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Thursday, June 30, 2011

These Feet Were Made for Walking...

After burning up the floor the other night, TyGuy has decided that walking's not all it's cracked up to be...LOL Little Stinker won't walk now to save his life! LOL....But in case you think I made this whole thing up, here's further photographic proof that he can walk if he wants to...

Getting lots of encouragement from his Big Bub-O...all the kids were so proud of him!

In the process of falling...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Off and Walking...

After only two weeks of crawling and getting into everything...Tyler just stood up about 30 minutes ago and took off down the hallway! We are all so excited...for now...give me a week and I'll be wishing he was crawling again...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Some Random School Stuff...

Good morning! It's a muggy day already here and I am in bad need of some coffee! Woke up this morning to find everyone in the living room with me. They all, at some point, had gotten up and made their own pallets in the floor. The blissfull quiet interupted by the girlish screams of Jackson who had gotten a chair kicked over on his head. LOL Chloe was sleeping in the recliner and she stretched out and her leg knocked a wooden chair over and it nailed him right in the noggin. Boy was he mad, even after I tried to tell him that sweet, sweet little Chloe didn't do it on purpose...I don't think he believed me.

Anyway, lookin' at a house that's a disaster from the weekend, even though I spent all day Saturday cleaning it. So gonna probably set aside the whole day to getting it back in working order so I can maintain the rest of the week. But I wanted to share some of the things we've had going on on the learning side of things here.

First, I am going to brag. Yes, that's right. Not really brag, persay, but share , what I consider to be, exciting stuff concerning Lillie. After years of being uptight about her reading (thanks to my best bud, Joy and alot of really good books) I had relaxed quite a bit...trusting that when she was ready things would click and they have. Now she's not where she's reading everything she can get her hands on, but when she sits down to read to me, she has to have very little help and her decoding is SO MUCH better. And I suspiscion that when she is sitting there quietly looking at a book, she is reading to herself, practicing. She used to get so frustrated having to sound words out and would rather just make them up, but I think the Explode the Code has given her the confidence she needed. Lillie is the type that shys away from doing things she doesn't think she can succeed at right away, which makes teaching the basics a little challenging, to say it nicely. But I've gotten alot better at hiding any frustration that she might pick up on that would cause her to doubt herself. Every child has weaknesses and strengths. She's a whole lot like me...isn't really into math (doesn't get it) , not real interested in science, but LOVES history and writing and actually asks to do grammar every once in a while. An excellent speller and has a photographic memory that's astounding. So the plan now is to promote those strengths, allow her the freedom and the materials to develop her loves and work on improving her weaknesses. Even though she'll probably not overcome her weaknesses, with the confidence from her strengths she can at least maybe learn not to run from the challenges, but face them head on.

Now, math is what I'm really excited over. This may not seem like much to anyone reading this, but it's huge for this momma who tends to fret over alot of things. After reading Ruth Beechick's small booklet on beginning arithmetic, I found out that there are three modes of thinking when it comes to math.

1.Manipulative Mode: The stage where kids begin using objects to work math problems. Kids stay in this mode until about six or seven, in alot of cases they aren't ready to move onto the next mode until later than seven (each child is different).

"The difference between young children and us it that we can switch freely from the manipulative mode of thinking to other modes we have learned to use. But very young children can't switch. They are tied to the manipulative mode. They must become proficient in this mode as a preparation for the modes to follow...thus we must teach young children in the manipulative mode. Failure to do this is probably the greatest single cause of children's arithmetic difficulties."

Ruth Beechick

2. Mental Image Mode: The transition stage where kids are able to make the objects in their heads and no longer need to physically see the objects. They can think of four peices of candy, add one and get five all in their head.

"When we say a child doesn't understand something, we usually mean that he is not able to image it in his head. The cure for that is to provide more manipulative experience."

3. Abstract Mode: Children cand think about four and they don't have to imagine four dots or four plates.

"You may often think abstractly yourself, but you must guard agianst trying to push children into this mode before they are ready. Pushing does not work. It only leads to problems you wish to avoid: anxiety, frustration , dislike of arithmetic, and more."
Now, after reading all of this I realize that I have majorly messed up with Lillie in a number of ways....

