Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 91

Kieron had the inspiration to do his (still minimal) schoolwork last night instead of this morning. So he did computer math, then read and narrated chapter 48 in This Country of Ours, then read the rest of the first chapter of Johny Tremain. He is also reading The Lost World on his own. This is still very light but it's going to be hard to be on a full schedule while Sean's still home. It feels like the holidays.

Kieron has a habit of narrating by making a general statement then supporting it. Like "Hey, X was really brave" then listing the details. I remember Sean doing precisely that at this age. So I am wondering if it is a natural tendency for kids, when they get to that more analytical age, to start narrating that way. .... more in the form of topic sentence, then support.

I played chess with Sean this morning. He was on the defensive for almost the whole game and then when my spatial sense got too overloaded by all the positions, he checkmated me in a single move. Sigh.

Sean played the Brain Game and Word Challenge and GeoChallenge at Facebook. While he's on vacation he is trying to move in on other family members' high scores in the various games. But I guess all those have a learning component too, so I'm noting it down.

(Yesterday I told him that he didn't have to worry about his mental ability since he can beat almost everyone in the family in chess. He said, "Why did you say that?" and I said, "Just in case you ever doubted." and he said, "I'm not the kind of person who has much doubt about my abilities." Just thought it was funny).

I finished reading Reddy Fox to Paddy. He will be good at chess someday, I think.... he suddenly asked me, "What happened to the chicken that Reddy stole from Farmer Brown's boy? Did he get to eat it before he got shot?" That took place near the beginning of the book, which we started reading several days ago.... and he stumped me. Actually now that I think of it I believe the chicken-stealing episode took place a bit before the shooting episode, but still, I am always surprised when a child is following so closely with a story and trying to solve plot difficulties. Maybe I am raising a little English Literature scholar LOL.

I'm trying to pace out the Thornton Burgess books at a rate of about one per week for him. We're waiting for the Burgess Bird Book which is recommended for Ambleside Year 1. I thought it would be more delightful if he already was acquainted with the characters of the Green Forest and Green Meadow before we started. All my kids have loved Burgess's books. I love them too.

Aidan has the coolers playing chess. He keeps asking me who will win. I vote for the little cooler. His money is on the big one.

Now I wanted to write out the way Kieron and I decided to do narration yesterday so I can remember it.

  • We talked a bit beforehand "placing" the next reading in context of the last one.
  • He read and commented aloud to me as he read..... this is really entertaining for me, hearing about US history from a 13 year old perspective.
  • Then I told him to try to give the whole picture and he did.
  • Then we discussed it a bit.

I am trying to make a habit of spending a bit of time talking about the last reading before starting a new reading, with Paddy. I haven't started asking for narration with Paddy yet -- I want to work into it gradually. I think he will like it though, because he is more extroverted than my older kids and his thoughts don't sink deep down into his brain where it is a real struggle and almost a trespass to try to dredge them back up.

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