Monday, 15 September 2008

Weekly Report 2008:33

Last week went very well, almost completely according to plan. Amazing!

Circle Time
We read stories of Joseph and his brothers and what happened in Egypt. We left out the bit about Potiphar's wife, but didn't have time for it even if it had passed the toddler-level censor. I overheard Anna singing the first four lines of "How deep the Father's love for us..." this morning so the first verse must have sunk in. I do think it's a bit slow for them, they don't seem as keen on it as the previous two or three songs. Jeff has been leading Circle Time a lot lately and I really appreciate his succinct applications and prayers at the end. We're learning two memory verses at the moment: Phil 2:14-16a (to counteract whinging) and Genesis 45:8 "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God..." from the story of Joseph.

Joshua is reading through the fifth (last) box of Bob Books half a book at a time, so he read book 3 and 4 last week. Anna has begun reading from the third set and is steaming ahead having read 1-4 last week. She seems to be picking up sight words (phonetic, but not using rules she's learnt yet) such as "was" and "saw" much faster than Joshua did. I am not sure if this reflects her better blending skill or her greater familiarity with the flow of words in stories. Either way, it definitely reflects her fascination with stories.
We didn't manage to do penmanship on Monday but the rest of the week went okay. I have increased the amount of writing Joshua is doing and it may be a bit to demanding for him. He's doing six lines (large writing, they take up a page with my three lines of writing to copy) or less. He did a fantastic narration of Dot and the Kangaroo on Tuesday. Anna didn't do a narration of it, we just couldn't fit it in. Oh well.

The kids are loving The Wizard of Oz. We read chapters 6 through to 14 last week, even with Joshua going out to Anchor Boys and Karate different nights of the week.
We picked up some picture books of Asian folk tales from the library on Tuesday and the kdis all adore Tikki Tikki Tembo ("retold" by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent), which I picked out because I remember it from my childhood. I have also ordered The Five Chinese Brothers (by Claire Huchet Bishop and illustrated by Kurt Wiese, who also illustrated The Story About Ping) through interlibrary loan.
The kids can now recite "Toad's Last Little Song" well, and really enjoy it. Even Abigail asks to recite poetry at other times, such as at bedtime. I'm so glad I thought of adding this into our day, because poetry has become a wonderful thing to share together.

We've begun Earlybird Mathematics 2B! We did the first half of the first "lesson", which is quite a long one. We're doing one page a day (three times a week, we do something different on Friday) and it seems to be moving very slowly with single-digit addition, but I am going as slowly as the book rather than let them move quickly because there's no reason to rush and I want to be sure they both get it. So far, they've had no problems with understanding what the + and = signs mean, so I'm pleased with that. We did a lot of extra problems on the magnetic sketchpad and our little white board, which they both enjoyed. Joshua can handle bigger sums in his head, I've noticed. Anna is fine with addends of 1-3 but she struggles if there's a 4 in the problem (mentally, with an image or fingers or whatever she does fine).
I've been trying to do addition sums with the kids when we've been out and about as well, with real objects to add together to help them with more examples.

We went to the library on Tuesday and checked out a few books on Asian animals and folktales. I couldn't find anything on Pandas to my dismay but did find a book on the Siberian Tiger which we have a DVD about. We spent a day or two looking through the kids' atlases pages on Asia, and read a few books of folktales. I want the kids to be able to identify Indonesia and Singapore in particular because their Grandpa lives in Jakarta (Indonesia) and their Aunt immigrated to Australia from Singapore when she married Jeff's brother, so we have family connections with those countries. Of course, they've heard a lot about China in the last few weeks with the Olympics, so we're learning a bit about that as well.
Joshua and Anna went on a "bug hunt" with Joshua's magnifying glass one afternoon and came back inside having drawn some cute pictures (crayon, hardly any detail) of a spider, a beetle and an ant. Then Joshua treated Jeff and I to a spontaneous narration about insects, including the insight that "ants live in burrow nests underground. They like to burrow in cracks between the bricks. They prefer to burrow in sand, and especially like orange sand." This insight was based on the large number of ant sand piles we have in our undercover area outside, where there is obviously orange bricklayer sand underneath the bricks, rather than the white-grey sand of the yard and sandpit areas. The orange ant piles on the brown bricks are much more obvious than any ant piles elsewhere in the yard. What an investigator!

Pipe cleaner and plastic spoon insects, with the idea courtesy of Play School, were the hit of the week craft-wise. Abigail loved being able to join in with the tracing page as well. Her efforts were enough to tell me she has quite a way to go developmentally before she'll be able to join the bigger kids for penmanship! (Not that I didn't know that already.)

Outside Time
I have loved the warmer weather and sunny skies of the last week and the kids have flourished in their outside times. I am so glad we can finally get back out. They are settling much better at bedtime as a result of all the time outside and we've had a few more chats with neighbours than usual because they're out in their yards as well.

Evening Actvities
Joshua enjoyed both Anchor Boys and Karate this week. I was greatly saddened on Friday to realise I have another two badges to sew on - one for Joshua and one for Jeff for their Karate uniforms. Somehow it slipped my mind previously... I have no idea how!


argsmommy said...

How funny! I too remembered Tikki Tikki Tembo from childhood and was recently trying to locate it in our library system. But my memory was off (I was thinking something along the lines of Ricki Ticki Timbo), so it wasn't showing up in my library search. Now thanks to your post I was able to find it and reserve a copy! I'm surprised it isn't in the literature recommendations for SOTW -- or at least I haven't seen it in the activity guides for the first two volumes.

Mrs. Edwards said...

Tikki Tikki Tembo is a fantastic read aloud. Being reminded of it makes me think that my two-year-old is ready to enjoy it. When I read it aloud, we tap our fingers across the page as the brother runs to the old man with the ladder and then tap back across the page back to the well. Gasping, panting, and racing through the text at the right time and I like to squeeze big hugs around my son as I read "he pushed the water out of him."

It is fun that you are reading "The Wizard of Oz" since we hail from Kansas. Perhaps it is because my kids are still too frightened by the movie to watch it, or maybe it is because Kansans get tired of the allusions to the Land of Oz and the yellow brick road, but either way we haven't read the book yet.

argsmommy-I'll bet you were thinking of Ricki Ticki Tavi, by Kipling. That's another great tale, but quite different, as you no doubt know.

Sharon-It sounds like school is going quite well! I'm feeling a bit frazzled, but I confess to being distracted by American politics right now. I'm starting the re-write process on that book project, and that is taking up time as well.

Sharon said...

Aah, now I know why I kept remembering it as "Ricki Tikki Tembo" as well. Thanks Amy. Tikki Tikki Tembo is "retold" by Arlene Mosel and illustrated by Blair Lent, published by Scholastic, if this helps.

(I'll pray for new strength and encouragement for you Amy.)

~ Sharon