Friday, May 22, 2009

The horses continue.

The past two weeks have been devoted to horses at our house. We have so many horse books to make it through. I guess we will see how many more my kids will take. So far they aren't complaining.

The Chapter book read alouds have been the White Stallion of Lippiza and Black Beauty. Both have gone over well and I can tell my kids are learning a lot.
We have also been through a number of books that teach about the colors and markings of horses as well has how to care for them.
We have also read a few picture books with a horse as the main character but aren't necessarily about horses.
Sophie has written a few reports for me about horses. She wrote one about Lippizaners, one about the care of horses, and one was a book report about The White Stallion of Lippiza. She has been dictating to me and then she copies her dictation. So far this is working better than her having to write and compose at the same time.

Along with horses we have also been keeping up with our math and phonics with Ian. He is reading pretty well but it still a very slow process. Explode the code is going well. We only do two pages a day. His writing is getting a little better but for some reason all his numbers end up backward. The letters are usually fine but numbers, when doing math, are almost always backward.

Sophie's math is coming along. We move through her Singapore 3A book pretty quickly. She is already doing some long division. This is a very new concept for her and she is struggling a bit with it (one day she had a major fit about it, and didn't end up finishing her exercises that day because she was in tears about it and started yelling and screaming at me about it.) but with time, a little patience on my part and review she will do fine. My husband sat down with her tonight and worked through the problems with her. He didn't do anything different than I was doing but maybe just a different person on a different day was all she needed.

Something random I did with the boys today was read some of Tana Hoban's books. For some odd reason I checked some of her books out of the Library yesterday. Her books are just pictures and I picked two that were of signs and symbols we see around us all the time.
Now my kids are pointing out all the signs along the road. I remember looking through these books with Sophie years ago and it really helped her reading. She could see the words all around her and now the boys are doing the same. It also helps to make more sense of the world around them. I didn't realize how many signs there are in our neighborhood until I have had them all pointed out to me.

I have been trying to make more of a point to read books to the boys, not just include them in the books I have chosen for Sophie. This has worked somewhat, but it means I do a lot of reading aloud each day and some days I nod off mid book and have to have one of the kids bump me back awake. But we certainly do read a lot and that doesn't even include the audio books we listen to as well. I love it that we can go days without watching movies now and nobody complains. I almost have to ask them if they would like to watch something and often I am told that they would rather play outside or with their toys.

I did show them the Disney movie Miracle of the White Stallions, which was a perfect wrap up of our study on Lipizzan horses. They had a great performance at the end of the film that really showed what the horses could do. And then after reading the book I showed themBlack Beauty which was alright. The kids got a little sad watching poor Black Beauty get mistreated and such. It is so much more graphic seeing it than just reading it I guess. They almost didn't want to finish the film.

I am going to try to fit in a few more horse books before we move on to something else. But I know next week isn't going to be a really easy week. Monday is a holiday and Tuesday morning Sophie gets her extender off and her braces on. This is supposed to be a long appointment so there goes the morning. I have a feeling we won't be doing much school that day. So we will have to see what happens starting on Wednesday next week. I am sure I can sneak in an audio book or something.

That about sums up our academics for the last little bit. We certainly have been busy even if it isn't all "school".

1 comment:

Bibliophile said...

I had to laugh when I read about you falling asleep while reading. I used to do that, too. I would get nudges and laughter when it happened, but I couldn't stay awake sometimes.

I wish we still had horses for the children to ride. There are horses up the street, but feeding them carrots is not the same as getting a good ride on a horse.