Life and Changes

Sometimes, though you have the best intentions, life gets in the way.

First, Easter week happened.  I work for my church and in the church world Easter is kind of a big deal.

Then, Carter went through a terrible bout with salmonella poisoning.  It began a few days before Easter and persisted and persisted and persisted.  During the week he was showing symptoms, we had NO idea what was wrong with him.  It was pretty pitiful and the kind of thing that drives a mother crazy.

Here he is trying to have fun on Easter, but ended up pooped in his Daddy’s arms.

Thankfully, he got better just a few days before we were scheduled to leave for NYC to visit my brothers.  As far as Carter is concerned, NYC = Subway trains.  He wants to ride them every chance he gets and he makes it his job to learn all the trains that we need to take and the stops where we need to get off and transfer.  He’s quite the conductor.  Here are a few images from our time in the Big Apple.

Tickle Time!

Carter Bug at the Staten Island Children's Museum

Preschool Art at Rockefellar Park on the Hudson

There are some great parks in NYC!

On the "Shakey Bridge" with Uncle J.

Life is good when you're 3.

Admiring the fountains at The Met before going inside.

Central Park

Enjoying an amazing view from a highrise in Brooklyn.

During all this time away from our daily “school” routine I came to some tough conclusions.  The first is that I’m totally missing what Carter is ready for with the activities I’m planning for him.  I realize that this may not come across as a problem to some of you, but it is one in my eyes.  If I am planning activities for my son to learn letter sounds and match uppercase and lowercase and the like when he is ready to read books and write, then I am wasting both our time.  If I am having him count items to 10, when he can easily count from 1-100, identify those numbers and write them I am totally missing the mark.  The larger problem is that the things I am teaching him now have been the things I have been teaching him since before he was 2 because those are the things I taught my students in PreK. It’s my comfort zone, so to speak.  Teaching a child who is reading and teaching a child anything past pre-math skills is a little beyond my area of expertise.  I can now see that keeping a bright child challenged is just as difficult as teaching an at-risk child to recognize their name and learn academic basics.

I’m going through a bit of a redo myself.

I have started to research some more things to challenge Carter from a language standpoint.  I read over this Montessori Language Scope and Sequence to find some jumping off points.  I’ve purchased some early readers: Miss Rhonda’s Readers and Bob’s Books.  I have purchased the moveable alphabet and will be assembling it today.  I am swinging by my library to pick up The Read Aloud Handbook and Reading Magic to take our read aloud time to the next level.

I have not yet started my research on math and beyond.

I say all this to say that I’m pausing to reevaluate and the site may take on a different direction, since it is just documentation of our learning journey.

If you have any suggestions for resources, I would greatly appreciate shared links, books titles and materials that will spur us forward.  I’ll showcase anything I get in a new post to make it easier for others to benefit as well.

Cooking with Carter: Blueberry Muffins

Some days are just exceptionally wonderful.  They begin with your child sleeping until 10:00 then waking up and proclaiming, “I want to make blueberry muffins for breakfast.”  So, we printed our recipe, tossed out some ingredients and dove right in.  I’m sure you don’t want need me to say how easy and healthful it is to make your own muffins and how many bad, bad things are in box muffin mix.  I mean, you may as well have a candy bar for breakfast.  Moving on.

Here’s the original recipe.  Here’s our fun with it:

We started with the part where Carter hides in his room with the door closed while I process the oatmeal into a fine meal.  He can’t. stand. the sound of the food processor.  Once the unpleasantness is over, he pops right back in.

Carter helps measure out and mix together the dry ingredients: oats, 2 flours, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar.

Then the wet ingredients are mixed in a seperate bowl: buttermilk, canola oil, eggs and lemon zest.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and then stir, stir, stir the wet stuff in.

Last comes the much anticipated blueberries.  This recipe came with a great little trick: toss the frozen blueberries with some flour to keep them from coloring the batter all blue.  It worked like a charm.

Pour them in your own Lightning McQueen baking cups and sprinkle a little sugar over the top.  Wait 20 minutes and then you get to do this:

Yu-um-y.  They are pretty fantastic.  Because of the ultra-hearty ingredients, 2 of these will do you for about 4 hours.  Seriously.

Enjoy and thanks for your comments!

Planting Seeds

Planting the seeds was probably Carter’s most anticipated activity of the month.  It turned out to be extra-special because he and his Daddy worked on it together.  In Carter’s own words, “I put them down in the dirt for a little dirt nap.”  The seed packets promise that in 7-10 days they’ll wake up as plants.  I can’t wait.  We’ve got Cilantro, Basil and 5 really cool varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes.  Combined with the Cilantro, we’ve got great salsa.  Combined with the Basil, we’ll have some yummy Italian dishes.