Yesterday I posted Alyssa’s Kindergarten Interview, so today it is Kylie’s turn. Kylie is definitely her own person and I love to see how individual she is. It’s interesting that a few of her answers are the same as last year’s interview, but not surprising, because she truly does love Prickles and Starper and rainbow is her favorite color :)
We are officially starting kindergarten homeschool on Tuesday, Sept. 1. This year will be a little more formal compared to last year when we just “did school” whenever the girls asked to. We are beginning the year using a daily folder, one for each kid, filled with the work they need to accomplish that day. After their lessons they can do the worksheets/crafts in whatever order they want to, and as slow or as fast as they like (as long as it is done well!) But before we begin I do want to share a little about each girl at the start of their kindergarten experience. Here is Alyssa’s Kindergarten Interview.
We took the kids to the doctor for annual checkups. The girls did FANTASTIC and for the first time were talking, laughing, being silly and answering all of the doctor’s questions themselves, without encouragement from us. They also got their first eye exam done. Even though the nurse only asked about one line, they got every one right. It was cute to watch!
I only got these two pictures from the appointment, because… well, three kids… I was kinda busy.
Sorry the lighting is terrible.
Alyssa went first. Here are her stats:
Height: 44.5 inches (113.0 cm- I’m including this for a reason) 80th percentile
Weight: 42 lbs 4 oz- 61st percentile
Height: 44.8 inches (113.7 cm- ya, not even a full cm difference!) 83rd percentile
Weight: 43 lbs 2 oz- 66th percentile
Height: 39 inches -79th percentile (My brother, who is 6’3″ was 38 inches at 3 years)
Weight: 37 lbs 4 ounces – 90th percentile
Wyatt was not cooperative and Russell took him, sans clothes, out to the car kicking and screaming as soon as the doctor was done attempting to look at him. The girls had to stay a bit longer to get 3 shots each, plus blood drawn. The doctor also wanted a urine sample, but ya. That wasn’t going to happen. Alyssa got her blood drawn first and cried. Kylie hopped up next and they told her to look away before they inserted the needle. She wouldn’t turn her head because she wanted to watch. She was very curious about the whole process and told me later she wanted to see if her blood would be light or dark. Here they are afterwards.
Kylie got referred to a dermatologist to look at a mole on the back of her neck (brought up by me, not the doctor) but otherwise we have normal, healthy kiddos. See you next year, doc!
We are deep in the throes of potty training Wyatt. In our house we use a sticker reward system. Luckily my kids see the sticker as the reward and don’t need anything extra special for completing a chart. He gets a little sticker for “number one” and a big sticker “number two.” Wyatt is thrilled enough to pick a new character each time he completes a chart, which on a good day is about every day. I make simple charts using whatever character he picks and circled numbers using Paint and I thought you might get a giggle looking at the different characters he picks, and maybe I could save someone else some time if they are looking for a abominable snow monster potty chart. That’s normal, right?
We started with a Thomas potty chart
Then he wanted Olaf
Next it was Buzz.
Alyssa and Kylie celebrated their 5th birthday with some of their friends this past weekend. They requested a Rapunzel (Tangled) theme party so I thought I’d share some details, along with free printables, of the things I made!
We had frying pan plates, because… who knew, right?!
A “Best Day Ever” banner that I made using my cricut.
An apple toss for Maximus bean bag game.
The boys who came to the party got a ruffian/viking hat (tutorial here) and a handmade Flynn Rider satchel filled with a glow stick ax, eye patch, fake mustache and some chocolate gold coins.
The cupcakes were topped with kingdom suns, and the girls’ cupcakes had Rapunzel on top. Found here. You can see I used the other people in the set around for decorating too. Yes, I had to buy two sets.
Now for the FREE printables! Just open and right click to save the document to your computer.
Click here for Flynn’s wanted poster (I printed it on brown cardstock)
Click here for the lantern printable (I printed two and glued them together to get the right size, I used cardstock to hold the shape better)
Click here for the sun cupcake toppers (I used a two inch circle punch)
Click here for the Rapunzel’s Paints insert (I don’t have a picture but I just slid them inside the paints)
I’m also calling this year “The Disney Halloween” because the girls each chose to be different princesses, and Wyatt (still willing to be put in a costume of my choosing) will be a perfect prince. Introducing,
Belle, from Beauty and the Beast (aka Alyssa)
Watch out for that apple, my dear!
I did sew all three costumes again this year. I did not buy any patterns specifically for these costumes. For the girls’ dresses I used the bodice from their frontier dresses I made earlier this year, both with modifications to the sleeves and neckline.
For Alyssa’s full Belle skirt I wanted 8 bands of elastic going down, roughly 8 1/2 inches apart, so that is how I calculated my width, and for the length I just measured the length on her that I wanted, cut my bands of elastic to match and then stretched them as tight as possible and measured that. That gave me the length of the skirt to cut. I am still going to search around for a headband I like better for Kylie’s costume and then make the red bow to match. For Kylie’s sleeves I used this tutorial, and I used this one for Wyatt’s. His buttons on his jacket are real working buttons, but the belt and top collar are secured with velcro.
Finally, Russell and I will be joining in the theme and going as two of the seven dwarfs. Russell will be wearing a shirt with the name “Sleepy” and mine will say “Grumpy”. Pretty fitting for our family I think ;)
I finally decided with my little climbers, tumblers, balancers, etc that it was time to try the girls in gymnastics.