1. I push. If I think she ought to get it and she doesn't I get frustrated. I can't tell you how WRONG this is of me. I ought to remember that she struggles in math the same as I did and I ought to sympathize , not get frustrated.
2. Where math is concerned, Lillie still needs to be in manipulative mode. For example, we were working on her memorizing her addition facts and she just wasn't getting it and I was beating my head against the wall. I finally stopped and switched to some other skills on my list of things I wanted to work on. A little advice from someone with experience in messing up: Don't be afraid to quit. If something is not working, try something different. Don't let anything tie you down and keep you from switching gears. When Lillie was telling time to the hours and half hours, I decided to reintroduce the facts. The site I found with a neat Number Familie Program suggested before starting that we needed to teach "touch math". I found this very interesting because I use that even today to add up my checkbook and I can add faster that way than in my head and I didn't learn that in school...They drilled facts and I never was very good at them. So, to cope, I developed my own system of touching the numbers and visualizing points on the number in my head. Like three points on the number "3" and so forth. Now let me be clear , I believe memorizing facts is important, but some kids won't be ready at grade 2 or 3 like the experts say they ought to be. Lillie is one of these.

Lillie LOVES the touch math and even asks to do math first thing in the morning and writes her own problems to solve and does it in her spare time. I have seen such a sudden change in her confidence level. She turned to me the other day and she said "Momma, math is fun." And I about bawled. LOL So I say forget the experts, they don't know my Lillie. They say not to let her rely on this method...I agree, but as long as it gives her the confidence she needs to, maybe not LOVE math, but at least not be scared of it, then I'll do it as long as I have to. She's a child, a special unique child that God has given talents , a child who has a purpose in God's eyes.

We're gonna move onto doing a little money since we haven't done hardly any. But using manipulatives and real life experience. I figure we'll revisit the facts in a couple of months and test the waters.

Okay, so some pictures real quick. We made skeletons the other day and read a book on bones.

Here's a neat video about the skeleton if you're looking into studying the human body anytime in the future. It's got every organ and system and it's packed with multimedia and activities.

More posts coming with some crafts I've done and some more school related things.

Have a blessed day!!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another Fabulous Article for All the Full Time Homemakers Out There...

Hannah from Cultivating Home has a blog post up this morning over at Raising Homemakers that is well worth the time-out to read!

Homemaking Myths
Boy was I thankful to have found this article by Kathryn Stout this morning! Just yesterday morning I was having one of "those" homeschool mom moments...I was sitting with Lillie working on copywork and I came to a crossroad...ever been there?
At a spot where you're forced to make an immediate decision on the best course of action? Homeschooling and Parenting , in general, provide a boatload of those kinds of moments, don't they?
Lillie turns to me and says "I'm done."
Me: "Ummmm, you've only written two words, come on've GOT to finish the selection."
Lillie : (sighs in angst)
Well, she piddled and she scratched on through for the most part but she wasn't taking her time and wasn't really paying attention...her heart, obviously wasn't in this. So here was my "crossroads".
Let her do something else in hopes she'll come around to having a better lookout on the copywork assignment later...or make her go on and do it even if she's not "into" it?
Well, if I let her quit it and go onto something else, what if she doesn't want to do it later on? Am I not being counterproductive "forcing" her to "learn"? But if I let her have her way, isn't that spoiling her? How will she ever learn the important life lesson that life isn't always fun and that we don't always get to do what we want to all the time and that sometimes we HAVE to do things we don't like (like schoolwork)? What a massive tug -o-war in a matter of seconds...what did I choose?
I let her move onto math and secretly questioned whether that was the right call or really bugged me. This isn't the first time this issue has come up and I almost always try to follow her interest, but I struggle so much with whether I'm doing right by her by allowing her to dictate more of her workload. In things like history and science...I'm totally for flying by the seat of my skirt. But the basics are that gray area that give me the most grief. It has always been my policy that we HAVE to at least do some reading , writing, and math everyday whether we like it or not. If all you have the energy to do are the basics then I'm fine with that. Afterall, I don't remember much history and science I learned in school as much as the facts I got from independent reading and studying. But the basics, well, they're those "HAVE TO's" we love so much.
But after reading this great article, I want to find Kathryn Stout and give her a big ole hug (except she'd probably have me arrested)...if you have EVER struggled with this same inner conflict...READ THE ARTICLE! DO IT WHETHER YOU WANT TO OR NOT! LOL...

