School was "in session" this morning long before I got out of bed, but I joined the boys in the school room from about 7 to 11 a.m. By 11:15 we were at the playground working on perfecting important "spy skills" like sliding down the fire pole, getting across the monkey bars, and pumping on a swing. If these were Montessori "works" I would report that they repeated each work at least 50 times and are in a sensitive period for sliding, monkeying, and swinging.
Afterward we dined al fresco, put together hanging planters for the front porch, and Kal-El put on a hard hat and performed a full inspection of our soffits looking for wasps' nests. He found two.
Here is a peak at some of what they did before 11 a.m.
Kal-El thought it would be fun to take out the puzzle piece for every country he knows the name of on the Asia map and place it on the control map. When he was done it looked like this:
Learning the names of the countries in Asia is a big job and he has been losing steam. Yesterday I told him that each time he learns a new one it would "unlock" a new item that is in my secret Mommy stash of things for the Asia box. That relit the fire and he has joyfully mastered a few more countries.
One of his favorite things that he "unlocked" was this chain of elephants from India. I could not get a picture that wasn't blurry because he is always ringing the bell at the bottom. It has a nice card that goes with it that explains what state in India it was made in, that the fabrics used are typical of the region, that elephants signify "luck", the bell is believed to "ward off evil spirits." Kal-El thought the last two were funny because "only God can do that."
Me Too has been doing a lot of pin punching lately. This morning he drew a whale and pin punched it out.
Kal-El pulled a new bug out of his self-caught specimen collection. We looked at it under the microscope and then he hit the field guide to try to identify it.
He's pretty sure it is a net-winged midge. He might be right.
Here's a bad photo of what it looks like under the microscope. I need a $40 attachment to get better photos than this.
Me Too is doing a lot of work on the collective exercises with the golden beads. You might have noticed the evidence of this in the background of photos today. He isn't a fan. It is too slow moving for him. He needs the practice and needs to do the work, but would really benefit from the group setting in a traditional Montessori classroom. Often times children do this work as a group. This makes each equation go faster because multiple children are gathering the addends for addition (for example). Most days he'll agree to do one equation but then he's "done." Kal-El has volunteered to be his teammate to speed things along and I pitch in putting beads away to keep things moving. This is one kid that will be super happy to get to the stamp game.
He is really happy to be mimicking Kal-El's work. When Kal-El is working on addition with the stamp game, Me Too wants to do addition with the beads. When Kal-El works on subtraction, Me Too does subtraction. When Kal-El works with the addition strips, Me Too pulls out the small number rods and copies his work. I was super impressed that he made the connection between the two materials himself.
Kal-El has been leaving his strip board set up as he is working on the drawer of loose addition equations. Me Too spent part of the morning circling it like a predator stalking prey. He kept sneaking in to take a little "bite" out of it...reorganize the strip ladders, slip a strip onto the board, etc., I sat down with him and showed him how use it (Kal-El was working on dynamic subtraction with the stamp game at the time). He spent about 30 minutes happily putting strips together and reporting the answer. The problem is that he hasn't done the teen boards yet. I was waiting to do the teen boards until he had at least visited all four operations with the golden beads. I want him to be comfortable with the idea of "1 ten, three units," "three tens," "four tens," "1 ten, six units" before we changed the language to "13," "30," "40," and "16." However, at the one equation a day rate he is working with the golden beads it is going to take forever. I'm trying to formulate a plan for moving him into those works regardless of where he is on the golden beads. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any.
The boys practiced writing today by writing "spy messages" with "invisible ink" (vinegar). The ink was supposed to turn brown when exposed to sunlight later. It didn't work. We need to go buy some good ole lemons.
I didn't photograph their other language works today. Me Too read seven, short, phonetic poems. Kal-El worked on identifying all of the different sounds "ou" can make: long-oo (you, youth), short-oo (would, could), and ou (grouch, couch). He completed a word sort according to sound category and read three short readers I made for the occasion.
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