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Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Home" school

So besides the pre-school co-op thing Tyler's doing right now, I also do "school" with him every day for 30 min. I totally flaked out and bought this Hooked on Phonics Learn to Read set when it was on clearance. I knew I wanted to start getting more into depth with his learning, but had no idea where to start or what to do and this came highly recommended so I thought we'd give it a go. And I have to say, it has been perfect for us! The lessons are set for about a 15 min. time frame, but I add in my own things to supplement the lessons cause he has a pretty good ability to sit and listen so our lessons go anywhere from 20-30 min. Kylee takes about an hour and a half nap in the afternoon so we do it for the last half hour of her nap so that Tyler and I get some quality one on one time. Tyler LOVES doing it and when Bobby asked him if he liked his pre-school or mommy's "school" better he said, "Mommy's school!" without hesitation! Ha ha, I guess that's a good sign right?!

Using Nilla wafers to make the letter "A" (this was our first day and nilla wafers are his favorite snack so I wanted to make sure he'd enjoy "school" and want to do it more)


Playing the "find the letter A game" after our lesson.


Making the letter "B" with brown bears! (chocolate teddy grahams)


Playdough to fill in letter "C". And how much are we loving the crayon behind his ear?! Totally his doing-he said he wanted to be like Handy Manny!


And so on and so on. We do a different letter everyday with a review of the letters every so often. Since he's known his letters for quite some time we're mainly focusing our lessons on phonemic awareness and writing. He writes A-H (and a few other random ones; L, T, O, P) because that's what we've done so far and his handwriting has become so much better just over the last couple weeks. I think this has helped his fine motor skills a lot as he's learning how to control making small, precise movements.

I guess since this is a "school" post I'll go ahead and throw in some pictures from his first field trip to the zoo! We've been here quite a few times but some how he seemed to love it so much more when he had a bunch of friends to run around with!

Kylee desperately wanted to climb in with the pheasants. They are pretty birds.


Most of the kids and their moms/siblings.


Always a big highlight of a trip to the zoo-feeding the ducks!






She was yelling at them, "Ducks!! come ere! Ducks, come ere!"


That's teacher Hannah (who just happens to be 3 weeks away from having a baby!)


Lots of learning going on in these parts of the woods! I hope Tyler always has a love of learning and an eagerness to discover like he does now. I sure do love him.

A camping we will go...

A couple weekends ago the Bricker family went camping for the FIRST time! The Ellets and the Fackrell's have been trying to get us out there, all cozied up in the heart of nature, all summer and we finally ran out of excuses. :)


I. AM. NOT. an "outdoorsy" person. I grew up in Houston where the only thing you did outdoors was swim and where every summer at girls camp you could only find me in our cabin (fully equipped with ceiling fan), the mess hall (with air-conditioning), or the swimming pool (yup, that's right.). Not sure I ever passed off that hike thing you're supposed to do. Are you kidding me? 100 degrees outside with 100% humidity, not to mention the bugs! Gross! Have you seen the size of cockroaches in TX? And they fly. I'm just sayin'...me and being 'one with nature' don't exactly ever occur in the same sentence. I don't like being dirty, sweaty or smelling like bug spray. I'm a girly girl and PROUD of it. Pink's my favorite color, I love high heels, make up and shopping and my idea of camping is in a hotel. That being said...I survived and I LOVED it! Once I figured out how to pee standing up (squatting-whatever) without giving my pants a bath I was golden. I have to say though, I was freezing all night long so didn't sleep much. That, and Bobby woke up every 3.5 minuets to check on Kylee because he was (truly) afraid she was going to freeze to death. I guess next time we need more blankets? But other than the lack of sleep, we had lots of fun spending time with our family and friends. And here's the proof...

We chose a campsite next to a babbling brook (that was actually really nice to have at night to listen to when I was awoken by Bobby's flashlight zooming across my face to look at kylee on the other side of the tent all night long) and the kids loved throwing rocks, sticks and whatever else they could find (including themselves) into it.


Finding the perfect rock...


Yup, I got it!




Mindy and Royce put up our tent (brand new never been opened in 4 years) because Bobby was still at work when we headed up there.


Our tent, the Ellets, and the Fackrell's on the end.


Proof that I let Kylee be dirty-and I'll have you know I didn't wipe her face off till the end of the day! See I can be...chill. Now if it was me that was dirty, that'd be a different story.


Fun Ellet family!






Mindy could not keep little miss macey out of the water so they finally compromised by letting Mace put just her feet and legs in...


So of course Kylee wanted in on the fun.






The water was SOOO cold, so Ky would stick her feet in for a second and quickly pull it out and grab it to warm it up and then stick it right back in.




We're so happy the Fackrell's could come up from Layton to spend the night with us too!


Tyler played in this little spot, hiding things under the log, almost the whole afternoon and in the evening too. He loved "his spot"!


Helping Royce bring the wood in for the fire.


Gorgeous huh?


The boys went shooting once Bobby got there and left Mindy in charge of keeping the fire going for our tinfoil dinners!


All the cute kiddos!


Yummy roasted hot dogs for the kids




Once again, in "his spot".




Kylee would get a rock, stand on this ledge (terrifying me to death b/c she had to do it ALL by herself-not loving this independent stage so much!) and take a couple seconds to decide where to throw her rock. Then she'd say, "There!"...


...and throw it wherever she had pointed.


Then she' d clap because she was proud of herself and say, "Good job!"






Mindy, happy happy Macey and of course...Kylee with her baby :)




Watering the weeds with the stream water


And...still dirty.


I think he could've roasted marshmallows all night if we'd a let him.


She did NOT like the smoke from the fire!




Love this crazy couple!


Happy to be camping! :)


As you can see we survived the night and most of us woke up happy!


Tyler loved being carried across the "stepping stones" to the other side of the stream




But then of course Kylee wanted a turn so he had to come back!


I told him not to take both kids across at the same time, so what does he do? Picks them both up and jumps in. Guess we know who wears the pants in this family! :)


Jaylie eating a yummy chocolate muffin for breakfast!




Notice their pajamas on under their clothes! It was SOOO cold that morning.


He was REALLY upset that Bobby had thrown his glow stick in the fire.


And then pouted the rest of the morning. Gosh it must be so hard to be 3!


After breakfast we packed up and headed home! The kids really did SO well for their first camping trip. They both slept all night long without a peep and thoroughly enjoyed all the "camping" things we did. (like the fire...Tyler was obsessed with the fire! Like father, like son I'm thinking.) Who knows, maybe we'll be a "camping" family after all.

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