Friday, October 30, 2009

Week 9, day 4

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We reviewed all the memory verses and catechism questions again, and then read about how Saul was anointed to be the first king of Israel.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): It was warmer, and muggy and drippy. We had a discussion on whether there were necessarily clouds in the sky if it was raining. P was of the opinion that clouds were optional, due to the phenomenon of the "monkey's wedding" (that is, simultaneous rain and sunshine). I insisted that even during a monkey's wedding, there were still clouds in the sky, just not between you and the sun. I drew a diagram on the whiteboard to illustrate this, which I think P and E understood to some extent. E then drew his own rendition of the diagram, featuring a large sun and small earth, so at least that concept was conveyed.

Handwriting: The kids wanted to use their dry-erase letter cards, which they did. P likes sorting hers into vowels and consonants, and further sorting them into "frog jump consonants" (a Handwriting Without Tears term for capital letters starting with a big line down and jumping back up to the starting point before completing the letter, such as B, D, F, M, N, P, and R) and other consonants.

Language Arts: P completed her dictation beautifully. She's really good at this, and sounds out each word without any help. There was a rhyming activity (saying whether a given pair of words rhymed), which she found extremely easy.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): P did well with her 5-a-day, though she made a careless error on 7-2. When I asked her to check her work, she came up with the correct answer easily. She was instantly able to make 16 cents using 3 coins, but changing it into 16 cents using 4 coins took more trial and error. When she was done decorating her worksheet, I showed her the similarities and differences between the 2 piles of coins, hoping that she'll see that if you have to use n coins to make k cents and one of those coins is a dime, to make k cents using n+1 coins simply requires exchanging a dime with two nickels. One of the more important math skills is the ability to break numbers apart into appropriate smaller numbers and deal with them separately (for example, 9+4 = 9+1+3 = 10+3 = 13). I'm hoping she'll gain this ability by playing with coins on her 5-a-days.

E's "school": This was replaced by a desire on the part of both kids to play outside in the large puddle that forms in the driveway every time it rains. They spent almost an hour splashing around outside while I watched through the window and read my new National Geographic magazine.

Geography and/or science: Did you know that chicken bones can poop? This observational fact was much enjoyed by both children, but E in particular. Let me explain. A few weeks ago, after the scary acid experiments, my father-in-law agreed to my suggestion that we try vinegar for softening a chicken bone instead of hydrochloric acid. Once we got back from CBS, my father-in-law decided that the time had come to investigate the state of the chicken bone. He asked E to try to break it, and it had become floppy enough to bend instead. However, a small hole formed at the bend, and softened, dark brown marrow squirted out the hole, looking remarkably like another type of brown stuff. P tried bending the bone, and it did the same thing. After the kids had spent 10 minutes jumping up and down yelling, "Chicken bones can poop!" he discussed with them what marrow was, and I asked them to speculate on whether a chicken bone that had not soaked in vinegar for a month would be able to poop. They were able to understand that it was not real poop, and that it only came out that way because the bone was so soft. Ah, science - full of beauty and wonder...

Other: P practiced her ballet routine, which she seems to know pretty well. After a few days, I will ask her to do it from memory.


  1. You call rain+shine a "monkey's wedding" too? I thought it was just in Pakistan (and only in Urdu too).

  2. Wow, Maryam, that's fascinating! I thought it was a uniquely South African thing! After reading your comment, I wondered where the phrase originated, and googled it and found this link:

    So, lots of different languages independently came up with the idea that when it rains while the sun shines, some kind of animal is getting married. Weird, huh?