Thursday, May 28, 2009

School Day

The boys' Nana and Papa (my husband's parents) are staying with us this week. The boys are really enjoying having a broader audience for their shenanigans and are having a great time. They have been paying a lot of attention to everything Papa and Nana do as if they are conducting an anthropological study. I suppose this is the first time that anyone has stayed with us when both boys have been old enough to really understand that there are extra people living in their house and those people do different things than the ones already living here.

Kal-El's new obsession is the making of the coffee. Nana and Papa drink it and Mommy and Daddy really don't so it is a whole new experience. This is enhanced by the fact that I bought a coffee grinder for grinding flax so for the first time ever Nana and Papa can grind their beans fresh when they visit instead of suffer through 3 year-old Folgers grounds. (They are the only people who visit us who really drink coffee regularly so it takes a long time to get through a container of Folgers.)


Me Too's new obsession is cleaning the house with the hand vac. This has nothing to do with our house guests, but I thought since I was mentioning Kal El's obsessions I should point out Me Too's as well.



We have had "school" a couple of times this week. Both sessions were short and a bit informal as The boys demonstrated some of their work for their grandparents. Yesterday Nana and Papa went to visit another relative that lives nearby for a couple of days, so today we had no interruptions and had some more normal school time. I apologize for the appearance of my photos today. It was a gloomy, gross day and all I could get are gloomy, gross pictures.

Today Kal-El chose the following:

  • Parts of Tree puzzle (still learning nomenclature)
  • Snap Frame (abandoned after unsnapping and had to be coerced into putting it back together and returning it to the shelf)
  • Transferring water with a sponge
  • Pegboard (short lived)
  • Brown Stair


He spent quite a long time working with the parts of a tree puzzle, transferring water with a sponge and the brown stair. I don't know what I did wrong with him and the brown stair. He seems to have lost interest in sensorial altogether for quite some time. He isn't interested in any cylinder block extensions. He was interested in the red rods the first day they were brought out, but didn't really want to work with them after that. He was interested in using them like blocks, but not as intended. When I put those away, assuming they were too difficult, and brought out the brown stair he was--again--really only interested the first day. He was not able to independently build the stair properly that day. Again, he has been interested in building with them like blocks, but not in building a stair.

After Kal-El finished working for a long time with the water and sponge he wandered around aimlessly for a while looking for something he wanted to do. I rolled out my own work rug and started working with the brown stair by myself. He raced to my side (as anticipated) and he helped me build the brown stair properly. I asked him questions like "now which one's the thickest?" and he chose and placed the pieces. When it was complete he instantly grabbed the smallest prism and checked each of the steps for accuracy as I had shown him the first day. I was surprised he remembered that. Afterwards he took over my rug, but was only interested in using the pieces like building blocks.



I can't figure out if I missed the right time for this activity, if this is normal, or if it's too early.

I removed five alternating pieces from the pink tower (to make it easier) and presented it to Me Too again today. He was very interested, but still seemed to have no interest in putting the pieces in any particular order. He enjoyed saying things like "biggest" each time he chose one and heeeaaavvvyy every time he picked up the largest one. I let him be and he worked with it for a very long time.


How about........this?



...or this?




Something is not quite right here...



Better knock it down...



Let me try this way again...



And finally.....Ta Da!

After he finally did it he was extremely proud and rebuilt it five or more times.

In the meantime, Kal-El realized that Papa had left the magnetic safety chain from the treadmill in his reach. He further discovered that one end magically sticks to things and the other end clips to things. He spend a good 20 minutes doing an impromptu magnetic/not-magnetic activity. He clipped the clip to anything he could find and experimented with the magnet. It was fun to watch him slowly figure out (without me saying anything) that it was only sticking to metal and then looking for as many metal objects as he could find.


Note: My husband just told me about the Tyson incident and YES, I have just double-checked to make sure that cord has been stowed out of reach.

I am finding that lately the amount of attention I give each boy in "school" is evening out. In the beginning it felt more like Me Too was keeping busy on his own and Kal-El was the one I was truly "working with." More and more now Me Too is interested in (and ready for) activities that need more of my attention. I am giving him more and more "presentations" and would say my attentions are truly split 50/50 by this point.

Right now Me Too is very interested in learning his colors. He spent the most time today on the Pound and Roll activity. Each time he hammered a ball through he asked "what's this?" I told him "red ball" or "green ball" and he always repeated what I said. He did the same when
transferring pom poms with tongs and has been doing the same around the house for the last couple of days. Today I thought it was a good time to present color box one. When I did this activity in August with Kal-El (who was 6 months older at the time) he was able to do it immediately. Me Too seems to have a lot of trouble discerning what the "end product" is supposed to look like...or doesn't care. He was very interested in the names of the colors, in talking with me about it, and saying things like "another yellow one!" He wasn't, however, very interested in lining them up on the mat in pairs.

It was fascinating watching him with the peg board today. The pegs also stack as well as fit into the board. The boys both like to make "clarinets" out of them. I noticed today Me Too was making his "clarinets" all one color, then the next all another color. He also started making patterns. He made a "clarinet" that alternated orange and green.

Today Me Too chose the following:

  • snap frame (still too hard for him, he just likes it for some reason)
  • transferring pom poms with tongs
  • color box 1
  • transferring wooden balls with a melon baller
  • peg board
  • Pound and Roll
  • pink tower
  • left the room, played with a fire engine in the next room for 20 minutes...
  • pink tower (again)

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