vrijdag 29 januari 2010

The kitchen fairy

In our house we have a kitchen fairy.

Sometimes she just sits on the counter next to the cook.

She is beautiful and laughs and smiles.

She plays with kitchen accessories and food.

She chats and sings songs.

She guarantees a lovely cooking ánd dinner time!

I will kill her with a stone ...

... I beg your pardon?????

We thought we offered our kids only good books. Living books, according to Charlotte Mason. Youth literature, decent picture books, nature study books, and of course the Bible. You would expect they would learn only good things from these books. Especially from the Bible. And of course we don't expose them to violence.

This week Boas returned from preschool and said: Rebekka and I chased all the other kids away. We've said we would kill them!!! I carefully replied (although a bit shocked) that it maybe isn't that nice to kill children? Then he continued. With stones. Just like David did with Goliath!! I couldn't help myself laughing (silently..).

I notice Boas feels at ease at preschool. We notice he outgrows it. He needs more challenges. He is one of the oldest kids now, and together with his best friend Rebekka I believe they sometimes act like little terrorists... Only four times.. then it's over for him (and from February 18 on it will  be Fera's turn).

And regarding Goliath, maybe it's time to do some craft, like we did with the kids in Suriname, way back!!

How to make siblings best friends?

Boas en Fera discovered a new game: playing restaurant. This started after we went to a pancake restaurant. So another good reason to go out for dinner more often :-)

And this is something we looooove to see as well! (They also do this in church. Isn't it cute?)

 And here follows another picture of something they can do together very pleasantly.

And if we're lucky, they even teach good things to each other ...

We are very happy with this brother and sister. We love to see them develop their close relationship. But this doesn't happen without a struggle! And that can be hard. For us as their parents, but also for them as siblings. Another homeschooling mom recommended the book: Siblings without rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. This book is a sequel to How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk, so I ordered these books and hope they will help me to cope with my kids' feelings and those of myself. Hopefully we can guide them into a best-friends-relationship! (Oh, and that's why I also ordered Making brothers and sisters best friends; how to fight the good fight at home! ;-) Let's say, for the christian perspective ...)

(By the way, if you prefer to buy new books, the links connect you with www.bookdepository.co.uk , which is an attractive choice because they don't charge you delivery costs. If you don't mind second hand books, you could easily buy them at www.abebooks.co.uk, where some books are that cheap that you basically pay only the delivery costs.)

dinsdag 19 januari 2010

Noah's ark

A promising day .. 5 January... We would visit Noah's ark (ok, I mean a replica of course).
Of course we didn't go unprepared! We started the day by reading the story of Noah and the flood. We learnt that the ark had three storeys, that only two animals per sort (male and female) could come in, that God closed the door and that He showed his rainbow at the end. A bit of pre-playing to kill the time before we would leave was indispensable ...

And off we went! Together with our old new friends Naomi and baby Nathan and their mum. (Mostly new, but the old thing of this new friendship is that their mummy and our mummy used to be colleagues and discovered by 'fingerprint' that we live in the same town now! )

Wow, those animals are HUGE!! And it seems like some of them sneaked into the ark unnoticed. Or did they multiply so quickly that there are more than two already?

Do you know how big that Ark was! Even though it wasn't a real size one, but only as big as possible for sailing the Dutch waters. By the way, a real size is in the making! See  also www.arkvannoach.com . Anyway, we walked enough to deserve a big break!

 Today we had planned to go for a second time, with two other homeschooling families. But when we arrived, we saw ánd heard tons of schoolkids. That's why we decided to go to the house of M.'s family, where had a good time as well. Despite of the disappointment of leaving the ark before seeing anything :-) It was so nice to meet another homeschooling family and see how they live and work together!

donderdag 14 januari 2010

It works!

We use Doman's method How to teach your baby to read a couple of weeks now.. and it works! I'm not exactly sure what Fera picks up, because she is less enthusiastic and willing than Boas and also less eager to say words out loud.. But even she recognises certain words. I think we've done about 80 words now and started with phrases and sentences now. Especially the interesting or familiar words are learnt very quickly. I think he sort of realises how useful and fun it is to be able to read.

I created a little game for them with photographs and words. We play Lotto with that or Memory and the kids really enjoy that!

I've also started with a self made book in which I use the words they have learnt. They love their special book very much, because it's very personal. I use pictures of them or pictures of characters they know (Dikkie Dik) and make up funny stories. I notice that Boas memorises the text, so sometimes I find it quite hard to distinguish whether he reads or just recites, but he's doing so well and we love it all!!

By the way, we don't do 9 sessions of flashcards a day anymore. We've brought it back to 3 sessions (1 set of about 8 flashcards) which is pretty much more relaxed. After all we have 3 dinner times a day, so that works quite well ;-)

zaterdag 2 januari 2010

Boas' vocab

Boas is quite conversational and of course we enjoy that! He asks many questions, like what we enjoyed the most, after going to the swimming pool as a family.  And he tells a lot. About what happened, what happens, what is about to happen and what he wishes to happen! (When writing this, I realise that I should take more time to just chat with him ...) Anyway, he talks a lot. Of course it's a lot of copywork (which can be quite confronting and challenging at times ...

Imagine a preschooler who says 'Mummy, you also have to take an afternoon nap. I saw you yawning!' or 'You don't have to shout at me!!') But also surprising or new things. Like 'Stop that! Otherwise I'm going to call the police!'. (Yeah, I know, now you suspect me from using such threats ;-)  ) And of course also cute or funny language. 'Mummy, come quickly! Daddy has made us some FANtosTISCH! (Sorry for the 'double Dutch' here, but can be translated as 'FANtoastICS' :-) ) Or: Daddy and I are the 'Jossen' (one Jos, two Joses ;-) ) and you (Mummy) and Fera are the 'Meneren' (Gents), when struggling with terms like ladies and gents, men and women, boys and girls ...

What 2009 brought us

Let me just summarise 2009 regarding our family life:

I started the year as a mum with a part time secretary job (50%) and was quite confident with that. After all, I had finally 'escaped home' and found a  nice job. But.. a couple of months later I was exhausted ... I felt uncomfortable with the situation of working, caring, being actively involved in church, ... you know, that very well-known dillema of moms all over the world. When Dear Husband sighed: I wished you just stayed at home, to be there for us! I started crying (for those of you who know me, when did you see me cry for the last time - if ever?) and felt just so relieved!! Ok, and that's where it all began. I quit working outside the home. But even before our 'normal family life' could find a rhythm, we met homeschooling. For real. I mean, the both of us. We got even more convinced that our first priority is our family, the kids that God gave us. And we discovered more and more that homeschooling could be one of the tools to build a strong, godly family life. In November we decided to cancel Boas' school registration at least until he turns 5. In the mean time (and still) I read a lot about education in general, raising children, homeschooling. Jos and I talk(ed) a lot about it and got enthusiastic. And that enthusiasm only increases!!

What I found so special was rereading a piece of paper with prophesies, written down at the beginning of 2009. Someone prophesied that God would make clear what He had in store for me that year. And other prophesies often pointed to us a family. I strongly believe that this is what God intends for our family!! Wow.. did I say that?! Yes! Besides our own experiences and feelings about this, He also confirmed it!

Wow!!! God is good!

And that's my one big resolution for 2010: As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!! (Joshua 24:15)