Monday, March 5, 2012

lots of hours

After some deliberation, I decided to make today more of a regular school day and then tomorrow and Wednesday can be dedicated to Purim prep.

The boys davened one at a time, with 2 yo stuffing a bear sleeping bag with dominoes in the meanwhile. Give kids limited toys and unlimited time, and they will come up with more creative ways to use them than you can imagine.

Then it was time to pick schoolwork. 7 yo picked writing. For today, I asked him to write his own myth. He has been reading a lot of them, discussing them with my husband, reading about ancient Greece, so I thought that should give him an opportunity to combine his knowledge with creativity. He went for it and spent a long time writing, over an hour. He pulled out Mythlopedia, for source material, and then he kept commenting how he's mixing up myths. His Medusa was turning everyone to ice and lived in Australia. His Hercules was product of Poseidon and Hera and was imprisoned in Egypt. I got impatient a couple times and was ready to interrupt him and ask him to move onto the next activity, but he kept on writing. Fortunately, a friend of mine shared a blog entry that she saw, which reminded me that only by putting in this many uninterrupted hours in whatever he's interested in, will I see quality results. So I let him be. When he finished, he wanted to type it up. That we'll save for tomorrow.

In the meanwhile, 5 yo did handwriting ( letter y), math (we rolled a large foam die and added up numbers on its sides), reading (he asked me to read The Dot, about a child who thinks she cannot draw, so all she does is a big dot) and Purim handout from He read the handout and wrote in most answers, so we got more handwriting/reading practice.

By this point, 5 yo was almost done with his planned activities, while 7 yo still had quite a list to go. He started off on his Purim booklet, which was fill in the blank of the Megillah. He ended up working on that till completion.

Then we had lunch. 7 yo picked Megillah and was involved. We finished second perek. I'm using Artscroll Youth Megillah, so there are definite "edited out" spots. I decided not to explain more than he asks, just that Esther was in a bad position whether Achashverosh picked her or not. He also thought it was nuts that Achashverosh gathered up girls the second time. And, of course, he wanted to know why Bigtan and Teresh were plotting against the king. It's that siyum at the end that he really was after.

Then he did math, which involved measuring weight and volume. I do not have a metric scale ( gasp), so I had hard time explaining grams and kilograms. I'm a bit worried that he will think the relationship between them is similar to pounds and ounces. Volume involved cups and quarts. I pulled out measuring cups and let him pour water at the sink and measure away, while 5 yo did ktiva and Yesh Lanu Lama.

7 yo was not happy when 5 yo finished all his work and he still had a few things left to do. 5 yo asked to watch TV, I said yes, but then he decided to wait for his brother. 7 yo had to do those Purim sentences, this time to copy them in Hebrew. He decided that he does not want to organize them by pesukim first, then put them in order and then copy. I said, fine, do it whichever way, but you do need to copy them. He thrashed around for a bit. 5 yo went downstairs to watch TV, which did motivate 7 yo to start working. This time he did organize the cards first. When he was copying them, he paraphrased a few to make them shorter. Mother necessity, where would we be...

By the time he finished, 5 yo woke up, so we went to a new bakery for siyum. The boys chose frozen yogurt, which was half off. I got myself a cup of tea. The boys declared that place to be fancy. Afterwards, it was gymnastics, followed by a library run, mostly to return DVDs and pick up items on hold. I told boys, one book out only. 7 yo went to the computer with the catalog, he wanted another Mythlopedia book. Mysteriously, they were shown to be in library, but were not on the shelves. We even got the librarians involved. Meanwhile, 2 yo made friends and was busy climbing onto library benches, giggling loudly. I just grabbed her and ran. So much for a quick in-and-out visit.

One of the hold items was Beethoven's Wig 4. It is classical music with witty words sang to it, usually introducing the composer and the nature of the piece, too. Unfortunately, now I cannot listen to those pieces without singing the words in my head.

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