Thursday, March 15, 2012

nearly perfect

Last morning was the new round of coop classes. I signed up for set-up duty, which means that now we have to be there half an hour earlier. I did not realize it will be during the week when we change clocks. So, last morning, at 7:30, as I was trying to wake my boys up, I was informed that they are planning a play about gazelles and hunters, which involves scissors, cardboard, rubber bands and K'NEX. This would have been fine any other morning...

You know the day when your kids claim to love every class, everyone behaves, the weather is gorgeous, you make it to the zoo, and when you finally come home, the kids just can't wait to get started on their Ancient Egypt dioramas? Well, yesterday was one of those days.

If yesterday was nearly perfect homeschooling day out, today was nearly perfect homeschooling day in. During my breakfast, 5 yo brought over an illustrated copy of Alice and we read the first chapter. The kids both started next unit of Rosetta Stone. 7 yo happily received next volume of Story of the World. We did timeline for the first volume which involved measuring, drawing a straight line with a ruler, marking off intervals, figuring how many years will fit on each page, multiplication and division by 10. I have hard time classifying it all as a subject. Then he started putting in a bunch of dates, and when I asked whether it's enough for today, he just wanted to keep on going, even after he realized that some dates were not correctly marked and had to be fixed. While he was working on that project, 5 yo finished reading The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. I read some history to him, which had to do with ancient Egypt. Just perfect for his Egypt class and for upcoming Pesach. We read how Nile floods and farmers depended on it. We also read how Egyptians worshipped the paroh, because they thought he had control over flooding Nile. I read to him the Osiris myth. Then I explained why it was important that the first plague affected Nile: to show that paroh is not in control and to makes Egyptians worry about their livelihood.

Then we did math. 5 yo got to play with base ten blocks and I saw now that he does get the concept of place value. He was able to trade successfully and pull out the right amount of blocks. Whew! He also got the play with them by creating a house for his baby Zhu Zhu.

Then I did megillah with 7 yo. We read first three pesukim of 5th perek. I explained the setup of Achashverosh sitting and Esther approaching in the doorway and him being stunned by her appearance. 7 yo translated bakashatech as asking; I explained that it was a request. He wondered why she did not ask for the Jewish people then. Then, in the next pasuk, he got that Esther is making a meal for "him", the king, but she is also inviting Haman. Then the boys wanted to act this scene out. 5 yo was Achashverosh, a flip-flop was the scepter, 7 yo was the palace guard with an iguana as a sword. I got to be Esther.

Now, thinking back about it, it is strange that 7 yo didn't want to be Achashverosh. I guess he's not being held in high regard, royal status aside.

Then, after lunch, 7 yo did math. I got the scale with pounds and ounces and we went back over the measurements that he previously estimated. But the surprise came when there was a review problem, 61-56. He borrowed a 10 from 6, but recorded it as a 10, not as 11. At that point, I pulled out those blocks and made him do it again. He saw the discrepancy, but could not figure out why. I showed it to him again. Then I gave him a block of two-digit subtraction problems. He did those fine, but none had 1 in the ones. I gave him another one, 31-15, and he again forgot about 1 in the ones! His school teacher claimed that he was doing very well in math... he got the concept, but something like this slipped through.

7 yo flew through Lashon Hatorah. I will have to get him new workbooks when we'll be up in New York. I am thinking about getting them for 5 yo too.

Then we did spelling, which was review today. He got a bit discouraged that he got any words wrong. Then we did art, which today involved looking for lines and movement in sculptures. I Googled Greek sculptures, and he enjoyed both looking for movement and trying to identify who's portrayed without reading the captions.

5 yo did Handwriting Without Tears quickly and then stumbled in Lama. He wanted me to sit next to him. He wanted to take a rest. He wanted me to write it for him. I said I would write one line, if he tells me what goes there. He wanted me to go away and to make a surprise for me. Then he was just lying there, moping.

Then we picked up some friends and the kids had a playdate. At some point, I went into the backyard to dump out composting and to turn the pile. Eventually, all kids ended up outside. 7 yo declared that he will do weeding, not because anyoen is forcing him, but to make the yard look nice. Wel,, the way our yard looks now, I could use a whole lot of cats and a VOOM!

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