Friday, November 13, 2009

Week 11, day 5

Bible: We reviewed the most recent 2 memory verses and 3 catechism questions, and read about how 4 lepers discovered that the siege of Samaria was over.

Calendar: Conveniently, it was exactly 1:30 when we recorded the time, so P was able to figure out the time all by herself. Yep, I was super lazy this morning.

Handwriting: P finished her numbers workbook! This took a rather long time, as it involved writing all the numbers from 1 to 30 about 10 times, but she decided she wanted to finish it and refused to stop until she was done. I filled out the certificate in the back of the book and we hung it on the wall of their room.

Language Arts: We played with the letter cards, making CVC words using letters we've already learned. E still struggles to remember the sound of the letter I, but can sound out any word with "a" in the middle and consonants he knows. Both kids read Fun Tales readers, E read the first one independently but slowly and P (while spinning around in circles) read the second one fluently.

Math: P still struggled a bit with rewriting a problem in vertical format. I may need to take this off 5-a-days again for a bit and review it more intensively with her.

E's "school": I ordered a pile of Kumon workbooks (Mazes and Cutting for E, Number Games 1-70 and 1-150 for P) which arrived today. While P was finishing her numbers workbook, E did about 12 mazes and 9 scissor activities. His idea with mazes seems to be to seek out every side path, even when he knows how to get to the end more quickly, but it does give him practice tracing inside a defined space. I insisted that he hold his pencil correctly, and he got better and better at picking it up correctly with each maze he did. His scissor skills are pretty good, comparable to P's at half a year older.

I finally assembled an assortment of items that will sink or float, but we didn't get around to placing them in water. We may do that tomorrow.

Geography and/or science: P made most of a book about the British Isles, including flags of Great Britain and Ireland, a map with the different countries coloured different colours, a Scottish man in a kilt, Westminster Abbey, and Queen Elizabeth I. There are still 2 pages left to fill, so we'll probably do that tomorrow.

Other: P's ballet performance is tomorrow, so this evening was her dress rehearsal. She got to watch the other (all older) kids' performances as well as practicing her own, and was impressed at how well they did.

We're about to take a 2-week break from school! On Monday, P has a 10:00 dentist appointment, so I'm not inclined to bother with school for just that day. Ari and I are going away, just the two of us, from Tuesday to Saturday morning, and Saturday evening we'll all fly to North Carolina to visit my parents for Thanksgiving week. So, presumably there'll be no regular updates until December. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Week 11, day 4

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): In CBS, the kids learned about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace. P commented on how long and funny all the names were. We reviewed the memory verse and most recent catechism questions, and read about the healing of Naaman the leper.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): P is slowly learning to tell time to the minute. She sometimes forgets that the number the minute hand is pointing to is not the number of minutes (for example, 1:10 is not 1:2). Since she's still working on skip-counting by 5s, I'm going to just keep informally teaching her by showing her the time each day, knowing she'll pick it up eventually.

Handwriting: P did 2 pages of the phonics workbook, one of which involved writing "Bb" under only the pictures of items starting with the B sound, so she got lots of practice writing that letter. This was good for her, as she sometimes forgets how to make a lowercase b, and I could see improvement between the beginning and the end of the worksheet.

Language Arts: P rewrote yesterday's copywork from dictation, and identified the name (starts with a capital) and the word that rhymed with "fib". We thought up and wrote on the board several words ending in "it": bit, kit, pit, hit, fit, mitt, grit, sit. E wanted to participate, and read some of them but struggled with remembering the "i" sound. P's fluency in reading 3-letter CVC words has really increased, and she read most of them with hardly any hesitation. I asked E if he wanted to read one of the readers, and he gave the second one a very good try, needing help with less than half of the words. P read it through almost perfectly, only hesitating once or twice.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): I had a midwife appointment (for my glucose test) this afternoon, so math waited until we got back. I actually hadn't prepared P's 5-a-day yet, so she and E hung out in my room while I was doing that. I had her rewrite one of the problems from horizontal format into vertical format, and she wasn't quite sure what I meant (though she's done it herself before; I think how I phrased it on the 5-a-day wasn't clear enough for her). I'm giving her another similar problem tomorrow just to see how she does; I think doing it today should have cleared it up for her.

I had her make 23 cents using dimes and pennies, and then add a dime to see how much she had, and then remove the dime and add a penny to see how much she had. I demonstrated "23+10=33" and "23+1=24" on the board, in vertical format so she could see how the ones and tens lined up.

