Monday, October 08, 2007

"Being fast and lazy is no good"

We actually got school started without a fuss today. When I brought out the spelling book, Cameron tried to argue to do phonics first but I told him that today there would be no arguments as to the order of subjects. I was going to decide and that was final. And amazingly, there were no arguments. Spelling went well. He can somehow read much easier during spelling that during phonics. Actually, he's been reading great lately. He did lots of impromptu reading over the weekend - just random things like the Chance cards in Monopoly, but it was great to see him actually wanting to read something. On that note, phonics went really well too with hardly a moan of complaint. I did have to remind him of the sounds of the gh, igh, eight, aigh, and augh combos that we were reviewing but he mostly remembered them in the accompanying story.

Math was the problem today. He fussed and fidgeted and did very careless work. It took about an hour to get through three pages of three digit addition. I guess it's a lot like reading where he can read the lists but gets intimidated by the long stories. It appears that he is getting intimidated by the long math problems. If he can't do it in his head, it's too much. The good news is that he did start trying hard eventually and was very proud of himself when he was actually able to get the correct answer on the first try (which was only two or three times in the whole exercise).

Next I read them a version of the Aesop fable, The Tortoise and the Hare, for Grammar. I guess I shouldn't be calling this subject "grammar" because it is much more than that. In truth, it's a whole language study designed to introduce young children to the beauty, complexities, and forms of the English language. Anyway, after reading them the story I had Cameron tell it back to me in his own words. He told me a wonderfully detailed and original version of it. Some of the analogies he used were quite amusing. For example, "...the rabbit went speeding ahead like a galloping horse." LOL, I love that one. He's going to be a great writer, I think. After he finished his retelling, he and Cassia launched themselves into two full-blown re-enactments of the story, first with Cameron being the tortoise and then with Cassia being the tortoise. Fabulous entertainment, I tell you! Then I had Cameron come back and give me a summarized narration instead of a full-blown story. He had a bit of trouble paring it without losing all the plot, but we finally got a handful of good sentences and then he drew an illustration of the tortoise winning his trophy, lol. You can read both versions and see the illustration here.

Finally we did History and I read to them about Sumer and Akkad from our children's encyclopedias. I had a word search for Cameron to do and Cassia was very sad that she didn't have one to do as well. In a moment of brilliance, I told her that she could draw pictures of each of the word search items and she loved the idea! One of the most notable items was a very modern interpretation of a calendar. The date squares, which ranged from "2, 4, 6, 8" in one to 303 in another, were of all shapes including triangles and ovals, lol. She was super proud of it too. Definitely something to cherish. Oh, I forgot to mention that she did about 5 pages of phonics and 2 or 3 pages of math while Cameron worked on his stuff.

And that was our day, except for gymnastics which we will be heading for in a little while. It's funny how overwhelming it sounded to me to do "so many" subjects in one day, but it really isn't that much. And it's fun too, which just makes the time fly. I really thing that Grammar/Language is their favorite subject now.


Pixilated Mum said...

Sounds like a groovy day.

OK, but, seriously ... three pages of addition problems took one hour? Try ************one********** page, girlfriend. LOL

Jenny said...

LOL!!! I love you girl. :)