Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 3, day 1

It was nice to start off this week with a full day of school. I didn't get started right at 10am, because my father-in-law had promised to read the kids 2 fairly long stories and he didn't finish until about 10:15. I used the unexpected extra time to do a bit more prep work and to get everything out that we were going to use. This may be something worth doing in future anyway.

The kids have happily settled into the routine of catechism, Bible story, memory verse, and calendar. We browsed the picture dictionary pages and made a letter page from catalog pictures for this week's letter. I decided on a new strategy of affixing each picture to the page as we found it, so there was no disagreement about which picture was placed where. P did a page of her handwriting workbook without any trouble, but when it came to copywork (our street address) and I reminded her that letters needed to start at the top, she got angry and crossed out my sample that she was tracing. She hid under the table and sulked, and I decided that she needed firmness rather than mercy this time. I told her that either way she had to come out from under the table, but she could choose to trace a new sample now, or after E's school. She decided to trace it immediately, and did it perfectly.

E's activity this week involves a set of 5 2-piece puzzles. I found 5 interesting full-page catalog pictures, glued them to the cardboard from cereal boxes, and cut them in half with wiggly lines. We discussed each picture, then mixed all 10 pieces, and he reassembled each of the 5 pictures. He started out being silly, but fairly soon mastered the game. This wasn't nearly as hard for him as last week's game, so I think by Wednesday or Thursday I may bring out last week's game to review it instead of doing this week's activity.

The kids had asked before we started school to read a geography book we'd obtained from the library, and I started off our geography lesson with that. By the end of the book, my stomach was audibly growling, so I declared a lunch break. During lunch, I gave the kids 2 options: P could make a book about the USA like she made for Texas, or we could start looking at Canada. P was enthusiastic about the book idea, and I let E make one as well (he decided his was about natural science). She wrote USA on the front cover and coloured in the flag whose outline I drew. I traced a USA map outline on which she coloured Texas (which partly annexed Oklahoma, sorry), California (again, Oregon got munched on), and Arizona. She drew several symbols, monuments and landmarks, including a bald eagle (which turned out rather well), the Statue of Liberty, the Liberty Bell, the Gateway Arch, and Mauna Loa. By the end of it, she had clearly done all that she had patience to do in terms of seatwork, and I declared school to be over. I set them up with colouring pages and took a nap.

In the mail, a letter from P's friend in PA arrived, and after my nap she wanted to write a response. I think if she'd done it first thing in the morning it might have been longer, but as it was she wrote 2 whole sentences (with me spelling every word for her) and drew a picture on the back. I let her watch as I wrote her friend's name and address and her full name and return address (which she's been practicing writing the past few weeks, but it's nothing like small enough to fit on an envelope), she stamped it, and it's waiting in our mailbox now.

Tomorrow, perhaps, we'll do a geography lesson featuring Canada. On the other hand, I have a book that describes how to use a red cabbage as a pH indicator, and there's a red cabbage in the fridge, so that may well be what we choose to do. Oh, and there's the Titmouse Club! The Audubon Society has a presentation for children ages 2-5 on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, which I'd like to investigate.

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