Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Week 12, day 1

Ari and I had a wonderful time away from the kids in Fredricksburg, TX, and we enjoyed our time in North Carolina with my parents over Thanksgiving as well. We got back last night, so this morning our 2-week break was officially over.

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We reviewed all the memory verses to date. I was surprised at how well E remembered most of them - he supplied the gaps in P's memory. We read the story of Jehoshaphat's "singing army" - how God caused the alliance of enemies to turn on each other and destroy each other, so that Jehoshaphat had only to take the plunder.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): I had no time to do prep work, so the kids watched me make another calendar sheet for December. They thought it was cold, I thought it was cool: 53 F. Ari's parents found a jungle gym on Craig's List and stepping outside to observe the weather was more temptation than they could handle, so I let them spend 5 minutes or so burning energy before insisting that they return inside.

Handwriting: After lunch and some longer jungle gym play, I let each child trace a few dry-erase letter cards. I did "wet-dry-try" with E on the board while P finished her letter cards (I gave her more than him), and he happily (and neatly, for a 3-year-old) wrote B and F on the board several times.

Language Arts: This is another review week, so P has vowel worksheets to do as well as her copywork. I introduced the third Sonlight K reader, and P was unwilling to read it at first, so I helped E through it. He doesn't routinely recognize the letter I, and most of the words in the reader contained the short i sound, so I gave him lots of hints, but he was able to read about a third of the words independently. Once he was done, P read the book fairly accurately but slowly. We'll work on it daily and I'm sure she'll increase in fluency.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): P did all the problems on her (hastily prepared) 5-a-day without much trouble. She doesn't always look closely at a problem to see whether it is addition or subtraction, but I point out to her if she's solving 11+3 when she should be solving 11-3. She's fully grasped making a given amount of money using dimes and pennies, so I think she's getting comfortable with place value.

We started playing the "trading up" game, but neither child seemed as excited about it as usual (though they were the ones who suggested we play it). When E asked me to count his coins for him and the total was different from what he had anticipated, he swept the coins to the floor in rage and I declared the game over. He sulked for a while, and I didn't change my mind, so he contented himself with playing with cardboard shapes instead (I made them from old cereal boxes and painted them with tempera paint - there are squares, circles, triangles, and halves and quarters of the squares and circles).

E's "school": I didn't prepare anything from SSGMR this week, though the Saturday immediately after my last post we did observe whether various items sank or floated in water. We didn't read any of the Sonlight P3/4 books, but we looked at "A Child's Book of Art" from P4/5 and "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs".

Geography and/or science: We went to Titmouse Club where the theme was squirrels and mice. The children learned that rodents' teeth grow throughout their lives and they have to gnaw to keep them from getting too long, that baby mice and squirrels are born blind and naked, and that they build nests for their babies that look a bit like birds' nests. They made thumbprint pictures of mice and we took a nature walk during which we saw no mice or squirrels, but 2 female cardinals.

Other: None of this. When the math game finished on such a sour note, I felt that I wouldn't get away with making the kids do anything else at all, so I let them play by themselves. Easing back into our daily routine isn't automatic, and it felt like more of a fight today than usual.


  1. I just started "using" P3/4 recently myself. I like how relaxed it is for these early ages. We read the books when it fits with what we're doing with the girls. We don't worry about the days we look at other books [smile].


  2. Yes, I like that there's no schedule to keep to. I'm actually in the process of redoing the P4/5 schedule for myself in the form of a checklist (like P3/4 is) so that, when we've read all the P3/4 books, we can do P4/5 in the same eclectic way but keep track easily of what we've done. We did all of P4/5 with P when she was 4, but since E was 2 at the time, I'm not sure how much he followed and I want him to enjoy the books too!