Friday, April 23, 2010

Week 26, days 3 and 4

Wednesday: Math. Some days, the kids seem to resist me at every step, and this was one of them. We started the day with a game of Uno for E's benefit. His view was that it was fun; my view was that it helped him practice matching colours and numbers. However, after the game it was hard for both kids to settle down into paying attention. It may be better strategy to hold out game playing as a reward for good work. After our review, it was almost time to get ready for ballet, so we filled up the remaining time with "Addition War" - like regular War, but drawing 2 cards at a time and letting the greatest sum win. P found this difficult and thus not as enjoyable as regular War. I had removed all the face cards, but may also remove the 7s, 8s, and 9s to make it easier for her next time we play. In the evening, Ari commented that it sounded like I'd had a hard day with the kids, to which I heartily agreed. He suggested shutting them alone in their room if they refuse to do the things I ask them in school, until they're ready to receive the blessing I'm trying to give them.

Thursday: Bible. This was the next-to-last week of CBS, so soon we'll have more time on Thursdays for school. The kids learned about how Saul/Paul was let down from the walls of Damascus in a basket. I wish I knew where my personal photos from Damascus were, but I did describe to them visiting the traditional site (it includes a piece of artwork depicting Paul landing right next to a sleepy-looking Roman soldier, which my brother and I found a bit unconvincing). I introduced a new memory verse and catechism question, and then E wandered off downstairs. Since I generally include him in our calendar update, I asked P to do her reader instead. When she flatly refused twice, I used Ari's suggestion of leaving her alone in her room to entertain herself. It didn't take more than 60 seconds for her to come downstairs and inform me that, in my absence, she'd read her reader aloud to herself. I don't believe her to be deceptive, and I'm pleased with how well this strategy worked - she co-operated happily the remainder of the day. I hadn't made a 5-a-day worksheet for her, so I had her play with the Think-It-Through Tiles instead. We used one page from the book that came with it (a sequencing activity) and one page I made (an addition activity). I also taught her how to add a sequence of numbers that have differing numbers of digits (for example 120 + 3 + 34) and get them lined up correctly. She struggled a bit with this, so I plan to review it again today before putting it on a 5-a-day for her. When E returned upstairs, we updated our calendar and I read them the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus and of the Great Commission. At the children's request, we also read "Please" and "The Girl Who Touched the Stars" from the Children's Book of Virtues, and I read them the first three chapters of Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder (they wouldn't let me stop at just one or two chapters). Stopping and reading a story when the kids start to get antsy is a good strategy, a fact I need to remember more often.

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