E's "school": We read the story of Cinderella in A First Book of Fairy Tales, and reread some of the poems.

Geography and/or science: We read a book about Ireland. I was interested to learn that St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland in the 400s AD, used the shamrock to give some insight into the Trinity. God, in the 3 persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is one God much as the shamrock, with 3 leaves, is still one plant. I mentioned this at dinner, and P said, "Even though the book explained it, I still don't really understand" (the Trinity). Join the club... No-one fully understands the Trinity. However, Ari pointed out that if we fully understood God, there would be no point in going to him for help. He gave the example of E's favourite doll, Pearl Diver. Since P and E watched me knit and stuff him, they understand him pretty well. However, when they're in trouble, they don't cry, "Pearl Diver! Help me!" They cry, "Mommy! Daddy! Help me!" because they know we're able to do things they don't understand, and the fact that they don't understand us fully just means they also expect us to be able to help them solve problems they can't.

Other: This has nothing to do with "school", but you get to hear about it anyway. P and E came downstairs to kiss me goodnight as I was writing this, and then P said to E, "When we're in bed, can you tell me a story about Friend Lion?" E is quite a storyteller, and I'm pleased that P is asking her younger brother to amuse her with made-up stories after bedtime. I'm sure it's good for him to exercise his imagination like that.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Week 11, day 3

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We reviewed this week's verse and the 4 most recent catechism questions, and read about how Elijah was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): I think the afternoon sun shines on our thermometer, artificially increasing the temperature, because although it was fairly cool outside, the thermometer read 84 degrees F. We recorded it as cool.

Handwriting: P did half a page of the numbers workbook. Since this involved writing all the numbers from 21 to 30, I decided this was enough.

Language Arts: P traced the 4 words of the second copywork. There was a letter matching game (name the two letters out of 4 which have the same sound, for example T, F, f, r) which she found easy. I had her read the second Fun Tales book again, and she read it almost without hesitating on any of the words.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): I'm continuing to include questions that lead into discussions on place value. Since P still continues to mix up 12 and 21, I had her make 12 cents and 21 cents using only dimes and pennies. I then had her add them and count how much she had. I showed her on the board how to add 21 and 12 to come up with 33. I gave her another example (she picked 25, I picked 13, and we added them to make 38) and she grasped it easily. I demonstrated the same problem with dimes and nickels so she could see why it worked. I'll give her a few more days' practice with this concept, and then replace her basic addition questions with 2-digit addition without regrouping (for example, I won't ask her to add 29 and 38, because she wouldn't know what to do with the 17 in the ones place).

E's "school": Though this wasn't formal "school", I had him play with alphabet blocks (cubes) while P was doing her math. He independently decided to build 2x2x2 cubes, and I asked him how many he could make using the 50 blocks in the set. We're actually down to 49, so he made 6 cubes and had one left over. P asked me how much 6 eights plus one was, and I told her.

Geography and/or science: We read the "How Are Babies Made?" section of the Usborne Flip-Flap Body Book, which led to a good deal of discussion about our baby. I demonstrated to P that we could use 2-digit subtraction to find out how many weeks remain until our baby's birth, taking 39 weeks as the expected total gestation (so we wouldn't have to do any regrouping, and since that's about when both P and E were born). Since I'm at 28 weeks now, she did the subtraction in each column and came up with 11 weeks remaining. I pointed out that this is how long it's been since school started. Also, I'm satisfied that I used "science class" to introduce a brand new math concept - something that happened to me all the time at Caltech. Mwa-ha-ha-ha...

Other: While P was in ballet, E and Ari worked on their "robot" - an underwater camera case that holds a video camera so that, if you can't catch any fish, you might at least be able to get a look at them. Since it's getting toward the time of year when fish are harder to catch, the "robot" is an excellent project for the guys to work on.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bible: We reviewed the most recent 3 memory verses and introduced the next catechism question, as well as reading about how God sent fire in response to Elijah's prayer.

Calendar: It was 11:58 by the time we recorded the temperature, and I showed P how 11:58 turns into 12:00 just 2 minutes later. She seems to mostly grasp telling time most of the time, but still needs a lot of practice.

Handwriting: P did a page of her phonics workbook, which involved no handwriting, so I had her write her full name at the top of the page. I also had her write yesterday's copywork from dictation.

