Monday, October 13, 2003

Monday October 13, 2003

Today we didn't do the daily project for singular and plural nouns. He's done so much of it already, it seems like overkill. Especially when the exercise is boring. Gotta love the flexibility of homeschooling!

So, we started the day with his spelling sentences. This is one of the most beneficial exercises associated with his spelling words. He needs a lot of practice with his writing. He wrote out seven of his eight sentences, but I could hardly read them. It's not just his spelling, it's his letter formation. His spelling itself is improving. He spells phonetically, so I can generally read it. I'm thrilled he understands the phonetic lessons he's learned. Now, I have to teach him the many many exceptions to the rules. But when he writes sentences his words run together and the letters are malformed, with capitals and lowercases used interchangeably. I don't expect college level writing, or caligraphy, but he really can do a nice job when he takes his time. So together we went over each sentence correcting mistakes. Then I re-wrote each sentence neatly for him. Really, he can do beautiful work, he just needs to slow down and take his time. Tomorrow he can write out the sentences again.

For Reading we re-read Where the Wild Are. Then we completed a character analysis for Max. He had to determine how naughty/obedient, loud/quiet, and powerful/weak Max was. Then he had to explain why. He dictated his answers and I wrote them down. His answers were well thought out.

In Math he completed a worksheet with subtraction problems. In trying to move him away from the M&M's I encouraged him to subtract by counting with his fingers the way I taught him. I figure if I'm 26 and still subtract on my fingers, it must be useful. So I promised that he could have some M&M's to eat if he did a nice job on his math paper. And he did. Every number was facing the right direction and was nicely formed. Plus, with his using his fingers, he only missed one question. That's better than he was doing with the M&M's which I think were a bit of a distraction as he was always in a hurry to finish and eat them.

Science is a bit boring right now. It's a lot about hygiene, which we have already done. I'm a nurse for goodness sake! So, I pick and choose which things sound interesting, things he hasn't done. It should pick up in a couple of weeks when we get into plant life. Today we talked about clean air, and why it's important. We came up with some slogans to encourage people to keep the air clean. My favorite of Reagan's was, "Hey, if you keep the air clean, you could be happy someday." I came up with "Take care, we all need clean air" as a sample.

As a follow-up to Saturday's History lesson, Reagan made his own hieroglyphics. We took a small brown paper bag, cut it to make it flat, then crumpled it up to make it look like stone. I wrote two dictated sentences on it, and he made pictures to represent the words. His pictures weren't what I would have probably done, but his imagination is fantastic, and I really want to continue to encourage him to be creative. It's okay for him to step outside the box, and since he doesn't have a kid on either side of him doing things a certain way, he doesn't feel compelled to conform.

Finally we worked in our geography book. We're learning about maps and globes at the moment. So today he was differentiating between North and South America, and the ocean. He colored a page in his book.

We finished the day by cleaning up, and having lunch.

Total school time: 2 1/2 hours

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