Friday, March 12, 2010

Schoolhouse Rock

I used to look forward to the Schoolhouse Rock episodes on Saturday mornings. I loved those songs and I really did learn a lot from the episodes. I recently rented Schoolhouse Rock from Netflix in preparation for some language work for Sean this week. He liked it, but not as much as I did. Too old school, I guess.
Today I presented some simple sentences and asked Sean to identify the noun and verb. We have been working on those off and on all school year. We used the grammar symbols and he placed those above the words.
Then I introduced the article symbol and explained what an article is.
He is very curious about the other symbols, but I'm going slow with it. I gave him the names for each of the symbols, but didn't want to introduce more than one today. The verb was a review for him, and the article was brand new.
I noticed he isn't wanting to write lately. When I pulled out the material to present it, he said, "I don't want to write." He was relieved when I said this work didn't require writing.
I expect he'll come around to another writing phase later on.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Play and Learn

Yesterday Sean had a free pass from "school" work. We had someone here working on our porch, replacing rails, etc. and he wanted to watch to learn about how to do those kinds of things. I completely agreed. There was measuring, sawing, drilling, and a lot of conversation. Sean is a talker.
After public school kids got home, his friend came over to play. They are getting to that wonderful little boy stage where they want to "talk." I call it the tree house/boy's club stage. They are only a few months apart in age.
In our neighborhood it's really only the two of them because the rest are teenagers, or babies.
After a while of playing in the front yard, running around, they moved into the back yard.
I worked and watched out the window as they climbed the Cherry tree in our back yard. Sean likes to climb very high into it, but his friend is afraid of heights. They climbed down a time or two, then back up and sat on the limbs talking. They were still in the tree when I called Sean in for dinner.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Reconnecting with sounds

I am inspired by many things, and often by reading other homeschooling mommas' blogs. One of them I read said everything that I have been struggling with so far. My son and the 3-hour work period.
I've tried letting it go, and I've tried being a stickler for it, neither of which work out very well. The goal is to get the child to a point that they are so engrossed and focused on their work that they work for that time with the materials, and want to work longer. I see traces of that concentration as he works on certain materials, but not for three hours.
Neither of us enjoy my constantly saying, "You need to choose a work." I think I will stop saying it.
So today I decided we would both benefit from a totally different school environment. It was a beautiful day. The sun was out, the temperature was mild, and we went for a nature walk.
I suggested, before we headed out the door, that we listen carefully once we got outside. We weren't even out of our driveway and we both were so connected to the sounds around us. It was incredible. (It rains here a lot, so some days we just can't motivate ourselves to go out in it.)
We heard birds, then we listened closer to try to discern how many different birds we could hear. Sean decided it must be about 12. He could be right, I just know there were a lot, including a woodpecker.
We heard voices, a lawn mower, a dog barking, and traffic on the road that leads to our neighborhood.
He collected some really large fir cones and a leaf, found a spider and watched some tiny birds at a bird feeder. We also saw a bee along the way.
Then we walked to Grandma's house and watched a humming bird come to the feeder hanging outside her living room window.
We came home, ate lunch and watched a movie Sean has been wanting to share with me all week.
It was a grand day, and not once did I say, "You need to choose a work."