Monday, August 17, 2009

The Obedience Jar

As any of you who have 3-year-olds can probably relate, obedience can really be an issue with this age! Frustratingly, arguing and fits have become a little too commonplace in our house and we just haven't seemed to be able to get through to R-Man.

So, this past week we implemented the obedience jar! Basically, any time that R-Man flows our directions quickly and with a positive attitude (I once heard that obedience isn't really obedience unless it is quick, quite and complete :-)) he gets to put a ball in the jar. However, anytime he throws a fit, argues or just flat out takes to long to do what we are asking of him, we take a ball out. When the jar is full to the top he will get to pick a prize.

So far I think it is going pretty well. He definitely demonstrates a sense of pride when he gets to put a ball in the jar, and is frustrated (as he should be) when one gets removed. We reward him for anything that is asked of him, so, his "chores" or little things we ask him to do for us around the house (putting his bowl by the sink after meals, making his bed, picking up his toys, putting his clothes in the laundry room etc...) fall into this category and we don't have a separate program for those tasks (yet anyway).

I will keep you posted on how well this is working in a week or so. We are hoping it will help drive home the point of obedience in a tangible way and lead to smoother, happier days all around!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I was very blessed last week to be awarded with not one, but three awards from Teaching My Little Bookworm! So sweet and I feel very honored to be recognized by her wonderful blog! So here they are:
I am not entirely sure what this award is for or what I am supposed to do with it, but I will gladly take it none the less!

This award is supposed to be passed on to 15 bloggers! Wow- 15 is a lot! Let me think and get back to you at the end of this post!

With this award I am supposed to tell you all 10 things that you may or may not know about me. Since this is R-Man's blog though, I thought I would tell you 10 things about him instead!

1. He loves to breakdance and he calls any song that is fit for breakdancing his "ya-yas"
2. His newest phrase when he doesn't like what Jer or I are doing is "I don't like your attitudes!"
3. He has an active imagination and a typical day includes him becoming all of the following: a cat, a superhero, a cowboy, a race car driver and a carpenter- just to name a few!
4. He loves to drum! With anything and everything, and on anything and everything!
5. Brandon was his favorite contestant on So You Think You Can Dance because he saw him do "fwips"- aka flips!
6. He knows how to get into my iPhone, touch the phone app and tap on the right name to call his dad- it amazes me!
7. He LOVES taking pictures!
8. CARS is his favorite movie!
9. By the time he was one he had had two black eyes and broken a tooth! He is VERY resilient!
10. In spite of his craziness and abundant energy, he LOVES to snuggle! Such a sweet little man!

Now back to the blogs I will be passing these awards on to (yes, all three awards!)! Since I just passed on another award from Mama Kenz Studio, I have decided to pass these awards on to anyone who has ever commented on this blog! I so appreciate all of your input and value your friendships! So, go ahead, grab your awards- you deserve them!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Planning, Planning, Planning

Sometimes I feel like I am doing is planning, but I really want to find the best fit for R-Man- learning that he will enjoy and really get something out of. The last two weeks we have been primarily working from Hubbard's Cupboard Bible and Rhyme curriculum, but I think some lack of preparedness and the way activities were presented caused some frustration for R-Man.

So, new plan! We will still be working with the Bible and Rhyme curriculum, and following that basic schedule for the year, but I am going to try to work in more from ABC Jesus Loves me and Totally Tots. I also want to incorporate the Workbox System (Jolanthe @ Homeschool Creations has a lot of great information and printables!), as I think it will be a better way for R-Man to see the flow of his preschool day, and for me to stay prepared and organized as well!

I am also working on convincing my husband to let me turn our front playroom/guestroom into a schoolroom/office (for me- he has one already!). This would involve selling our futon and having him build me a couple of pieces of furniture (sheliving and such), but I think it would be really worth it!

So, that is the plan for now! It is ever evolving, as it should be, I think!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Open-ended Art: Mixing

We had so much fun with open-ended art this week! R-Man adores anything physical, so painting with his toes (and eventually his fingers too!) was just about the best thing ever! I definitely think this will be his favorite project of the week!

We did the project on our front porch area. It was a little windy, so I taped down two big sheets of paper and let him have at it. At one point there was so much paint that he looked like he was on an ice-skating rink and totally wiped out! He thought it was hilarious though, and hoped right back up saying, "Woe! It's swippewey (slippery)!

We took the idea of using feet from the "home" blog of Open-ended Art, Teaching My Little Bookworm. She recently had her kiddos mix paint colors with their feet, then cut out a piece of the art to add to their Open-ended Art books for the year, which we plan to do as well. She also read the Foot Book by Dr. Seuss, which I thought was a great idea, so we read it and Mouse Paint, which talks about mixing paint colors to make new colors. R-Man loves both books and we have read them numerous times since!