Language Arts: P was to "write a book" - given an 8-page booklet with illustrations only, she needed to discern and dictate the storyline. It turned out quite well, and her story made sense and was easy to follow.

Both kids read Fun Tales books: E read the first one by himself with occasional hints, and P read the second one with a good deal of fluency. Since P has the first one memorized, I don't see the point in having her practice "reading" it.

Math: I included several questions that approached the topic of "place value" indirectly: she was to put a < sign between 12 and 21, and use dimes and pennies to make both 13 cents and 31 cents. She made 31 cents with 2 dimes and 11 pennies, but when I asked if she could trade up she immediately saw that 10 of the pennies could be replaced by a dime. She thought it was interesting that 13 cents was made of 1 dime and 3 pennies, while 31 cents was made of 3 dimes and 1 penny. I asked her how many dimes and pennies it would take to make 22 cents and 43 cents, and she answered correctly.

E's "school": We read "Jack and the Beanstalk" from The Tall Book of Nursery Tales, and reread some of the poems.

Geography and/or science: Today's Titmouse Club theme was seeds. In addition to talking about the way seeds grow into plants by pushing a root down and a shoot up, they discussed what kinds of seeds people eat. We all ate popcorn, and the kids did a craft involving gluing seeds to a popsicle-stick picture frame. On the nature walk the kids kept their eyes open for seeds in the path, and found a few different kinds. Ari and I pointed out at dinner tonight that our meal, lentils and rice, consisted mostly of cooked seeds.

Other: P reluctantly practiced her ballet routine. She knows it pretty well and is unconvinced that further practice is necessary, but I reasoned with her and she eventually submitted. Really, once she gets started, she enjoys it, but I think reluctance to practice is part of being five.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 11, day 1

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): This week, we're learning Mark 10:14. We also reviewed the most recent catechism questions, and read about God's provision of food for Elijah during the drought.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): This morning was cloudy, after it rained last night. It seems to be clearing up, which means that E was advocating that Ari set up his telescope tonight, but Ari decided against it.

Handwriting: P did one page of the numbers workbook, practicing writing the numbers from 21 to 30 twice. She keeps wanting to call 21 "twelve".

Language Arts: We did a new letter sheet today, and couldn't find any items in any of our catalogs that began with that letter, so we went online and googled images. We got to hear Ari ranting against the U.S. copyright website. He struggled with it all day and made no headway in submitting a copyright request for his book (it's already copyrighted, but not in its final form).

P traced her copywork today (I'll ask her to do it from dictation tomorrow) and correctly identified the vowels. The kids read the second Sonlight K reader, with E reading several of the 2-word sentences the first time through. He started a 3-word sentence, and it was too much for him, so I asked P to complete it, and he yelled out the final word before she'd started sounding it out. Heh. I had P read the whole reader after they were done taking turns the first time through, and she did quite well. I'll have her do it a few more times this week to gain fluency.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): I asked P to make 24 cents and 42 cents using just dimes and pennies. She struggled a bit with the 42 cents, so I'll continue to give her this kind of problem for practice. E asked to play the "trading up" game (week 9, day 5), which we did - again, we all won during the same round.

E's "school": I forgot to do the Slow & Steady activity (sorting silverware, and next week's, seeing which objects sink or float in water), but we read "Caps For Sale" and "Head to Toe" in the Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics, and some more of the poems.

Geography and/or science: We labelled the Atlantic Ocean, the United Kingdom, and Ireland on the Markable Map, and read a book about England. Since I've actually spent significant time visiting England, I was able to add anecdotes that the kids found interesting. Paul, I'm afraid the kids were delighted by the story of how Mom "pulled your arm off" in the Lake District.

Other: P was reluctant to practice her ballet routine, and I was prepared for another battle of wills (I'd been having battles of wills with both kids all day), but Ari showed his wisdom by talking with her about how she likes doing ballet and how if she doesn't enjoy it, she doesn't have to take lessons. Ah, but she does enjoy it and does want to keep taking lessons, and thus was more than happy to practice her routine. I could hardly believe it was the same kid.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Week 10, day 5

I was flakey this morning and we didn't get started until almost noon. However, part of my flakiness consisted of making waffles for breakfast (I wanted to use up a mysterious carton of buttermilk and half a can of crushed pineapple, and we were out of cereal - still are, flakey me). I included the kids in this, and P was able to read most of the ingredients. She needed no help with "3 eggs" or "1/2 cup sugar", but doesn't yet know how to read numbers greater than 100, and I helped her with abbreviations like ml and g. We weighed out 400g of flour together after I'd explained the importance of zeroing the scale before starting.

