Saturday, April 25, 2015

Quite, Calm, Lazy

We are still making our way slowly. I imagine that as I get a few more materials made and out of the way, our studies will ramp up once again.
The older two are reading, reading, reading. S reads an entire Magic Treehouse book in an hour. T flies through the easier chapter books, like Captain Underpants, Choose Your Own Adventure, and Flat Stanley, but is presently most interested in all things Sonic the Hedgehog. Personally, I think that all of these reads are particularly fluffy, and so I read to them almost daily books like the Chronicles of Narnia and the Phantom Tollbooth hoping that we don't completely loose sight of what could be called quality literature.
D is doing a little exploration here. I had the insets and iron materials out while doing a little project for a friend.
T is still working on memorizing all the countries in Europe.
S is doing more stamp game division, this time using double digit divisors. (The last time I posted about this was here .)
S is exploring our Asia cultural cards. (I made these for our primary curriculum, but the older ones like them a lot too.) The set you see above is for Asia in general.
This set is for South Korea.
Above you can see at the upper left hand side of her cards there is an image of Korean folk dancers. My husband and I were lucky enough to see a troupe performing in Korea at one of the folk villages when we traveled there on our honeymoon. These are bits of video we took.

T got a letter from a friend who lives a few states away and here he is writing a letter back.
After T finished his draft letter we explored some of the rules he might capture and put on his "rule ring." A lot of these rules he didn't know, and I am not certain from reading the albums how the child would end up knowing these usage rules, if it were not for the guide pointing them out directly. And this is what I did. I just outright told him the rule, he wrote it down on in his own words and captured the rule on his ring.

We also talked about contractions and got out the printed alphabet to explore these further. T was using the word "can't" in his letter. We talked about how the apostrophe takes the place of the letters we've omitted in the squished-together word. He wrote down this rule in his own words and captured it on his rule ring. Then he fixed his letter and added apostrophes in the right places.

There were a whole host of other issues with his spelling, punctuation, and usage, but I felt it was better that we tackle those in a later lesson.
S is back at the plant illustrations. We took a look at some botanical illustration books at the library this week and now I have a few on my "books-to-buy" list. (You can see S's radish illustration here.)
And finally, T and I had a one-on-one session Friday morning to work on his tornado report. He collected some really good data and now I am teaching him how to organize it all and recognize trends and variation. I say "teaching" here because at this point it is really teaching. I say, wow, you have some great bits here, let's see how we can organize these bits into a visual picture that illustrates what we want to say. And then I am demonstrating how to do this by making charts and graphs that illustration our points we wish to communicate. 

This is one bit I find interesting about Montessori education. The child isn't left to guess and we don't leave them hanging. We show them how to do it. We demonstrate each step in the process. Then they practice the process a bunch. And then still later, they start making links and connections to other parts of the cosmic curriculum, and they can expand upon those processes. This is what I am hoping will happen with T. It is my aim to show him there are different ways we can organize our data to say what we want to say. And I hope that in the future, he'll use these communication tools to continue to share what he knows with others.

This is just one of the charts he and I made together. It has been a LOOOONG time since I've had to use Excel for anything really useful. Like a decade long. So we ended up with something super-duper simple, which was perfect for a first try.

After I put the data into some kind of graphical representation, we talked about what the visual "said" to us. He mentioned that he was glad that we were working on this together.

There were a bunch of other things that we've been working on this week but they don't photograph very well and so they aren't here on the blog. S is taking daily pictures of her amaryllis bulb that is flowering and she plans to make its process into a booklet. D is working hard on his sandpaper letters and we are seeing progress! And I am forgetting the rest...

Check in next week...I think that we are going to make a river.

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