Monday, April 2, 2012

School Day

Today's work included:

• The SNAKE GAME for the first time (Kal-El)
• Me Too's FIRST SENTENCE with the movable alphabet
• A millepede dissection
• Me Too's first numeral layout
• and much more...

Mondays are violin lesson days for our family.  For this reason, I don't plan for Mondays to be a "school day."  I found that the boys are too mentally exhausted for their afternoon lessons if they have a work period on Monday mornings.  I think this problem is heightened because after a weekend without presentations they tend to be super excited about their first work period of the week.  The first work period of the week can easily stretch into five or six hours.  Therefore, in the past I have only asked them to practice their reading on Mondays.  Otherwise, they spend as much time as they can outdoors while I catch up on the housework for the week.

This week, I experimented with also giving a math presentation because I need to be more consistent with giving math presentations in order to allow them to keep moving forward at the pace their interest dictates.  They are spending too much time waiting for me.  The boys LOVED the math presentations today.  The problem is, it led us into the school room and they wound up doing 2.5 hours worth of work before they let me push them out the door.  I am DREADING this afternoon's violin lessons.  They could get ugly.

As I said, we practice reading every day.  Kal-El has been doing so since his fifth birthday.  Daily practice is new to Me Too as of a few weeks ago when he began work with the movable alphabet.  Many days of the week I have a word study planned for Kal-El.  Other days, he just chooses a book he wants to read to me.

At this point, Me Too just gets to choose anything he wishes from his works on the language shelves. Today he chose a sound sort basket and also the movable alphabet.

I just sit nearby while Me Too works with the movable alphabet in case he has any questions.    Today I read a book.  Up until now he had only written individual words.  Some days he likes to alternate choosing his own words with asking me to choose every other word.  Today I chose the word "am."  I think this is the first time he has ever written a verb.  It turns out that writing a verb can stimulate the child to write a sentence.  I heard him whispering "am...am...I am...I am a policeman...I am a daddy...I am a DOG."  Then he wrote "I am a dog" with his movable alphabet.

Kal-El asked if he could chose a work of the shelves today as well instead of read a book (my answer to that is always "yes!").  He chose to review the "ue" reading folder.  He worked independently with it while Me Too worked with the movable alphabet.

Working with all of those letters made them think of handwriting.  Next thing I knew, they were asking to work on lowercase letters together.  Today they practiced: c, o, t, w, v, s, a, and d.

Afterward, it was time for Me Too to have his math presentation.  Kal-El announced that he wanted to dissect the millipede today.  He got out the millipede book I made for him last year after "bug day" to re-familiarize himself with the parts of a millipede.

Me Too did a great job on his number layout!

Kal-El was WAY too excited about millipedes to think about math at this point so I let him get set up for his dissection.  Me Too decided to pull out his language binder, write some nouns and labelled them with the black triangle using the new templates I made last night:

It was a great dissection!  Really it was mostly microscope work (we LOVE our Magiscope!).  The millipede he captured was much too small for us to do more than separate the head from the trunk.  However, under the microscope he had a great time finding the eyes, antennae, and mandibles of the head.  The segments of the trunk looked really fantastic and that really helped him differentiate the sternites and tergites.  We discovered that this millipede's segments were somites (one pair of legs per body segment rather than two). Since having two pairs of legs per segment was the main way Kal-El usually differentiates centipedes in millipedes he asked if we could research the difference between the two online.  We now know that centipedes have longer antennae. legs that stretch out further from the trunk, and back legs that point backwards rather than remain in line with the segments like the rest of the legs.

After all of that, Kal-El was in a much better frame of mind for his first presentation of the snake game.  I'll hopefully write more about that tomorrow when he will learn to use the black and white bead stair to hold his place in a snake in which the bars don't always come out to even tens.

Today, he learned how to set up the bead stair but didn't use it.  I manipulated the set up of the snake so that every two bead bars added to ten and we didn't need to exchange during verification.

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