Friday, May 15, 2009

School Day

As seems to be the case every two weeks, Thursday night I spent some time in the school room after the kids were in bed and made a lot of changes.  Friday morning the boys and I spent nearly three hours in the school room this morning.  It was a nice gloomy/rainy day which made for great motivation to spend a lot of time on "school" but makes for terrible pictures.  I try to never use flash because it always ruins my pictures (makes them look weird and washed out), but today I didn't have much choice.
The first work Kal-El chose was color box 1.  He completed this work in August but I put it out last night for Me Too.  Kal-El always makes a beeline for Me Too's shelves first.  I'm positive it is a symptom of bossiness, he's just making sure that Me Too doesn't do anything new before he has done it first.  

After taking 20 seconds to do color box 1, Kal-El moved back to his own shelves and selected our new "parts of a tree" puzzle.  He enjoyed taking it apart and putting it back together while learning the nomenclature. 

Yes, Kal-El is wearing his Spiderman pajamas again.  No, he has never seen Spiderman cartoons or television shows or movies.  The pajamas are hand-me-downs.  It all started with "who's this on my pajamas?" and now he knows all about Spiderman.  He slings webs all over the house and he calls Me Too "the Green Gobble-een."

Since Kal-El hijacked Me Too's shelves at the start, Me Too decided he only wanted to work off of Kal-El's shelves today.  This is usually fine and I talk more specifically about my policy on this here.  The first thing Me Too chose was the sorting tray which I updated with animals (lion, rhinoceros, giraffe, elephant).  He doesn't actually sort these, but rather learns the nomenclature and moves them around on the tray as more of a transfer work than a sorting work.

Kal-El took a turn with this work later and chose to sort by color today.

Another new practical life work on the shelves was transferring wooden balls with a melon baller. I had not expected Me Too to be able to do that work, but all that experience shoveling food in his mouth with a spoon paid off. Both boys were very good at this right away and enjoyed it immensely.  They both chose this work more than once during our school session.  

The array of wooden balls on the green rugs reminded them both of Daddy's pool table and they spent some time shooting the balls around the rug.  At first, Kal-El had reappropriated the long bolts from the nuts and bolts work to use as "cues" and I replaced them with two new, never-been-sharpened pencils. He also turned the galvanized pail that held the balls on it's side and put it on the corner of the mat to use as a "pocket" and was aiming the balls in there with his pencil pretty well.  

I returned felt snakes to the shelf in anticipation of bringing out a proper button frame next week.  This time I put out the version I made that had medium-sized buttons and button holes (last time they used the large) to increase the difficulty (no button frame I make will have buttons as large as I found for my large felt snake set). Me Too attempted the felt snakes but has no where near the appropriate level of dexterity for that task.  His "work" mostly consisted of choosing felts one at a time, tapping them against the button, then saying "Momma!  Help!"  I demonstrated putting the felt on the button.  Repeat ad nauseum.  He really enjoys activities we can take turns on and be really involved together in.  It's not Montessori, but it's human and he gets very little of that being a second child.  It's sad when you compare it to the one-on-one attention his brother always had (for the first 19 months).  Poor little buddy.

We did a lot of practical life work today.  I finally found the sponges I bought a couple of months ago and promptly mislaid that were intended for learning to transfer water with a sponge.  This is very timely because Kal-El needs the practice (for learning to wring out his washcloth for face washing at the sink and for using a sponge to wipe his chalkboard during art time) and he needs to develop his hand strength.

The red rods are back in the closet for now and the brown stair made a long overdue appearance.  This work is very challenging for Kal-El.  He did not put them in the proper order right off the bat any of the times he repeated the task and didn't seem to notice the improper ordering.  We used one of the giraffes from his sorting work as an unorthodox "control of error."  I pointed out that the giraffe wants to go up the stairs like we go up the stairs from the playroom in the basement.  As he hopped the giraffe up the stairs I pointed out when the steps were going down instead of up.  I also showed him how to use the smallest prism to check his work.

He also built the stair standing on end (his own invention).  He wanted to build with them like blocks, but I discouraged that because the task is supposed to teach a particular concept and I don't want him experimenting until he able to build it correctly.  

I replaced the letters a b and c with d e and f for today.  He took the work off the shelf and we started with the capital letter E.  He traced the letter, put it back in the box and put the whole work back up on the shelf.  

In addition to the above Kal-El chose the following works:

Me Too chose the following:

1 comment:

  1. Wow - so busy in your house! I love the broad stair on its side. I may have to borrow that one for school!