October 14, 2004

Sound Box and Patterns

We finally finished off the letter C today. It seems we have been on that letter for quite awhile as we extended it by over a week for campaigning and then cars. I was ready to move on however. Today Ciaran painted his collage C and we cut out pictures to paste on it (a manager to represent Christmas), carrot, crayon, cat, caterpillar, cup, car, and a few others that escape my mind at the moment. He emptied his C box and told me everything that was in it - cat, c "c", car, c "c", caribou, c "c" and so on through the whole box. I am not sure he is really getting the letters that the words start with them but we are having fun and playing with the alphabet is still a great thing to do. He is starting to show more interest in asking me what letter a word starts with though he still can not point to a letter and tell me it's name. I like using the sound box because it provides such a visual reminder and hands on activity - it also has a built in review time as you empty the previous week to get ready for the next week. It is a simple and easy activity and one that always goes over well in our house. I've discovered that Ciaran has a hard time figuring out what goes into the box so often Rhia helps him with that and then we use the box throughout the week to teach him the sounds and the words that match the letter.

Rhia did some copywork this morning. I am trying to wean her from her manuscript letters and encourage her to write on her own properly. She finds that very frustrating and she loves to trace the manuscript letters and loves to free write if she does not need to do it "properly" I am trying to find the balance here so I don't turn her off handwriting but also so I don't allow poor habits to grow even stronger. Any advice here?

We worked on patterns this morning. We used blocks together to make patterns - I made and she followed - she made and I followed. Then I drew on the chalkboard and had her finish it and then we finished up with two Miquon worksheets on the topic. The hardest part for her was figuring out where one pattern ended and the next began. She wanted to count the first object of the next set as the last object of the first and it was confusing to her. She did a good job with matching a letter and character pattern - where there are two rows of different objects (ie letters and shapes) that follow the same pattern. I think we will need to stay with patterns for a little while. It is interesting to me that her mind has gotten around addition and subtraction so easily but patterns are more difficult for her.

Over lunch we discussed ways that we can participate over the next three weeks in the election and helping the president get re-elected. Some of the ideas the kids came up with: put up more lawn signs, vote, knock on doors, wave signs and banners from bridges and the side of streets, pray for the president and his family and the vice president and his family, research (Rhia really used that word) and study more about them, and write them letters. Ciaran wanted to call them on the phone and for some reason has in his head that he needs to send them lamps for their birthday! (I have no idea where that came from).

Rhiannon is now working on her matching skills and earning some money by matching all the random socks we have. To make the job more fun she is listening to "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" by CS Lewis unabridged while she works. Ciaran and Sirah are sleeping and I need to finish up some work around here.


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