Tuesday, February 28, 2012

diving into books

I got up early and worked out. By the time I got home, the kids were all up, but nobody was in the mood to get dressed or have breakfast. Eventually, they did get dressed. My husband was home, so he regaled with Greek myths. 7 yo read a few of those, so they had a lively discussion.

Davening did not go so well, lots of running around and chasing each other. Then the oldest went to do Rosetta Stone, while 5 yo picked handwriting. Today's letter was i, he claimed he already knew how to write it, so we skipped to e. Now e is a big deal, as he realizes that once he can do e, he can also write shin. HTW uses baseball example to teach e, so he loves "running around the bases", making the curve part. I hope he remembers it. Then he picked megillah. I read to him probably 7 perakim in English, stopping every once in a while to make sure he understands. 2 yo walked around, sat on my lap, sat next to us, etc. She is definitely getting unschooled here.

Then the boys switched. 7 yo asked to do math first. We finished up length and I explained why there are metric and customary units. He is eager to do multiplication, so I printed out some pages from teacher's corner, setting one of the factors less than 6. He did it in a flash ( thanks to Schoolhouse Rock). Now I have to check whether he knows higher numbers.

Then he did arranging sentences from the megillah. I found this activity on http://chinuch.org/ I explained how the sentences will be formed and he dove right in, making sentences. 5 yo finished up and came up to help at this point. 2 yo kept moving the cards around, but at the end, they did form all possible sentences.

Then we went for ice cream and the library. It feels giddy to be able to take your kids for ice cream at 11 am and not to worry about school or crowds or lunch, and just enjoy it. Afterwards, we got to the library. Mercifully, they had a toddler class that morning, so my 2 yo was not the only one running around. 7 yo found Encyclopedia Brown and got lost inside. 5 yo  scanned shelves. I was trying to find books for the toddler group tomorrow. Then everyone helped my check out. When we got home, the boys just pulled out their books and were not heard from again for a while. I keep on forgetting that on the days we go to the library, I will have to distract them from new books to get anything done.

Later, much later, we did finish formal school work. 7 yo read 7 more pesukim from the megillah, did his spelling and another page of Lashon HaTorah. 5 yo learned tzadi sofit, which he called a lamed carrying a pretzel. He even drew a house for tzadi sofit--somehow this pretzel letter moved him. In Yesh Lanu Lama, we read the next page. Then we did math, even and odd numbers. 

All of this was finished by 3 pm. Then the boys watched "Alice in Wonderland" from 1915. I had to explain about black-and-white silent movies and how music came separately. I also realized that reading captions ( I do not know what is the proper name for those flashes of story in between) is good reading practice for 5 yo. They were quite drawn in.

After Alice, 7 yo went back to reading something or other. 5 yo checked on his beans and noted their roots. Then he wanted to make masks, something that I wrote down in optional section. I made an eye mask for 2 yo; he wanted a full face mask. I ended up drawing the shape fro him, with eyes and mouth, he cut it out and wrote ninja on it ( hehe, spontaneous writing). Then he decided he wants eye mask after all, so more cutting and coloring.

After dinner, 7 yo made a mask too. I am discovering that what I thought was itty-bitty bullying problem as probably larger than I thought. Last year, he dressed up as Batman for dress-up day ion school. From that day on, a certain girl teased him, calling him Batman, even though he did not like it. He sort of brought that up, but never in a way that warranted action. Now, with this new mask, he tells me that she cannot tease him, because sometimes he's a ninja, and sometimes he's a ferocious beast. Now that he's home, he hasn't seen her in weeks, yet he's still concerned. Hm, how do those itty-bitty bullying problems affect people?


  1. just curious-did your 5 yr old already learn the alef bet in print? it sounds like you're teaching him script now (lamed with a pretzel :) )
    also if your kids liked Alice, they may also like Buster Keaton oldies. He was an amazing, talented acrobat. My kids really enjoy the films. I think kids have to really pay attention to detail in silent films to find out what's going on.

    1. I wasted my time and his attention teaching him print. He was not getting it and nobody writes Hebrew print anyway! Then a friend told me about K'tav BeKalut, a workbook by Handwriting Without Tears, and he's very happy with it. The reason we're doing writing is for Yesh Lanu Lama workbook, which presumes kids will be writing asnwers. SOmetimes I write and sometimes he writes, but lately, with knowing most letters in script, he's writing more. I feel he's writing more in Hebrew than in English!
      WE will check out those movies, thanks for the tip.