)

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Loving it!  I don't assume that my children will love math, patterns, numbers, and solving problems to the same degree as me, but I think it would be neat if they grow to appreciate its beauty in the universe. :-)

## Tuesday, January 3, 2012

### Music to My Ears!

I just have to share that it fills me with joy when I hear Joey randomly start singing, counting, practicing his phonics, imagining stories, recalling details to things from days long passed, etc.  He's amazing!  He's amazing because he is my child!  And if you are a parent, KNOW that your child was born brilliantly amazing too!  I'm so in love with my children and can't wait to get to know them more as they grow.  Kaelie is already creating beautiful sounds, having already mastered her ba, la, da, ma, and a couple other random sounds. Go, Kaelie!

PS - Fill your child with useful knowledge.  Does my son know the Mickey hot dog song?  Yes! But his obsession for Mickey, thanks to summer visits with my mother, have creatively been geared towards a 'subtle' shift to watching Mickey now in Chinese, thanks to yours truly here.  If you're curious about what comes out of his mouth when he sings, as his mind is trying to playfully sort out all of the information he receives in the day, then head on over to youtube and check out our playlists.  What's been playing from Joey's mouth this week?  The solfege (do re mi fa so la ti do - do ti la so fa mi re do), the abc's, the phonic abc's, the numbers 1 - 100 (And YES, I was ecstatic to see him attempt it with the abacus today during free play time, which is just about all the time these days), the A-T AT song, 50 nifty united states song, the periodic tables song, the first 10 elements song, and ring around the rosies ... i'm sure there are a couple that i'm missing, but that gives an idea of what is coming out of my little joey jukebox ;-)

And since I didn't say it before - or did I? - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! This year is a blessing!

## Monday, January 2, 2012

### The Art of Writing

http://profesorbaker.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/how-i-write-i-still-do-not-write-cck11-eltchat/#comment-2458

As a child, although sensitive, I was drawn to logic. I enjoyed math because I understood it's logic and was not a fan of history nor writing because I slipped through the cracks on a few lessons and could not make sense of it. Keep in mind, this was in elementary school. In middle school I loved grammar - it was logical, but was still not a fan of writing, even though I enjoyed reading.

To be gifted means to be filled with the love of learning and the skills and drive to pursue what inspires you, wherever it may lead.

I was excited to read the professor's description. He was taught to read before he was three and grew into a gifted man - a life-long learner!

This article was found after searching for the artist of the image in the previous post, but Theodore's rhythmic writing was poetry to my ears, and I was compelled to share. It reminded me of 9th grade when my teacher continuously had us write. Writing, like other gifts, takes time to hone. No one is born playing beautiful music. It takes practice. I hope to share this love with my children too.

### Nurturing Multiple Intelligences

http://mezimbite.com/assets/multiple-intelligences.jpg

So I was uploading pics of the kids and nouced that I had the first pic stored on my phone. Just the pic. No info. And I love this pic for so many reasons, and naturally want to use it for ny school, but need permission first. So, I did a search and while I couldn't find the pic, I was fortunate enough to find the second one online, on some obscure site. Thankfully, it does give credit, so hopefully I can track down the artist and he will allow me to use it.

### Fingerprints Tied to Personality?

http://www.brainmarkdmit.com/

Just ran across this site and it made me wonder. In summary, this company claims that the clues to our talents are in our fingerprints. As you may know, I believe in early learning and don't believe that a child, if given the proper attention, can't be taught music, manners, math and reading well before 5, resulting in an innate understanding and love for these fields. Granted, their forte may still lie elsewhere, but the fact that they can be gifted in various avenues based on how we stimulate them early on, I think, contradicts this fingerprint idea. It does make me wonder about the while nature vs nurture debate, though. Would love to know your thoughts.