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We reviewed the most recent verse and most recent 3 catechism questions, and read about how Solomon built the temple.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): It was certainly back to being cool today. It was also 12:35 by the time we got around to doing calendar, so P got extra practice on whether it was 12:35 or 1:35. I re-explained the reasoning, but again am not sure she grasped it.

Handwriting: P did another vast number of the pages in her numbers workbook, but when she realized that there were no more dot-to-dots in the book she no longer wished to do any more. Next week we may be back to the phonics book or letter cards.

Language Arts: We played letter bingo, with each of the 3 of us taking turns reading out letters for the other 2 to find on their bingo cards. E knows quite a few of his letters, more than have been officially taught, and P knows all of them pretty well but struggles with finding them on a bingo card where they're in no kind of order. I think I must just have more efficient search algorithms than she does.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): P was stumped, at first, on whether 46 or 64 was greater (she needed to put a "<" sign between them), so I hauled out the bean sticks. These are popsicle sticks on which I glued 10 beans each. I asked P to make 46 beans (4 10-sticks and 6 beans) and 64 beans (6 10-sticks and 4 beans), whereupon she was able to see that 64 was greater.

It isn't every day that your 3-year-old asks a math question that you can't even estimate the answer to in a reasonable amount of time, but at dinner E asked, "How many ways can you make a million dollars?" Ari and I winced, shuddered, and decided that if any of you reading this blog want to take on the challenge, you're more than welcome to, but we'd rather not spend our time that way.

E's "school": We read "Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel" and "Maybelle the Cable Car" from Mike Mulligan and More.

Geography and/or science: P wrote a book about South America featuring a map, potatoes, Angel Falls, the Atacama Desert, a blue-footed booby (a bird from the Galapagos Islands), Lake Titicaca, and llamas.

Other: P performed her ballet routine for me from memory. She can do it accurately, but not completely smoothly. I'm going to insist that she do it daily until it's smooth - her performance is on the 14th.

Week 10, day 4

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We did a brief review of catechism and memory verse, and read about Solomon's request for wisdom.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): I thought it was warm again (80 degrees) but both kids were certain that it was cool and I let them overrule me.

Handwriting: P did many pages of her numbers workbook, hoping to get to the next dot-to-dot. This inspired me to order the Kumon dot-to-dot workbook, to help her with number sequencing, because she still gets confused about the value of the tens place (mistaking 29 for 19, mixing up 23 and 32, etc). Her handwriting is tidy.

Language Arts: P did her copywork under the table. Even upside down, her handwriting is acceptable. A picture is worth 10^3 words. If I'd tried something like this when I was in public school, I'd probably have had to describe it to the principal. It gives me deep pleasure to know that the principal of our little school (Ari, of course) thoroughly approves of such activities.

P was also supposed to sequence a story I read out of order for her. It was the story of Cinderella, and consisted of 6 sentences read in order 5, 6, 4, 2, 1, 3. This was quite difficult for her, and she had to work hard at it, but she managed in the end.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): P mixed up 12:30 and 1:30 on her 5-a-day, so we talked about how you figure out the hour. She does fine with all other half hours, but I think her idea is that when the hour hand is between 2 numbers, you always choose the number that is less rather than the number that is in the counterclockwise direction. Usually the 2 are the same. I don't know how well she grasped my explanation.

E's "school": We read "Cinderella" (in the correct order, this time) and "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" in The Tall Book of Nursery Tales, as well as a few poems from Poems and Prayers for the Very Young.

Geography and/or science: This didn't really happen, though in the evening we took Ari's telescope for a local homeschool group's high school astronomy evening. E slept through most of it, but P was around for much of Ari's conversation with the high school students. You never know how much she understands of this - it can be scary sometimes how much adult conversation she grasps (or only grasps enough of to terrify her).

