Monday, May 24, 2010

Week 29, day 5 and Week 30, day 1

Friday: Geography. We studied Australia on Friday. Both P and E were already able to identify Australia on a world map, but we labelled it on our Markable Map and looked at our kids' atlas page. We also read 2 books about Australia as well as a couple of chapters of "How to Scratch a Wombat". According to this book, wombats can sleep so soundly as to appear dead. The author found a favourite wombat of hers conked out on the doormat. Its heartbeat and breathing were undetectable, and it was rigid, so she sadly dug a grave, lowered the wombat into it, and it woke up and ran off. P and E enjoyed this story. P made a book on Australia, featuring the flag and map, and pictures of a kangaroo, the Sydney opera house, a boomerang, Uluru (Ayers Rock), and the Great Barrier Reef.

When we were done with school, the kids went outside and started digging a hole. I was stripping our basil and parsley plants of leaves in order to make (delicious) pesto, and they got tired of helping me and used E's digging tool that my parents gave him to get through the wood chips behind the garage and into the clay. They made a fairly deep hole, about as long as P's forearm. Then on Saturday Ari helped them to expand and deepen the hole, and they filled it with water - 6 buckets full. The water is sloooooooowly draining out; the clay soil is not very porous and there's still a lot in there.

Monday: Language Arts. I'm going to try to get through 2 weeks' worth of Language Arts this week and another 2 next week, in order to have time for a proper summer break. So we'll probably be doing some language arts every day in addition to what we usually do. We did the rest of our review items first. Before P read her reader, I had E trace his name on a dry-erase stencil I made for him by writing his name on a piece of paper, gluing it to cardboard, and covering it in clear self-adhesive plastic. P's math 5-a-day consisted of 3 problems and 2 games: Subtraction War and experimenting with our balance. We weighed a variety of small toys, and the kids grasped the idea of starting by adding the biggest weights and then adding smaller ones as the bigger ones overbalance the scale.

Once we got to language arts, we made a letter page with pictures we found online - an activity that both children enjoy. P was quite reluctant to do her copywork, so I decided we would do only a little more than was on the schedule for one day, and do more of it each day this week. I gave her the choice between the reader I had her start at the end of last week and a new one, and she chose the old one, feeling that the practice was good for her. Finally, she was to write a story based on a drawing of a pilot encountering a flying windmill. Her story turned out pretty well, I thought. I introduced her to the idea of a "point of view character" - the character through whose eyes the story is told. Ari has focused on this while editing his novels, so I've thought about it quite a bit as well. It seemed to me that P grasped the idea well and it helped her know where to start.

Speaking of Ari's novels, Ashes of our Joy is ready to purchase. Now you can find out what the Norkaths have been up to.

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