Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cool Mornings...Cakes...and Colors

Although the morning began with a lazy lull, the family went outside again to enjoy the crisp air. These past few days, I have been trying to revive my yellow-green grass by watering. I take my steamy cup of coffee and Aidyn brings along his Star Wars tumbler of apple juice and we leave the front door ajar. Still in jammies, we turn on the sprinkler, move it about the yard, walk barefoot on the driveway, and play. Today Aidyn "dug" in the dirt, wet his feet and made footprints on the cement, and jumped back and forth between the "cold part" and "warm part" of the driveway. David came out and watched us, compared his wet footprint to Aidyn's, and kicked a ball around with him for a bit.

Later, Aidyn and I (mostly Aidyn) made a nutritionally unhealthy cake (chocolate fudge from Betty Crocker) but enjoyed loads of fun and learning doing it. He poured all the ingredients in the bowl, cracked the eggs, and whipped up the batter himself. Watching me measure and count supplies, he parroted my speech and looked forward to licking the spoon. He was absolutely delighted that he made a cake and bragged to his grandma about his culinary accomplishment. When the cake was ready to be frosted, Aidyn chose a green frosting. Interesting. It looked like some dark Joker-from-The-Dark-Knight-cake. But we were pleased.

After cake-making time, we re-read The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs per Aidyn's request. He also dragged Ten Little Dinosaurs and Snow Happy to be Here onto the bed.

Following reading time, Aidyn and I went on our regular evening bike ride to the park. He's got the routine of dressing, helmet-donning, bike-climbing, and wind-whipped-riding down. We have the sweetest conversations as we're winding through the neighborhood. When we reached the park, Aidyn decided to swing for half an hour then we raced down the slides about twenty times before calling it a day.

During bath time the last two days, we have been adding color to the water. I purchased these neat Crayola bath drops for the tub and they're amazing. Yesterday he desperately wanted a red bath, so he dunked a red tablet in the water. I let him choose another color, and he picked yellow. It was clear that he had dropped the yellow tablet in, but he was amazed to watch the water transform to orange. Mini color lesson! Tonight, he wanted a blue bath which lasted all of ten seconds before he wanted to add the red tablet. Again, to his enjoyment, the water mixed to a deep, beautiful purple. Another mini color lesson!

Creative, beautiful day!

Sports and Games Update

While we have been doing sports-related activities, I feel like now is a great time for delight-led learning. Now that we have completed our set "curriculum" for the year, we need the freedom to pursue anything that interests us day-by-day. Recently, Aidyn has been telling wild versions of the story, The Three Little Pigs, so I checked out more "alternative" versions of the tale to share with him. He loved The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf!

I feel like letting go of the planned curriculum for awhile and following Aidyn's delights possibly until next year. The unit themes for 2010 cover such a wide variety of topics that I may not specifically plan week by week, month by month, what we will be doing. In contrast, I may mindfully bring in those subjects if they fit with what happens in our world. These are my current thoughts and I may revisit them, but for now, I believe this is best.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review, Part Four

Today while I was at work, David and Aidyn revisited the rainforest unit. According to him, they watched some rainforest videos on YouTube and talked about all the things Aidyn learned that month. He also reported that they talked about our visit to the Rainforest Cafe in Anaheim and played with Aidyn's "Tigey" (white tiger) that he got there. Afterwards, David said, Aidyn wanted to go to the Rainforest Cafe again. Personally, I think that is a brilliant idea! However, we must wait although there is a game plan in the works.

When I got home, Aidyn and I drifted away from "school" and instead watched retro Looney Tunes video. In doing so, I hope he becomes familiar with those zany characters for our upcoming trip to Six Flags. We could all use a small, fun getaway and since D-Land isn't in the immediate future, we're going for a local park. Aside from our crazy conversations and imaginary play, I owe the magic of theme parks for Aidyn's vivid imagination. I was thinking about that the other day: Disneyland through Aidyn's eyes. In one day, he believed he went on an underwater exploration in a submarine, rode bobsleds and caught a glimpse of the Yeti in a snowy mountain, lived through a pirate invasion and attack, spied 999 ghosts in the Haunted Mansion, laughed through the Hundred Acre Woods, visited the "Heigh-Ho" house, flew Dumbo, rode a real locomotive (even traveling back into prehistoric time!) helped Buzz defeat the evil Zurg, saw real live Jedis and the defeat of Darth Maul and Darth Vader, and lived, briefly, in a world that was built on dreams and imagination. How magical!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Review, Part Three

A few days ago, David reviewed our dinosaur/reptile study with Aidyn. Together they read one of Aidyn's favorite books, Ten Little Dinosaurs. They also interactively watched some dinosaur-themed videos and talked about prehistoric creatures.

Though we never devoted an entire unit to dinosaurs, Aidyn has a natural affinity for them. Come next year, he may have a month allotted just to that subject.

Within reptile month and throughout the year, Aidyn learned:

-several dinosaur names including, but not limited to, apatosaurus, tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops, teradactyl, and stegasaurus.
-about turtles and snakes.
-that dinosaurus no longer exist and why.
-that some dinosaurs left behind their bones and that's how we know they existed.
-that birds are the descendents of dinosaurs (Reggie the T-Rex!).