We enjoyed a nice holiday, although we did not do too much holiday stuff and a whole lot of normal stuff.
Little EM started off the day at 5:30 am by rolling over on her tummy in her sleep and realizing that she did not like that. I managed to get her back to sleep for a little while longer, but it was a restless sleep.
Dh did find a place to play golf today so when he left I decided to make it just another day for the girls. We started off by talking about what Memorial Day is. As MB is at that age that is preoccupied by death it became a long discussion about death (always my favorite). Then we started Cursive handwriting. MB's handwriting is horrible. This is due in part to the fact that she races through everything she does, but also because in her preschools she has had very little good handwriting instruction. Very rarely have they done any instruction in lowercase letters. I have been trying to work on it with her and she is getting better but I noticed that she would often lose her place when she was writing and had to pick up her pencil. So when she expressed an interest in cursive writing recently I decided to give it a try with her. Today we started with A and B, upper and lowercase. I told her that I wasn't concerned with how fast or how many she did, but how well she tried. If she did not do them well we would erase them and keep trying until they were correct. This she took surprisingly well and did give it a really good try and only had to do over two or three. We will keep working on these two letters until I am satisfied.
After that we moved into her new science unit - Reptiles. This she asked for so it was easy. We hung the Reptile poster I had picked up last week and had her dictate back to me the characteristics of reptiles that we had talked about last night. I had her copy the list over as her copy work for the day and we will include that in her reptile book. I had her choose which reptile we would start discussing first and she chose snakes. So we pulled out the reptile identification book and read about snakes then she chose to draw and color a green snake.
While we were working together, K played with the pattern blocks. K is becoming really good with them and can almost fill in a pattern by herself. Mainly, though she likes to bring them to me to name the colors and shapes. Then she played with her little people for awhile.
After MB and I finished up the reptile work, MB wanted to play with the pattern blocks herself so while she did that I read to them "The Ch'i Lin Purse" a chinese folk tale with a moral ening similar to Aesop's.
We ended about 12:30, which wasn't too bad considering we did not start until 10:00. MB wanted to go out and play after lunch, and since school is now out for the public schools she had playmates around to play with. She played for a couple of hours while I spent some time with K and little EM.
Around 2:00 she came back with a blue jay feather she had foun and wanted to try writing with it like the 'old people' did. So we pulled out the paints so she could try. It worked, somewhat, so that she could see how they did it. Of course that moved into a creative painting fest for her and K. They had a wonderful time. MB talking about the colors she was mixing and what colors she was getting. K just having fun painting her 'shapes.'
Then they headed out to clean-up in the wading pool. An spent the rest of the afternoon outside.
It was really a wonderful day. We had almost no blow-ups and the shifting from one thing to another went very easy. I am really trying to remember to use the techniques I have learned recently in working with them. Mainly to not come right out talking about what MB is doing wrong, but reminding her the correct way to act, or talk. Then giving her a choice to either change her behavior to the correct way or to do something different. Discipline isn't tied so much to a certain punishment (ie timeout) but inside is directly related to whatever she is doing at the time. I am also working on keeping my tone of voice steadier and not moving into yelling as much as I used to. Just be firm. I am finding that as long as I act certain and sure, MB is not arguing back as much with me. All of this is more of a change in my behavior and it really seems to be making an improvement over the last four-five days. Each day the pushing the boundaries gets a little less. I am also finding that as MB improves, K is also more willing to listen and obey which is great because she is going through that whole 2 yrs old I am independent phase.
I feel good about today. We didn't push too hard, had a lot of fun and still got things accomplished.