Thursday, 23 October 2008

Lots of good progress

Wednesday

We got underway
really early this morning. By 8 o'clock:
  • Tama 1 had completed a spelling quiz getting 28 out of 30.
  • Tamāhine 1 had read Oggy and the Dinosaur by Damian Harvey and Francois Hall (73 words).
MathematicsTama 1
Mathematics - 28 out of 30.
Also covered
Whole Numbers to 100 - 28 out of 28
Comparing and Ordering - 19 out of 19
Equivalent Forms - 28 out of 28

Tamāhine 1
Continued with MUS. Without using the blocks (again) she managed Systematic Review 11C and 11D. Tamāhine 1 read the questions beautifully. Solving the unknown is improving. I was very pleased with her understanding today. Tamāhine 1 didn't really require much help so I'm confident she will have it down-pat soon enough.
Reading
Tamāhine 1
Shoo! by Michael Rosen & Jonathan Langley (336 words approximately)
Honey Bees by Colleen Sexton - read to Nana. I forgot to count how many words !!! Possibly because I knew we had to get the books back to the library,
lol.
HandwritingTamāhine 1

I couldn't get the scanner to darken tamāhine 1's pencil writing so I've tried photographing it instead. We have no more LWB (Learn to Write) Exercise Books so I'm using some Year 1 Exercise Books a friend kindly gave us. Thanks guys!!

I have also decided to have tamāhine 1 print smaller because I think she's getting so much better and her efforts here confirm that she's capable of printing in this size with ease.

Today we enjoyed a lot of outdoor activity, as well as socialising with whānau, harvesting rīwai (potatoes) with Uncle Warrick and being excited riding our bikes over the newly dumped dirt the Fulton Hogan contractors brought round while we were out. Well, it's meant to be for filling in around the swimming pool, but it's all fun to use in the interim, lol.

So that was Wednesday ...

Thursday


Mathematics
Tamāhine 1
Systematic Review 11E & 11F
Tamāhine 1 was on a roll so I asked her if she'd like to do Unit Test 1: Lessons 1-10 pages 1 & 2. She was happy to do so. Superb results. Tau kōtiro.

Tama 1
Interesting today - I thought perhaps tama 1 might like to attempt three digit subtraction. Tama 1 obliged but immediately it became apparent this wasn't going to be as easy a transition as I thought!

We worked on 20 equations. Granted, I did help him with at least half of them but that's where I love being at home. I'm here to give him one-on-one, as much as he needs or wants. He's not having to raise his hand to ask for help and then only receive help on one equation. Also, Tama 1 is such a sensitive kid, he doesn't like to get things wrong (oops I obviously passed that on! Sorry, e tama). I didn't want to push him to do 30 as I could see he was putting every effort in to do his best. So we set the goal for 20 - if he was up to it. Time went very slowly yet he kept trying. He would no sooner get it when he would suddenly un-get it. A lot of thought-processing involved when you add that extra digit. He met the challenge of reaching 20 without complaint (well, within reason). Tomorrow I think we will attempt ten double digit and ten three digit. Oh look, what I am saying? I'll be playing it by ear!!!! If he's struggling we may only try five for goodness sakes!

This is where I would probably make a plug about MUS and how I can't wait to get him back with Steve Demme's fabulous math programme. Well, it's true. I really enjoy MUS and if I had the $$$$'s I would have purchased Beta by now.

DARN !!!!!!! If only we'd won the thirty million on Lotto last week!!! hee hee. I tell you what, the second half of this year's homeschooling money can't come soon enough for us, that's for sure. It's a pee in the bucket, but I am grateful for any extra money that comes our way.

Social Studies
Tama 1 loves reading maps so we covered a few basics to quiz his knowledge. We discussed:
  • a compass rose
  • cardinal directions
  • map symbols
  • three dimensional models. Examples? Well, an aerial photo is taken overhead. And another, we can't see how steep a mountain is from an aerial photo.
Reading
Tamāhine 1 carried on with Montessori. Completing 1.19 and 1.20. Her practice is really proving itself as she's definitely reading more quickly as well as recognising a lot of sight words. Reading her math sentences is part of that good practice.

Now I don't mean to compare, and I hope it doesn't come across as if I am because that's not what I want to do, but it was easily taken for granted that tama 1 managed Alpha so well because he could be sent off to do his work without requiring me to help 'read' the question. Thanks to his reading ability, I was able to devote plenty of attention to tamāhine 1 in Primer because tama 1 was confident in his reading and was therefore able to simply get on with it.

Handwriting

Again, tamāhine 1 produced lovely work. Very happy with her efforts.

Language Arts
Tamāhine 1 - We had a little quiz on sound order, eg what letter is the first in a word and what letter is the last in a word.

Something fun and satisfying to complete her day on, and it only took five minutes.

Tama 1 attempted 85 words in a spelling quiz. He correctly answerd 80 out of 85. Phew eh?! Tumeke.
History & Handwriting
Tama 1 is progressing with Egyptian Pyramids. We are taking this steadily as we tend to break into conversation about many things. For example, I have seen Cheops Street here in Rotorua for YEARS. It's a street not far from my parents. In my ignorance, I had no idea (1) how to pronounce it and (2) who Cheops was!! We even have Thebes Street. Again, my ignorance ... Examples like this, you can see how conversations can be generated from every day observations.

And this ends the formal stuff

You may have gathered I'm not one for spending 15 minutes on lessons, let alone follow a strict timetable. Well, there's a couple of reasons for that:
  1. I take into account that we can be interrupted anything up to a dozen times for whatever reason, therefore if you worked by a timer, there's very little chance a full 15 minutes could pass without an interruption of one form or another, lol.
  2. I gauge how the children are coping with the work. If it seems they are 'in the zone' but need a break, then that's what we'll do. But we return to the same lesson as we were working on prior to the break.* The opposite applies if they show signs that they have tried their darndest but it just seems overwhelming on the day. Kei te pai, we can revisit it another day, nē?
In saying that, of course we can spend 15 minutes on handwriting and we're done - so although I'm saying I gauge their progress, I guess I should point out that some lessons don't require that gauging?

And therein lies the answer I have been seeking to my own question: why can't I set a timetable? I have always been spontaneous and never one to follow much of a timetable. I go with the flow, let things decide for themselves which is the best tactic to try. Less stress that way. If I look at a timetable I'll be panicking 'oh no, we haven't completed this lesson yet'.

Okay, okay, I realise many will be saying "wait till the children are in higher grades and you've got all five in school time" and yes you're right, I will need to revisit this train of thought most likely. However, I can now feel comfortable knowing that this works for us. I can let a timetable evolve - which it is doing of its own accord.


* It would be fair to say we spend an hour maximum on a lesson. That's not to say ngā tamariki are head down bum up for 60 minutes. Kāo, it's exactly like I've mentioned, they will be interrupted like anyone can be interrupted a hundred times in a working day. Real life learning
nē?

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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