Thursday, June 15, 2006

And so it continues...

I still cannot believe how well this week has gone. The children took to calling me 'teacher' at one point today, as if the whole thing were just one large extension of 'Mums & Dads' , so I played along - well if it works..!

After Bible study & handwriting we begun the day with Boo doing Jolly Phonics (although she seems to pretty much know all the sounds now, even if she hasn't formally learnt them) and Joel doing some spelling practice in a sticker-type book, but with some quite challenging words for a 7yo. Then we moved onto Maths. Well actually I let Joel have some `you choose' time and he chose to go on Raindow Rock, maybe he thought that might get him out of maths, I don't know, but he played on that for ages while I did some maths with Boo. Then they swapped and Boo went on Rainbow Rock, which I thought would be too hard for her as its based on the Primary series and we're not there yet, but she coped fine and it helped me see that she might be ready for it come September, despite my fears that she wouldn't be. I gave her a pile of teddy bears (little plastic ones which clip together to hold hands) and she was able to do the number bonds exercise. She started with, say 9 bears in her hands. She then put the given number in one hand (say 5), how many were left in the other hand? Type in that number - 4 -easy!! I was right about her though - she is difintely a kinsthetic learner, she really needs her hands and eyes to see the numbers, but she's getting the concepts too and she told me today how she really loves Singapore maths while she was colouring in various combinations of coloured cups!!

After lunch we continued our poetry lesson with each of the children writing their own version of "I Am Me!" All Boo had to do was replace the animals in the original, with animals of her own choosing and copy out the format, concentrating on capital 'I' and full-stops. She did very well. Joel was given the same task, but he had to add in adjectives to make it more interesting and keep the rhymn. This was where I could see his more advanced level of thinking and sense of rythmn, as he actually managed to create a 'size' pattern and hold the meter, without being prompted to. He wrote;

I am me.
I am not a big, scary lion.
I am not a tiny flea.
I am not a huge, grey elephant
I am

After that I got them to recite and act out the original poem together (they worked together to figure out the actions although Joel took the lead, as I would expect. I need to sometimes say that it is Abbie's turn to be 'in charge').

On Monday we move on to looking at rhymning pairs. We will end up of a poem entitled "I am"; happy, sad, etc... I'm looking forward to hearing their take on themselves! ;)

Follow that up with ten minutes each reading to the 'teacher' and we were done.

OK - so there wasn't anything terribly exciting in that 'curriculum' today and I think too many weeks with too many 'essentials' and we could all get bored, but it's been such a disrupted and odd kind of week. Being the first back after 2 week hols, starting with 2 extra kids one day and breaking off for another morning for a doctors appointment. Must make sure we throw some science into the mix next week, and some history. I'd like to run around Wales this half term too, so that we can venture into the rest of Europe next year (after a quick mapping skills review). But let me just make a little list of everything we have touched on, or covered this week, just to reassure myself that we are being broad enough;

Bible study - daily
Handwriting - daily
Creative writing - daily
maths - daily ; addition, fractions review (on RR), mental maths
social studies
PE - plenty of that every day - tramolining, football, obsticle races, hula-hooping, swimming, tennis, cycling, etc..!
Science - the bottle xylophone is a sort of water experiment I guess!
reading - daily
listening - daily
drama - acting out poetry today and social situations in the game on Monday
life-skills - shopping!

and I'm sure there have been plenty occasions where they have just 'learnt' something without being formally taught it.

So - smiling at you broadly and looking forward to next week :) If this continues I shall feel even more truely blessed to be having the priviledge of seeing my children daily growing up and growing more full of knowledge with each passing moment. I love the 'I get it' look that shines from Boo so often at the moment and the sheer joy she has in the discovery of her up-til-now hidden abilities. THIS is why I home-school. Not to fight with and endlessly nag my children into submission to my demands, but to show how wonderful knowledge can be and encourage them to be hungry for more of - and to ensure that each day they live they can see God's hand on them and grow to understand His plan for them.

BTW - Caleb is an increasingly confident walker and has discovered today the thrill of pushing a small, tatty old doll's buggy around the garden. So much so that he screams at anyone who should dare to suggest that they'd like to play with it!!

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