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12 July 2010

Weekly Wrap-up: A Bit Late

Monday: We took as a holiday. Monkey's Daddy had the day off for Independence Day, and we thoroughly enjoyed having him around. Monkey had been asking to do "tire painting," which we did, and we set off some fireworks in the driveway Monday night.

The rest of the week was pretty productive. I put together another game from Happy Phonics, the Castle Game, which Monkey enjoyed. We also spent some time working on the Reading House. With Monkey's fine motor skills improving, we're doing more with Math - and he's loving it. All week I kept hearing, "Let's do Math!" OK. We can do that. Some of the stuff we did went into the binder I made. Some of it was sidewalk chalk and other temporary mediums.

One of the great difficulties I've had in moving forward in the Math Expressions book we bought a while back has been figuring out how to deal with Monkey's fine motor skills. He enjoys math, but this book (and all others that I'm aware of) assumes that the kids learning are older than 3 1/2, and thus that their fine motor skills are considerably more developed. In using Happy Phonics, we've avoided him needing to write at all in order to learn to read. But in math has been more difficult to avoid writing. This week, it occurred to me that the gradual process recommended in the Well-Trained Mind for moving narrations from my writing them to him writing them should also work with Math.

For first grade, you write the narration down, have the child read it back to you, and then place it under My Reading. ... By second grade, most children can dictate short narrations to you and then copy these narrations themselves. The second grade notebook should contain less of your writing and more of the child's. ... By third grade, your student should be able to narrate the plot back to you and write it down himself without the intermediate step of dictating and then copying. In short, he'll have gradually worked his way up to doing book reports. (TWTM, pg 59-61)

Obviously, Monkey's not doing 1st grade work yet: we're doing a mix of preK and K work. But it occurred to me that this gradual transition from my writing to his would work for math as well. We tried it out this week, and I am pleased with the result. This is the "scene of two" we worked on together:

Kumon went mostly well this week. Memorization was a bit shaky: we usually do that at bedtime and Monkey kept falling asleep before we got it done. Our Scripture reading went great again; two weeks in a row! We'll likely finish the Book of Mormon this week and start the Gospels. Monkey is very much looking forward to reading all those stories about Jesus!

We also took a tour of the Hospital on Thursday, which I think I enjoyed more than Monkey did. They've remodeled since I had Monkey, and the nice environment they had then has been improved upon. I'm getting very excited for this baby to come!

Saturday, Monkey got a special treat: we took him to the Children's Museum near the temple, where he played with his Aunt while we did a little temple work. He was sooo tired when we picked him back up, but it sounds like he had fun! Aunt Kate has promised to share pictures with us soon.

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