I haven’t been very good with my camera in the last two months which is partly why I haven’t updated this blog and then when I did decide to it took quite a bit to get the camera to download the photos. (and they were supposed to be downloading automatically so I am not sure what was happening there) They are finally on my computer and so I thought I had better do a quick update with highlights of what we have been doing.
I have been giving L choices of books for shared reading – she still seems most comfortable with the levelled readers so we are now tackling Ladybird Key Words book 10a though we have also read some other shorter books – Androcles and the Lion, The Ugly Duckling and a few others inbetween. Her stamina has increased and she will read short books aloud to her sister in the car occassionally. We have done a tiny bit of spelling though I am not worrying about this yet as she is still just copying things for handwriting practice – she has learnt all the small letter formations and a fair number of the capital letters too and is copying a sentence a day. Every now and then (when she asks) we do Read, Think and Do – part of picture is given to her and then the instructions which she reads independently tell her what to add to the picture and what to colour. I have introduced this to get her colouring a bit and also to follow instructions since most commonly I hear: Why must we do it blue? Why not pink? – and the only reason is because it says so – I do not care if she colours it pink but if she starts school next year she needs to be able to follow pointless instructions.
We have been continuing cycling three math programmes – Horizons K, Singapore 1 and MEP 1 – we do one or two a day depending on how much time we have and whether she is in the mood. She is counting in 10s and has since shown an interest in higher numbers so we have counted in tens and hundreds and thousands (etc) all the way to a million and beyond. Her favourite programme is MEP – she seems to like the problem solving and also it uses smaller numbers which gets her competent with these first and I like that it is free!
We do not have a formal science programme – I read to her often from Usborne Children’s Encyclopedia and if we read something that really interests her we look it up further. We were also “studying” some wild animals which she choose to learn about and doing some related art activities. We have started talking about science experiments and how to set one up – we decided to try to see whether grass could be used as a natural colourant for smarties (she wanted to study smarties in school when asked: “Because then we can buy some and eat them” – she decided that grass probably wasn’t a good idea cause it would go brown – it took a lot longer than we thought it would to become brown and because it was in glass jars she found it fascinating that water formed in the jars. We will probably try a few more science experiments in the near future. We also learnt about rings in trees when they cut down a dead tree in our back garden.
Hand milking cows
History: I am reading her The Story of the World Volume 1 (Ancient History) but very slowly and only when she asks for it. We have built a “Nile River” out of mud in the back garden (and added in some geography about hills and ricers), made playdough tablets and wrote both cuneiform and hieroglyphics on them (and then turned them into cupcakes), visited the rock paintings at Wyndford Farm, read a lot about mummies which really fascinated her and also looked at numerous pictures of pyramids and spoke about all the treasure they hoarded with the pharoahs. We try to take library books out before covering a section as she likes to see it in lots of pictures.
Writing in playdough
Geography: we have not done much of this besides talk about certain countries when they come up in novels we are reading or when we speak about animals that live in different areas.
Play: I try to get L outside as much as possible especially now as the weather cools down a bit. We made musical instruments out of bark and played them outside. She has been playing a lot of Indians and Cowboys after reading about children playing these games in various books she read and I read to her. We have played endless animal games, princess games and follow the leader games.
Social: Art class has finished and I am not sending her back next term because she didn’t want to leave me and it became too stressful. She has been to play with a few friends and on our holiday played with a lot of new friends – in fact she ran off with them alone a fair amount of the time and it was nice that she could safely be so independent. She also goes to The Urban Market once a month and plays with many children there – Clmaber Club brings its equipment and she loves playing on the aparatus. We also took the children to the Irene Dairy Market where they really enjoyed seeing the calves.
Waiting in line to get her face painted at the Urban Market
The fierce tiger
Holiday Time: We took the whole family to Wyndford Farm at the end of March and it was lovely. L played with a lot of children, went on a zip line all by herself twice, rode horses, went on a few walks where she did very well, went to see the rock paintings and played to her hearts content. It was lovely to get away for a short time. On the way to the farm we stopped at a game reserve and L liked seeing a lot of wild animals there. She also spent a lot of time playing with the bunnies and feeding them.