Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week 19, day 3

Wednesday: Math. Wednesday mornings are "Oma Day", when my mother-in-law takes the kids out for breakfast and lunch, and generally comes up with something fun for them to do all morning. I use this time to go to Arabic Bible study. I know this blog is mainly about what the kids are learning, but I'm excited to see progress in what I'm learning. When I started attending the weekly Bible study at the Houston Arabic Church, I knew that my listening comprehension skills were miserable at best. I could usually, given loads of time, piece together what a written article meant, but read aloud at a native speaker's pace I had no chance. Now, after about 6 months, I can usually, just by hearing, tell what verse of the Bible is being read (it helps that I know the Bible really well), or what subject is being talked about. Each person was given a verse to read aloud today, and I participated with some trepidation. I understood that the subject of the study was Christian service, and that each verse addressed some aspect of Christian service. Looking at my verse, I could tell that it had to do with giving (I also vaguely remembered that 2 Corinthians 9 had to do with giving). As I listened to the leader, I could tell when my verse was coming up by the fact that she started talking about giving. I made it through both verses in my passage without stumbling over more than about 5 of the words - I've been practicing reading silently in Arabic on my own. It's so neat to see that my language skills are progressing. I now feel that I'm at about the level of Arabic that I was at in Danish after about 2 months in Denmark, and at that stage my language learning really took off. Of course, there I was completely immersed in the language every day, but if we end up in a place where people speak Arabic, I'm sure I'll be able to pick it up really quickly now.

Once we started school, we reviewed our hymn, memory verse, and catechism (P has all 3 down pretty easily, E knows most of the verse and can fill in when P hesitates). We updated our calendar, and P read her reader (about as fluently as I read my verse at Arabic Bible study) and did her math 5-a-day. Then we moved on to the activity I had planned, which combined math and science and dessert. We baked 4 cakes (tiny ones, each contained only 6 Tbs of flour, the main ingredient, and one egg sufficed for 3 cakes). The kids measured out the ingredients for the first cake mostly without help. The first cake was made to the exact recipe. We were in a hurry to finish before leaving for P's ballet lesson, so for the other 3 cakes I did the measuring and talked about what I was doing. We left out either the egg, the oil, or the baking powder in the cakes I measured for. After P's ballet lesson, we investigated the properties of the cakes. The "everything" cake and the "no oil" cake were fairly similar, though the "no oil" cake was tougher. The "no egg" cake was squishier (it stuck to its foil pan whereas the others didn't) and rose less, and the "no baking powder" cake hardly rose at all, and was by far the least appetizing. I cut the cakes in half, and one half of each into 4 pieces, and we each ate 1/8 of each cake, so we got to review fractions (which, by the way, P is nailing on her 5-a-days). Hooray for math being dessert!

1 comment:

  1. Good for you, keeping up your Arabic studies. I am loving learning a little Chinese here. It sounds like your idea of doing one subject per day is going really well.