Week 2 in Review

Year 1: Child’s History of the World, “The Puzzle Writers”; Burgess Bird Book, “Jenny Wren Arrives”; Paddle to the Sea, Chapter 2; James Herriot’s Treasury, “Moses the Kitten”; Aesop’s, “The Jackdaw and the Eagle,” “Belling the Cat.” Supplements: Seeker of Knowledge. Free read: The Red Fairy Book. Math: operations using 5, area and 5-square constructions. Sewing with plastic canvas.

Twins: Letter “B”; flannelgraph; lacing cards.

This week was . . . intense. I need to, not lighten the load, per se, but lighten how I carry it. I also need to find a way to keep track of scissors. And whose crayons are whose. Also, I think the big kids are starting to realize that school is an obligation, and have tried giving a bit of pushback this week.

It was good, though. We also had a nature hike in a wetlands/estuary with some friends, and then a hike through a local forest with some other friends. Nothing like meeting up with friends to rejuvenate everyone’s enthusiasm for being outside! That, and the thrill of getting outside is increased when there are enough school and chores to do.

They found a caterpillar and experimented a while with what it might eat, but we weren’t sure enough to keep it in captivity. They seemed to find the hieroglyphs pretty interesting–we tried writing each of their names in hieroglyphs–and later in the week came up with their own alphabets for the imaginary worlds that live in their respective heads. I’m excited to see them making their own expansions–it makes me more comfortable in the “required” bit of it.

The math is more challenging than it sounds. We are only doing numbers 5 and smaller, but we are doing everything with them, including calculating area and dividing by fractions. It’s doable, but it takes thought. But the results are rewarding. One of the exercises was to cut out a 2-inch square, then fold it to determine how many 1-inch squares were included. After they’d determined 4, I tried folding a 2-inch square into triangles, and asked them how big each of those were. They instantly saw each triangle was the equivalent of 1 square inch. Deux also worked out that multiplication by 0 always equals 0. “Hah! So a googolplex times zero is zero!”

The twins have started spontaneously writing letters–correct in basic shape, if not necessarily in orientation–during handwriting time. They also are starting to recognize “B” various places. (They already knew “A” pretty well.)

Deux is still nervous about writing if he’s not tracing but is starting to gain confidence. I’d like to nudge Duchess on to writing smaller–she’s back at the 4-cm high writing–but all in good time.

The plastic canvas was a huge hit. They have continued to work on their projects all weekend. I foresee plastic canvas Christmas gifts in everyone’s future.

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