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06 November 2009

Another Week

OK, this hasn't been our best week ever. We were sicker than last week, so we got less accomplished. But what we did was good.

Reading: We tried out the Bob books; Monkey's not quite ready. But he's close. Oh so very close! Sadly, we then got sicker still, and haven't done anything with practicing blending all week.

Math: I got my Math Expressions teacher's edition last week, and I've read a good chunk of it now. Who knew that reading a teacher's edition was so engrossing? It looks like much of the manipulatives I can make for the felt board - things like the "tiles" with dots that I mentioned last week. They do "daily routines" that I'll need to make up some sheets for. I think those can be covered in contact paper and put in a sturdy folder or a binder, though I haven't decided for sure what exactly it will be. I still need to get a copy of Anno's Counting Book, which is on the agenda for this afternoon, and then once that gets here we'll be full steam ahead for math. He's already much more secure in his concepts of what the numbers are. ME focuses on 1-5 for a long time, then 1-10. But it looks like we're going to have fun. I have got to get some video of him jumping in circles and doing animal noises to practice counting! It's just sooo funny. He did a picture of one today:

One interesting thing that I'm seeing is the value of Charlotte Mason's council to do short lessons, but insist on doing it well - perfectly, if possible. Here are her words:

“[N]ever let the child dawdle over a copy-book [penmanship] or sum, sit dreaming with his book before him. When a child grows stupid over a lesson, it is time to put it away." (vol.1 p 141)

With Monkey, this idea means that when he's no longer engaged, we put it away. My Mom gave me very similar advice, once upon a time, to put away toys before they're uninteresting. This keeps things fresh for Monkey, and keeps me from getting so very frustrated with normal 3 year old behavior, and also gets the lesson I'm trying to teach into his head. Works for me!

Read Aloud: In the Book of Mormon we're in 3 Nephi 14 - just finishing up the Sermon on the Mount, as given in the Americas. Monkey knows the song "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man" and wanted me to sing it today after we finished reading. I think that he's really going to enjoy reading about the life and ministry of the Lord when we finish the Book of Mormon. I had hoped to be working on that by now, but we're not. However, we are making steady progress to the end of the book, which is something.

We made a little progress in Little House on the Prairie. He loves to look at the pictures in the book that we've got. And he's clearly engaged in the story, which I love. I find the language intriguing. Laura Ingalls Wilder has an interesting turn of phrase and it's got a lovely rhythm to it. I remember enjoying the story when I was younger, but I hadn't realized that the language itself that she uses is so spare and effective.

Nature Study: Nothing. We were all too sick to go outside much. Though I did try to use some of the nature words in conversation with Monkey so that he'll remember them. He knows that the "oval" moons are gibbous moons. We talked about the mallard ducks we saw last week. I'm making manipulatives for him to use in making his pictures of numbers, and the current batch is birds we've seen. He recognized the mallards and named them without prompting, which pleased me to no end. But as far as getting out there and being in nature, not so much. We'll do better again next week. We may even get some done tomorrow, in our yard. We really need to put the gardens to bed for the winter.

Memory: Monkey is finally able to say Romans 8:16 end to end, though he likes it better if he can get away with just saying the end: "We are the children of God. Romans 8:16." I've been trying to teach him the meaning of front end of the verse, and I think that it's helping. But with or without the first half, it sure is sweet to hear him say "we are the children of God!"

Mom's Ed: I'm taking a fondant class. And I'm reading Nourishing Traditions, which is an interesting read.

Happily, everyone but Daddy is on the upswing now, and feeling better. Hopefully Daddy will follow quickly! Next week should be better. And in the mean time I'm learning that I'm going to need to cut back on outside activities: it seems like doesn't take much to derail the whole day of school. Which is ridiculous. We're not doing that much for that long. But you add very much extra into our day and things don't get done. Important things. So I'm going to have to learn to say NO. That, I think, is going to be a tough lesson for this mama. Though I find I am more and more of a home-body all the time. Home is nice.


Weird Unsocialized Mom said...

