Thursday, October 04, 2007

LEGO Mania!!

Wow, we had a productive day today! This was the only day all week with nothing planned so I decided to take advantage of it and scheduled a full house clean first thing in the morning so we could just enjoy our day. I think I've finally gotten myself into a semi-decent cleaning schedule - or at least one that can grow and expand as my expectations of a clean house do, lol. My expectations are pretty low at the moment. ;) Anyway, the floors were all clean and vacuumed by 10:00 am and the clutter that had been on them was finally put away (amidst lots of whining) by 11:00.

Then I got out the books and Cameron insisted on doing math first. That's not going to happen again. It took him about 45 minutes to get through the first two of the three pages and by then he didn't have much patience left for the other subjects. I *knew* that would happen, which is why I normally insist on doing phonics before math, but I feel like I have to let him have his way with dismal results once in a while in order to make my enforcement of more smoothly running rules easier. (That was a horrid sentence, lol, sorry.)

Anyway, we did Math and then Grammar. To my utter amazement, both Cameron and Cassia have 100% committed the poem, The Caterpillar, to memory. In two days. Actually, it was only one day but I refused to believe it until this morning when they recited it perfectly with no promptings or preablitory readings from me at all. Next in the lesson was the introduction of proper nouns. The lesson was fun and we dissolved into silliness but that was a bad lead-in to Phonics. I had actually wanted to do some Spelling first but, again, I let Cameron's protesting sway my choice. Again, it was a bad decision.

Phonics was torture. He was still silly. He did not want to read. He did not want to open his eyes to look at the page. *sigh* But we finally got through it. Finally, I had him write down his Spelling words for the week. I think next week I'll have him do that on both Tuesday and Thursday. And I will certainly have him do it before phonics to calm down and focus himself upon the page.

At last we reached the point of the day we had all been waiting for... LEGO Physics! We started with the Gear Set and despite my multiple queries of "Are you sure you don't want to stop?" we went through all of the guided lessons in the Teacher's Guide. We learned all about drivers and followers and the direction of rotation and gearing up and gearing down and idler gearing and changing the rotary motion through a 90-degree angle and compound gearing. Phew! He built several examples of each of those and then built a merry-go-round and then fan and multiple variations of each of those. He had been at it for over two hours when I finally walked away, lol. There are actually some enrichment exercises and some free-design scenarios that we haven't done yet but we've got to save something for another day, right? Anyway, he's thrilled with the whole thing - obviously - and asked if he could use it whenever he wanted or if he had to wait for it to be a Science day. I said he could use it whenever he wanted as long as it did NOT get mixed in with the other LEGOs. Mean, aren't I.

I have three more sets: Levers, Pulleys, and Wheels & Axles. I'll spend a week or two on each set, I think, and then I'm sure he'll want to combine all four of them to make some monster creation, lol. LEGOs are cool. I also totally recommend the LEGO Educational Division products (I got mine through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op). The teacher guides and project cards are pretty good. The math's all in there if you want to use it. I mentioned the gear ratios but didn't stress them at all. There's also an assessment page that can easily be made into a review or test, if you're into that sort of thing. And no, I didn't just take a job with LEGO. ;)

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