A nice surprise for a Tuesday…

Both boys were quick to get dressed this morning and to my surprise each apparently had their own agenda for the day. As I came into the living room Luke asked me to get the map from downstairs. I asked him if he was going to build his track and take a trip through the country and he yells, great idea mom! haha! I was only joking but that’s what he did! I figure if nothing else it’s exposure to the U.S. map and he loves to look at maps anyhow, so he’s having a grand ol’ time! Lots of imagination and taking to himself out loud as he incorporates the airplanes and tractor for the attached farm.

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Meanwhile as I help him set up his tracks I notice Liam’s not around and it’s quiet…..I find him in his room listening to the rest of the book on tape he started yesterday! He loves the story and was thrilled when he realized there are three separate stories within the bundle. I have to admit the stories are pretty funny, lots of humor based on a child who’s solving mysteries around town like his idol Sherlock Holmes.train 003train 006

I had a few things planned and normally I don’t write posts on days where I have to go into work later, but given the circumstances, they’re happy and engaged so what I have planned will wait. I am a firm believer that when you follow the child’s interest and just give a little input they learn and internalize so much more than any activity that is forced under protest 😉

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Once Luke is done, we’ll listen to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We read this book often and found the audio version at the library yesterday. He listened to it before bed last night, then pretty much re-told me the entire story in his own words. (fairly close to the original wording)  Love to see his progress!

Liam’s going to do a few Christmas math worksheets and watch a video he found about the Arctic Penguins at the library yesterday.  He just came out of his room, and was laughing to himself about the story and then narrated the whole ending to me. Sounds like he’s making some personal progress too, his narrations have become very thorough and smooth in comparison to a few months ago when we first started the method of narration!

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I hope this rhythm continues for awhile as my plan is to take it easy with fun and educational activities for the month of December as a special holiday treat.

Visiting a Real Castle!










Today we headed to Gillette’s Castle! This is the former home of  William Gillette. He is most famous for his portrayal of “Sherlock Holmes” noted  in his acting abilities and style, playwright and director.

The kids all have heard of Sherlock Homes, knowing he was a detective and did their impersonation of him under the sign as we first entered. They are all thinking real hard!

We did learn upon our tour of the castle just how inventive he was. He designed the castle by himself, and a working railroad on the property as well, not to mention a fire hose set up within, with the use of collected rain. As we toured the home we found he had his fair share of trickery as well. It was pointed out that there was a secret door for his use as well as mirrors placed just so that he could keep an eye on his guests without their knowledge! All the woodwork, and details were absolutely amazing! I think it was stated there are 47 doors within the castle and no two are exactly alike! It was details like this that really make it fascinating! 



















A look from the outside, all the rocks, flowers and a view of the river.

Then we walked a couple of the trails on the property after a picnic lunch. We ended up going down the the CT River at the edge of the property and the boys had a great time as it looked very “Swiss Family Robinson” down there! We were also able to see some barges going by and the ferry as well as the boys invented games and ran up and down the shore.

We had a great time!


Two cousins playing “nap” after one hike