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We had another great day today, featuring lesson 98 in the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (the "oa" in words like "boat" and "float") and various math stuff, including lessons 35 and 36 in MEP.

We did have a bit of a conflict over the use of a balance scale -- I had found some checkers that were part of my old Connect Four set and happened to all weigh exactly the same amount, and had intended to use them to expand on some balancing equations exercises we'd been doing. Unfortunately, she balked at the use of the checkers, wanting to use the metal weights that came with the scale instead. Since there were only two 1-gram weights, we ran into trouble, but she wouldn't consider using the checkers instead. I do think that this evening, when we experimented with many other objects around the house and found that nothing else we found was actually sufficiently uniform, she may have gotten over it. We'll see.

Anyway, other than that, we had a fantastic time. The highlight for me was when I tried a new approach to even and odd numbers. We've only touched on them briefly before, and she clearly didn't get it then. This time, I took out some of Erika's glass "math stones", in groups of 2, 3, 4, and 5. I asked her to divide each group into two equal parts, and then explained that the groups she could divide into two equal parts were even numbers of stones, and the ones she couldn't divide into two equal parts were odd numbers of stones. We then took this further into 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. The cool part was when she started saying things like, "I don't really need to divide these into two parts, because I know that 8 is equal to 4 plus 4." and "I don't really need to divide these into two parts, because I know that 9 is equal to 4 plus 5, so it's an odd number."

I was also impressed that she was able, after only one reading, to answer the question, "Mary has one more Red hat than she has Blue hats. How many Red and how many Blue hats can she have if she has not more than three hats of either colour?"

The only problem she didn't quite get today was a pattern that began:


She completed it:


Which isn't quite right -- she correctly identified that the number of lines and the number of 0's increased each time, but she didn't figure out exactly how.

Then this evening before bed, she read a Bob book called "Joe's Toe" quite successfully -- there were only a few words she needed help with, and she figured out some long words she'd never read before, like "doctor," without any help. I was very impressed!
entirelysonja: (Default)
This afternoon Erika and I did lesson 97 in the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, and lesson 34 in the Mathematics Enhancement Programme.

Earlier in the day, we'd reviewed the exercise at the end of lesson 33 using a new teaching method and some Cuisenaire rods -- the exercise was to color every second ball in a series one color, and every third ball another color. Erika didn't really understand what "every second ball" and "every third ball" meant, so I got out some Cuisenaire rods and showed her how to count 'one-two, one-two, one-two" for every second block, and "one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three" for every third block. Then I laid out a row of white Cuisenaire blocks, and had her put a red one next to every second block, and a green one next to every third block. That seems to have worked for her, so hopefully this idea will be less confusing in the future.

Anyway, our lessons this afternoon were just lovely. The reading lesson was short and easy, and the math lesson was exactly right in terms of challenge. Erika was really receptive to my suggestions on how she might think about the problems, and it was just a totally pleasant experience.

Here's hoping our "official" school days next year go mostly this way!
entirelysonja: (Default)
This afternoon during Karl's nap, Erika:

Had her first computer programming experience using Scratch -- she had a lion cub and a fox wandering around the screen making noises.

Completed lesson 95 of the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading.

Finished three lessons in Reading Eggs, and passed the quiz for map 8. She hadn't used Reading Eggs in a while, because the level of difficulty of the lessons had exceeded her comfort zone, but since the company sent me a code for 3 free months of service, I suggested she might give it a whirl and see if it was easier now. Not surprisingly, it was. She still doesn't like anything involving time pressure, though -- she freezes when there's a timer going.

She also watched educational videos on Brainpop Junior while I was helping Karl get to sleep.

entirelysonja: (Default)
Today we got a Judy Clock used from someone on Homeschool Classifieds, and of course the kids wanted to use it right away. While Karl was napping, Erika asked to do math, so I suggested that we do some work on telling time.

I'd been planning to use the Math Mammoth Clock Worktext with Erika next year, but since she was interested today, I bought it and printed out the first few pages. Of course I could have just talked with her about it and let her play with the clock, but I find that Erika is much more willing to do enough work with an idea to really get it when we use someone else's curriculum. She doesn't respond well to having me suggest that she needs more practice with something, but she's willing to put in the practice when it was the curriculum author's idea. The concepts in the Math Mammoth workbook made sense to her, and she even successfully wrote things like "half past seven" and "six o'clock." I think it likely that she'll continue to be interested.

After we'd worked with telling time for a while, she asked to do some number line work, and then did half a page of Miquon as well.

She also finished lesson 49 in the Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading today, which we started using a few weeks ago when she expressed interest in a more formal approach to reading instruction. She seems excited that tomorrow, we'll be starting initial consonant blends -- something she's certainly encountered before, but not with the same degree of depth. I'd say that she doesn't particularly LIKE the Ordinary Parent's Guide, but it is helping her make progress with reading.

Right before dinner, the kids were watching an episode of a German TV show, "Die Sendung mit dem Elefanten," which happened to feature a science experiment. It involved lighting a candle in a plateful of water and then putting a glass over the candle to watch the candle extinguish and water get pulled up into the glass.

We decided to duplicate it after dinner and have further discussion. Some photos of the experiment )

Erika seemed to have a pretty good understanding of what was going on, especially since John was able to remind her of recent conversations they'd had about the three things fires need.


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August 2014

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