Home two weeks

8.14.2010

It's hard to believe we've been home two weeks already. Things are going pretty well. After taking naps and going to bed without crying the first week, week 2 decided to bring on the tears. Thankfully, the crying was short-lived, and we are now back to sleeping without much fanfare.

Last week, we put Jin Bei in the pool, and she absolutely loved it! We've gone swimming several times, which has been wonderful in this heat. She has a preference for Patrick to hold her in the water. So I'm not so sure we'll be swimming much while he's at work.

We've gone to the park a few times. And let me just tell you, Jin Bei is fearless! She went down the big kid slides with a huge smile on her face and signed for more. She's just precious.

We've also signed Caleb up for Fall baseball. He's so excited to play yet he's still so anxious about it all. He keeps asking if we'll sit in the front row of the stands so he can see us. We've assured him we'll be there. But yesterday when we were at the park, I asked him if it would be okay for mommy and Jin Bei to watch the game from the playground (which is behind the t-ball field's outfield.) He told me no, that he wanted to see me in the front row. Hopefully at some point in the season, he'll be fine with us watching from the other side of the field. But even such a short difference makes a huge difference in his comfort level. It just breaks my heart. I do hope he'll be able to stick it out for the season, as he's a great little baseball player.

This week, Caleb officially started First Grade with me at home. He was soooo ready for first grade math, that we actually began it before we left for Ch*in@. Last year for K, we used A Beka for everything. For a first time homeschooling mom, it was the right thing to do. Now, with a year of homeschooling under my belt, I am mixing things up a bit. For math this year, we are using Singapore Math. In fact, we completed Singapore 1A in June, just one month! We are working our way through
1B and will, no doubt, begin 2A before Christmas. The way the lessons are laid out just click with Caleb. He can already add and subtrast within 20. And next week, we'll begin adding/subtracting within 40! I love this curriculum for him! Because it's mastery based, we are using A Beka for review (it spirals). So I think this is a nice mix. He doesn't need all the review of a spiraling program...just a little.

For phonics, our main curriculum is A Beka, which worked very well with Caleb last year. He's already learned so many special sounds, and the repetition is great. I am supplementing his phonics curriculum with Explode The Code. Right now we are working on Book 3. Although it's all review for him, he needs the help with language and comprehension. And the program goes slowly. So this is great extra help.

We are using A Beka for Spelling and Handwriting too. Although he's only done one year of manuscript, I decided to do cursive this year. Already (because of the way the lessons are laid out), Caleb can write his name in cursive all by himself! It helps to have a short name. But nonetheless, his formation and spacing is awesome! I am beyond proud of what he's been able to accomplish in just one week of first grade. Now, not getting distracted by his sister is a whole other issue. LOL. Oh my goodness. Homeschooling was way easier (for Caleb!) without a newly adopted 2yo sister in the room. School wouldn't take nearly as long each day if I didn't have to constantly repeat myself and ask him to pay attention. So....with that said, we are working to make our computer room/classroom toddler friendly. I stumbled upon a homeschooling blog that coined the phrase "tot school". Now I realize this is a tall order with a newly adopted 2yo, but I am willing to do whatever I can to make Caleb's school life easier by keeping his sister "out of his hair." So that's what I've been up to.

I thought I would share some tidbits about Jin Bei (we're still calling her that):

She squeals at the sight of food.
She can say up, more, chips, eat, please, thank you, help, mommy, daddy, ge ge, no. She also tries to repeat a lot of what we say.
She tries so hard to say art smock; it comes out as "Ah ma."
She loves to write on her lips with markers and crayons. Lovely.
She LOVES to brush her teeth.
And thanks to Caleb, she now enjoys her bath!

Anyway, here are some photos from our first two weeks home. I tried several times (with tried being the operative word) to do some photo shoots with my little munchkin. But as you can see in the last shot, the furrowed brow was mostly what I got! Enjoy!

Watching Caleb play baseball in the front yard

Enjoying bath time.....finally

Having fun in the pool!

Blowing kisses

The furrowed brow look I got in most shots I took

6 sweet words:

Stephanie Saturday, August 14, 2010  

Oh, I love to hear how you are all settling in!
The pictures of your kiddos are WONDERFUL!! (Even the furrowed brow!)

The Lewises Saturday, August 14, 2010  

Wow! She's gorgeous! And the two of them together are fabulous! Congrats. Once you're settled in, we'd love to do a playdate. And some local moms are looking to start a beachside homeschooling group. Are you interested?

Cheri Saturday, August 14, 2010  

I'm so happy for you all. The children are just beautiful and it sounds like things are settling down to a new "norm" for you.

I'm starting Singapore Math, too! I'm excited about it. My girls aren't as numbers inclined as your son, but we'll soon see. I'm going to try mfwbooks.com. I am trying this out with the advice of numerous friends. It may end up working out for you, too, since your children are close in age. I'm doing 1st grade with Ivy, letting Eva sit in. Then I'm doing Countries and Cultures with Jack, and letting Ivy sit in. We shall see how it all goes.

BTW, you don't have to post all this on your blog. Just thought I'd share.

Fliss and Mike Adventures Saturday, August 14, 2010  

So great to see all is doing well... gotta catch up with you at some stage that is for sure...

The Raudenbush Family Sunday, August 15, 2010  

Wonderful pictures! Glad to hear you are getting settled into your new normal.
Bless you!
Kelly
www.wearegraftedin.com

Hoots Momma Tuesday, August 17, 2010  

Is your littel one from SWI Guangzhou City Orphanage??

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About This Blog

This blog is a place where we have shared our lives with family and friends while we waited to bring our daughter, Madeline, home from China and while we actually traveled to China for her. It is also a place where we will continue to share our life experiences, as we try to glorify God and raise our two precious dumplings from China.

And now we wait to bring Havi home from China.

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