Busy busy busy
To say that we have been busy is an understatement. We have been homeschooling with full force. As I have said earlier, I am supplementing Caleb's phonics and math curriculums with a secondary curriculum. Although this adds a little bit more time to our schedule each day, I feel it's necessary in order to meet all his needs. He is soaring with his math. He is so close to adding and subtracting up to 50 with carrying and borrowing all by himself. Occassionally he needs some prompting from me. But he is almost able to do all the problems by himself. For a 5.5 year old, this is simply amazing. He was so excited to learn that some of his 2nd grade math books arrived in the mail this week. He just can't wait to start adding past 100 (his words.) We also introduced the concept of multiplication this week, and he did quite well (not surprising.) I am just so proud of him. His ability to read smoothly has also taken off! The fluidity of his reading is so much better than last year. It's just amazing how well it has improved in just a few short weeks. His cursive writing is also going very well, with great formation and spacing. And it's getting smoother each day. And not only is he doing so well with his work, but his ability to tune out his sister's noise has also greatly improved. So this makes for a better experience for all of us! LOL.
As you can see, I am one proud homeschooling mama. Caleb truly makes homeschooling for the first time easy. (Having one year of homeschooling under my belt also makes it easier for me.) There's just something so special and intimate about teaching him. There is an amazing sense of freedom with homeschooling because I can choose what he learns and when he learns it. If I were to enroll him in a traditional school this year, he would be starting kindergarten because of when his birthday falls. But he is beyond kindergarten curriculum. I am also completely against him being the youngest in his class (for a lot of reason I won't get into now.) So I wouldn't enourage the school to let him skip a grade either. It just seems best that homeschooling is really where he needs to be. And besides his education, his anxiety would still make learning difficult in a traditional classroom. Before we headed to China this summer, I was unsure how Caleb would be able to handle first grade curriculum AND a new sister. But after just a few short weeks, he has shown me he can handle both! I'm so proud of him.
Caleb has also started his therapy back up at our local elementary school. He really enjoys his time with his therapists. Caleb and Jin Bei are so excited to see each other when it's time to pick him up. Their squealing just makes my heart sing.
Last week, we went to Orlando to celebrate my niece Leah's 3rd birthday. It was a wonderful time. We arrived a little early so Jin Bei could get comfortable in my sister's house. Our saving grace was all of Leah's toys. She played quite happily with them, as most of the guests stayed in another part of the house to eat and mingle. She got to meet a few of her extended family members, my auntie Alison and cousin Ashley and my second cousins (like auntie and uncle) Ed and Eileen. We stayed the night in Orlando so we could spend more time with family. And we're so glad we did. Jin Bei did well with being out of her routine, which happily surprised us all. (I will post photos from Leah's birthday party soon. So hang in there.)
We headed back early on Sunday because Patrick and Caleb started up their mandarin classes at our local university. Caleb has been so cute "teaching" Jin Bei "Mama zao, Baba zao." It's really funny. He'll say, "Mommy Jin Bei said it right!" It's so sweet.
Jin Bei continues to amaze us. She's definitely a little joker, just like her ge ge. She makes the funniest faces. She is so curious and fearless. She still enjoys bath time with Caleb and tries to drink the water. Although she inconsistently tells us when she has to pee pee, she puts all her poo poo in the potty, which makes this "new to diapers" mommy quite happy. She is no longer a fan of having her teeth brushed because the dentist recommended we brush her teeth with just water. She would suck on her toothbrush so much while we were brushing when there was bubblegum flavored toothpaste on there. But now...it's not so much fun. Oh well. She loves to wash her "hands" because she hoists herself up on to the bathroom counter to turn the faucet on. Then she'll pump herself some soap and proceed to wash her left arm clear up to her shoulder! Rinsing the soap off calls for help from mommy. Otherwise a clothing change is in order. This week we started calling her Madeline Bei. Although she still quickly responds to Jin Bei, she's slowly getting used to the idea of Madeline Bei.
Well, last week I wanted to get a photo of Caleb at the start of his 1st grade year. Easy enough. Then I wanted to try getting a photo of our two dumplings together. That proved to be quite difficult (thank to Jin Bei, of course.) Anyway, I've included a few of the photos below. Be sure to check back a little later for the photos from Leah's birthday party.