Monday, April 12, 2010

Week 25, day 1

Monday: Language Arts. For most of the morning, P seemed to have the attitude of Kipling's commissariat camels ("Can't! Don't! Shan't! Won't! Pass it along the line!"). We took it slowly, and our school time oozed into the afternoon, but we got through all I had planned for the day. First she finished her Russia book from Friday with pictures of Sputnik, onion-shaped domes on a cathedral, and a Russian brown bear. After reviewing the memory verse, updating the calendar, and doing her math 5-a-day, she did most of the worksheets left over from last week's language arts. When it came to this week's copywork, she announced that she would copy the words, but not read them. At that point, B had a need (he seems to have produced 3 times his normal amount of diaper-related output today), and when I got back from changing him, P had finished the entire copywork. I diplomatically finagled an agreement out of her that she would read what she'd written before doing her reader, and she did both sets of reading easily and confidently. After lunch, we looked at a book of poetry and P wrote her first (unrhymed) poem. It used good imagery: the grass and wind play with fallen leaves like children playing with toys. I was pleased with her. We then had to read almost the entire remainder of the poems in the book, but they're lots of fun so I didn't mind. We played "Go A to Z", a variation on "Go Fish" that uses alphabet cards, as well as a memory matching game with capital and lowercase letter cards. That officially ended school for the day, but P wanted to play War and E wanted me to read the Berenstain Bears' Big Book of Science and Nature. I ended up reading 2 entire sections: "Nature Walk" and "Science Fair". This took until almost time to start making dinner, but the kids wanted to make Papa Bear's balloon-propelled jet. I had tried this several times with no success, so I decided to delight them with a different demo. I cut a piece of drinking straw, threaded it onto a string, stretched the string across the room and attached it to the walls with tape, blew up a balloon but didn't tie it, taped the balloon to the straw, and let go. The balloon was supposed to fly along the string like a rocket. After a few attempts I discovered that the ideal nozzle angle is for the open end to be aimed up so the balloon tries to fly down instead of up and into a spin. It worked beautifully once I figured that out. The kids, inspired by the balloon idea, went outside and got each other soaking wet with water balloons while I cooked dinner, so my demo even indirectly kept them out from under my feet. Score!

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