Not sure where the week went but is has flown by! Made a few changes to the family rules as things have gotten a bit out of hand recently behavior wise. I used to let the children watch TV or play the Wii or DS every day after school for 90 minutes. However I have been slipping a bit with keeping track of the time and the children are no longer willingly turning off their screen time so after much reflection my husband and I have banned all screen time except for a 2 hour block on Wednesday and Saturdays. We have implemented a family game night for Tuesday night and one night a week we will watch an educational show. The kids were NOT happy with this new plan but I have to say we had the best weekend this past week under the new rules!
We have decided to give the children an allowance to help understand money better. I purchased these banks that have dividers for Spend, Save and Charity. We have tried weekly allowance before but the children were too young and really didn't care about money. However my oldest is showing more of an interest so we thought we would give it a try. I want to encourage both children to save and donate and thought these banks would help. The children made a goal on what they would like to buy with their savings and who they plan to donate to at the end of the year. We wrote this down and placed it in their banks. I also told them what things they would be responsible to buy from now on, ie magazines/books, trinkets/toys, and the occasional candy treat. My husband and I also are trying the monthly allowance instead of weekly as we never seem to have the right amount of money on us when allowance is due. I also added it to my calendar so I can call my husband up to remind him to go to the bank to get out the children's allowance in single dollar bills. I am hoping this will make it easier for us to mange.
The children are continuing their studying on space and this week we learned about Jupiter and it 4 main moons. We have been doing lots of reading and working on our solar system models.
I thought I would post some of the fun sites we have been using to explore space.
We have watched the DVDs Wonders of the solar system and I ordered the free DVD Journey to the stars. Both were excellent!
To read our posts on the other planets we have studied so far and see some of the experiments and art projects we have done, follow the links below
We did have a minor detour this week with science when my 6 year old son wanted to know where babies came from. You can see how we handled that here. I would love know how you handle this very sensitive issue:)
Kids are still working on their spelling program and we are really enjoying this program. My daughter is on book 2 and my youngest is on book 1. I have to say we are going fairly slow with the books as I really want the kids to understand the rules, plus we often take a break while traveling and have to do a lot of review to remind us where we are. My son appears to be a natural speller where as my daughter struggles a bit more.
Continuing our Piano lesson with Pianimals Just ordered book 3 and 4. I really can't say enough about this program, my kids love it and are truly learning to play. I can't play a single note and it is so easy to teach the kids. (I do not represent this company in any way--just a very happy customer!!)
We are also trying to introduce the children to different types of music. So far we have made a CD of early Rock N Roll music that we listen to in the car. It has been interesting as at first both kids didn't like the music but now say they do. I am still looking for a great music appreciation program so if you know of one that is reasonable in cost please pass it on!
We are continuing to learn about the space race between the Soviet Union and the USA. I am also continuing our discussions on the first men to walk the moon as well as other significant astronauts. I found a great children's autobiography on astronaut Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. We are considering having the children watch the movie Apollo 13 but our library doesn't have a copy so we are still looking.
We are continuing to work on our solar system models. We have also built a new bird feeder to go in our backyard. We were hoping to participate in the the Great Back yard Bird watch but just found out that although we are on time for the US we are too late for the UK bird watch which was 3 weeks ago:( We are going to do it anyway but won't be able to submit our bird numbers this year. i hope to be on time next year!
This was the first time I let the children use power tools and it was to heavy for them so I had to do a little more helping than I anticipated. We are going to paint it before setting it outside. The kids are excited to see what birds will stop by to visit their bird feeder.
I am using the free Salsa Spanish videos to carry us over until I find a new program. I am currently looking into Olivita's Oink: Bilingual Barnyard but I haven't seen any reviews so I am a bit hesitant to to purchase. The Library on base has just installed a new computer program which will supposedly have a on line Spanish program so I am waiting to see what that is. I am told it will be up and running next week:)
Extra Curricular Activities include:
Boy Scouts where we had the British K9 dogs come and visit. We got to learn all about police dogs!
Girl Scouts where the girls are working on their pet badge and went on a field trip to a horse center and learned all about horse!
Rock Wall climbing
My daughter made it to the top but had to be rescued--twice! She is still over coming her fear of heights!
My son has nearly made it to the top and Daddy is learning how to use the rope system so we can go on our own sometimes.
Both kids are continuing their swimming lessons and are showing real improvement this year. My youngest has finally decided that wearing goggles is not a bad idea and is thrilled he can no find swim toys at the bottom of the pool -- This accomplishment has taken almost 2 years of lessons:).
My daughter is really improving in her strokes and looking more and more like a real swimmer.
Whew and that has been our week!