Tuesday, December 11, 2007

home school happenings

My oldest son likes math, but not only does he like math, he does it for fun. Today instead of his regular math lesson (which have been too easy lately) I taught him an impromptu lesson on long division. He doesn't even know all his times tables yet, but the subject came up and so I seized the opportunity. I remember being a bit mystified when I first learned long division in third grade, and that was probably because I had absolutely no interest in it whatsoever when it was taught to me. This is another great benefit (and draw back) to home schooling. I get to strike while the iron is hot, but that also means getting "behind" in our lessons... ironic since I'm actually teaching ahead of them. Anyway, K, spent at least an hour writing up very long addition problems with multiple digits adding them and then multiplying the sums by 2 or 4 or 7, for fun! The problems he was inventing were too big to punch into the calculator to check his work, so I also got to do lots of math for "fun." Yay.

Today we also started an impromptu art project of creating self-portrait collages. I traced the children on large paper and they started clipping out magazine pictures and pasting them on as well as adding some of their own drawings. The boys' images are looking very much like robots. After "lights out" tonight, they were discussing how they wanted to finish them and even make more. K suggested making one for each season, and also one with all plants "like a jungle." D doesn't usually like doing "crafts" but once he saw what K was making, he wanted to make his own. The results are similar but different enough... I'll post the finished products when they are complete.

Yesterday we went to Holly Hills Nursing Home in Towson to sing to the residents and give them some of the children's art work. This was arranged by another mom in our home school group and she did a great job organizing it all and presenting our group to the residents. Many seemed unresponsive but the few who could speak expressed their delight in seeing the children and hearing our singing. I had taught an art workshop last month with the primary purpose to produce a gift item for the children to give to the nursing home residents. We printed designs inspired by Baltimore Album quilts on little tote bags. The products turned out well.... better than the lesson did, in my mind, although I did get a lot of positive feedback from our group. (It's been a long time since I taught an art lesson to a group of 20 kids!)