Wednesday, May 17, 2006
May 17th Update...
Our day has moved along at a slow but comfortable pace. We spent the morning in the yard playing and working in the garden. We transplanted opal basil, some pumpkins and some more tomatoes from the greenhouse and into the raised beds. GD enjoyed a phone call from my Mom in Tucson, and the exciting news that a box is coming in the mail just for him!!
I made a nice breakfast of gluten-free homemade waffles (yes Im proud) fresh watermelon, and fresh grapes with a glass of milk. The kids all three ate really well and until the end when ME threw hers in the chicken scrap bin, it was almost like a storybook. :-)
After our breakfast we did our morning chores, which took far longer than it should have. I got involved in vaccuming and having the boys get their room back to a good point. I dont know how it got so out of hand when we were so busy yesterday, but apparently the chaos lives here even when we arent home!! So that gave us a later start than usual (like a few hours) but it is okay, we headed out for our walk and all was good. The walk is working really well to recenter them (and me) and get us mentally ready to start our morning lessons. Today we took a different route through the neighborhood. The kids all really enjoyed it and found lots of fun things, ME made friends with a rock, GM found some fun and pretty sticks, and GD found a log shaped like a running cat.
Home again and we went directly into our yoga, after taking off our shoes and having a drink of water. They both did MUCH better today, and showed much longer focus. After yoga we did our movement activities, I did the Strange Family (pg 135 grade one movement: Enki) and then I did a midline exercise where we touched our opposite feet and hands (with bent knee bringing foot up) while counting out our numbers, and skip counting by 2, 3, & 4. At the end of doing it twice we did it as fast as we could and we all laughed really hard. They thought it was so funny.
Then we came into the office where we did our music practice. We first did our closed eye rhythm following exercise, but today I used the counting from movement to bring it to them from another direction. They caught on right away, tapping their sticks at every "one" count but only saying out loud the skip counting numbers. I was happy with that and I think I will do it again tommorow.
We lit our candle, said our verse and began our journal writing. This is becoming a silly time, and I am thinking of ways to help with that. GD is so imaginative that he will draw and write for ever and he wants to share everything he does with GM who is very easily distracted and finds GD to be hilarious. I love the GD is so imaginative and that he loves this time so much, but I worry about how long to allow it to distract GM....
On to comprehension activities, I think GDs are getting too difficult and I may take a break on it for a bit, he reads it very well, but some of the question protions are just really long and getting into grammatical topics we havent covered yet. I think I will reintroduce it when we have covered that material. I will come up with a substiture activity to continue his practicing this skill, but the particular book we are using just is reaching a bit beyond for now.
GM did his reading for the day from his reader, a one page poem, so he was happy. :-) After he finished that we practiced our math facts and did our hand game from yesterday, he did TERRIFIC!!! We went all the way to 100 doing our five facts and he was awesome, when I commented on how great he was doing, in my mind thinking of how effective having him sleep on it was, he told me he had been practicing in the bathroom! LOL well, hey, at least my nine year old son is practicing multiplication in the bathroom. How funny, Im glad he liked it so much.
We retold the story from yesterday and the boys laughed again at the funny parts. They both did a good job of adding details here and there and between the three of us we told a pretty fun tale.
They then got a nice break for a bit in the afternoon to watch the movie of GD's choice. He chose to watch "The Iron Giant" which is a family favorite. While he watched that I gave ME and GM some craft materials and some construction paper and they worked on making GD some nice cards outside on the porch. I made them a fresh shake for a snack; flax seed oil, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, two eggs and vanilla ice cream. That should hold them over until dinner at Grandma's which is an early dinner, more like a supper I suppose.
During this quiet time I read through some books I got in the mail, one is Dorothy Harrer's Math Lessons for Elementary Grades and the other is a book called Active Arithmetic; Movement and mathematics teaching in the Lower Grades. Perfect timing really with all the fun math/movement activities we have been enjoying. I will browse through them more in bed tonight, but it was nice to be able to thumb through the pages and get an idea of how they are set up. They are both much longer than I thought they were when I ordered them. In fact I thought the Harrer was more of a booklet than a book, but it is a full on book.
Dinner at Great-Grandma's was nice although GD was very upset to find out that the play he wants so desperately to be in requires him to sing. He doesnt want to sing in front of people, and so I thought it best to not audition for the part. I am not a big fan of the whole thing, but it has been years now that he has been asking to get to be in a "real play" with a stage, good costumes etc. He wants to be in a play like all the ones we go to at Popejoy Hall. I finally got him involved in a drama class to let him get a feel for it. He loves it and he leaves there feeling really happy and good about himself. So that was a bit of a sad note for today, but he did get over it eventually and later said he was okay with not doing it, that the singing would have been just too scary. So in the end it is okay. I will keep my ears open for another smaller production that will better suit his strengths. I dont see this desire to be involved in theatre going away anytime soon.
After dinner it was off to the coffee house to meet up with Tata and my brother and sister-in-law for some yummy treats to celebrate the big day. It's just up the road so it is a nice way to come back around to the neighborhood and get to see more family. All the kids had a great time and GD received a wonderful gift of a large penguin. He has been penguin crazy for a long time now, since he was just a tiny guy.
When we got home we played a family game of Bird Bingo which was nice and the little kids got ready for bed while GM took care of his chickens and tended to spraying the frog and the snake with some water for moisture.
Im off to bed to read some of my new books and to get some much needed rest! Im pooped! Plus I get to getup tomorrow and start all over again! :-) Thank goodness!!!!