Monday, August 25, 2008

First day of HOME school

We did it! Daniel, Anna, and I made it through our first real "school at home" day today! We didn't get off to an early start, but it was a good relaxing morning. Over breakfast, Anna asked if we were going to have "school home" today. When I told her we were, she grinned and asked me if I was going to be "Mrs. Mommy". They both got a big kick out of that!

I walked through the homework plan that was given to us by our teacher. We talked about why you raise your hand to answer questions, good listening skills, and other great things that make Kindergarten such a wonderful time. We moved on to our journal writing - throw on the brakes! I had prepped Daniel on his assignment of thinking about the best thing about his summer earlier in the week. He finally decided that playing with his cousin was the highlight. It was a little bit like pulling teeth to get Daniel to talk about that topic. So Mrs. Mommy asked the questions, got some basic answers from the student , and tried to journal in a way that at least sounded like Daniel was involved in the process. It became more painful when Daniel discovered he had to draw pictures to describe the story. Wow - break time!

We moved on to reading our rhyming books (thanks Sister!) and then our math lesson. He L.O.V.E.D. the math meeting - it was about calendars, talking about days, months, years, filling in the calendar, etc.

Then it was back to the tough stuff. I think I mentioned that the class animal Bob Frog came home with us after the FIRST DAY of school. We had to write about our adventure with Bob AND, you guessed it, draw a picture about it! Again, the writing process was as smooth as crunchy peanut butter. I just kept telling myself to relax and that this was just part of the learning process. That worked pretty well. :) After much encouragement and coaching, Daniel proclaimed his work of art complete.

Actual Art and Inspriation Photo:

In case you need an interpretation, this is a scene from his grandparent's house in Parker (just east of Plano). Paw Paw (in brown) is driving an ATV, Daniel (yellow) is in the back seat holding Bob Frog (green) in his lap.

All in all, I'd give us all an "A" for the day. Daniel and I hung in there with each other. Anna was definitely always in the mix and playing along as much as she could. We will all continue to learn how to do this over time - I'm so glad we're starting in Kindergarten!!

passing this on...

My friend Melody recently posted about blog books. I haven't tried them yet, but it sounds so fun! They take your blog and turn it into a scrapbook. Check it out:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

survive and thrive!

Today was D-day - the first day of Kindergarten for Daniel. I must admit - I felt the tears coming when driving into the parking lot. We just-so-happened to pull up next to the Carters, our dear sweet friends, and there was plenty of distraction to keep me from getting sappy.

We all gathered around the church's outdoor baptism pool for a first-day-of-school prayer. It fired me up to be part of such a wonderful group of kids, parents, faculty, and staff who are dedicated to raising up our children for God's glory!

Daniel did great and went right into his classroom, unpacked his backpack, signed in (to practice writing skills - he is one of 12 in his class!), and found his spot on the carpet. He was excited when Anna and I came to pick him up - he had a wonderful day! He even got to bring home Bob the Frog - who gets to have an adventure over the weekend with us. We take pictures of him and then write in a book about his journey. Daniel gets to be the special student of the week and bring some show-and-tell to school on Tuesday. How's that for kicking off the school year?!

Anna and I had a great day together. We did lots of leisurely shopping (got a big girl booster seat in bright pink!), explored Austin highways, and had a lunch date at Taco Cabana. We met up with Jen Carter and Sammy before heading back to campus to pick up the kids.

We are all looking forward to a great year! Next stop - Anna's preschool, September 9th!

Here's Daddy giving Daniel a goodbye hug and kiss from home.

My boy did NOT want to take part in the sappy mom first-day picture taking!

Here's Daniel (far left) with friends Annie (1st) and John Daniel (2nd). They are Veritas pros and carpool buddies!! We are gathering for our prayer here.

