Sunday, September 10, 2006

September 10

Just wanted to drop a quick note before I forget.
Let's see.
Trevy has a cold that started Thursday night in the middle of the night. It's not really a bad one, I think he is already on the mend. But he detests havinga a runny nose. I think it's even more aggravating because he has not figured out to blow his nose yet. Poor kid.
So he's been eating homemade chicken noodle soup, and pouring himself lots of orange juice.

Friday we did some more school stuff. We worked on rhyming words again, and did several worksheets. Some were matching and sorting, some were tracing shapes, and some were number tracing. We also played with the blocks. He's not consistently into anything right now, usually he goes for days watching the same things, but lately he is skipping round a lot. He'll watch Magic School Bus, then put in Homeward Bound. Then a bit later he'll be watching dinosaurs, or something.
Yesterday was Saturday, and I worked, so he went to my mom's. While at work I found a 100 chart, and made three copies. He hasn't learned number identification, yet, that's something I'll try to encourage him to learn this year. When I got home we worked on reading, which he is getting pretty good at, though he breaks up each sound, then looks away to put the word together in his head. c. a. t. cat! But it works for now.
He watched Return of the Jedi, and got out his light sabre, was swinging it around while watching Luke break them all free from Jaba's clutches. Then we started building spaceships out of cuisenaire rods.

He talks quite a bit about not wanting to have dreams.
At first it worried me, I was concerned that he was afraid to go to sleep. But after carefully talking with him about it, not pushing, but still trying to get at the reason, I don't think he's having nightmares about anything. Initially I was worried that something had happened to him to make him afraid, but I don't think so. I think he probably just has some intense dreams sometimes, and he doesn't know how to take it.
I don't worry too much about him, (his safety in the world) as he is hardly ever away from me, his Dad takes great care of him, at other times he is with his Grammy, who adores him, and once in a while he is with Sam and her kids, and I know he is safe there.

I checked out Reading Reflex from the library. I also have 100 Easy Lessons, which I mentioned, already. They're both so... autocratic. It makes me uncomfortable. In Reading Reflex, the lady actually says something like "this may sound controlling and domineering, well... we are!" ? I guess for the mainstream, this might be alright, but it ain't for us. Especially since I am not trying to teach a child who has already been spoiled by the School System.
So I'll take the lessons and ideas, and tweak them to make them fit our lives, and go from there. She says things like "don't let the child play with the materials", you can only sit directly across from them, she even tells you how to point to the words. Well, I happen to think that learning should be fun, and enjoyed, I don't think it should be viewed as a boring task or a dreaded chore to be finished.
100 Easy lessons I found to be the same way. So... Nazi.
What I do like about them is that they don't teach traditional phonics, ie that there are 'rules', and 60% of the time 'exceptions to the rules'. They teach that the letters are sound pictures, and teach by way of proper order - that the written word came long after the spoken language. Instead of giving the new reader a bunch of rules to memorize, they teach letters are representatives of sounds, as are combinations of letters.
So they do hav their good points.

The last few days I've been looking online for a good math book. What I am looking for is a great reference for math games using different tools. Cuisenaire rods, geometric shapes, 3D geometric shapes, games or ideas for felt shapes on the felt board, foam shapes, beading games, et cetera. When I bought the rods, I bought an activity set, so it came with a large book with lots of ideas from pre k-2nd grade, so at least I have that. But I would love a great big book with loads of ideas, that covers lots of different manipulatives or mediums. I've been asking around, and looking online for a site with such info, but so far haven't found anything.

I would also like to say that I'm loving our learning right now. It is so fabulous to keep books on the plant stand, and things in the entertainment center cupboard, and just break them out throughout the day. How 'bout we do some reading? Or just getting out the rods, and start playing, then pretty soon the children are playing with me. I love it. There is no pressure, (I hope), but I have been doing a great job at offering them learning opportunities. For a while I wasn't doing a good job with it, and I was feeling really crappy about it. Now I feel very confident and adept with my strewing abilities. Takes practice, I guess.

I really gotta go. I have a house to clean. I think my children will probably be very neglected today, but I must must MUST get this house in order.
Have a great day.

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Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!