Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Week 23, days 1 and 2

Monday: Language Arts. We've been singing "Low In the Grave He Lay" at the beginning of school for the past week or so - the words are fairly simple, and it's seasonally appropriate. Both kids really like this. I'm glad I've started working on hymns with them. Last week, I went over multiple-digit subtraction (no regrouping) with P, and she seemed to grasp it really easily, but on this week's 5-a-days she's really struggled. I've started making the week's worth of 5-a-days at once, so this week's worksheets all contain multiple-digit subtraction problems, but she still needs me to explain it to her with manipulatives each time. I'm happy to do this daily for the rest of the week, but I may put it aside thereafter and reintroduce it after a few weeks. We'll see if the daily manipulative work this week helps her make a great leap in understanding by Friday.

For language arts, we looked at the dictionary page for the letter we're doing this week (Uu). There were only two items pictured in the dictionary, and when we went on Starfall there were only a few more items, so we had to get creative searching for images to go on our letter sheet. Fortunately, I remembered that my sister-in-law had posted on her Facebook profile a photo of my brother-in-law doing a handstand near the bayou, so we put the picture on our letter sheet, labelled "Upside-down Uncle". We also included an umbrella, a unicorn, and some caves (underground). E really got a kick out of the upside-down uncle, and repeated the phrase throughout the day. P did a tidy job on her copywork and read the reader easily. She was to come up with a story inspired by a drawing of a boy watching a fish tank with a plastic diver climbing out of it, and I liked what she came up with: after a chase around the house, the cornered diver asked to go fishing in the bayou. The boy opened the door, and the diver came back carrying 3 fish, which the boy placed in the fish tank. The diver thereafter consented to live happily ever after in the fish tank with his captured fish. P was also supposed to finish a story wherein a boy goes grocery shopping with his mother. Asked to make the story more interesting, she had the boy ask his mother if he could buy a new tricycle, as his knees no longer fit under the handles of the old one. They instead buy a big kid bike at Target, and the shopping trip ends with the boy learning to ride his bike. I think P enjoyed both these "creative expression" activities.

Tuesday: Science. Today's theme at Titmouse Club was rabbits. It only occurred to me halfway through that this was probably because Sunday is Easter, and some people correlate rabbits with Easter. Anyway, that didn't come into the presentation, which featured paper cups with the bottoms cut out for the kids to put over their ears, to see how they amplified sound and gave them a better idea of the direction sound was coming from, and also featured a rabbit skeleton (in a glass case, which the kids didn't touch), a rabbit skin, and a real live pet rabbit. On our nature walk I learned that poison ivy produces berries that birds like to eat. I hadn't known it had any redeeming features.

Back home, we did all our review items, and then after lunch headed outside. The kids watched me plant seeds in a herb planter, and I finished making a cage for my square foot garden to keep the rabbits from eating my lettuce (this triggered more discussion of rabbits, their eating habits, and the strength of their teeth as compared to my chicken wire). We also weeded quite a bit, as the weeds that sprang up last summer on the borders of the square foot garden dumped myriad seeds into the garden. Later in the afternoon, the kids saw a rabbit bouncing away through the back yard into the woods near the creek that runs into the bayou. After dinner, we all went for a walk on the bayou and avoided poison ivy (I hope!). I saw a rabbit on the opposite bank, so it was a very rabbit-rich day.

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