Saturday, May 19, 2012

Study Time

Emma gets up early every morning. She typically wakes up at 6:30 a.m. while Da and I prefer to sleep until 7:30 or 8:00 whenever possible. For a while her morning routine consisted of t.v. or computer until we woke up. But just about every morning there were questions or problems. "Mama! My computer says something, can you come read it!"

Makes it hard to sleep in if Emma keeps asking me questions.

Now that we are at Gramma and Boppa's, the computer and the t.v. are upstairs. We would like her to stay downstairs until the rest of the house wakes up, so we started a new routine yesterday.

When Emma wakes up, she will work on "school" for a about 10 minutes (or longer if she wants to). This consists of working in her work books (she has math, writing, puzzles, etc), drawing, reading, etc.

There are 3 reasons why I think this setup will work. 1.) There are not a lot of distractions at 6:30 in the morning and, 2.) She works better when I am not breathing down her neck, 3.) She truly enjoys working in her working in her work books.

I have a tendency to say "Let's just do one more page," or "Let's just finish this up," or "Why don't we do the pages in order." With me not being part of the equation she can work on whatever she wants in whatever order she wants.

Once I get up, I will look over her work and she gets to put a sticker on the pages that she has completed. Stickers are so cool.

If there are pages that are half finished I might suggest we finish them so she can put a sticker on the page, but for the most part this is her gig. I look through her work more for my benefit then hers and if I notice mistakes, I let her know and we work on fixing them together. Then I date the page and we are done.

Yesterday Emma did about 8 pages in one of her work books. She also drew a picture of an Ardennes horse (after looking in one of her horse books) and wrote the name of the horse on the paper as well. Once I got up, I read the paragraph that went along with the horse for her.

This morning was a bit different. A crappy nights sleep leads to some crabby people but she still managed to get a bit of work done in her work books. I ended up getting up with her so I took a picture of her working (and yes, I kept suggesting she do one more page).

And just for the heck of it, here is the bookcase next to her desk. Her tinker toy creations are on top; kid markers, higher end markers and stationary are next; a giant tub of crayons (and we have more floating around the house somewhere) and her plastic critters in a jar in the middle; coloring books, blank notebooks, and paper on the bottom.

I am sure over time we will play with the set up, but for now she seems to like it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Emma's Room

We are here at Gramma and Boppa's house and finally getting settled in. Emma's room was my top priority and I feel like I can say that her room is done.

Of course, that doesn't mean we won't find random toys or boxes of toys that need to be put away as we unpack the rest of our stuff, but hey, it's a start.

Here are some pictures.

Walking into her room, this is the view. The clutter on the top bunk has been removed and we are currently relocating all of her stuffed animals up there. It's a long and involved process. The file holder things hanging from the top bunk hold books and other random little toys. The red case is full of Mega Blocks (and I think we have more somewhere else as well).

To the right of the door and back a bit is her closet, a perfect blank canvas for horse posters.

On two sides of the room there is a ledge that we have decided to fill with books, as you can see better in the next photo. The storage cubes are about 1/2 full right now, mostly with random toys. The books on top of the storage cubes are all easy readers. She has really gotten excited about reading, as long as the book isn't to hard. I figured the easy readers should be easy to read and easy to reach.

Her toy kitchen was a must keep. <sigh> She loves it, but I don't think she really plays with it all that much. Time will tell. The books above the kitchen are loosely organized by fiction and non-fiction (ish).

On the far left of the picture you can see a little desk. This will be Emma's work space. On top of the desk in the corner are her work books and art journals. She has a cup for pens (she hates pencils) and a bucket full of odd writing utensils. To the right of the desk is a little bookcase with kid markers (crayola, rose art, etc) as well as our fancy/professional markers. She has a big bin of crayons and on the bottom shelf are all her coloring and drawing books as well as blank paper, scratch paper, and blank notebooks/journals.

The books on the ledge above her desk are all her chapter books (Magic Tree House, Rainbow Magic, Bone, etc.).

Both Emma's work desk and the dresser that matches belong to her Auntie Sara. The desk and dresser have gotten a lot of good use out of them and they are still going strong. In the dresser we keep play kitchen items in the top drawer, dress up/music items in the middle drawer and doll clothes in the bottom drawer. The books on top of the dresser are all horse related.

The hutch (or whatever it's called) holds her more fragile horses and other items. Books to the right of the hutch are fairy tales (Gramma has a great collection of Cinderella stories from around the world). Books to the left of the hutch are all Bernstein Bear books, Little Critter books, and other books of the same size. Most of the Bernstein Bear books belonged to Emma's Da when he was a little boy.

And the closet. Two bookcases- the one on the left holds puzzles, games, and craft stuff as well as a few educational type items like Base 10 blocks, tanagrams, etc. The bookcase on the right holds; on the top shelf- toys from Da's childhood such as Tinker Toys, He-Man characters in their case, Castle Grayskull, and an Ewok Village. The next two shelves are just random toys, and on the bottom shelf is Emma's beloved Legos, which many of them also belonged to Da when he was a boy.

The upper shelves in Emma's closet hold more random items with room to expand (though really, she doesn't need any more stuff).

She LOVES to spend time in her room, which is such a relief because for a while she wouldn't play in her room if no one else was downstairs with her. Now that her room is situated and full of fun stuff, she is happy to hang out down there with no problems.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of Emma's room!