Thursday, September 1, 2011

desks and lessons and neat things

My first three days of homeschooling have gone remarkably well. On Monday and Tuesday I felt really bad with intense pressure headaches and an upset stomachache but those concerns have passed and Wednesday was awesome.

I am still trying to find out what a real schedule feels like compared to a theoretical one but it is coming together.

K loves Zoology. Here she is thinking just exactly how she wants to draw something.

When my in-laws were here my husband conned them into buying the girls desks which for some reason he and my MIL believe the girls need. Right now the girls love them and I do find the surface handy but I am not sure they were necessary.

As a global learner, memorizing is hard for K and figuring out how little pieces like (sums) fit together is frustrating for her. To help with math, we are going to learn how to juggle, do origami, and make tessellations (I have some other ideas but these are the ones that we have started with).

Yesterday when I decide to start juggling, it required a quick trip to Dollar Tree to find something to juggle with. I am so glad that last year one of the administrators at the 'homeschool coop' we attended spent some time teaching the older kids the basics of juggling. I was there that day and learned a lot.

While I was talking to my Mom yesterday discussing what books I might get from Daedalus and what books she was thinking about ordering the girls for Christmas, she mentioned she got a book about Otedama from Daedalus and that she was going to make some of the juggling balls that the book gives instructions for.

The girls began showing some interest in origami about a month ago when they asked their Dad about it when they picked the word out of a Newsboys song (Shine).

Fortunately, I've dabbled in Origami on and off over the years and have several books and paper. Tim mentioned that our nephew was interested in Origami so I went to the Borders going out of business sale and bought a kit for him as a gift when he arrived.

The result was an Origami explosion at home. My MIL had to go to Borders (this is very typical of her) and buy all the Origami books in the store.

On Tuesday, we watched an absolutely amazing documentary about Origami, Between the Folds.

Then there are tessellations. When I was in Junior High, I had a math teacher, Mr. Springer, who assigned them for extra credit after we did an initial worksheet. I did page, after page, after page. I am sure that is why I got such high marks on the I.Q. portion of those silly standardized tests.

I've looked on the internet for them periodically since the girls were born and for a long time found nothing. Then I found this website,, which is awesome but which I was sure my girls were not ready for.

Then I found the Illuminations website. The Dynamic Paper tool which allows you to make your own grids and tessellation paper is awesome. I was beyond excited when I found it.

So far we've started with a simple diamond pattern but the girls really enjoyed it so I am excited to see where we can take it.

I did find out something interesting about my two girls. C can narrate immediately after a lesson just like a dream but she won't tell her Dad a word of what she learned. K's narrations come out garbled and just getting them is like pulling teeth but give her a few hours and she spills it all out clear and clean.

Yesterday she got to talk to my Mom on webcam. I left the room with C for a moment and when I returned I heard K giving my Mom a concise and accurate explanation of place values in math.

Last night she not only shared with her Dad all sorts of stuff that she learned but gave the mnemonic for animal classification and did a great job narrating an Aesop's Fable that we read. Clearly, she has a processing lag similar to the one that I have. :) I think my Mom and Hubs are going to be listening to lots of narration this year. :)


Melissa @ Frugal Creativity said...

It's great that you're so aware of your daughters' learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses. That knowledge will, no doubt, help you teach them better.

My son is fascinated with tessellations, too. I hope that translates to high scores on standardized tests!

Phyllis said...

When you find out what a real schedule feels like, let me know. LOL I surely don't know. Your observations on their narrations is very interesting. We have tons of LD's here, so everything like narrations are harder than for the typical student. I think I will play around with the timing of them more and see if I see some patterns like you have. Rote memorzing is out for all of them (myself included LOL). Lovely post to read.