Thursday, February 25, 2010

Week 18, days 3 and 4

Wednesday: Math. Yes, we did school on Wednesday, even though I got home much later than I expected to. Using math as an incentive for me was a good idea!After updating our calendar and having P read her reader and do her 5-a-day, I explained the concept of numerator and denominator using shapes drawn on the board. I drew a rectangle, divided it into 8 pieces, and coloured in 3 of them, and then wrote "3/8" and explained what the 3 and the 8 meant. I did another example with 1/3, and then P picked up the chalk, drew a rectangle, divided it into 12 pieces, coloured in 4 of them, and wrote "4/12". We'll work on reducing fractions later on; for now I was excited at how quickly and easily she grasped the concept. That done, we headed downstairs (where my father-in-law was in the middle of a science experiment of his own - he's looking at silicate contents of water samples taken from the same place at different temperatures to determine how much more carbon might be sequestered through erosion and plate tectonics as the global temperature increases - he thinks it might end up being a negative feedback mechanism that will make global warming much less bad than everyone says). I like that real science is happening around my kids. Anyway, I hauled out the 1-cup, 1/2-cup, 1/3-cup, 1/4-cup and 1/8-cup measures, a deep baking tray, and a bag of rice. We played at predicting how many of each of the measures it would take to fill the 1-cup measure, and the kids grasped the pattern instantly. By then, it was time for P's ballet lesson, so the experimentation came to an end. While P was at ballet, I tied B to myself and raided the library, coming home with 10 books. The selection included a book about bees (to reinforce Tuesday's Titmouse Club lesson), and a counting/adding book called "Splash!".

Thursday: Bible and Music. In CBS today, the kids learned about the parable of the Good Samaritan, and their craft was to make "first-aid kits" (Chinese take-out boxes filled with Band-aids and other such items). Before we started school for the day, P hauled out her violin and asked me to play along with her, which I did. (She plays open strings at random, and I try to pick something in a key that will work fairly well with most of the open strings). Once she'd put her violin away, I introduced the next catechism question and a memory verse: Proverbs 3:5-6. We then did our calendar, and I had P do the last copywork that we didn't get to on Monday. While she was doing her 5-a-day, I worked on folding laundry (our dryer gave up the ghost, so laundry has been accumulating until the new one arrived this morning while I was at CBS - getting caught up on laundry was a top priority). As a result, I wasn't around to give instant feedback, so she made a couple of mistakes. She didn't take kindly to being corrected when I got back, though I repeatedly told her that mistakes are an opportunity to learn better and everyone makes mistakes. Once that was over, we read two Bible stories: Jesus clearing the temple, and the Good Samaritan. Then, we acted out the story of the Good Samaritan: P was the Samaritan, I was the priest and the Levite, a doll was the wounded man by the side of the road, and E was the audience (he refused to be in the play). After that, we headed downstairs and worked on learning the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy". P practiced putting her thumb on C and the other fingers on D-G, and I called out finger numbers for her to play for a very short time (she got bored quickly). One of the library books I acquired yesterday was about insects, and the kids badgered me to take them on an insect-finding walk, which we did after B had awakened from his nap and nursed for a rather long time. On the walk we didn't find an astonishing number of insects, partly because it's still February and partly because the kids kept running on ahead. However, we did lift a few rotting logs and notice a couple of critters before they had a chance to scurry away, and P stepped quickly enough into an anthill that they didn't get a chance to bite her but we did get a chance to look at them.

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