…And What A Wild New Year It Was

By | February 22, 2013

Well that’s an understatement. As I started writing this post I visited our first post in January 2012. Funny, I failed to mention that we started off 2012 with the stomach flu. We seem to have a funny record of taking an arrow to the knee in the beginning of the year. We started January 2011 with food poisoning. This year was no exception: within a few days I was attacked by a dog and sustained a nice leg injury to start off my new year. I’ll spare everyone the gory pictures.

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Other than that though, it’s been a fun month and a half of 2013. We’ve gotten tons of family time in to make up for the pile that December was. A trip to San Diego, days in the park, and a nice resumption of our normal lives.

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I sent Rebecca away on her own little retreat to Santa Barbara last week, and we also had a terrifically fun Valentines Day. On top of it all, Matt and Amy and the kiddos came back from Ecuador last month and we’ve been having a terrific time hanging out with family that we’ve seen only very little of in the past few years. Needless to say, there have been lots of princess parties.

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We had to go back to square 1 with the house search, unfortunately. Still looking for our new home!

Just A Chart – Keeping Track Of It All

By | February 12, 2013

So I thought it’d be fun to post the chart we used to keep track of Eva’s work in 2012.

Check it out here.
2012 Eva’s Learning Time Schedule

At the beginning of the year, we set out what we thought some good goals would be for 2012. Then, we split them up into quarters. It was great to see some goals get accomplished right on schedule, and others need to be re-adjusted.

At the end of the year, we found we completed the reading goals but were a little behind on writing (it’s tough for her to coordinate). The math was right on, and the music was exceeded. She also finished her Bible memorization right on schedule. She finished her physical goals as well. We were doing well on chess and Russian for a while, but eventually fell behind.

We had a few goals for Sofia as well, and now have a detailed chart for 2012 – 2013 for both girls.

On a parenting note, I had a somewhat-trippy experience with Sofia this week. She’s made a lot of behavioral breakthroughs, but (I think especially due to her nature) tends to go on a willingly self-destructive streak after holding good behavior for a while.

For example, the other day she had gone two whole days being kind to her sister and eating all her meals without fussing. Suddenly, I get her up from her nap to find that she’s been saying hurtful things to her sister. So we had a long talk about choosing to treat yourself with further good behavior after a good stretch rather than allowing yourself bad behavior.

And I realized I was giving myself the same lecture. I recognized long ago I have the same self-destructive tendencies. It’s a trippy thing. I also remember having the exact same conversation (probably verbatim) with Eva.

No cute video this week; sorry.

Practice – Studying, and Sharing

By | February 7, 2013

I find it amusing that I’m writing this post just after giving a lecture to an incoming student about the importance about independent learning.

When I first started our “learning time” with Eva, it was so easy to manage and give Eva all the attention and cover all the material she needed. Now, as she’s getting older and starting with science and history, I find the time requirements for the review material alone are becoming overbearing. So it’s time to start teaching her to maintain her skills on her own.

Part of her learning time includes a “practice” section. Things that she practices on her own (in other words). This includes piano, some studying, and some chores. This is her current study routine:

Trace a letter 8 times, read 6 flash cards, and read 4 pages of (what we call) a level-one book.

(enjoy the little clip of her studying…in her Princess Ariel costume while waiting for dinner)

On the parenting front, we’ve been making some good headway establishing their playtime etiquette with each other. The girls spend 30 minutes daily playing unsupervised in their room, and we’re transitioning Sofia out of the pack-and-play. It’s a dangerous combination. We’re trying not to legislate too much, but we’ve come up with 1 rule that seems to help tremendously:

If Child A is playing with a toy, child B may ask for it. Child A is not obligated to share and may refuse. Child B must wait until Child A is finished with the toy to play with it. It’s worked wonders. We’ve tried to keep that the only rule; so far so good.