Thursday, May 01, 2008

going for the gold!

Four days in a row!! Look at me go!! And I'm not even behind in the dishes or laundry. (Though I should be starting dinner now instead of blogging.)

Greyson was up a lot last night so our sleep was not the best. (Actually, I slept really well in between changing sheets and taking temperatures in the middle of the night.) He finally got up around 7:45 and wandered out to play with Cameron. A few minutes later, I hear the familiar clang clang of him pulling things out of the dishwasher and then a couple minutes after that I hear someone screeching at him to stop whatever it was he was doing (turns out it was his favorite "pouring water experiment" as we like to call it). As I tried to rouse myself up and out of bed to clean up the inevitable mess, I glance at the clock. 9:50!! Cassia's ballet class was at 10:30! I haven't overslept like that in years (at least when there wasn't another adult here). Amazingly, we managed to make it to ballet all dressed and combed and me even showered just as Miss Megan was taking the girls upstairs. Phew! I hate starting the day like that though.

Cameron had had another big Monopoly mess out again, so after that was all cleaned up and my plants were all watered (the little bean plants look so happy, by the way) we started schoolwork. Cameron had a very good phonics lesson where he read about the Knight's Code of Conduct with lots of big words like endurance and courteous. Next Cassia did her phonics and I was so proud of her!! She's really trying hard and we practiced all the words from the last two lessons and then moved on to some words like man, can, and tan and the sight word the. That one little word enabled her to read her very first sentence. There were three in the "story" she read, but the very last sentence she read all by herself. Here is the monumentous word grouping: Nan can fan the tan cat. My little girl is growing up. I actually don't remember Cameron catching on this fast, but I do think he was a little younger. (Poor first child who gets pushed into everything too fast because the parent is over-anxious.)

Grammar was a cumulative review of all the poems we've memorized. They both did great. It's quite impressive how well they remember them, especially since some haven't been reviewed in months! Cameron is scheduled to give a speech at Family Night at 4-H this year and we've decided that he is going to recite Mr. Nobody. He's got the poem down but what we're going to have to work on is cutting down on the silly dramatics that go with it. ;)

Math for Cameron was the second half of the review exercise from yesterday. It also took forever but I finally figured out a trick towards the end of it. He was working on word problems today and was having a time trying to figure out which mathematical operation to use. After one or two of them, he stopped trying and just began guessing right off the bat. Is it addition? Is it division? So rather than getting annoyed, I changed the numbers in the problems to ones that he could easily do in his head and then made him really think about how he got there. He would get the right answer almost instantly but it really did take some thinking to figure out how he got there. For one of them I said, "If I have 5 letters to mail but only 3 envelopes, how many more envelopes do I need?" He instantly said 2 but when I asked how he got that he said that he added. "Two plus three is five. I added." In retrospect, I guess I should've allowed that and had him write the problem in an algebraic variable (aka fill in the blank) type of way, but we finally wrapped his head around the fact that he had done subtraction to get there. After that it was easy to plug the right numbers back into the problem and do it right. Meanwhile, Cassia was doing more work on the concept of the teens. I didn't even mention it to her, but as soon as I pulled out Cameron's math book she took out hers and started working on it by herself. I definitely think she is going to be ready for "formal" Kindergarten next year.

For history I read about the Greek Dark Ages in our history encyclopedias while the kids colored pictures of the Cyclops. As they were coloring, Cameron kept telling Cassia little tidbits of the story. (Remember, she passed on history yesterday and watched a movie instead.) I think he really liked that one. She was mildly horrified at the news that Odysseus put out the Cyclops' eye, but moments later she was coloring him red to show "all the red blood cells that are leaking out from where he got hurt." Earlier this afternoon she accidentally picked off a scab which started bleeding quite a bit. She freaked out, as usual, at the sight of the blood but I tried to explain how it was just helping her and reassured her that she wouldn't run out of blood because her body was always making more. That little tidbit of information really seemed to calm her down. I guess that's what she's always been afraid of - not the sight of the blood, but the fact that part of her body was escaping her!

We also did map work showing the journey from Greece to Troy. And then I brought out the Greek alphabet worksheets that I had printed out from Enchanted Learning. They weren't great worksheets though so the kids weren't really interested in doing anything more than just writing their names in Greek. I think I'd really like them to work on memorizing the Greek alphabet. I remember when I was about ten, my brother was pledging a fraternity and one of the things he had to do was memorize the Greek alphabet. He enlisted my help in that and I remember it being a really fun thing to learn.

Now my little family is all bonding in front of a Thomas video for Greyson's sake. Both C&C claim that they "don't like Thomas very much anymore" but they sure do run to the tv whenever I put it on for Grey and they certainly stay enthralled by it. ;) I thought the little guy was feeling better today, just some diaper trouble to round off the whole stomach virus thing, but he woke up from his nap pretty lethargic. He hasn't had a fever today, but he certainly hasn't felt good. The others seem fine (*knock on wood*) so I'm not sure what to do about tomorrow. They have Science class and I hate for them to miss it since there are only ten in the series and they already missed one a couple weeks ago when Cameron was sick. I'm torn between calling someone else to take them or dropping them off and hanging out with Grey in the car. The problem with calling someone would be that the closest person to us in the class would have to backtrack pretty far out of her way to come here and pick C&C up. Grey would most likely fall asleep in the car on the way there anyway so I'll probably just drag us all out there hoping that he won't be too uncomfortable. Ah, for a Mommy Cloning Device to go with that Self-Cleaning House I have on order!


Gillian said...

You certainly have me beat with blogging!

I hope Greyson is feeling better today - I hate it when my kids feel under the weather since I can't just fix it for them.

And YAAAAYYY to Cassia for reading!

Gillian said...

We'll try to make it to the park! I can't believe he's almost TWO.

I understand what you meant better now. Thankfully, I have very little idea as to what level other kids are at in the charter school, other than a vague idea of what "grades" they are in. Otherwise, I think I'd feel really kind of competetive...