Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Day 7: Serendipity

Great learning day today.

Sean brought me his Algebra first thing in the morning, since he hadn't done any math yesterday. We went through two lessons -- review of division, and powers. Then we did Latin exercise 13 which brings us up to where we stopped last year. Then he did Greek, Vocabulary, and read a bit more of Creator and Creation. Then we did the heat, massage, ice treatment for his leg that we are supposed to do in the morning and evening.

When I got a chance, I worked on his literature booklist for this year. I'll take a picture when I get it all collected, and write out a list.

Kieron did Latin with Clare, though part of the time they seemed to be singing songs .... NOT setting paradigms to song, they assured me (they seem to resist these kinds of auditory drills -- thinking it confuses secondary ends with primary ones musically, I suppose)

Then I did something I think I will have to try more often since it works well with my kind of teaching style and the type of kid he is. I gave him the old KidsArt "Art of Ancient Rome" which is sort of like a self-enclosed unit study with a focus on art. I have a whole series but never really used them with the other kids. I asked him to read it and tell me if he thought any of the projects looked interesting. He chose the Roman arch and the design-your-own-coin.

Then the day took a magical turn. .... you know what I mean about magic -- not Harry Potter -- I think serendipitous is a sort of synonym. The Roman arch called for sugar cubes. I vaguely remembered that we had some sugar cubes around the house from when I was using Greenleaf history with Liam -- about ten years ago! So I went looking for them in my sorely-needs-to-be-organized craft closet (it is the house's linen closet, but who needs a closet for linen??).

I finally found them in the laundry room -- go figure. And in the process I spilled Liam's pastels and a bunch of balsa wood blocks -- wonder if those would be useful for anything??? But here's the neat part -- I found Liam's old metronome -- and it worked! Clare needs a metronome for her violin practice, so she was thrilled. She immediately embarked on an impromptu (timed) concert.

Kieron worked happily for a long time. I helped him when he had problems, which is SO much in tune with my personal style (rather than being the initiator). When he was looking for something, he found some sort of mystery insect, and Clare took a picture. We can look it up and ID it and that can be science.....

He didn't want to stop to do math, so it was serendipitous again that the lesson was a review of graphing and consequently extremely easy and interesting.

Clare noticed the sugar cubes and to her that spelled "old fashioned tea party". So she started planning a tea party -- and we decided we could come in costume -- and we dug up an old sugar bowl from her great-grandma. And then, I found Kevin's old X-acto knives! I have been looking for these for a long time. Kieron used them to make "coins" -- first he made a pencil sketch, then foil over clay, then cardboard. He had a fun day.

As for Aidan, no formal academics, but he has kept busy with Practical-life exercises. He made lemonade, "made cookies" (I made him some edible playdough and he used that). And he played a bit with the matching picture cards. I am thinking of ways to do this with other materials for him.

Paddy did a wooden clock puzzle that we found in Ireland.

The two teenage boys are playing football on the X Box.... Sean has to go for rehab and then to practice today, and in between, Kevin is taking him to watch the high school football practice. Sean said (complaining about Algebra) -- "first I go through mental pain, then physical pain!" : D

I hope we get another day like this at least every seven days : ) -- it went well.

No comments:

Post a Comment