Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

Gorilla School October 20, 2010

Filed under: Schooling — Kris @ 6:49 am
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I was going to blog about our “school at home” shenanigans with Girlie and all about the letter F from last week.  I even took pictures.  Went to upload them and they have disappeared…  Lost in the deep dark recessed of my hard drive somewhere…  Anyway, instead, I thought I’d share about Gorilla’s adventures in “school.”

I don’t really “plan” anything for Gorilla to do.  I have some extra sheets that I print out so he can participate with us.  Some of the easier stuff that Girlie can do easily, coloring pages, matching pages – I have them on hand for when Gorilla wants to participate with us.  He likes to use markers and finds great joy in taking off and replacing the caps on them!  Learning fine motor skills at its best.  I “teach” him colors and letters as he is interested and he loves the letters “A” and “E.”  I’ve noticed his vocabulary expanding, but I’m sure that’s more from natural development than anything extra we’re doing in school. 

What Gorilla REALLY likes to do – other than use markers – is sticker.  He calls them “ticky.”  I peel the stickers off and he puts them on the page exactly where HE wants to put them.  And watch out if the sticker gets folded over and stuck on itself!  That sticker is no good and Gorilla will NOT use it!  Weird. 

Anyway, as Girlie and I were working on tracing/writing the letter Ff, Gorilla and I traced some straight lines and then he got to use markers and sticker his page.  I didn’t pay much attention to the stickering.  I’d just pull off a few stickers onto my fingers and hold them out for him while working with Girlie.  After we were all done with school time for the day and I was cleaning up, this is what I saw:

You may not see anything significant at first, but look closer…  At the beginning and end of each tracing line, there was a circle/star to mark the start/end of the tracing.  Gorilla put a sticker on each circle/star (with the exception of one).  Also, he placed each sticker (with the exception of one) on a line.  I didn’t “instruct” that.  I didn’t “teach” that.  Gorilla did that on his own. 

Maybe I’m just a proud mom and there is nothing at all significant about this particular accomplishment.  I think, however, for 22 months old, that’s pretty darn AMAZING!!!  (And yes, I’m bragging on my child.)

So, I decided to give Gorilla his own blog post to show off his amazing, gifted, uber-advanced skills!  I’d love to hear about a wonderful moment when you were surprised by a skill your child had too!


Green Eggs and Ham September 29, 2010

Filed under: Schooling — Kris @ 11:37 am
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This week, Girlie has been learning about the letter E.  Our theme was elephants.  Math was the number eight and the concept empty.  Science was about eggs.  Social Studies looked at train engines.  And because I LOVE Dr. Seuss, we of course HAD to read Green Eggs and Ham

This is a classic Dr. Seuss book and one that I’ve read with all of my children.  When we read it, we talked about how our family cooks eggs (boiled and scrambled), and whether or not we’d eat them “in a box or with a fox.”

So what do you think we had for dinner?  That’s right…


I learned that food coloring makes scrambled eggs just a little longer to cook, that it takes a dozen eggs to make enough for our family, and that everyone (including Racer) tried and liked the green eggs.  I didn’t want to mess with coloring the ham too. 

Girlie had fun connecting the book with something in real life.  Professor enjoyed the meal too – he even helped “stage” the picture.  I hope this is a memory that we all have for a long time. 

I need some new ideas for book/meal combos.  Anyone have one that you’ve made and will share with us?


ABC Scavenger Hunt August 26, 2010

Filed under: Schooling — Kris @ 8:15 pm
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This year, we are doing “school at home” with Girlie.  I am using the basic ideas found in the Letter of the Week lessons.  This week, we’re just getting used to “time for school supplies” as Girlie calls it, and reviewing ABC’s and 123’s.  As a fun thing, I planned to do an ABC Scavenger Hunt.  Since Professor has been really wanting to help homeschool his little sister, I planned the activity for when he got home from school, so that they could work together.  I thought I would share their “home” work. (Please note: The original “E” picture did not work, thus the picture of our Escape. The “G” picture is of the back/side of our grill. We are missing the “O” picture – it was a toss ring for the letter O. Also, “U” is a picture of “under”. And oh yeah, not the best picture of “momy.”)


First Day of School August 25, 2010

So today was the first day of school.  It started at 5:30am (5:15 for Professor who was excited and woke up before his alarm).  I couldn’t even have coffee thought because I had a glucose test at the OB and had to fast until I was done – ugh.  Anyway, Blue and Professor got out the door well.  Blue is an old hand at the whole bus thing.  Professor had his first experience.

When he was a preschooler, Professor used to watch the buses at the school across the street and say “Mommy, I want to ride the bus to school too.”  I didn’t ever have the heart to tell him that he’d be a walker until it was time to start K.  So this morning, he had to wait for the bus stop sign, yellow arm and then cross the street  to get on.  He did great!  My baby (in many ways I still see him that way) is growing up!

With the bigger 2 gone, that left me, Girlie and Gorilla (who STILL hangs onto my shirt like a baby gorilla hanging from its momma).  This year, mostly for financial reasons, we are doing “school at home” with Girlie.  We’ve fixed up an area to do work that the big kids can use as a homework space too.  Girlie has been very excited to use her “school supplies” and was very much looking forward to today.  We’ll do the Letter of the Week  with her; Gorilla will be included as much as possible as much as he wants.  Since we had doctor appointments today, and will again tomorrow, this was a perfect week to “review” the alphabet and numbers.  We’ll be adapting the Letter of the Week stuff to fit my style, Girlie’s interests, and our available resources, but will be using the basic layout, concepts and ideas.  So we did a little review at home, took some books/cards/games with us to occupy waiting room time and then did puzzles at home later.  She and Gorilla had a great first day.

I did forget to get First Day of School pictures before school, so when Professor and Blue got off the buses, I captured that “home finally” look.  They both seemed to have a great day.  Professor has already made some new friends at his new school and the whole uniform thing makes morning getting dressed way easier!  Blue seemed to adapt just fine (she usually does), although was disappointed that her schedule was altered from what we picked up 2 days ago.  They both had homework on the first day too! 

It was obvious that everyone was tired from the day though.  The kids went off to an early bed in hopes for a sound night’s sleep.  Altogether, it was a successful day.  At the moment, there are sleeping kids, lunches ready in the fridge and a coffee cake thawing on the counter for breakfast.  Oh yeah, can’t forget the coffee on the timer to be done when I get up. 

School day #2 – Here We Come!


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