Other: P practiced piano some, and did some pages of music theory. We counted the beats in various measures, and "2+2=4" is completely automatic for her so she was easily able to see that two half notes, two quarter notes and a half note, and 4 quarter notes all get 4 beats. Looking at the several sample 4-measure pieces in her book, each of which had 4 beats to the measure, she asked me, "What's two 8s?" I told her it was 16, to which she immediately responded, "That means four 4s is also 16." Hooray for seeing her break up numbers and reassemble them!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Week 10, day 3

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We reviewed this week's verse and catechism question, and both kids are starting to be confident with both. We read about David's friendship with Jonathan.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): E felt that the weather today was warm, while P insisted that it was cool, so we wrote both (it was about 70 degrees F). Both kids are still a bit shaky on "am" vs. "pm", but I'm sure it'll come.

Handwriting: I had a midwife appointment this morning, and I brought along the dry-erase letter cards for the kids to use during the appointment. Back at home, P did 9 pages of her Kumon numbers workbook, practicing writing all the numbers from 1 to 10 several times. When she's concentrating, she rarely reverses any numbers, but if she stops thinking very hard she reverses 3 and 6 fairly often. However, over half the time she catches herself, erases it, and does it correctly.

Language Arts: P traced her copywork and then we played a "blending game" where the kids were to sound out and blend together the letters in various 3-letter words. E did as well as P on this activity, though P is more able to do longer words than E is. We went out to IHOP for dinner tonight, and P was able to read a sign that said, "Kids eat free". She also sounded out (with some hints) words like "octopus" and "manatee" on the kid's menu activity page

Math (5-a-day, other activities): I asked P to make 30 cents using 2 coins. This took her a while, but she did it without help. I then told her that if she wanted to, she could make 30 cents a different way. Her first impulse was to use 30 pennies, but she played the "trading up game" (5 pennies become a nickel, 2 nickels become a dime) until she had 2 dimes, a nickel, and 5 pennies, which she traced. Once she was done, I showed her how addition and subtraction problems can be written in both horizontal format (with an equal sign) and vertical format (with a line beneath the problem instead of an equal sign). I'll start giving her problems in vertical format on her 5-a-days.

E's "school": I didn't review the activity from Slow & Steady, but we did read a lot of storybooks. We read "Harold and the Purple Crayon", "George Shrinks", "Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm", "The Year at Maple Hill Farm", "Madeline", and "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom".

Geography and/or science: My midwife loaned me 2 children's books about homebirth. One of them was fairly low quality and contained typos, but the other was well illustrated and well translated from the original German, and we read that one 3 times and discussed just how a mommy's body pushes a baby out. This counts as science, in my opinion.

Other: P was able to describe to me the steps of her ballet routine from memory in the car on the way to her ballet lesson. I'm looking forward to seeing the actual performance next Saturday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week 10, day 2

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We reviewed all the memory verses to date and the most recent catechism question, and read the story of Saul's jealousy of David.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): It took a lot of prompting, but P was eventually able to tell me that the time was 11:40 am instead of pm. I don't think she was focused at all - I've had problems with them hauling out toys while I'm trying to move us from one activity to the next, and then if I don't take time to make them put them all away, they'll play with the toys and not hear a word I say. I need to establish a solid "no toys during school unless I specifically authorize them" rule.

Handwriting: P did 2 pages of the phonics workbook, which involved no handwriting but much more reading than she can do independently. However, she sounded out each word that could be sounded out using basic phonics rules, and I told her the sight words and sounds she hadn't learned yet (laugh, walk, etc). The exercise was to identify certain letters in the sentences, but the instructions assumed the child could already read the sentences, so I'm not sure what whoever designed the book was thinking. For handwriting practice, I had her write her full name (first and last) at the top of each page, which she's getting better at.

Language Arts: P was to talk about "when I grow up". She wants to be a ballet dancer and marry a nice man and have about 2 kids (she isn't entirely sure about the number) and paint her kitchen with pink, red, white, and green stripes and her children's room with purple and white stripes. E wanted to get involved with this activity too, so I took down a dictation from him on the same page as P's. He wants to be a fisherman and to build houses for people whose houses get broken in hurricanes (and maybe a house for P), and apart from that imitated P's story fairly closely.

We were also to discuss ingredients in common grocery items such as bread and juice. Since I prefer to bake our own bread, the kids are already fairly familiar with those ingredients. However, for juice, we spent some time in the grocery store comparing our favourite brand of orange juice with orange-coloured fruit punch. The kids now know why Sunny D is never on our shopping list.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): I again gave P a pair of math facts, 3+6 and 9-6, and we hauled out the Cuisenaire rods to get a better sense of how closely they are related. I asked her to make 27 cents using 3 coins, and she did that instantly. She was also able, with only a bit of trial and error, to make 27 cents a different way: a dime, 2 nickels, and 7 pennies.