"Is It Bribery?" by Kathryn Stout

Have a Blessed Day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"There is something about the outside of a horse that's good for the inside of a man. "

Winston Churchill

Before your sight,

Mount on the breeze the butterly, and


Small creature as she is, from earth's bright


Into the dewy clouds.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fun Fun Fun Til Your Momma takes the Paintbrush Away...

I'm a sucker for finding things I can make at home cheaper (and better quality) than I can buy it at the store. And this watercolor paint is no exception! It was awesome to be able to make watercolor paint that lasted a whole lot longer than those sets you buy at the store with a dab of paint in them. The colors were vibrant and we got a lot of use out of one batch and all the ingredients we have on hand. Can't beat that...the kids loved painting. It's kinda something special because I'm more of a crayon type of person...less messy. So every once in awhile I like to bust out something different for the kids to mix things up a bit...

I don't know how many pictures I have of Chloe asleep in her plate...

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

4 Man Band...

They like to practice EARLY....They are loud and proud....a glimpse of my birth a gospel bluegrass band...

Even Tyler-rachi likes to tickle them ivories....

You know, the thought occurs to me that I don't have many pictures of him without a nasty face...hmmmm. Have a Blessed Day!

Green is SO Not His Color...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A New (Used) Schoolroom....

I have ALWAYS wanted a schoolroom. Nothing fancy, just a space that was neat and tidy that I could set aside solely for the purpose of educating my kids. has always been an issue...we live in a three bedroom double wide and with all the beds and the clothes and the toys...well, there just never has been the room.
But we figured Tyler doesn't need a bed for awhile so we broke down one of the beds and so Jack's room is half schoolroom.
Now, ideally, my dream schoolroom would be large and fairly sparse and would have tables and little sofas and books galore and a killer paint job and etc. etc...etc...
But I also have come to realize recently that God is pleased when we do with what we have and when we are satisfied with HIS provisions. I don't have alot of money to just buy whatever whenever and it IS easy for me to get my eyes on what God has given others and not focus on making something with what HE's given.

I HAVE to thank my momma who brought over some things from her house that she didn't need. Some nice chest of drawers, filing cabinets, table and stools for the kids. And she spent all day yesterday helping me clean and get here's the final outcome of my I would like to get more posters and the Dollar Tree here has a ton of them, so I will pick some up...but it's mostly done and we REALLY enjoyed using it this morning.

Do you see the filing cabinets...they are actually organized LOL...For anyone who knows me that will be a shocker ,cause I ain't an organizer by nature....

I love the view from my new desk....

It may not be fancy, but I am thankful for the little space I have to devote to really helped out this morning with my attitude.

Okay, I had to throw this one in...THIS is what happens when you fall asleep at my house...

Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, June 10, 2011

It Has Begun....

Let's Eat!

Every day with this little guy is sunshine! He is my daily reminder that God has plans and that there's nothing HE can't do. Tyler's best shots are in early morning sunlight...
MMMMMMM....Baked Oatmeal....

Those eyes!!!!!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It's Rainin' Babies!

Thought I'd post a few pictures from Shanna's baby shower. Little Mattie Jo Oakes is due in late July and we can't wait to hold her and spoil her...the last three Davis babies have been boys!
I thought Cassie did a super job on the diaper cake (and the real cake too!)

Lillie Anna getting tickled during the bottle drinking game!

Olivia and Chloe (Partners in Crime) going head to head...

Olivia is victorious!

Shanna and Judy...isn't Shanna so pretty! She's definitely got that "glow" about her!

Last but not least...Tyler checking to see if Nannie swept anything under the rug.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Some Odds and Ends...

Gotta get my camera cleaned up before the weekend, so here's the random pictures taken over the last month....

This picture cracks me up...I think it's clear how Tyler feels about Chloe getting up in his face...Not sure why, but this seems to be his favorite pose..Tyler needing hair...Jack needing a hair cut...It's a forced smile, but I'll take it...Not a forced smile...Chloe plain and simple...Lillie Anna is fascinated with Annie Oakley right now and , as such, is becoming more of a gun lover than I ever imagined...Words just can't describe...My kids have the wildest imaginations....I blame reading to them....LOL Hangin' out the laundry...

Doin' my dirty work for me...

Have a Blessed Day!