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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week three, term one, dragonflies and robotics.

So this past week was shorter for us because we take the time Dad gets off to have family time. We went fishing again, had a family bbq, saw some really amazing wildlife along the way and just generally had a lot of fun.
The three days we had for school seemed to short to get into a big lesson on anything. So I prepared a dragonfly lesson for my daughter to continue in her bug scrap/lap book via her request. I also continued with reading and got her going on Starfall.com again. I was really happily surprised to see that she was trying more to get her letters and sounds right. She needed little prompting and whizzed through her workbook activities on beginning sounds. My little visual learner is creating some of the most artistic letters, each one doing something unique. I could focus on her trying to make them the way they 'should' be or I could realize this is her getting an opportunity like very few to be creative and imaginative and learn in a way that suits her. When I see the detail and intense emotions she puts into her creations I know I am on some good unexplored path and I hope it continues.
My son, budding robotics engineer, had the opportunity to make from the ground up a small robot. He learned how to use a hot glue gun and soldering iron. He learned patience is needed and not to be frustrated when things need readjusting. And he had a wonderful time.

He also learned some of robotics background information and notebooked on his findings. We studied parts of the Nasa program at http://prime.jsc.nasa.gov/ROV/ the Rover Ranch.
He initiated learning to read more of the complex words by having me read and point to each word. I would say his ability to pick up new words and there pronunciation is quite impressive.
After his lessons and copywork, we took the time to explore further what the periodic table was and he made a homemade spectrometer. The spectrometer allowed us to see the color spectrum that various light makes. It was surprisely simple to make and we have put it in a special box for further experimentations.

Today we finally are having nice fall weather and so DH and the kids are getting a start on the new front deck. It's slow going with the clay nature of the soil.
And I am finishing up this weeks lesson on horses. Which I am so excited for, I think the kids are really going to enjoy this week. We have a list of three movies to watch and discuss. And a field trip to a ranch at the end of the week for some real pony rides just for them. :) Shhh it's a surprise they don't know about the lessons usually before we begin so that way I don't hear when we have to do copywork or something mundane 'when are we going to....'. I am also pretty happy with the clever topic add in's on genetics and measuring :) This unit study thing could be a fantastic way to learn if it provided a more balanced approach to learning.
And of course we plod along with french lessons although DD is still complaining about having to learn it. :(

DD asked me the cutest question the other night at dinner. 'Mom is public school over?'
'Yes.' I responded. 'And how does that make you feel?'
A look of relief flooded her and she said 'good now I won't have to say everyday how much I hate school.' :0P
Which is what she said pretty much all the last term of PS last year. She detested the 'criss cross applesauce' of circle time, as she is tall and sitting cross legged for a prolonged period was really hurting her back.

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