Friday, January 08, 2010


I love the holidays, really I do. But each year it's sort of a relief to be through with the craziness.

So Colwyn is starting on subtraction in his Singapore Earlybird 2B workbook. He's done great with addition and seemed to get subtraction immediately. It reinforces my feeling that the practical, hands-on, incidental math we do daily really helps. I almost feel like the workbook is just a way of checking to see what he already knows. When he pipes up with, "Mom, you gave me seven pieces of chicken, I ate five and just have two left, can I be all done?" - do we really need a workbook? But it is nice to not have to draw up my own worksheets so he can learn the symbols, I'll admit to that. Lachlann is working on learning how to write numbers. His recognition is great, but his pencil (well, dry erase marker in our case) grip is horrible, and it makes him not enjoy writing. We've been playing with plates of flour or sugar and drawing numbers (shapes, letters, etc) with our fingers. I'd love to let him do that with shaving cream, but Doug doesn't use any.. maybe I'll have to grab some at Target. Lach observes most of Colwyn's math 'lessons' so I'd be surprised if he didn't breeze through subsequent lessons.

Colwyn's reading is coming along really well. It's wonderful to see how proud he is of himself when he reads through an Elephant and Piggiebook. The only time he really experiences difficulty is when his own impatience or irritation gets in his way.. then even an easy word can seem hard. That's when we usually take a break and come back to it later. For book club, we just finished The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean. That was a big hit with Colwyn. Last month was Welcome to the Bed and Biscuit, which was very sweet. We ended up missing the actual book club meeting that month, though, as the kids were sick.

Our other work has been haphazard, at best. We're slowly working through the Early Life section of The Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History, which has included working on learning the names of the continents and oceans. We've explored some of the neat websites on arthropods, and Colwyn liked making the connection at the Museum of Science when we saw fossils of arthropods. The kids got a calendar for 2010, so we talk about that daily. In the process, I've learned that, yes, Colwyn is firm on the days of the week, and yes, he knows his cardinal numbers pretty well. The months are new to him, but no biggie. He likes knowing what day it is, and we draw little symbols or write easy words on days we have stuff planned, so he'll tell me, "Mom, we have two more days until Lego Club!"

What else? We've worked on our Secret Agent social studies sporadically. Our Earth Scouts meeting last month dealt with the water cycle (briefly) and habitats. The kids all created terrariums, which was much more fun than I expected. The mess was exactly what I expected. Thankfully all the moms are great about helping pick up. We also did caroling at a local nursing home, which was a great experience. I was surprised at how Colwyn was really into memorizing the words to the songs, he did really well. The kids were a big hit with the elderly residents as well as the staff. For science day last month, we created a diorama of a dinosaur habitat, as well as Play Dough dinosaurs. The diorama included a volcano, which we set off with baking soda and vinegar. The kids loved that part, and with some foresight on my part, it wasn't very messy at all.

We've got a bunch of stuff coming up this month, it should be exciting. Hopefully I'll get better at keeping track.

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At 11:07 PM, Blogger softearthart said...

Hi, Wow!!! You seem to be very busy with such young children, doing an awful lot of reading, how much are you into Waldorf ideas, cheers from Marie in New Zealand


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