January 5, 2010
Back to School....boy that was hard.
Yep. Holidays are over. My parents left on Sunday. I eked out another day of lounging on Monday. But today I had no excuses. Chris is out for the day, observing urology surgeries (what could be more fun??), and James is back at work.
So, my slacking days are over for a while...
Today we started back with homeschooling. I was REALLY resisting getting back to the books. So I made cheese biscuits. And waited for the Cable Guy. And when he didn't show up, I decided that we'd better just jump into school.
It was a really good day! It might not seem like it, since I'm about to complain a bunch, but other than those irritating small things, we got a lot accomplished!
Hannah knocked out her Numicon work right away. She's working on counting by 2's (I know, I'm way behind in teaching her stuff like that). I dumped out a bunch of small polished rocks for her to count. Of course, she immediately started making stories about a few of them. I couldn't deny that one looked just like a bike seat.
But away she went, counting up into the 30s by 2s. She is still chugging away and solidifying her addition and subtraction. We did discover (she did), that: 1+1+2+2+3+3+4+4+5+5+6+6+7+7+8+8+9+9+10=100.
Then she checked it with the calculator.
Calculators are a pain. I know that some are better than others, but I haven't gotten around to getting an appropriate one for Hannah to use. The one that we used today has large enough buttons for her, but when you enter 1+1+ (getting ready to enter "2"), the display screen gives you the running total, which is "2", which makes it confusing if you're not sure that you actually keyed in "2" or not. Another issue with most calculators is that if you're already familiar with using a phone, the numbers are in opposite positions. Phones start with the "1" at the top left. Calculators (and numerical computer keyboards) have a "7" at the top left. Who thinks about these things? Nobody unless you've got a kid who is a concrete learner.
Don't get me started on American coins. Could we possibly make them more confusing? Besides the usual complete size nonsense of dimes and nickels, now they have added a multitude of varieties of quarters and several differing nickels. Drives me crazy.
* 4 hours later--addendum: I just remembered another bit of coin minutiae that confuses Hannah is that pennies come in a variety of colors. Old ones are dark, sometimes nearly black, while new ones are sort of pink. At least the silver colored coins don't tarnish! *
Moving on...Hannah did many many pages of her Thinking Skills book. She's been doing a good job with her spatial abilities (as most kids with Ds do). She also wrote a very nice Thank You letter to her grandparents in Montana. (And reviewed the map of the USA.) Deciphering cursive writing was next on the agenda. I can see why it's hard. I don't know anyone who writes cursive like this:
Look at that example of cursive "bubble". I thought she did an excellent job of deciphering it. To me it looks like "l r i b b l e". Doesn't it look like it's an "r"?? Compare it to the "r" in "river above it. Of course they look exactly alike. Even after I wrote it out myself Hannah had trouble with it. I've never had a complaint with Handwriting Without Tears before, but I think the lower case "b" should be closer to the stem. Fortunately, Hannah won't have to read much cursive written by Jan Olsen. Unless I have to teach her using the HWOT cursive technique....
I'm not in any hurry to start her with cursive. Besides, she really has to know more spelling words to make cursive helpful. If you have to double check and sound out every word, two or three letters at a time, being able to write faster isn't going to really have any beneficial effect. Her spelling is coming along, but it's still really quite challenging for her. I don't allow her to use invented spelling (which I did with my other kids) because I don't let her practice things incorrectly. She is such a visual learner that if she sees something that is spelled incorrectly it's highly likely that she'll continue to use the incorrect spelling.
We were getting hungry for lunch. Guess what? Hannah requested Macaroni and Cheese. I know that's hard for you to believe, what with Hannah being a pastatarian and all. I, personally did not want to make another box of Annie's organic shells and cheese. Of course, after having cheese biscuits this morning, we needed more cheese for lunch too. So we decided to make REAL macaroni and cheese, a la Martha. We didn't have a full "Cooking with Nan" episode, but just a few short outtakes. (There is a real one in the works though!)