Thursday, December 10, 2009

Week 13, day 4

Bible (Catechism, Bible story, memory verse): We didn't get started until about 3:15, because I was enjoying reading a magazine and the kids were enjoying being read to by their grandparents. We reviewed our memory verse and most recent catechism question, and read about Daniel in the lions' den.

Calendar (Update day of week and date of month, record weather and temperature): While we were outside observing the weather, we ended up measuring various items because E brought the meter stick with us. The jungle gym is almost 2 meters high, the roof of the first floor more like 2 3/4 meters. When E was standing on top of a pile of wood stumps, he was 2 meters high, though he is almost exactly 1 meter high when he's standing on the ground. Although it was late and I wanted to get through various other school things, I thought this was a valuable enough activity to let it continue for a while.

Handwriting: P completed a page of capital "A"s. I can see HWT's point about having children complete an entire line of letters without any sample letters in the middle or at the end of the line - the letters do get progressively messier. I think that, when we use these free worksheets in future, I'll put a few sample letters in before I have P complete the line.

Language Arts: P wrote yesterday's sentence from dictation, re-read this week's reader quite fluently, and completed a "story elaboration" in which she added to a 2-sentence story. Her elaboration ended up taking up over half a page of my handwriting (which is slightly larger now than when I was in college, but still...). She seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, but insisted on jumping off the bed repeatedly while coming up with some of the descriptions.

Math (5-a-day, other activities): I could tell, when I brought out the 5-a-day, that it was going to be a chore to get P to sit still and do it, so I let the kids play with Cuisenaire rods first. While they played, I made number cards (I cut 4x6 index cards in half and wrote a number from 1 to 18 on each, and also made +, -, and = cards). I traced the relevant Cuisenaire rod onto each card and coloured it the appropriate colour. The kids enjoyed finding the right Cuisenaire rod for me, and once we got into the teens I placed the appropriate 1s digit next to the orange 10-rod. P insisted on decorating the +, -, and = cards with Cuisenaire rods in different colours from their sizes (she traced a purple 4-rod onto the + card and coloured it dark green, for example). I wish she hadn't, and may make new ones to use when we're actually using the cards to demonstrate concepts, because it confuses matters. I showed them that 4+1=5, 1+4=5, 5-4=1, and 5-1=4 using the cards and the Cuisenaire rods, and I think they understood the interrelatedness of the 4 equations, but I'm not sure they'd be able to reproduce them.

When P finally did her 5-a-day, it took a good bit of refocusing. It became clear to me today that working earlier in the afternoon is far easier in terms of the kids' attention spans, so I paid for my laziness. When it came to the coin play, generally P's favourite part, she collapsed in tears of frustration when trying to add to a quarter to make 42 cents. I walked her through it, and she did most of the thinking herself, but needed to be cajoled to trace the coins once she'd assembled them under her paper. I declared that formal school was over - it was time to start thinking about dinner, anyway.

E's "school": This didn't happen. It was cloudy again, so we couldn't examine our shadows outside. I did read a fun book to them, but I'm counting it under "science".

Geography and/or science: Before we started school, E asked me to read the Usborne "What's Under the Ground" book. I told him we would read it after school, which we did once the food was on the stove and safe to ignore for a while. The book deals with many of the things near the surface, like anthills, moles, and pipes, as well as caves and mines. It deals briefly with the idea of "digging a hole through the earth", with a cartoonish cross-section of Earth. After we had read the book, P told me, "I don't understand how, if the earth is round, people on the underside don't fall off." This led to a discussion of how gravity pulls stuff toward where the most stuff is, and the most stuff is under your feet wherever you are on Earth. I reminded her of how, when we visited South Africa, gravity seemed to work just the same as in the USA. We turned the cross-section page of the book to various angles to see how down was always toward the center of the earth. I think she grasped the concept, and I was pleased to see her really thinking about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment