Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lifelong Learning

   There are so many things to teach our children.  Around here, school gets woven into our day and our family life.  There are things we study as a family (like our Egypt unit) and other things that individuals are learning. 
   Right now, Guapo has been working on quite a few things that make him a happier baby and us happier Mami & Papi.  He's begun to sleep all night (which is much better than "through the night" which only means from midnight to 5am!)  Of course his night might not begin until midnight (like last night), but once he's asleep he stays that way until a respectable hour.  He's also been learning how to sit by himself.  This allows him to play more as well as keep an eye on Bonita & Chulo, which is endlessly entertaining.
   Chulo is continuing his year-long battle with potty training.  (Has it been that long already?!?)  It's a battle we thought he had won last May, but it seems that was just a trick and the arrival of a new sibling combined with extra attention for his sister (ie. homeschool) completely reversed any progress that had been made.
   Of course, learning to use the potty or to sit up doesn't seem very interesting or challenging to someone who is learning to read, write, and "play with numbers" (AKA math.)  Bonita is struggling with showing respect to her brothers as they practice their lessons.  They in turn have devoted themselves to providing her plenty of opportunities to practice being respectful when you really don't want to.  They are such good brothers!
   I am trying my best to learn when it's okay to just let the kids be.  Bonita's style of playing with Guapo is only annoying me, not him.  Chulo's constant questions are typical and good from an almost 4 year old.  Guapo's desire to be held as much as possible is fleeting and soon he'll be all grown up and too big for such silliness, just like his siblings.  I've also been trying to let the kids find their own solutions to their disagreements, but it's so hard not to step in.  As long as they are not hurting each other, I've been trying to stay out of it.  When things get out of hand, I try to remeber to ask "are you showing love & respect right now?"  Of course, I'm still learning, too, so I mess up, forget, and jump to conclusions.  But I am trying and pray that I'm making progress day by day. 
   I can't really record the progress of all our lessons, but here are a couple of clips of Guapo learning to sit up by himself.

video
video

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ancient Egypt

For Christmas, Bonita received a math computer game from Spain.  The setting for the games is in Ancient Egypt, with the goal being to pass the various math games in order to earn stones for Pharoah's pyramid.  In between games, Pipo (the boy character for all of these educational computer games from Spain) tells the child about Ancient Egypt.
*

Well, Bonita started asking a lot of questions about Egypt.  In turns out, she didn't understand that Ancient Egypt means Egypt from so long ago, even before Jesus.  She thought she was learning about Egypt now.  That understanding cleared up a lot of her questions, but not all of them.  So, we began to study Ancient Egypt.  There is a wealth of information available for children on the subject, but not so much in Spanish.  Here's what I found that's been helpful:  Amigos de la egiptologia, Egipto para ninos, and Homeschool Share's Ancient Egypt Unit Study & Lapbook.   

We've had a lot of fun learning about our names in Hierogliphics, pyramids, and most interesting of all - about Egypt in the Bible. 

Our Lego pyramids

Chulo, A. (a new friend of ours), and Bonita with their pyramids

I'll add more pictures as we continue our study of Egypt.

* I have no affiliation with the Pipo products other than we have purchased and used 3 of their CDRom games and they are great for children learning in Spanish.  Both Bonita & Chulo love the games and have learned a bunch.