Thursday, September 17, 2009

Week 3, day 4

On the way to CBS today, we reviewed catechism and the Lord's Prayer. P has the Lord's Prayer almost memorized, with only a 2-word prompt needed. On the way home we started talking about odd and even numbers. The discussion continued during lunch as P displayed to her daddy that she could tell whether any given number is even or odd, but wasn't able to explain why for numbers greater than 10. Ari commented, "Ah, P, you live in a house that is unmerciful toward fragile knowledge." I decided that after lunch, we needed to use physical objects to discover what happens when you add odd to even, even to even, and odd to odd. Then I could explain that, since 10 and its multiples are even, adding an odd number (the ones place) to a multiple of 10 makes it odd, and adding an even number makes it even. We used toothpicks, and made a chart of whether each number from 1 to 20 was odd or even. We then chose numbers from the appropriate lists, added those numbers of toothpicks together, and discovered that even + even = even, odd + odd = even, and even + odd = odd + even = odd. P readily grasped the explanation that, for example, with odd + odd, each odd has an extra toothpick left over, so the 2 extras combine to make a pair, so the sum is even. But her attention span had run out when I started explaining what this implied for adding to multiples of 10. Since she doesn't have a solid grasp of place value, it may have been too ambitious of an explanation. However, even E was able to see, for any number of toothpicks grouped into pairs, whether or not there was one left over and what this implied about whether or not the number was even.

We remembered to update our calendar today. I won the argument that, if it feels cold when you come inside, it's probably warm outside. P now reads the temperature easily, saying, for example, "seven eight point nine F". When we went on to handwriting, she didn't deal well with any of the several times I suggested her letters could have been made more carefully or within the lines. In fact, I struggle to think of any instances where I've corrected her recently and she hasn't cried, whimpered, or sulked. I informed her that this wasn't acceptable, and she needed to realize that she would make mistakes and I would point them out to her and the world wouldn't come to an end. It didn't help. Any advice here is welcome.

She happily traced her copywork (I felt that letting her choose to trace instead of copy was a wise plan) while E assembled his puzzles (which he specifically asked for today). I had intended to page through some more picture books on Canada, but we ended up going outside and swinging on the swings instead. I gave them Canada map colouring pages to keep them quiet while I made some phone calls, but P expressed disdain and they amused themselves in their room doing other things until a penitent P tiptoed up to me and whispered that she had pulled the cord off the fan/light attached to their ceiling. Ari was able to make the light turn on again after pulling the whole assembly apart. It was brought to P's attention that standing on one's table and then pulling with some fraction of one's weight on the abovementioned cord led to undesirable results. Yet another quality learning experience.

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