Friday, October 01, 2010

::Commanding Notes & Baby Arrivals::

::Week 4::
A peek into a week of learning.
{These are excerpts from my journal}

 Monday, September 27th~ As usual, we began with the least fun for us both, I think. We are measuring perimeter and telling time. A few weeks ago, Caelah loved ::Math:: because she didn't have to write much. Now she likes it much less. Numbers are ugh.

::English:: Grammar: Commands and Exclamations. Oh, how many of those does Caelah hear in day? This should be a piece of cake. She has to type an e-mail to her cousin using the things she has learned. She got halfway through when she smacked her forehead: "I forgot, and just started writing my own thing!"

We found that she could incorporate the exclamation marks easily. But writing commands in a letter can only set a very rude tone. So, to solve this problem, we had her compose a "fake" letter to her brother using commands. You know when someone says their joking, but you know their not. . .
Note: This letter will not be delivered.

Onwards with Roald Dahl. She read for almost an hour. I think her weirdo personality jives with his. I know mine does! He is SO odd. A sample from his poem "The Owl and the Pussycat":

"If I ever decide to turn into a bride
I will not want to live in a tree.
The fates will pick out without any doubt
A beautiful Tom-cat for me! For me!
A beautiful Tom-cat for me!"

Her ::French:: story today was "Alice La Fee" by David Shannon.
"This little girl who pretends to be a fairy. She turns her Dad into a horse--but he really just goes onto his knees. When her Mom makes cookies for her Dad, she pretends to turn them into her cookies by eating them. In one part she makes her Dad a new crown. She pretends to disappear by turning off the lights (but it is frightening). At the end she decided to stay a fairy."~Cae Narration~
I delighted in listening to Caelah and Aunty Karin's ::Piano:: time again. This time they played such a happy little duet. Caelah was antsy to begin. The satisfaction of duets, for her, must come from how much MORE music erupts from the keys, even though she, herself, is responsible for only a simple string of notes.
When all was quiet and her brothers were asleep, we looked through "Raphael Sanzio" by Ernest Lloyd Raboff. I love how scrappy this book is. The author breaks down a few of Sanzio's paintings, revealing how often he sneaks in his friends and acquaintances! His face, along with Leonardo's and Michelangelo's appear in a few of his works.

Just before bed we did a Dahl's Activity from: It was a MadLibs {one of those funny fill-in-the-blank paragraphs}. It elicited many giggles, in part because we were exhausted, but also from genuinely humorous results: "the three farmers disco-danced his baby Julia!" and "the foxes invited the other weird door for a massive feast." And Cae's favourite: " The farmers taunted the foxes with delicious-smelling Halles." {Halle is her cousin}. Good times.

 A note about how we are tracking her reading. Dahl's site also has some cute book list printouts, upon which we are tracking her independent reading down. She is rewarded for every ten books she reads without my help. (Just trust me when I say she needs that incentive.) Also, in the "Comments" column of the page she jots down any words she comes across that she doesn't understand.

Tuesday, September 28th~Another rainy day. It made ::Science:: a bit more--well, wet. But we did it anyways because it was ON THE SCHEDULE. We were looking at Roots & Erosion. First, Cae headed out to pick some grass and a weed. She was able to see the difference between Fibrous roots and tap roots. Next, our erosion lesson laid bare my lack of common sense. The activity book specifically stated; "In a tin can with a plastic lid...." Instead, I grabbed a glass jar and:

Yeah. . . So moving on, we had to head into ::Africa:: with library deadlines hot on our heels. We are beginning to look at specific countries. Today is Morocco.

My uneducated perception of this country is colour. In my mind's eye I see exotic tile and key-shaped doorways and beauty.  Caelah looked for the country on the globe and coloured it in on her ::Africa Outline Map:: Then she settled in for a fun activity in: "The Great World Tour." It is this neat I Spy-style book that has you searching for objects from certain countries. It turns out they had a page on Morocco. "So, their guitars are called 'lutes' mommy!" Hey, who said learning can't be fun!

She then read  "The Children of Morocco". "Hey, it says that the girl drank mint tea. I can to find mint tea in The Great World Tour." And I guess that's how things stick in their heads. They fit information together.
"Children design henna tattoos on their mother's hands. Sometimes they perform stories, dancing, acrobatics. They weave baskets. In one part of Morocco the mothers teach their kids to weave carpets." ~Cae Narration~
 Tonight we made this for dinner:
Wow it was good.

After dinner, I had Caelah fill in the information for "Pelle and me" here:
 As the night was winding down I sneeked in a very sobering and deep lesson on ::Africa's:: Western Sahara. While the world does not recognize the Saharawi people, who formerly dwelt in the southern part of Morocco, as a state, many interest groups are working to bring thier plight further into the public eye. 30 years ago they were exiled from their land by Morocco and Mauritania under colonial Spain. Spain is obviously no longer a colonial power, nor is Mauritania involved in the dispute. Yet Morocco still remains in control of the land, while the Sawahari people are living in a refugee camp in Northern Algeria.

I asked Caelah to imagine a group of people invading our house, throwing us out, and building a huge wall around our property, leaving us to tent in the farmer's field next door. Her eyes were very wide.

Wednesday, September 29th~Some reading was actually accomplished on drive home today! 
"They built poles to tell their stories for them. At the top of each one was the group's animal. If a boy beaver married a girl frog, the beaver would be at the very top with the frog just under it. The people would built the poles by the water because they usually traveled by boat. That way travelers knew what group lived there."~Cae's Narration~

Thursday to Friday ~ This is where our week lost definition. Our friend/neighbour went into labour and their little boy has been living with us. {Rather, we have been living with him.}  Cae and I snuck in some poetry and a bit of geography. I will share some of the funny results of next week. 

Baby Riley has arrived.
Please uphold this little girl in your prayers. There are health concerns that need to be covered over.
Much love, Jo