Daniel signs in on Mrs. Keel's desk while she looks on. She is so great with the kids and actually has 5 of her own!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

we've been busy

It's been awhile since the last post - evidence of our crazy life. Since our Kindergarten Camp, we've been to Sea World San Antonio with Aunt Leslie and the cousins, Dave performed his first wedding, Anna got sick (again), I had a fun girls night out, and lots of other little stuff. Pictures to come soon!!

Currently, the kids are having a blast with Mimi and Paw Paw at their home in Parker while I spend a little time working at Hockaday in Dallas (one of my favorite summer traditions). On Wednesday, the kids got to stay at Hockaday in the Child Development Center (which the kids call "Hockaday Kids"). They had a blast and all of the teachers commented on how well Daniel cared for his little sister during the day. I was such a proud momma!! My good friend JT (who took my place at Hockaday) let me crash at her house and I've had a blast working with her and hanging out with her and her sweet daughter Hannah, who is 2. JT is expecting her second little girl in October - so fun!! We're headed back to Austin tonight to see how Dave has enjoyed some peace and quiet. :) Grammie is coming to visit this weekend, so it sounds like we're in for more fun!!

Daniel starts school in less than a week, so we will be gearing up for that! We're planning a family celebration Wednesday night for this rite of passage - REAL SCHOOL. Unbelievable but so exciting!! I wonder if either of us will shed some tears on Thursday as he goes to his class. Hmmm, my money is on the mommy, not the boy!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

School is just around the corner!

Daniel and I just finished up our Family Education Week at Veritas Academy last week. Daniel enjoyed three days of Kindergarten Camp, which was a great introduction for him on how things work, where things are, who his classmates will be, and expectations of his new Kindergarten world. I can hardly believe that we are entering the "school age" zone, but Daniel is definitely ready to conquer the challenge! He had a great time and feels ready to start school soon. I'm super excited about our school - it is a University Model School (read more here), so Daniel will go to class on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a "professional" teacher (ie licensed) and will have school at home with me on Wednesdays and Mondays. Sundays are workdays for Dave, so having some flexibility on Fridays during Daddy's day off should be fun!

I also got alot of training last week as well! I learned how to setup a home classroom, how to manage a schedule with Anna home during Daniel's school time (we'll see, won't we?!), how the spelling and reading curriculum works, how to build a character notebook, and many other things. I really enjoyed getting to meet other new moms and dads; and lots of the returning parents were there later in the week and were very encouraging. The presenters were all very encouraging, motivating, and interesting but honest about the hard parts of homeschooling as well. This model seems like a great balance between traditional 5-day school and pure homeschooling for our family. I'm sure we will find out soon enough!! School starts August 21st - pray for us!!!

House Guests!

The Barrettworld Resort is now open for business! Last weekend, we hosted my parents (aka Grammie and Papa Ray) AND Belle, the infamous white lab. We had a great time with them, complete with date night with my sister & Kevin and friends Angela & Halim. We managed to cram our big egos into a friend's mini-van so we could all ride in style. I think Kevin just wanted to save money on gas, but it sure was convienent!

This week my fried Jen and her 4 kids joined us! All of the kids really play well together, so it was a blast for all of us! Here are Madison & Anna, who took turns doing each other's hair:

I borrowed my sisters huge inflatable water slide, which the kids loved!

We also spent time at the Shadowglen pool, where big boy Caleb (5) went down one of the big waterslides!!

We also had a great dinner at Phil's Ice House (followed, of course, with Amy's Ice Cream with rainbow sprinkles) and the mandatory superfun lunch at Chick-fil-A. Superdave helped too - here he is reading to the kids:

The first night of trying to settle all the kids down was a little rough (especially for Jen, who ended up with all 4 of her kids in one room). Here are the precious non-sleepers:
The next day we played them hard and didn't give naps, so they passed out much earlier!! Jen & I even got to have one of our famous "planning" sessions! We get some ideas going, but end up having a great time in the process. Here is one of our prize-winning collaborations from our women's retreat:

Can't wait for them to visit again!!

Guest room is taking reservations!!