Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feb. 14th

Today started with gym time for me. (Yesterday my husband was delivering all night, so I did not want to stick him with early risers in the morning). Tonight he's on call, so it's mommy all the way.

When I got back, I asked kids to get dressed and got them bagels for breakfast. They asked for Yaalili, I call this kids' coffee, natural high, whatever lifts their moods and sets a good tone for the day. Then we were collecting: stinkbug and pictures of black widow for nature center exchange; books to read in chiropractor's office; free coupons for Krispy Kreme... 7 yo decided that he wants to bring a daffodil to trade in.

The boys davened in the car ( not my top choice, but we had to be semi-punctual here) and then chilled out listening to Alice. Usually, when we get to the office, they have all this bouncy energy, just as I'm flat on my back. This time we brought books. 7 yo read Greek myths from What Your Second Grader Needs to Know. 5 yo read Frog and Toad. 2 yo snacked on Cheerios. The chiropractor was also giving out dumdums for Valentine's day, so I told kids they can have one at the end if they behaved. Between bribery and things to do, this was a subdued visit.

Then we stopped for our donuts and headed to Nature Exchange. The kids can bring in natural objects and trade them in for points, which can be redeemed for other nature objects. 5 yo redeemed his for a fox skull, to join the dog skull previously traded by his brother. 7 yo traded for amethyst. I was hoping to hike the grounds, but it rained the night before, drizzled in the morning and one of the trails was closed. The boys voted against the hike. We read some science books there, 2 yo colored a snowman. I bet she had no idea what that was.

Then we got home around 1. We did formal schoolwork from 1 to 3:40, with a break for lunch.
5 yo enjoys the idea that he can do problems from 2nd grade's math book, so far it's place value. All of his work went smoothly today, including Rosetta Stone and Yesh Lanu Lama workbook.

I started Spelling Power with 7yo, trying to place him accurately. Between two diagnostic tests, he spells at 5th grade level. I'm debating whether I should even be doing a formal spelling program with him or just let him be, till 5th grade, and then retest.

I also got Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind, which he repeatedly complained were too easy. Today we did subject and predicate. 5 yo joined in too, only for him I was writing sentences, while 7 yo was writing his own.

I started on Chumash. After talking it over with a few people, I realized that I need to define my goals for Chumash. I would like him to break words into shorashim, prefixes and suffixes, infer meaning from shorashim, pause at logical breaks and make sure that there is comprehension. In addition, I would need to review pasukim from the previous day. He was very nervous today, as we were not writing down exact translation of every word and, therefore, there was nothing to memorize. He pulled sulkiness and crankiness on me, too. However, I was pleasantly surprised that he remembered the gist of pesukim from yesterday and was able to translate them smoothly, with just occasional checking of shorashim. We did two more pesukim today and, at some point, he looked eager to do more. He was able to translate even the new ones. We acted out Lot being pressed against the door, pulled in by melachim and the people groping around blindly. He also noticed "from young to old". Overall, it was quite pleasant.

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