Friday, January 8, 2010

Starting Back Up

Yesterday we started back to school. (We were going to start Wednesday, but a series of unfortunate events prevented that.) It's gone pretty well. We're on week 18 of Creation to the Greeks and have done 81 of our 172 days of school.

There have been a couple of really good teachable moments this week. When we do "writing station" time with All-About-Spelling, we do it a little differently than the book suggests. I give Rabbit 3 of the words, she writes them, and then has the option of writing as few sentences as possible to use all 3 words. Well, yesterday, she wrote her sentence but it was a really awkward sentence. The good part was, after she wrote it, she recognized that it was awkward. I told her that was great that she knew it wasn't quite right. So, I wrote it on the white board, and we analyzed it together.

Her original sentence was, "The soapy water spreads bubbles while mom mopped the floor." (The 3 words were soapy, bubbles, and mopped - just FYI.) So first I asked her, "How did the soapy water spread the bubbles?" That made her laugh, but she said, "Well, because mom is mopping." Then we talked about how spreads was present tense and mopped was past tense. So, we re-worked it to something like, "When mom mopped the floor with the soapy water, she spread bubbles all over the floor." It was just a good moment to stop and look at something. I told her I'm always re-writing my e-mails and blog posts.

Another teachable moment was with Lesson 52 in Intermediate Language Lessons. It was a writing opposites lesson. So, I got out the Thesaurus and when she didn't know what a word meant or a good opposite, we used the Thesaurus. We talked about synonyms vs. antonyms and how they are listed. I had written out the list of words so she only had to write the opposites down. I also shortened the 2nd and 3rd questions to writing only 3 other pairs of opposites and one sentence.

Today, we were looking up words for the Greek root helios. It was great to put together other Greek roots we've learned - helioscope and heliometer were in my dictionary, so I had her guess what they might mean (we've covered skopeo and metron in previous lessons), and she came pretty close.

Another great moment today was again in spelling. She has had such a hard time remember to use "le" at the end of words like candle - she usually uses "el." Well, one of the writing station words was "candles" and she got it right! And, in dictation there was a sentence with both "too" and "to" and she got those right. I was so excited. I didn't say anything to her, but then the next sentence she wrote "ot" for "to," again. So, I asked her to go back and carefully read her sentence, and she found it. That is progress for her to find her mistake, even if I had to ask her to go read it.

It was too cold today and yesterday to do the science experiments (when it doesn't go above freezing, I don't like going outside), but it is suppose to warm up tomorrow. I hope we'll at least try the Match Rocket experiment. When I told my husband about it, he thought it sounded cool. I just might be able to get him to join us on that one.

The boys are doing fine. They don't always have good attitudes, especially with "review" time, but they still need the review. The letters "g,", "y,", "b," "d", and "q" still give them problems. But, if I tell them, "That's a b," then they do all right with it. Hopefully Monday won't take quite so long.

It hasn't gone bad for an almost 3 week break in school. It is good to be back in our usual routine, that's for sure.

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