E's "school": I talked some about tastes in foods: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. We also read some poems from the same book as yesterday, and the story of Little Red Riding Hood. We discussed the value of obedience (if Little Red had obeyed her mother by staying on the path and not talking to strangers, the wolf wouldn't have known where she was going).

Geography and/or science: We went to Titmouse Club this morning, and the theme was trees. The kids learned about how the tree makes its own food from sunlight, water, and air, about counting rings to tell the age of a tree (once it's already dead), and about some of the animals that live in trees. They saw a tree with a large hole in it where a raccoon lives, and a bird's nest in a tree near the cabin where the club is held. Each child was given a piece of paper and a crayon as we went on our nature walk, and they took rubbings of different tree trunks. They were encouraged to avoid any trees that had vines growing on them, as those vines might be poison ivy. I had a nasty experience with poison ivy vines 10 years ago where my arms both swelled up to twice their normal size, so I was eager to keep the kids from touching any vines that could be suspicious.

Other: P is pretty confident about her ballet routine, but she didn't feel like doing it from memory for me today.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 10, day 1

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): I introduced a new memory verse, which should be fairly easy since it's so familiar: Genesis 1:1. We reviewed all the catechism questions so far, and read the story of David and Goliath.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): We had to make a new monthly calendar for November, which took a while. This month is going to be busy - for the first 2 weeks, my inlaws are out of town, so we're holding down the fort, and then Ari and I are going to take 4 nights away from the kids as a last getaway before the baby comes, and as soon as we get back we're flying to see my parents for Thanksgiving. So the last 2 weeks of November will be a break from school.

Handwriting: P wanted to do the dry-erase letter cards this time. To keep it from eating the rest of the morning, I limited her cards to letters we've covered in our language arts curriculum. E got two cards, and I helped him hold his marker properly. If you pick up a marker between thumb and forefinger when it's pointing toward you, you can then rotate it into the correct position, and E loved this. Previously, he's always wanted to pick it up in his fist, which makes tracing difficult.

Language Arts: We introduced a new letter and made a letter sheet. I hauled out the first of the Sonlight K readers, which P has read before. I first asked E if he could read it, and having heard P read it several times, he had no trouble reading all 5 words in the book (yes, it's an easy reader). I then asked P to read it, and she demonstrated that she'd memorized it and said, "This is an easy book. If a 2-year-old knew their letter sounds, they could read it." She doesn't remember how hard she had to work to read it a year ago when she was 4. However, she's only made it through the first 4 books before hitting a frustration wall, which was why I decided that the K level (redoing these readers) was a better fit for her than the 1st grade level. Hopefully by going at the recommended rate of 1 book a week, with the copywork to support her recognition of the words she encounters, she'll find all of them "easy".

Math (5-a-day, other activities): I gave P 2 related problems on her 5-a-day, 8+4 and 12-4, which she solved separately, but when I asked her to look at them, she immediately saw that they were essentially the same problem. The MOTL curriculum guide says that the concept of addition and subtraction being inverses, and there being "fact families" (e.g. 4+8, 8+4, 12-8, 12-4), is one that can only be taught when the child is maturationally ready - if they haven't reached that stage of mental maturity, you'll be banging your head against a brick wall to try to teach it. However, I guess P might be ready for it already, since she saw so easily that they were the same problem. Since I'm still working on helping her count coins up to $1 and tell time to the nearest minute, I'm not going to work on teaching "fact families" yet, but that'll certainly help when she's ready to memorize her addition and subtraction facts.

E's "school": This week's activity is fun! While P was decorating her 5-a-day, I took E downstairs and had him taste sugar (sweet), salt (salty), vinegar (sour), and cocoa powder (bitter). He rather liked the straight cocoa powder, but after several tastes suggested that I add sugar to it. A budding culinary genius?

Geography and/or science: We didn't do anything in this category, but we did read Goodnight Moon and a few poems from Poems and Prayers for the Very Young from Sonlight's P3/4 curriculum.

Other: Ari and I finished proofreading the first volume of his fantasy epic, Karolan, which will hopefully be printed and available for purchase by the end of the month. P understood enough of it as I was reading to Ari that she became troubled and needed comforting. Meanwhile, E seemed to be taking an awfully long time in the bathroom, and we found that he'd fallen asleep in the middle of the floor. He seems quite healthy, though.