Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Ec-lec-tic (adjective)

We most definitely fit the mould of ec-lec-tic [i-klek-tik] –
  1. selecting or choosing from various sources.
  2. made up of what is selected from different sources.
  3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.

Today for example I tried something new ... I tried a lesson plan for tama 1's Language Arts would you believe? ... I'll chat about that a little further on...

Earlier in the day I wanted to give tama 1 something "different". I knew that I wanted to give him something challenging - yet fun. The tricky part is to find something at his level. So many things can be far too easy, yet in saying that, I will quite often use easy things because they can encourage the children/motivate them to "want" new challenges and they can also act as a reinforcement to themselves that they have achieved many things already, ie give them a boost. So this morning we tried a little bit of flashcards for his maths which we haven't really used as such ... I will normally quiz him as we go around the track what certain sums equal, so this was 'different' for him.

Following paramanwa (smoko) we did some word unscrambles.

Now, on the one hand I will agree it's a game, but on the other hand, it's still cognitive thought processing. (I'm sure there'll be some labelled terminology I should be using so excuse me as I don't have a teaching degree yet.)

As a side note: there's a marked difference for the children to attempt word unscrambling when they're five and then later at six. Last year tama 1 had to contend with simply trying to learn the "how-to" of reading. This year he can read at a satisfactory-enough level that he can attempt this exercise with a little bit of ease, and yet be faced with a challenge to "think". Unscrambling can also be very effective for spelling. If you can't spell the correct word, you'll either take a lot longer to figure it out, or perhaps, you won't figure it out at all?!

You may recall I mentioned yesterday that we went into the library to collect a book I had on hold? Well, that pukapuka (book) was The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord. Yes, well, armed with the book and following the lesson plan, tama 1 was to say what he thought of the book by looking at the pictures only. Then I read the book to him, after which we created a story pyramid and discussed the results. I asked tama 1 if he enjoyed this kind of exercise and he agreed the story pyramid was quite a nifty idea.

Tamāhine 1 continues to make fantastic progress. I should have mentioned that yesterday she read a Level 2 Ready-to-Read library book called Henry and Mudge and the Wild Goose Chase by Cynthia Rylant. I might hasten to add she read it in ONE sitting. How impressive is that eh!? I indicated one or two chapters would be good going, but to my surprise she said she wanted to continue/finish the book. What a neat kid.

Her maths is coming along beautifully. Grasping the "solving the unknown" concept is still a head-scratching exercise sometimes, but she is no different to her older brother whereby they understand it, but sometimes they can "forget". I taught her (like her brother) to do away with the blocks at an early stage of Alpha and to add by saying the following ditty ... [example 8+5=] ... "eight wants to be a ten so he takes two away from five so five becomes three so that's 13". Once the kids have rattled that off a number of times, they soon pick up the concept and away we go.

And as for her handwriting, well, what can I say?! She's just impressing me with her efforts every day. She tries hard and "the proof is in the pudding" as they say.

Now, before I disappear for the day, I just wanted to show you our Astronomy lapbook ...

This is by NO means the completed product!!!! On the contrary, there is a lot more to do, but I am thrilled to have FINALLY started one. This particular lapbook is directly in-line with Jeannie Fulbright's Exploring Creation with Astronomy. I've chosen to print in black and white simply to save on ink!!! lol.

I can see why many homeschoolers get addicted to this type of schooling. It is creative, educational and a fantastic visual resource!!!

I chose to use a preformatted lapbooking assignment because (1) the perfect match-up to the textbook; (2) it takes the leg-work out of creating one myself; (3) it's an immediate "ooh, ahh, wow" project so the kids are keen to continue having seen the results so far; and (4) why the heck not?! lol

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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