Thursday, March 1, 2012

Starbucks siyum

Got up late, for us. It was after 7.  By 9, we were all dressed and breakfasted. They boys davened. 5 yo started with Rosetta Stone: nothing like a little competition for the computer with your older brother to serve as motivation. 7 yo read history from Story of the World. I know that it is meant to be read to a child, but he's nicely reading it by himself. I printed out a map of the Middle East and we marked off Fertile Crescent, Lower and Upper Egypt ( he really liked that they are upside down), Babylonia and Assyria. He also colored in the seas of the region.

Then he went to do Rosetta Stone while 5 yo did Yesh Lanu Lama ( body parts) and ketiva. Today he told me which words to write in which blanks, but the body parts he labeled by himself. I had to restrain him from starting on the next letter.

7 yo came up to do megillah. We finished first perek. He read each pasuk in Hebrew from Artscroll Youth Megilah and then we translated together. He remarked how Achashverosh's law sounded dumb, something that people already knew. Then he asked for a small siyum. I suggested walking to Starbucks; I needed shredded cheese from local kosher grocery. The weather was gorgeous today, so it was a nice little outing. At Starbucks, 5 yo turned around and thanked me for taking them out. Those little spontaneous moments of appreciation make my heart melt.

On the way back, a ladybug landed on my glasses. 7 yo took it off and tried carrying it home, but it bit him and flew away. 5 yo found some beetles on the sidewalk. We stopped by our frost-bitten magnolia and noted how new leaves were forming, even though all blooms were brown and shriveled.

I put up noodles for lunch, and boys did math. 7 yo practiced multiplication of 4s, 5s and 6s. 5 yo worked on even-odd and comparing numbers. 7 yo was checking 5 yo's work; free reinforcement. While the noodles were still boiling, 5 yo brought out weaving board to make a trivet. He started on one a while back, but could not get the weaving part. This time, after making a woven place mat in homeschooling coop, he succeeded. He only put in one loop, but he got the hang and the coordination of alternating under-over.

During lunch, 7 yo suddenly asked why do we remove chametz( leaven) from our houses and not, say, logs for Pesach. I tried answering as quickly as I could, but I wish I would have saved it for a more in-depth, calmer discussion.

Then I read Bill Nye book about germs to both boys. 5 yo read to me The Shape of Me. Then 7 yo did sentences from the megillah, this time I asked him to put them in order of the story. He resisted a bit, but did it in the end. I asked whether he wants to write them down in order now and he said no. We agreed to do it tomorrow. Looks like another overscheduled Friday coming up.

Then 7 yo did a description of a photo from National Geographic. he got 4-5 sentences. I explained that a good description allows people to imagine what the picture is like without seeing it. I also tried introducing a more formal voice, but it might be a bit too hard for him.

5 yo finished handwriting and then I decided to try spelling. I used Spelling Power, just started at the lowest level. I was nicely surprised that he willingly followed along, and got all words right except for that. He wrote dat. Might be my darn Russian accent confusing him...

5 yo reminded me to check on our beans, I put it on the schedule, but completely forgot. Some have molded, but some are growing roots and one even put out leaves. We also checked on the ones in paper towel, there we got nice fat roots and fuzzy root hairs.

Looking forward to taking everyone out to Botanical Gardens this afternoon.

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