Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lily vs. Paintbrush

Lily draws on the computer using Paintbrush.

Letter to Santa

Some home movie footage of Lil and Angela writing their Christmas list, with a special guest appearance by everyone's favorite log.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Taller de camisetas

Lily and I were invited to this event (It's a shirt-making workshop):

It involved everyone buying or recycling blank shirts and bringing buttons, cloth scraps and fabric paint to spend an afternoon making improved shirts. There was some awesome stuff made (I await images via Facebook).

I mostly supported Lily as she made this:

...while intermittently speaking to people and trying to focus my thoughts. Very late in the game I came up with this:

It's not so amazing, which was difficult for me to bear since everyone was making such cool things, and it's not even finished, but, I ripped up an old stained shirt of Lily's that had a print I liked in order to make the white arrow. So, it's sentimental. And recycled. At the same time.

PS - I want a sewing machine for Christmas, Santa.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Carretera de les aigües

A great Barcelona outing that we don't do as often as we'd like is walking Carretera de les aigües.

For thse who don't live in Barcelona, the city is trapped between the sea and a small mountain whose peak is called Tibidabo. A big flat path called Carretera de les aigües runs along the face of the mountain that overlooks the city. We've done it a couple times since it is pretty easy to get to, but next time, we definitely want to rent some mountain bikes, with a kid seat :)

For those who do live in Barcelona but have never tried it out:
- Take the ferrocarril L7 to its last stop, Avinguda Tibidabo.
- Walk up Avinguda Tibidabo, or take the blue trolley, to the base of the Funicular de Tibidabo.
- Don't take the funicular, but rather, head right, round the curve and further up 'til you reach a parking lot. This is the beginning of the path.
- If you walk south for about an hour, you'll reach the Funicular de Vallvidrera and can go up to Collserola or down into BCN where the funicular will drop you at the Ferrocarril stop Peu de Funicular.
- From the main flat path, there are a number of small windy paths that go off up and down in the scrubby woods, up to Tibidabo or Collserola.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Lily loves calamares. But for some reason, we haven't made them at home for a really long time. Bought some from the market and put Lily to work. Last time we put breading on fish she loved making it, so now if we bread things, she does it all on her own and I just have to throw it in the pan or hot oil. Noice.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Word wall -or- Oh my gosh, a post!

It's been a while...and is time we post something here!

What's new is the Word Wall. Funny thing about living in another country is that even though Lily will come out of this thing speaking three languages, if we don't help her out, she won't be able to read or write English :(

Thus, the Word Wall.

Lily and I started working our way through the Dolch Word List a few weeks ago. To get her psyched, we started by making a pretty mosaic poster for our wall. Then got down to learning.

A few days a week, sometimes before school, sometimes after dinner, we pick a word from the current group we're on, sound it out, then cut letters and pretty colorful things out of magazines to make a card for that word. It then gets stuck on the wall.

Then, from time to time we'll randomly ask Lily to grab a word off the wall and bring it to us, and we ask her to sound it out to prove it's the right word. She can also send us to get words. We've also started making silly phrases by putting the cards on the floor and changing their order.

Lily was not initially impressed by the 'learning something new' aspect of the task. The first time I tried to get her to sit down and look at the word list and sound things out, she was pissed. I actually had to be all mean mom and say "You're going to sit here and learn letter sounds or go sit in your thinking chair!" - I'm sure that's standard practice in pedagogy. In any case, as soon as she worked out the first word ('cat'), she was so pleased that we've rarely had to revisit that phase. In any case, I try to keep the 'sessions' to 10 minutes or less, and often to just a few seconds so she doesn't get bored and resentful...though I'm sure we'll have to keep varying the activities every few week, or she will anyway.

Any other ideas on teaching phonics, reading or writing?

We haven't really ventured too much into writing because my Lil gets hot headed. I can remember my sister trying to teach me borrowing in Math and how I screamed at her 'No, you CAN'T DO THAT!' when she 'took' 10 from one column and put it in the really, have no idea where Lily could get this stubborn thing from.

Anyway, she can write all the letters, but getting her to make words is like [insert simile about how difficult something is here].