May 8, 2009

catch-up on the week that was

My goodness! Has it been a week already since I last posted?! How time flies when the whole family has a tummy bug...

But we're all better now. The bug only lasted 2 days for me, and even less time for the rest of the family, although I have stayed fairly wiped-out for the rest of the week. Thank goodness for the 'self-directed learning' approach to home educating! It's enabled me to notice all the learning that Miss5 (and Miss2) are doing, even on the days when we don't do all (or any) of my planned learning activities.

For instance...

Today Miss5 spent a good 10 to 15 minutes reading poetry aloud to Miss2 - noticing for herself some of the different ways that words can be used, and some of the different layers of meaning in the poems. Her favourite is called "The Chameleon" by Roger Stevens (from the Poetry Alive! Footprints in the Butter anthology), which you really have to see to appreciate, and I can't find a copy on the 'net. But essentially it is the word "tree" repeated many many times, as a 'shape poem' in the shape of a tree - and the words "you can search all day but you'll never see the chameleon hiding in the" hidden within the myriad "tree"s. This appeals to her on many levels and it's neat to see her enjoying poetry all on her own initiative.

She has completely devoured a book on Cleopatra which I got out of the library. I had decided it was possibly a little old for her and put it aside to just take back to the library,but she found it and read it before I'd realised. So we have had a couple of discussions about how even grown ups can make bad choices, and just because famous and royal people did things, doesn't mean they were good things to have done (like... extra marital affairs, suicide, murder, that sort of thing). Which are good discussions to be having, I just wasn't really anticipating having them with my five year old. I've heard her announcing "Hey (Miss2)! Let's read our History Books! Here, I'll read this one, and you read that one." Then she gives Miss2 a less-favoured book on Egypt from the library, and they both lie on the floor with their books in front of them, reading away (or, in Miss2's case, just doing whatever her big sister is doing). Miss2 will occasionally announce "Hissty book!"

Lots of colouring in. This is all colour experimentation ("hey Mum, when I mix orange and purple, I get brown!"), social studies (various costumes being appropriate for different roles), realism vs interpretation ("I'm just going to do MY birds like this, even if God does his differently"), and narrative composition (she makes up stories that attempt to unify the different pages of the colouring book into some storyline that makes sense).

Playing with her sister. This is big for things like negotiation of personal boundaries, sharing, being considerate, self-defence, thinking ahead (putting delicate things out of reach), a sense of perspective (Miss2 pulling a bookmark out of a book is not the end of the world - we will find the chapter again), forgiveness, graciousness, and other important life skills. I am really impressed at how well they play together, given that Miss2 is definitely in 'toddler mode'.

Playing outside. This week she has brought in lots of leaves and flowers and is starting to notice which trees the different leaves come from. She found a small branch with some dead leaves on it this week and was able to tell me which tree it must have come from, based on the type of bark. So her observation and problem-solving skills are improving. Also lots and lots of trampolining and some tree climbing has got to be good 'physical education'.

Playing games. The maths skills acquired when playing card and dice games are fairly obvious - but its the sort of thing we do for fun on our family nights, rather than as a formal schooly lesson.

So there you go - all that on top of: learning how to write the letters 'c' and 'o';reviewing the other letters she already knows (i,l,t,u,w,j,y,n,m,r,h,b,p,k - we learn them in 'families' of similarly shaped letters); learning about 'odd' and 'even' numbers, and why they are called odds and evens; acquiring cultural capital through our read-alouds of Black Beauty and various Fables and Fairy Tales; and generally running around and having a good time with the other kids at our local weekly home educator's get together (which we don't get to weekly, but really enjoy it when we do!).

The only thing I'm a little disappointed about this week is that we didn't get a Nature Study done (we did do one last week, I just haven't blogged it yet!). The weather has been okay - I just have forgotten to take my iron tablets more often than not this week and my brain has largely been out to lunch and my body has been lying down and falling asleep whenever it thinks it can get away with it.


cannopener said...

Jb told Granny Jenny about your "chook-chooks" this evening. That one of them's called Anna and some interesting piece of factual information that's slipped my mind right now but sounded like he must have got it from Ella.

It was cute at the time. :) I guess you had to be there.

thelibrarian said...

when you say that you can't find a copy on the net are you talking about a copy of the poem or the book? The book is available many places including or

home handymum said...

I meant a copy of the poem. I did find the book listed at book depository, but was hoping for a visual of the poem itself, since its a 'shape poem' and is best appreciated if you can actually see it :)

thanks for those links

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