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Doubling Ducks and Chats About Bats

25 May

We’ve had quite a full week.

On Monday, Stiggy had pottery painting. We’ll only be having one more session, then we’ll be taking a long break from it. Stiggy wants to try other things, and for what it costs for us both to attend pottery once a month, Stiggy can attend an activity every week.

For math, we worked on the concept of ‘double’ this week. We’ve talked about it informally before, and I’ve worked it into our baking adventures, but we dug into it more deeply this week. We started off by reading Double the Ducks, which is a cute story that does a good job of demonstrating how things are doubled. We discussed how to double, then I demonstrated it with manipulatives and gave Stiggy some little ‘problems’ to work out, hands-on. We played Monopoly Jr., which requires doubling small numbers. On our last day, we read Double the Ducks again and Stiggy did this little worksheet, which he really enjoyed. He also did a page for his math journal. I asked him to tell me how to double, and he made up a lovely baking scenario in which he had to double his flour. I wrote out his narration and he drew a picture of flour being measured out. He definitely understands doubling now.

He wanted to count to 200, so I explained to him that it’s the same as counting to 100, only you have to say ‘one hundred and’ first. We practised this while tossing a bean bag back and forth.

Reading is going very well now. He’s really responded to the new method. It’s so true what they say; it’s not about the resource, it’s about how you adapt it to fit the child. I’m still using The Road to Reading, but we’re taking it very slowly and I’m not putting the book in front of him to read from. I write the ‘sound of the week’ on a card, introduce it, review the old ones, then he reads a list of words on the wipe board. He does a dictation sentence using magnetic letters, and a phonics workbook page. That’s day 1. On day 2, we review the phonics cards, he reads a small passage that I’ve written on the board, dictation, and workbook page. On day 3, we review the cards again, dictation, workbook page, and he chooses a reader (Bob book, etc) to read. All of the words, reading passages, and dictation sentences are taken from R2R, but the way I’m doing it is not how the author has designed his programme. His list of words to read is enormous, as is the reading passage. And the child is suppose to dictate as much of the reading passage, on paper, as he can. Way too much, I think…at least for Stiggy (at this point).

We also play little games, like making words with Scrabble tiles, Boggle dice, and hangman.

He’s enjoying our new way of doing things, he’s learning phonics, and he’s taking an interest in reading and writing (which calls upon his reading skills) again. We’ve still got another year of Kindergarten, so he has plenty of time to cover everything in R2R (which is a complete phonics programme). I’ve just outlined the rest of the book, and covering one phonic rule a week, we’ll be done by the end of next year, with 3 weeks free. There’s also a writing and grammar portion in R2R. Not sure yet if we’ll use it.

And the home education assessor (who’s a teacher) is also happy with what we’re doing. During the home visit 2 weeks ago, she said Stiggy was advanced for his age. This was based on their chatting together; she wasn’t ‘testing’ him as such. Stiggy chatted to her about our garden, showed her what we were growing in the propagator, talked about cars, and showed her a book about bats and outlined all he knows about them (a new interest he’s developed after watching bats fly around outside at sunset) Not that I need outside approval…but it is still nice to hear. 🙂

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