First of all, I wanted to let you know how much your comment on my mom-tantrum touched me. I guess you're right -- we're all human and we all have moments that we're not proud of. Hopefully, what Megan will remember from this is repentance, forgiveness, and the effort to make it right.


I hope you're all feeling much better soon. It's no fun when everyone is sick, especially Mom.

The math looks fun! I can't wait to read more about it as you get fully into it. I love when we can make learning fun.

Rhonda said...

I hope you all get completely well and feel much better.
I very much agree with you concerning the CM schedule. Our lessons are not long either for most of our subjects and the quality of my children's work is much better for it.
Thanks for sharing your week.

Giggly Girls said...

Hope you're all feeling 100% soon. My oldest at a bit of a cold this week and my "fall's officially here" sinus drain is over. Thankfully, that's as sick as we usually get.

I'm so impressed with how Monkey is so into Little House. I couldn't imagine mine being interested at that age. But since they're my fav series, I say good for him!!!

Leah C said...

I hope you are all feeling well soon. I love Charlotte Mason!

Christi said...

I sure hope y'all completely mend soon, isn't it the worst when illness lingers. I really love your math and felt board, it really looks engaging. I am totally in love with the Charlotte Mason method and I agree that it has more effect when the lesson is short and sweet. Hoping y'all have a blessed week.

Samantha said...

That has also been one of the biggest lessons from CM for this mom as well. Watching and gauging the kids engagement makes for such more pleasant days.

Ritsumei said...

Thanks for all the well-wishes guys! We're on the upswing now, so hopefully in a few days we'll be all back to normal.

Keeley said...

How very awesome that you're so regular on your updates. =) I need to follow your example.

I'm so sorry y'all were sick - that's SO not fun.

Ritsumei said...

It's the linky, Keeley. That, and it's bringing me tons of traffic from other folks that are doing the linky, and that makes me happy. Look at all those comments they left me! =D

I find that having decided to do the linky, it makes me more inclined to start the post early in the week so I can have a good record. In addition, I find it very encouraging to write down what we do, because it sometimes feels so insignificant at the time, but by the end of the week we've made progress on the educational goals, and you can see that in a week's worth of effort much more clearly than you can in a day. Day-to-day, I think it's easy to focus on what isn't right, what still needs work. This Weekly Warp-up helps me see what is good in our week. I like that.

Keeley said...

Sooo...how do you remember to take the pictures? I'm constantly forgetting my camera. =D We homeschool at my work...yeah, I know that sounds funky... but even if we didn't I'd forget to pick up the camera and take a picture whenever something-or-other was happening.

Ritsumei said...

I don't always. This is my 5th wrap-up, and one of them had no pictures whatsoever. This week there was only one, and I took that Friday afternoon, partly because I was thinking about the post, partly because Math Expressions has kids draw "scenes" of a number, and they're supposed to be a record of the kids' work. Well, Monkey hasn't got the coordination to be drawing scenes yet, so he gets photographs of that sort of thing. So I was thinking about that as I was doing math with him and I took the picture. I'm not sure if I'm going to do that much with the math pictures, but in the mean time it makes a nice inclusion in my post!

Mostly, though, I just always have my camera with me. It travels in my purse (I have a huge purse, purchased specifically because it would hold the camera bag) and pretty much goes everywhere. And if I don't want the big purse, I pull out my driver's license and put it in my camera bag. It's just become habit. Something fun? Take a picture. Post it. Quite a bit of my family is blogging now, and so then they get to see what we're doing. So it serves a couple different purposes. And I just LIKE photography, so I think of it. But you don't have to have pictures to wrap-up.

Leila said...

I hope you feel better. =)

Calina said...

My daughter struggled with the Bob books, too. We had a set similar to the Bob books called Now I Am Reading by Innovative Kids. She took right off with this series.

I love hands-on math. Making the manipulatives is much cheaper and I think the kids will remember it more. Dice, dominoes, number magnets, construction paper or felt shapes.

I'm sorry you're all sick. We try to get outside for nature everyday. Even when we're sick, I think the fresh air just makes us feel better.


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