Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 13, day 1

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): I introduced a new memory verse for this week, John 3:16, and we discussed the meanings of "perish" and "eternal". We also read about the prophet Jeremiah, and how King Jehoiakim burned Jeremiah's scroll.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): The kids thought it was cold, although they were both in short sleeves and didn't instantly start shivering. We compromised with "cool/cold"; it was about 58 degrees F. P's ability to read the thermometer is really useful sometimes: I can ask her to tell me the temperature while I'm getting dressed without having to go into their room and look at the thermometer myself.

Handwriting: Today, I thought it was time for something completely different. I had P and E both make Christmas cards for friends of theirs back in PA. P wrote a Christmas greeting neatly inside the card. I intend to have her do this each day this week, so, family members reading this, you ought to receive one in the mail sometime before Christmas.

Language Arts: We played a matching game where the children took turns picking up pictures and placing them on the letter they started with. P found this easy, and E struggled to find the right letters sometimes. We'll play it again, probably, on Friday, and see how it goes. E has no trouble hearing what the starting sound is ("phonemic awareness"), just with identifying the shape of the letter - he mixes up F, T, and I.

P did her copywork happily, and I had her read the 4th Sonlight reader. She was really amused by the misadventures of the sap-sipping rat. I enjoyed seeing her laugh after each sentence she decoded. This is the last of the readers that she's looked at before, and I think last time we tried (over the summer) the process of decoding was still so difficult for her that she didn't really grasp the storyline. It's neat to see how much she's progressed since then, even though she doesn't have any new quantifiable skills - she's just more comfortable with the skills she already had a year ago.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): P has really grasped the concept of place value, as far as I can tell. She had no problem telling which was greater, 45 or 54. She is easily able to make a given amount of money using dimes and pennies (in this case, 41 cents: 4 dimes, 1 penny). She's starting to get comfortable with using quarters as well, in this case using a quarter, a dime, and 6 pennies to make 41 cents a different way. She enjoys it when I give her a money problem whose solution involves lots of coins, because then she can arrange them into a "flower" shape before tracing them. Later in the day, I gave her a little direct instruction in telling time, because she's really solid on hours and half-hours and I want to move on to intervals of 5 minutes. She grasped it pretty well, and I'm going to start putting that sort of problem on her 5-a-days.

E's "school": We read "Crictor" and "Pete's A Pizza" from the Harper Collins Treasury of Picture Book Classics, as well as a few poems. Tomorrow I'm going to try this week's activity from SSGMR, which involves playing with shadows cast by objects held in front of a flashlight.

Geography and/or science: Mom, you'll be pleased - we started looking at Scandinavia. We identified Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, and Greenland on the Markable Map, and the children took turns tracing them (E traced Iceland and Greenland, where there's more margin for error). P wondered whether Greenland was really green, and I assured her that it was not - when I was an exchange student in Denmark, a fellow student told me of her time in Greenland and described her excitement, after a few months of being there, at finding a bit of green lichen on a rock. Once she was back in Denmark, she was looking at her pictures and couldn't figure out why she'd taken so many photos of the same grayish green bit of lichen! P thought probably Iceland was a more honest name than Greenland. Does anyone know why Greenland has that name? I plan on going to the library on Wednesday and getting kids' books on the various Scandinavian countries; at this point I have a general textbook on Denmark which is pretty dense and whose photos would take a lot of explaning, and a small book on Bamble, a region in Norway where I visited relatives in 2001 (also while I was an exchange student). I haven't showed these to the kids yet, though we may look at the Bamble one tomorrow.

Other: I made dough for Norwegian Christmas cookies with E's "help" (he was excluded a few times for unauthorized operation of the food processor), and plan on assembling them tomorrow.

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