Wednesday found us back in the "classroom" again. Or should I say, sitting at the kitchen table? Again we skipped the Language arts lesson. It was highly unnecessary. I love being able to skip! Instead we started the day with copying those sentences we started on Monday.
Spelling sentences took longer to copy than it did to write them initially. While beautifully written, he did much more goofing off than he did working. It took an hour and a half to copy down the sentences. I began to get a bit frustrated after the fourth trip to the bathroom. I'd like to cut this part out since he finds it so boring, but he desperately needs the practice in writing sentences that are legible. Looks like it's back to the drawing board for me as I must go searching for a solution that we can both live with. I'm pretty convinced that a teacher wouldn't give the first graders an hour and a half to do a paper like this, but I also don't think that they would expect the level of work that I do. Maybe I need to lower my expectations, or raise his. In any event it looks like an evening of web searches and maybe an e-mail to my sister. She's a 1st grade teacher.
I did take some time to praise the work he did. The sentences look great. Letters were facing the right way, there were spaces between words, and each sentence was perfectly legible. I really like to encourage him when he does well.
For reading we talked about verbs. A Language Arts lesson, I know. But we tied it into Where the Wild Things Are (our book of the week). We proved that you can't have a sentence without verbs, then set about to make our own sentences from the pictures in the book. We underlined the verb in each sentence, and I'm pretty certain that he's got the verb concept. After this exercise he read the book himself again. He will certainly be able to read "roaring" and "gnashing" in any book after this. Practice makes perfect!
For Math we introduced a number line. It had a kangaroo on it, who could jump from number to number to assist with addition and subtraction. It took him a few minutes to grasp the concept. I had always thought he was Math driven, but now that we've been working together for a few months, I realize that Math is a more difficult subject for him than I knew. I looked in his Math booklet for any pages with a number line, but couldn't find any. We did go over the concept of one less. I think he's got that idea, but isn't really quick on what order numbers come in. He has to really think about what number comes before any given number. I've decided to start practicing counting forward to 10 and backwards from 10. It's a simple exercise we can do on the move, in the car, etc. I just want him to become more comfortable with the order of numbers. I told him that all numbers are based on the 10 system, and that being really comfortable with those 10 numbers will be helpful for a very long time.
For science we brainstormed a few safety do's and don'ts. We discussed why each was important and plan to continue our brainstorming tomorrow so that we can make a safety book. He'll love illustrating.
For History we talked about mummies. Who was mummified, who could make mummies, how mummies were made, what they were buried in, and why the Egyptians started the crazy mummy thing in the first place. After our reading, we wrote down what we had learned (he dictated) on a separate sheet of paper. I was pleased with how much he was able to remember of the chapter. When we started, he would remember very little, and now he's really paying attention! And I told him how happy that made me. Tomorrow we'll get to read about Pyramids.
He did his Spanish lesson again today and recieved scores of 84, 63, and 87. they're improving, but they all need to be over 80. I'm not following basic pass/fail scores. I want him to really grasp the material, as these lessons build on one another. Besides, we have plenty of time.