For more info on Open-ended Art, and to join the meme and see what theme is in store next (we can't wait to find out!) you can visit:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Home Preschool Week 1

We officially started our first real week of preschool last week! It went well, but was definitely a learning experience for not only R-Man but myself as well! I had been so prepared for day one, but my preparation waned as the days went on. I am finding it to be a trick to bounce Lion Cub (one of the few things that keeps him quiet) while trying to read to read to R-Man or do a project! We are working on it though- each day is hit or miss!

We are really liking our Hubbards Cupboard curriculum though, and I think it will only get better as we get into a routine of working through the subjects and projects each morning. These first two weeks are all about creation and the curriculum does a really great job of working numbers and colors into that overall theme.

I didn't get many pics last week, but here are a few that I was able to snag:

Writing the number 1 in flour

Writing the number 3 in pudding (probably his favorite thing of the week!)

Sponge painting with blue

I am really looking forward to week 3 when we start the alphabet and the story of Adam and Eve. Sometimes I think that the story of creation is so segmented (a totally different idea each day) that it will be easier to just follow one story for the whole week. Like I said before, I think it is just going to get better with time! I am glad we are starting in August to get some of the kinks out of the way before September when I want to add in more activities to our preschool mornings, such as book themes and projects.

We also started our co-op last week, as you may have seen in my open-ended art post. It is basically just a group of mamas who are all working through the same basic curriculum with their kiddos. We are meeting one morning a week, switching off houses each week, and will go on a field trip once a month. The first week went great and we should have all the families who are planning to participate for the year in attendance this week! I am really looking forward to how this year is going to shape up- I think it will be wonderful in not only learning a ton but forming lots of new and stronger relationships! All in all, I think we are off to a good start!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Open-ended Art: Yellow Prints

Well, this was our attempt at prints. We did this project during our first week of co-op and the kids were instructed to find different things out of the yard to make prints with. Really, most of them just used leaves, sticks, bark, mushrooms, and rocks as painting tools more than items to make prints out of. But hey- we tried and this is open-ended art after all!

Here is R-Man's masterpiece!
If you want to participate in Open-ended art with us and many other great blogs, just head on over to Teaching My Little Bookworm to get the details and join the meme!


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tot School! Two weeks of fun!

Tot School

These past two weeks of Tot-school have been a little haphazard but filled with lots of life-school if not much else! Hey- it's summer after all, so I can't feel too bad!

We did get in a few days of lessons though. We have specifically been working on our letters. We have been doing some of the projects off of the Totally Tots site for working through the alphabet. I usually introduce a new letter by using the Starfall site and then we do the project. R-Man had been pretty non-committal about most of the letters, but when we got to "C" he fell in love! He now points out Cs on EVERYTHING! It is so funny! And reassuring (phew... he is learning something)!

Here is the cat project we did for the letter C

Here are the dinosaur prints we did across the letter D

We spent a little bit of time at a local splash pad to try to escape the heat! R-Man never stopped running! Well, I shouldn't say that- he did stop running, but only to start dancing to the music that must just constantly be playing in his head! It was hysterical to watch!

(always on the go!)

R-Man also got to seem some relatives on daddy's side this past week- Auntie Barbara and Aunt Laurie (Grammy's Aunt and sister). They were both a total kick in the pants! Let's just say that wigs, do-rags (I am sure I am spelling that horribly wrong!), flipping backwards in reclining chairs, and chocolate candies called "Bear Poop" were involved, among other things that I dare not mention! Just see for yourself-


One of Auntie Barbara's new wigs- the whole family tried it on! Quite the site! Doesn't he look thrilled?!

Both boys in their new motorcycle shirts

Say cheese! I was tickling him, trying to get a real smile!

Getting tickled by Aunt Laurie!

Getting wrapped up like a burrito in his car mat by Aunt Laurie!

The final burrito!

Posing with Auntie Barbara

Auntie Barbara going for a ride in the recliner! The first thing she yelled was "Grab a camera!"

Holdin' Lion Cub! Does he look a little scared to you?!

And finally, some pics taken by R-Man himself!


Grammy & Lion Cub

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Open-ended Art: Yellow Collage


Alright, the lack of variety in this particular collage is not R-Man's fault! I hadn't quite gotten around to getting all of our collage supplies out (or purchased), so his choice of materials was a little slim! He still enjoyed it though and produced a lovely little masterpiece to add to his book!

And here is what he has to say about it:
w3tyhhvwdcceeeuuccki ul.cccccerwweeeeer e b vwqvliul u ewewq uvkwquvqwvu r ;23o`31P`k,3k2kd2kdkdk2peszdxj v nx3w2fdccC wq ∆, y vccccxkuy

(Sorry, he REALLY wanted to type! He says those are the words to his "ya-ya" song- the song he likes to break dance to!)