Monday Monday

September 8, 2014 @ 8:04 pm | Filed under: ,

photo 2 (7)

Today I forgot to blog first; it’s nearly bedtime. 🙂

Melanie has begun a link-up for sharing daily learning notes, always an engaging topic (if you’re anything like me). I used to have an entire side-blog for my daily notes, and then a different one, and then a different one. These days I’m tracking things on paper, but I do like to compile some of our best resources and rabbit trails here pretty often, as you know.

Selvi asked in the comments the other day why we were working on memorizing the English monarchs, because I’ve mentioned that several times. The main reason, as I replied to her, is because they make very handy pegs for hanging other historical events on. So often in our history, literature, and science reading we come across some incident involving Great Britain and we used to always say, “Who was king then? Or was it queen?” So we set about learning the list (and American presidents as well, but that was easier because these kids grew up on the Singin’ Smart CD with its infectious tune for the presidents) and it turned into a really fun family accomplishment. Oh the triumph now when we can all get through the Horrible Histories song without a hitch! 😉

Our various readings continue to interconnect in satisfying ways. We spent a couple of weeks on Wordsworth (you don’t leave this house until you know a good bit about the Romantics, that’s just the way it is) and are reading Coleridge this week, and that has created excellent crossover with our readings about the French Revolution. Except a MOST UNFORTUNATE THING happened and that is: while (continuing on in the juggernaut of world history) reading aloud about Napoleon, my tongue got twisted and his name came out BonaFART. Never, never, never shall I be allowed to live this down. Never, never, never shall I be permitted to read another word about him without a ripple of giggles across the room. Waterloo can’t come fast enough, believe me. I might have to move to Elba myself.

ANYWAY, back to Coleridge. We began a discussion of “Frost at Midnight” today, which is one of my most beloved poems. It’s a good many years since I’ve lived where there’s frost, but I still look at a winter sky and inhale the cold air and think of silent icicles quietly shining to the quiet moon. We found so much to discuss in the first stanza that that’s as far as we got for now—and the best is yet to come.

Today during our after-lunch block (that’s when I focus my attention on Huck and Rilla), we did cornmeal letters. Uppercase printing for Huck and lowercase cursive for Rilla. This was a new activity for Huck and he enjoyed it tremendously. (And ate a whole lot of dry cornmeal, gah.) He’s not yet shown much interest in writing or drawing—loves to paint big swirls and stripes of color, but crayons interest him not at all—but we have a Montessori Letter Shapes app that mimics this kind of tactile finger-tracing, and he used to play that quite a lot. When I put the plate of cornmeal in front of him today and showed him what we were going to do, he asked, politely puzzled, “But how do we reset it?” No reset button, you see. Oh my digital-era child.

He got the hang of the analog method pretty quick. 😉

G for Grin

G is for grin

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15 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Melanie Bettinelli says:

    Thanks for the mention of my Learning Notes linkup.

    Oh I think I need to try cornmeal letters with Ben (and anyone else who wants to join in). Or maybe rice really, since I have more of that on hand. I’ve been thinking about starting doing letters more deliberately. He does do the Montessori app sometimes, I think.

    Love the Coleridge! And laughing just a little at Bonafart.

  2. Penny says:

    Oh dear, how unfartunate.

  3. Ellie says:

    “How do we reset it?” Bless 🙂

    Answer: Gently shake the plate …

    Which then makes me think of how we used to get the TV to come in clear: shake it! (Or give it one good thump).

    Oh, humans and their technology … !

  4. Tabatha says:

    Love Penny’s comment! 🙂
    Fine-looking letters there! Corn meal is a great idea.
    Also, Rose made scones? I am hoping I can bring myself to make a batch, because I would dearly love to eat some…

  5. Maureen E says:

    The Bonaparte thing is wonderful and hilarious and made start giggling in the middle of the library.

  6. Sarah says:

    You know, you’ll need to link to that Singin’ Smart cd. I’ve checked iTunes and Amazon and can’t find it. Sounds like just the thing I need to help my kids learn. Also, you’ve sold me on the idea of memorizing the British monarchy. Do you have any helps to accomplishing that, too? 🙂

  7. tanita says:

    When I taught I was Slingerland certified – so we had handwriting lessons like that, only I glued sand to cardboard so that scratchy would stay… I had twenty six of those little boards. I wished we could “reset” them. Cornmeal would have been an AWESOME idea… but there are some things you can do with one kiddo at home and not twenty in a classroom… not without a lot of cornmeal flung about, flung at others, eaten, worn, or on the floor, anyway.

  8. selvi says:

    potty humor is so universally appealing, isn’t it?

    I like the historical hooks argument. Although maybe for us it will be the American Girls characters, though there might not really be enough of them. Perhaps together with one of the other similar series.

  9. Elizabeth H. says:

    Ooh! Am so happy to be reminded of the tracing thing. Used salt with my olders and now it’s my 6yo’s turn, I think he’d love it.

    There’s a lovely poem by Eleanor Farjeon (also on CD) which goes through all the kings and queens. Maybe I should use it myself 😉

    (Hereby obediently commenting on the post rather than FB even though it no longer comes naturally — probably because of the oh-so-onerous need to log in…!)

  10. Melissa Wiley says:

    Elizabeth, you have to log in to comment? I thought I had it set up to allow comments from anyone (requiring only an email address but not a login). I’ll double-check! Thanks for the heads-up.

    We love Eleanor Farjeon—I’ll look up that poem!

    Selvi, our very first historical pegs experience was waaaay back in 1999 when Jane was four years old and addicted to the Magic Tree House books. We made a giant timeline down our hall (same one we still roll out from time to time) and pasted copies of the book covers on pertinent historical periods. I laugh now to think how very energetic I was with such a youngun (four!! heavens!) but we had a wonderful year following that rabbit trail. And it’s a delight to look back at our timeline and see her wobbly handwriting above the book covers.

    Of course we stuck all the Little House girls on there too. 🙂 Charlotte Tucker makes an excellent memory hook because she was born in 1809, same as Lincoln, Poe, Darwin, Tennyson, Mendolssohn, Gogol, Gladstone, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Kit Carson, and Louis Braille! Quite a year, eh?

    Tanita, the thought of (Huck + cornmeal) * 26 makes me weak in the knees. 🙂

    Tabitha, I’ll post her two go-to scones recipes soon as I get a chance. One’s from The Redwall Cookbook and the other is a cream scones recipe from my friend Lisa, culinary genius.

    Sarah, I don’t know if Singin’ Smart is still around…we had it on cassette, that’s how far back it goes. I’ll take a look around and see if I can find it!

  11. Melissa Wiley says:

    OK, I checked my settings, and registration/login should not be required before commenting, only name/email. Is anyone else encountering what Elizabeth describes? Having to log in first? The box wasn’t checked so I can’t think why that’s happening!

  12. Meredith says:

    And here I was contemplating tossing out that bag of Masa I bought for one recipe and never used again…thanks for the tracing inspiration!

  13. Tabatha says:

    Lissa, I ending up making theses white chocolate cherry scones: (I used dried cherries instead of fresh ones). Maybe Rose would like to try it?