Wednesday 17th May 2006
This morning started a little later than ideal because we all slept in and the kids wanted to go for a ride on their bikes after their chores were completed. This seemed like a good idea to get everyone energised!
We started with our character studies; Dependability. The idea today was to discuss a few bits and pieces as we come to the close of our particular study period. I wanted to discuss that independence was really being able to do things dependably (as in, away from supervision/authority). We discussed the consequences on dependability. This threw the kids a bit as they always see consequences as a negative and rewards as the positive. We ended up with me retelling the story of the 10 Talents as we discussed with much given is much responsibility. Dependable responsibility is given much more responsibility!
It sounds like we had a good session but in reality I got very frustrated with all the interruptions. Many of the interruptions were from the kids themselves and this has made me consider how to manage reading aloud to my children, having discussions with them and keeping every one connected with the topic at hand. I find this difficult considering the ages of my children and how the young one has a comprehension question and the oldest wants to discuss theories and statistics that I know will lose everyone else (and probably myself as well!) So I pose myself the question am I too controlling and want to direct their learning or is there a need for some order even with the loose framework of a read aloud. Where is the balance of respecting the need to hear the book and rabbit trails?
One section we looked at with Dependability was that in order to be dependable we needed to remember the People, Promise, Price and Nomi added Prize. After discussing what this looked like we moved to our desks where we discussed Alliteration. I had the kids choose an animal and then list minimum 5 words that all began with the same letter. This activity was more of a handwriting lesson for Daniel as I worked with him in forming his letters correctly for the word that he chose. I then wrote his 5 words that began with the first letter of his word. I then used his words to make up a sentence. His word was TinTin and he noticed that I added an -s- (TinTins) which he complained about because it was different than his word. This lead into a discussion on the grammar of possessives, which is something that showed up as a gap in his language testing with his Speech Pathologist a few weeks back. Meanwhile the other children had to write a sentence (that made reasonable sense) using as many of their alliteration words as they could. Josh and Jess copy-wrote the definition of Alliteration from their writing handbook.
Over morning tea fruit platter we continued reading a biography on WJ Bryan (a great orator) a book we are reading in connection with us focusing on oral presentation skills. There were many less interruptions during this time mainly due to the fact that I said there was to be NONE!
At this point Josh realised how good of a morning we were having. He listed the subjects we have worked on: Character, Bible, English/Writing, Copy writing, Oral speaking, and Listening. I was very excited to hear him summarise our morning this way. This is the very essence of what I am feeling our way with and have previously written it in terms of reduce, reduce, reduce.
The kids then worked on their discipline studies. Josh with his Math, Jessica piano, Nomi typing, Daniel on the computer.
Joshua then moved onto his Science Chemistry while the girls and I began our Science with Living Books. We discussed what cells are, their complexity and impossible it is for them to just be!
I began a read aloud, Germ Hunter about Louis Pasteur to Nomi and Jessica. I have decided to release Daniel from this and to focus on FIAR with him. Nomi and Jess listened, and took notes (which reduced the interruptions!). After the first chapter I asked Nomi for the story in her words this was a very limited narration. This needs to be worked on. Jessica focussed on what Louis saw education to be and how he wanted to follow his own questions to find an answer. This was an exciting thing for her to hear and I am sure it will come into conversations in times to come.
After lunch, chores and a reading rest I had some one-on-one time with Daniel, first up reading a book of his choice and then moving into FIAR. He spent some time drawing the animals (from Mr Gumpys Motor Car) our lesson on looking at how the artist drew movement and counting things. My plan is to make a little book using his animal drawings and to talk about what noises the animals make and what excuses they made in the story. This will lead into the excuses we made can sometimes sound like all the animal noises!
The girls had notebook pages to work on as a result of their science work and when everything was done they turned on their Narnia tapes. While they listened Nomi drew a large horse picture and Jessica did some mending!
I was feeling really excited with this day but it was not finished . Just on dusk the girls found a bird that was flapping around the veranda. They were concerned that Domino would get it so they caught it. It was so happy to be caught and sat so contentedly in Jessicas palm they thought maybe it was sick or hurt. So took it to the Vet (aka Dad). He thinks it is just a baby bird so we have it in a cage for the night and we will see! I cant believe I have a bird in my house!