Attention spans meandered like rivers on a flood plain today. And there was a fly in the classroom that was ever so much more fascinating than me droning on about weathering and erosion and the symbolism of Seders. We finished work pretty quickly, but I’ve yet to ascertain how much was actually learned. I guess we’ll see tomorrow. C has requested that she keep going with classes for two more weeks after we finish school, because she wants to start school two weeks later than everyone else in August. Of course, the pool’s not open yet. Her idea might seem less palatable when kids are swimming right outside the classroom window.
N (age 11):
- Math: N warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on percent/fraction/decimal equivalents. Her lesson was on finding the area of complicated polygons. She was putting on quite a show of being tired, by slumping and looking at me through half-closed eyes. She gets her dramatic flair from me. I think she paid more attention to her performance than the lesson, but she stumbled through it and I’ll review it with her in the days to come. She was assigned a lesson review.
- Spelling: N did the workbook activities to introduce her to the next lesson.
- Reading: N read a chapter of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
- Bible: N and C practiced their memory verses, the books of the Old Testament, the books of the New Testament through Colossians, and the twelve tribes of Israel. The lesson was on the origins of Passover and the symbolism of the Seder plate.
- Science: N and C learned more about erosion and weathering. We looked at pictures of Zeugens and Inselbergs (most notably, Ayers Rock in Australia). We talked about the formation of rivers and underground springs. We looked at pictures of clints and grikes as we discussed chemical weathering and acid rain. And we began an experiment to demonstrate layering of sediment in riverbeds.
- Geography: N and C filled in their Middle East maps and all the countries they know so far on their Southeast Asia maps. Today’s country was Cambodia. We talked about subsistence farming and the importance of the Mekong River to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Social Studies: N and C began their group study on the state of New Jersey. I divided up the work between the two of them and sent them on their way, warning them to not be “weak links” in the group project and giving them an anecdote about a group project I did in college with a “weak link.” And then I told them not to call each other a “weak link,” because I can totally see that happening.
- Music: N practiced her scales. Her new lesson involves skipping “line notes” and skipping “space notes.” N is always frustrated at the introduction of a new lesson, but she usually masters the lesson within a week.
C (age 9):
- Math: C warmed up with mental math and a worksheet on subtraction. In her lesson, she learned to visualize multiplication as repeated addition. Visualizations like today and yesterday are a big help for my right-brained learner moving from concrete to abstract concepts. She completed a lesson review.
- Spelling: C practiced her words with different spellings of the long “e” sound.
- Reading: C read Little House in the Big Woods for 20 minutes. I loved the Little House books when I was her age!
- Bible: Combined class with N.
- Science: Combined class with N.
- Geography: Combined class with N.
- Social Studies: Combined class with N.
- Music: C practiced her chord transitions and the A note.
S (age 6):
- Math: S used the 100-number chart to count to 100 by 1s and 10s. Together, we counted to 100 by 5s. She counted backwards from 20 to 1. The lesson was on counting nickels through 25 cents. Lots of counting by 5s today.
- Reading: S did a review sheet on lowercase “l” from The Measured Mom. We sang the alphabet song together and S located lowercase “m” on our alphabet poster. While she colored a picture of the letter “m” and a boy looking at the moon through a telescope, I read three short poems. I made sure to emphasize the /m/ sound in the poems. We played the game where S had to pretend to pack all the picture cards beginning with the /t/ sound so I could go visit my friend Terry. She does very well with beginning sounds now. I read a chapter of Anne of Green Gables to her. S is continuing to work her way through her collection of Dick and Jane books using a special reading strip designed to isolate lines of text and help with visual processing difficulties common in dyslexia. One of the first stories I remember reading as a little girl was a Dick and Jane story about their cat sitting on the television set. I’m so excited that S enjoys reading the same stories I read as a child!
- Writing: S practiced writing lowercase “m” on a custom worksheet.