Just like with most things in my busy life, I have good intentions of following through with weekly updates and instead I've skipped from Week 10 -Week 24. That's nearly 14 weeks in between that included birthdays and holidays and even the better part of January, but here I am wanting to do an update on what life is like building a house and camper life with 7 people.
This past week we have experienced either really cold weather or rain; both of which are miserable. I decided that instead of focusing on the weather I needed to focus on what is right in front of me, my family and my work.
I mapped out the homeschool program I'm using for the Littlest Larsen's. It's from the Peaceful Preschool. Obviously, I am limited on my classroom space and work area. Normally, when the weather is nice, we can do school outside on our picnic table and they can run and explore the wooded area surrounding us. The last few weeks we have had to be a bit creative with school time.
One of our preschool staple activities is salt letters. Learning to hold a pointed finger and forming letters at the same time reminds me of learning to teach my mom to use a "mouse" when we got our first computer in the 90's. It's as much about coordination as it is control, and throw in the fact that we are learning to make symbols to represent sounds and you've truly got a challenge.
An extra challenge for me as their "teacher-mom" is that one of these Littles is left handed. 4/5 kids are right handed so I have to figure out how best to teach this little guy. It's just going to take practice on both of our parts. With the sand lettering we can keep the sand in a container for weekly use but the lid is a better height for them. We are on the letter "F" this week and are reviewing all other letters and sounds as we go.
On nice work days, we do a little bit help out. They feel like they are really contributing to the building of our house when they are given tasks they can do such as gather materials we aren't using, stack scrap wood to use for the fire barrel, or even pick up empty water bottles for recycling later. On rainy or cold days we are trying to hit the library at least once a week. This week we went for story time on Tuesday which was a change for us from our regular Thursday visits. Nora's favorite activity is visiting "Wilber" and she reads him a story every single week. Gunner's favorite activity is anything on the computer and this week he enjoyed doing virtual puzzles.
It just so happened that story time this week at the library fit perfectly with our Peaceful Preschool lessons for the letter "F". Their theme was "fish". Which explained why we couldn't find any books on fish last Thursday.
The week before we studied the letter "E" and there was a lot of discussion about eggs and books about birds. So we took a field trip to Berry College to see the ducks, geese, and swans. They were very cautious and we wish we had brought something for them to eat that was appropriate. We didn't want to just give them bread. They need good nutrition too. So, we are doing some research on were to to find appropriate feed so we can go back and interact a little more closely. I have visited this pond thousands of times over the years and it's such a joy to bring them.
On our way home we stopped at Lavender Mountain Hardware, which I should do a post on sometime. We love that place. We stopped to get bird seed for our feeders. It seems that we have attracted all the song birds with in miles and miles to our feeders by using the best birdseed we could find by Cole's. We opted for the Blazing Hot seed and the Blue Ribbon for them this time. We are falling in LOVE with our birds and I wish I could get better pictures of them, but here are a few.
The babies and I made suet ornament feeders at Christmas and boy do the birds love them. You can read more about how we made them here and this method is super easy.
I can't believe I waited so long about letting them paint. We were studying nests and eggs. I painted a little nest with eggs in it and they followed with their own versions. If you ask them what they painted, they'll tell you it was a nest with eggs. They loved every minute of painting with water color and I'm excited to explore this creative outlet a little more with them. We were inspired by this book we recently purchased called "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady." It's an absolutely stunning journal with watercolor paintings to look at for every month of the year.
One of their favorite outings was with big brother, "Per." Cooper took them to the pet store and to get a doughnut at the local Krispy Kreme. Gunner was so excited to get to hold a snake for the first time and Nora so badly wanted to bring home a puppy. We just aren't ready for pets yet and we surely aren't ready for a snake of any kind. Nope.
Here is an updated picture of our house. All the entire walls are up and we are working on ceiling joists; next is the porch and after that we will be doing the rafters for the roof. It's really exciting to walk through and see the layout of all the rooms now. I'll post more on the house soon as we make a little more progress.
In the meantime if you'd like more information on the Peaceful Preschool curriculum, visit their website at the Peaceful Press.