Monday, January 15, 2007

Spring 2001 Term Started Today!

...And it was a pretty good start!

N. grumbled a bit when I shook him awake at 7:30.
He was drowsy at the breakfast table--but who wouldn't be? The outside temperature was -1.5 degrees F.

He perked up when we prayed the morning service. I let him lead today even though he still uses the Shabbat nusach (tunes). Tomorrow, I will take charge so that he can learn the weekday nusach and so that I can shorten the service to a manageable time.
After the service, I asked him to collect his dirty clothes before we started math. (He left some things out as I discovered when I went to sort them).

Math was LONG! There is a lot to do with Saxon and it took him 20 minutes to practice 100 simple division problems--even though he had the Times Table Grid right in front of him!
He was easily distracted and the dogs kept barking at some MLK day skiers who were cavorting in our meadow. I chalked it up to first day back after the Bar Mitzvah and a break. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. However, it was nearly 11 AM by the time we got done with Math.

I sorted the laundry while he did the Lesson practice sheet. I noticed that there were some missing socks from his skiing trip--so when he finished and checked his work, I had him do a "redo!" on the dirty clothes gathering. This time, we got it all.

After the "redo," we did our first activity for Brain Engineering. In this one he had to find 17 hidden pictures in a picture puzzle. As he circled each one, I dropped a coin into a cup. This is supposed to help him connect his "Opticoder" (that part of the brain that processes visual information) with his "Lexicoder" (that part of the brain that processes verbal information). He did this readily in a little less than 3 minutes. He wanted to do more of that--he felt very successful with the hidden pictures after having a difficult math morning.

However, he had an appointment with his room! I gave him a trash bag and told him to go through his room and pick up every piece of trash. "Trash in the trash bin, on the floor, under the bed, in the closet, on his desk, under his desk and in his book crates." He pointed out that I forgot to mention the trash on his night table and under it, but cheerful did the job. His room was a royal mess due to having his cousins sleeping in it last week--but after 15 minutes of "trash detail" it looked considerably better! (I was happy that pointed out my omission because it means that he is "getting multi-step directions).

After "trash detail," N. took the dogs for a (short) walk--it was only 17 degrees F outside, and nobody wanted to be outside very long. While they were out, I made hotdogs for lunch.

After lunch, we began reading "Black Ships Before Troy" together. I find it easiest to get him to read some of the literature that goes with the Ancient History spine, by reading it together. He has one book and I have another. I read aloud most of the time and sometimes he does. Reading aloud is difficult for him, although his Bar Mitzvah gave him a significant boost in ease and confidence. We talk about the story as we go along, giving N. a chance to identify important characters and events that move the story along.

When we were finished reading, N. and I loaded Word Roots A1 onto the computer. This program is from Critical Thinking Press. We had begun last fall with the workbooks--but N. hates workbooks! I think this goes back to third grade, when he called his teacher "the ditto queen" and claimed that she "worshipped at the altar of the Xerox machine." (This is what comes of reading the Torah to your child with emphasis and meaning!) At NAGC in November, I visited the Critical Thinking Press booth and purchased the Word Roots series for computer. So anyway, N. worked happily away on the computerized version, in which he is building a city out of bricks made from Latin roots.

Now he is writing Thank-You notes to people who gave him giftes for his Bar Mitzvah. I gave him a template:

Dear _________________,

Thank you very much for the _________________________. (e.g. check for
$18.00). I plan to ______________ with it. I was happy that you joined
me for my Bar Mitzvah.

When I checked his first cards, I noticed that he wrote the message on the back of the card instead of inside of it. I corrected that, but I left his other innovation alone. He was putting a smiley face instead of sincerely! (Anything to get out of writing more words!). N. has great difficulty with writing out anything by hand, much preferring to use Microsoft Word (TM)). But Thank-you notes must be handwritten! (We discussed the meaning of the word etiquette). So he will do 5 a day--I will address them for him because the envelopes are so small and his printing is so big. (He is much better at cursive--but refuses to use it! Go figure).

Soon, we will watch a video about Ancient Greece from the Wonders of the Ancient World series.

For tomorrow, I have to figure out how to add a 1.5 hour phone conference at 8:30 AM to our schedule. That is the weekly Brain Engineering "Ask the Doc" session. Unfortunately, I think I will have to get up half-an-hour early (6:00 instead of 6:30 AM) so that we finish the morning service BEFORE 8:30 AM. Then I can start him on his Math and Logic work. We can check the work after the conference. OY! One point for homeschooling was that I could rise a little later in the morning! Like at twilight instead of full dark. Well.

1 comment:

Megan Bayliss said...

Minus 1.5 degree F! YIKES!!!!! How do you manage to get out of bed at all?
Your blog is lovely. Thank you so much for inviting us to visit.
We would love to share with you, learn with you and cry with you.
In fact, is it okay if we add you as a link to our home school blog please?
Keep practising your Aussie Slanguage "N" so you understand some of the things we say at times.
Hooroo for now Mate.