You will have to bear with me here. This post is likely to be a bit of random thoughts about unrelated things. What can I say except I'm a bit lacking in the adult conversation area today and so I'm going to post it instead while the kids are in quiet time. I already walked on my treadmill with sweet Oliver in the Moby Wrap along for the ride.
He wasn't too impressed by my ability to walk, carry him, and read a book out loud to him at the same time. As a matter of fact he fell right to sleep. Maybe that is because I was reading a mommy book... anyway, here he is sleeping in his swing from his grandparents, which is where I put him after our walk. I don't know if you have ever seen this swing, it is by Fisher Price and is their Rainforest swing. I have a love-hate relationship with baby swings. I love them but hate that they can go through batteries at an obscene rate! Not this swing though - I asked for this specific one because it plugs into the wall!!! Talk about wonderful. I am so happy! Our last swing lasted 7 years and 4 children before the gears finally gave out. I'm hoping this one lasts just as long!
A quick homeschool update - we're enjoying being mostly on baby break still. Remember the workboxes post I did not too long ago HERE ? We're still using the boxes. For the preschoolers it is nice to have things ready when they are in the mood to do some school, which often happened right when I was in the middle of something. Now they can grab a box and go for it - no waiting on mom! They go through anywhere from 3 to 6 boxes a day. BigGirl usually ends up using close to 6. I've got to pull out some more boxes for her come April when we pick back up with our regular homeschool subjects or she's not going to have enough boxes for what she is doing. On the whole the boxes are great for me too. It is fun to fill them each evening and slip in fun notes, games, or activities that I wouldn't have thought to do spur of the moment when I'm in the middle of a busy day. My husband has even gotten in on the fun of adding a surprise task to the kids boxes or just a note from daddy.
I spent some time yesterday planning and printing a few things for next month. We're doing a short health unit on the Food Pyramid and food groups. It was an easy unit to plan thanks to these two websites:
MyPyramid.gov is the official website for the Food Pyramid. This site is packed full of information for adults and kids on nutrition. It has food trackers, meal planners, exercise guides, personalized pyramid plans, podcasts, and more. You can learn a ton here!
TeamNutrition is the USDA's site for schools, food service, and teachers. This is where I hit the jackpot for our unit. When you look under the information for educators there are lesson plans, worksheets, activities, projects, games, and more all free for the downloading and printing! I have no real work to do to prepare the unit besides read the lessons and gather materials for the ideas I want to use!
The next thing I need to work on planning is our final history/literature unit study for this school year. We're focusing on pioneers/westward expansion. Our literature will be the Little House on the Prairie books. There are free lapbooks available for all of them on www.homeschoolshare.com but we're not doing them - I know, you're shocked, aren't you? It really comes down to the fact that I'm trying to simplify what we do for the tail end of this school year with a new baby in the house. We DO need to produce some paper from this unit for our portfolio review and will be using the great reproducible book History Pockets: Moving West book by Evan-Moor. The book is technically written for 4th-6th graders, but I've read through it and BigGirl will have no trouble with it. As a matter of fact she will have a lot of fun for a minimum or effort on my part.
Another thing on my mind: our schedule! Remember how wonderful our life was pre-baby with our schedule? I'm ready to put a new one together that incorporates our new life with a newborn as well as using our workboxes too! I've begun the process of praying and playing with schedule ideas and hope to have it pinned down by midweek next week. I'm doing a total overhaul, so it should be interesting what we end up with. One thing I hope to include that was not in our previous wintertime schedule is playing outside time. Now that spring is on the horizon we're all ready to be outside.