Saturday, December 11, 2004

I had some business!!

Well, you haven't heard form me this week purely because I had my first customer on editmypics!! It has taken me every available bit of time I have had at the PC to get the work done as the man would like the picture for his wife's Christmas present. It has been a real challenge, but I think I have made a good job of it, so I'm pleased. Let's hope he agrees with me!! :)

School-wise, I can really feel it is the end of term. The children are dragging their heals and to be honest I have struggled to get up steam after having had a few 'lazy' weeks with nausea and tiredness. I am feeling fine in myself now, but I really need to get motivated about school again. Hopefully the Christmas break will do the bizz!

We spent the whole day on Thursday looking at London and actually that was quite enjoyable. The boys seemed thoroughly delighted by their capital city. Then Blue Peter on Friday had the story of Dick Whittington - both the true and the fictional versions, so that was great as I was struggling to find a good copy of it. I used to have a Ladybird book of it as a kid, but that one doesn't seem to have found it's way onto my bookshelves yet! I want to have a brief look at the 'Fire of London', 'The Great Plague' and how much the ecology (pollution & clean-up) of The Thames has changed over the years, before we move on to looking at Scotland. I had hoped to finish of the UK this term, but I think Scotland, Wales and Ireland are going to hang over into next term, but it doesn't really matter that much. We'll probably, in reality, spend most of next term looking at those three countries before we move onto maybe France, or Spain in the summer.

Maths this week was a little frustrating. After Joel getting off to a good start to a difficult concept, we seem to have hit a block. Adding & subtracting numbers over 10 and under 20! 'Making 10 first' So for example; 4 + 7 = ? Now with Singapore the child has to decide which number to make 10 with (the 7), work out that they need 3 more, which they 'move' away from the 4. 4 is made up of 3 & 1. As the 3 is now with the 7 (to make 10) there is only 1 left of the 4. They have basically rearranged 4 + 7 into 1 + 10 - a much simpler sum to do. It sounds REALLY complicated explained like this, but with blocks it is easy to demonstrate and actually in reality quite easy to do - I think!! For a sum like 12 + 6 they have to split the 12 into 10 & 2 (make 10 first), add the 2 onto the 6 (making 8) and add the result back onto the 10, therefore 12 + 6 becomes 10 + 8 - easy!! When it comes to subtraction you kind of work in reverse. 15 - 7 = ? You can't take 7 from 5, so make 10 first. Split the 15 into 10 & 5, take the 7 from the 10 (leaving 3) and add the result back onto the other units (5). 3 + 5 = 8. I do remember hitting the same block with Jacob. He simply couldn't seem to remember what steps he was supposed to take to reach the answer, would get half way correctly and then stop and write down any wild number! Joel is doing EXACTLY the same - it is SO annoying. I am again in a quandary whether to flog it until he 'gets' it, or move on and come back in the hope that with fresh eyes he will see it differently. With Jake I flogged it and he did eventually get it but not without sweat and tears (too many). Having said that, in hind-sight it was worth it, as maths is breeze to him now and he hardly ever struggles with it. The strong foundation was laid and he is able to build solidly upon it. Hmmmn!!!
I'm wondering though if it might be a worn-out brain thing and that with the new term and a breather Joel might just get it and that will be that - here's hoping!!
How did C. do with this concept Jan?

My friend came to do Art again last Thursday and finished up the 'Self-Portrait' theme with a collage portrait. The boys did great (although neither is really a SELF portrait!!). Next term they will be looking at building and architecture - interesting!

Joel's Collage portrait

Jake's collage portrait

Last night was our annual College Christmas Bash. The theme this year was "The Wild West", with a live band, Barn-dancing and a real hog roast (yes, a whole roasted Pig complete with tail (but not head!), which was a fascination to the boys!!)

Cowboy Joel

Cowboy Jake


Jan said...

Joel looks a terribly serious cowboy, I wouldn't like to mess with him!

Caroline said...

indeed he does - I love that pic!! I've just posted the post to go with the photos - there's a direct question for you in there! How you keeping?

Jax said...

Ooh, that maths sounds painful! I can't remember not knowing that stuff, so I have no idea how we did it, but that does sound complicated. What blocks do you use - cuisenaire?

Oh, and congrats on the business - hope the customer is happy!

Caroline said...

blocks wise we use cuisinaire (which are good because of the orange 10 rod) and buttons and pencils and just about anything we have to hand really! Chocolate pillows even at times (cerals) and I've thought about smarties, but there's just too many kids around for that to be an option!! Sometimes I colour over the 1 in a teen no (eg 14) just to emphasise the fact that it represents a 10 (because a 10 is orange with rods) and occasionally that helps, but he does forget it!


Jan said...

Sounds like what we've been doing this week, about 1/4 of the way through 1B? Mostly I sit next to C while she does it because she just doesn't concentrate otherwise, so perhaps I avert the misunderstanding before I realise she would have been stuck. I think the way it's laid out is helpful though.

K said...

Those self portraits are fantastic. ADJ drew a lawnmower as his self portrait - don't think he quite got the idea!
Karen x

Barbara said...

I tried your link, Caroline, but I couldn't get it to work.

Caroline said...

try again barbara - I recently updated it and for some reason it hadn't registered the new first page now has an 's' in the htm address!

Caroline said...

We're only in the second workbook of 1A Jan and I sit with him ALL the time - working through most of the problems WITH him - over and over and over the same methods!! Attention is really not the problem for Joel - he just doesn't seem to 'get' it!

Caroline said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
merry said...

Grin - yep - bout the same stage here and fighting with an urge to yell "do something logical you twit!!!!!!"

So i have the miquon books out. :~D

Caroline said...

Yep - that exactly Merry!! :)