I found a beginner class offered through the city for a decent price so I signed them up. The girls were really excited and wore their gymnastics outfits that were handed down to us by a fellow twin mom. We got there a couple of minutes early and I snapped this photo in the parking lot.
We went inside a saw the gymnastics room. The girls had fun looking at all the things inside that they might get to do. A trampoline, balance beams, tunnels, and slides were among the things there. We watched the instructor set up for their class.
Then… things took a turn.
When it was time to go in, two little girls that the instructor already knew ran in and started playing with some ribbons. They called the rest of the kids names to come too, and of course our girls were called first. I was told to make them go in but stay outside myself (not outside outside, but on the other side of the glass window) The girls got a little upset about this because they weren’t expecting it and so they were nervous. When they started to show some tears the instructor told me that at this point I needed to go around the corner where they wouldn’t be able to see me anymore, so as not to distract them. I told her that would make it so much worse but she insisted it was their policy. I obliged and after about 5 minutes the director of the gymnastics program came and told me she thought it would be better if I sat where they could see me. Geez, you think?! I told her I had tried to explain that to the instructor. She brought the girls out and sat with us while they calmed down. Then they decided they wanted to go back in and try again, this time with me watching. She took them back in and they were still shy but much calmer. We had been watching the other kids do somersaults and Alyssa wanted to do one too, but by the time she got over to them they had started doing them from a sitting position and she didn’t know how to do it. They offered her a turn to go, but no one gave her any instruction so she didn’t participate.
Kylie hung out by the wall, but was in the room without me, which surprised me after the way things had started out. Neither girl cried at all at this point. The class then went to the opposite site of the room to do the balance beam. My girls were offered no encouragement to join them. After about 10 more minutes (near the end of the session) the instructor came by (to get some equipment) and coldly asked them if they were ready to join, and then simply walked away. At this point the girls sat down in some chairs against the wall and watched. After the last activity finished all the kids ran over and filled in all the chairs around the girls. The instructor walked down the line giving everyone a hand stamp, deliberately skipping over my girls. All the kids, on both sides of them got hand stamps and they were passed over. Now I know they didn’t participate the way the instructor would have liked, but they took a huge step going back in and trying to overcome their fears, and I think that should have been acknowledged and encouraged.
I also know that the instructors (there were two) couldn’t just sit with my kids the whole time and try to help them feel comfortable, that wouldn’t be fair to the other kids in the class either, but we paid the same as those kids did so I feel at least some effort should have been made. The girls were basically ignored. A simple wave with a “come join us, we’re having fun!” still might not have brought them over, but at least it would have been something.
The girls want to try again next week now that they know what to except, and with me watching, so I hope it goes better. Either way I think I will be letting the director of the programs know my concerns so that hopefully other little kids don’t have to have a similar experience. Let me say again, this was a beginning class for 3-6 year olds.
I did a little interview with each of the girls (separately so I could get more authentic/individual answers, although they did answer some things the same) to find out what the like and don’t like at the time they are starting preschool. I think it will be a fun tradition for us. I had to make my own since all the premade ones I found online said “My First Day of…” and since we kind of all-the-time homeschool that wasn’t really applicable to our family. Here are Alyssa’s answers:
So basically I am just going to post once in a blue moon. You’ll just have to deal with that. Today I wanted to talk about the curriculum we have chosen for our girls this year. Age wise they should be in preschool, but they are ready for closer to kindergarten curriculum, we believe. Here is what we have picked!
We chose a combination of programs to try to give them a full range of learning activities. Happy Phonics has a lot of games and activities while Explode the Code is work books. We went with book 2 because the girls already have a knowledge of all the letters, capital and lowercase, the sounds they make, and how to blend letter sounds to make words. They also prefer to be more challenged than review old information.
Math: Math-U-See Primer
I am so excited to try Math-U-See. It is a multistory, mastery math program. There are manipulative blocks, work books, and a DVD instruction to basically help any type of learner. Being mastery based it does not correlate to a specific grade, more the complete understanding of each skill. The levels are named for letters in the Greek alphabet. We started with primer, which is the first level. It does not assume learners know anything and starts by introducing numbers 0-9. This will be review for the girls, and we may end up skipping forward a little bit. Not everything will be review though, which is why we selected this level. Here is what the book covers:
- Counting objects and developing numeracy
- Understanding place value
- Recognizing number names and symbols
- Reading and writing numerals
- Understanding addition and subtraction with concrete and representational models
- Understanding and writing the symbols +, – and =
- Addition and subtraction of select numbers
- Telling and writing time by hours and minutes
- Recognizing & drawing rectangles, squares, and circles
- Measuring length by repeating units
- Introducing halves and fourths
- Counting by 2s, 5s, 10s, and 100s
- Reading, writing & interpreting word problems
Science for the kids actually happens everywhere, from our garden and yard, to the Springs Preserve, to our kitchen, but these kits are fun little experiments for them to begin to learn some basic science skills. A favorite part for me of all the curriculums is that between Clifford, the blocks of Math-U-See, and the games of Happy Phonics most of their learning involves playing, which is so appropriate for this age.
Arts and Crafts is an easy one because my kids draw, paint, play with play dough, sidewalk chalk, etc. everyday at least. All of this is supplemented by the many, MANY books we check out from the library and own at home. And that’s it! That’s what we’ve picked for this year. I’ll try to post some updates along the way and let you know what we like or don’t like about all of the programs. We plan to start on the first Monday in September, but the girls have been seeing everything arrive in the mail and keep asking to start using it. I wonder how long this excitement will last, for all of us!