Thursday, August 22, 2013

Parent Profiles

As another avenue to increase our visibility to women wanting to place babies for adoption we have signed up for parent profiles, which is basically an advertising site for couples wanting to adopt. Right now there is only one other couple listed in Georgia, and none in Alabama or Florida so we are hopeful the additional monthly expense will pay out.

Is it raining?

Saturday, August 10, we had another fun family day. It was a beautiful morning so we took the convertible:

 to go to Steak 'n Shake to get chocolate chip pancakes (burger and fries for me, biscuits and gravy for Jake):
 and went to Lowes for another build and grow clinic - Gavin made an airplane from the movie "Planes" (with a lot of help from Jake - that one was hard!):
 We also hit up the Goodwill next to Lowes and found a cool bike buddy, a kid's bike minus the front tire that attaches to an adult bike to make a tandum bicycle.

 August 14 was our 13th wedding anniversary:
 It's still constant knights and castles around here. All available cardboard gets fashioned into all manor of medieval weapons and armor:
 Didn't Jake do a great job making this helmet from a sheet of cardboard?!:
 Had to go get his helmet while reading about knights:
The last couple weeks the subjects that have interested Gavin the most are: the weather (especially all types of inclement weather), knights, castles, archers, and airplanes. He also is really enjoying learning about geography, and quite frequently will start conversations about the different continents. He has become very interested in weather radar maps. Especially on rainy days he wants to check it all the time. "Is it raining?" he'll ask. "Look outside" I'll reply, and then he'll say, "No, I want to look on the map." Then we go to We have this conversation frequently. What I am most pleased about is Gavin's interest in books. Especially non-fiction or "living books" as they're sometime called. He gets so excited by all the library books I get him about his topics of interest. Last night he pulled a book about military aircraft out of our library bag and exclaimed "Thank you, Mommy!" with a big hug. This morning the first thing he did when he woke up was to get his library book about tornadoes and wake Jake up to show it to him. I found this quote that could be our family's homeschool motto:
"Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire." ~William Butler Yeats

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A good life

Lately our Saturdays have been pretty great. Last weekend was no exception. Gavin wanted to learn about biplanes last week, so we did. Saturday we took him to the Museum of Aviation so he could see some real ones:
 It's fun to go to the museum with Jake because he knows a lot more about aircraft than I do. He was able to answer Gavin's questions about what different parts on the planes and helicopters were for. Here's Jake and Gavin being a human biplane:
 After the museum we went to lunch at a Chinese take-out place. Gavin likes a few (Americanized) Chinese dishes: sesame green beans, chicken on a stick, Chinese donuts, and crab rangoon.
 After lunch we went to the library. While I found a couple books for myself Jake and Gavin hung out in the kids section picking out books about sharks and spiders. I found Gavin an encyclopedia of airplanes which he has been glued to all week, copying the different airplanes in lego form.
Great Day!
Proof that Tyler has actually begun to trust Gavin (somewhat): 

Aside from the regular letter and number stuff we always work on, and reviewing what has already been learned, this week Gavin has chosen to learn about crocodiles, castles, knights, armor, archers, and trebuchet catapults. He made a shield with a coat of arms and a sword out of a cereal box today. He's been making castles and airplanes on minecraft all week. I also taught him about carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores, which he pretty much already knew from watching dinosaur train.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

If you build it...

This past Saturday was another Build and Grow workshop at Lowes. Gavin made the RC car from Toy Story 3. It was a little more complicated than the truck he previously made, but he did a great job and got it done with a little help from Dad:

School Days

Today was the first day of the school year in our local public schools. I guess that means Gavin is now technically a kindergartener. If he had gone to public school and ridden the bus he would have gotten on the bus at 7:50 and gotten off the bus at home at 4:30. This is what we did instead:

8:30am: Woke up after a full night sleep, with no fussing to go to bed last night because he was able to stay up till he was actually tired at 9pm. I'm recovering from a sinus infection and still not feeling great, so Gavin happily ate cheerios on the couch and watched "Wild Kratts" on tv (it's educational!)

Then he got to hang out with Jake until it was time to meet our friends at McDonalds for lunch and play time from 11am till about 2pm. When we got home he took a shower to wash off the McDonalds playplace cooties, then had some watermelon and built a castle on minecraft. Then we watched a phonics rap on youtube and a video with a song about the 7 continents. We then played with this map, learning the continents using super heroes and star wars guys:

(notice the map is not colored. Gavin rarely enjoys coloring, so I don't make him do it - why force a kid to do school stuff he hates if it's not important?)
 and looked at animal flashcards talking about which continent each animal lives on:
He's taking another snack and play break right now. Later we'll read some books and play a math game. Also this week we've been learning about money, biomes, and clouds. Per Gavin's request we've also learned about biplanes and tornados. Gavin's favorite subject is science, so we spend a lot of time on that. We made a tornado in a bottle yesterday. As we drive around town Gavin enjoys pointing out different types of clouds and we talk about what they are called and which ones rain comes from. We also talk about which biome would have the different types of trees we see. I am really enjoying homeschooling. It's not easy, but so worth it.