Tag Archives: SPD

Foggy Bottoms

Nothing to do with Foggy Bottoms actually, but that said, it is very foggy outside today!

Been a little while – quite deliberately – because the stomach flu has continued to ravage our house and learning of a quasi-formal kind has been a hit and miss affair.  Still, we plough on and hope for the best!

We’ve been delving into the literature suggestions from Oak Meadow Grade 3 curriculum; first stop, Pippi Longstocking, our only hesitation being that she may be seen as someone to emulate but that has not been the case, Mr. D. thinks she is extremely silly (even if he would love to play with her).  Currently, Mr. D. is playing with friends a few doors away.  He doesn’t always get along with them (two sisters) even though he is proud to boast they are his friends, but this last 60 minutes has been quiet so I am assuming that all is going well.  It is a Pro-D day (teacher meeting day) here in the district so no school (what did they do when I was a kid, I wonder?).  Miss E. is at her After-School carers for the day – something she loves – and it gives the children separate time, which is so necessary.

Lucky for us, Planet Kids has a huge sale underway and we visited on Saturday morning in pursuit of a birthday present for another child.  Whilst there, we scanned the teacher’s resource consignment section and came away with amazing bargains, including a small study on Pippi Longstocking.  So far this morning, so good.  Mr. D. made a “book cover” drawing of Pippi, complete with fry pan and tossed pancake; we’ve delved into what questions we would ask her if we were new in her neighbourhood; the question of realistic vs. fantasy books and the difference between a lie and an exaggeration.  This afternoon we are making a DAS air-dry clay model, which will then be painted, of Pippi.  Mr. D. has asked if we can make Pippi clothes and we’ve decided we will have a small exercise in sewing.  Yet to decide on hair but probably some bright wool that can be braided and then gummed to stick out!  I’ll also download Jamie Oliver’s show “Jamie does…. Stockholm” so that we can see a little Sweden and learn about Scandinavian foods – different to the ones we eat in this partially Danish household.

To have a break from all things Pippi (do you say Pip-E or PeePee, like my husband?), Dad took Mr. D. to the beach at the end of the road.  During previous visits, Mr. D. has been excited about what he calls his Pirate Fort – today I charged them with the mission of building more of it and taking some photos; they only stopped because they ran out of driftwood today.

Now if only the fog would clear – it is actually a sunny day behind all that fog.

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Surprising Thursday

With the schedule (ha) in place for this year, Thursday can drag.  Nothing “planned” until late afternoon, when Mr. D. goes to Ninja class.  Yes, Ninja.  Martial arts (Ninjitsu) crossed with lots of acrobatics and gymnastics.  Small classes so far – which suits us even if it doesn’t help the family teaching the classes – and lots and lots of energy required.  Marvellous stuff.  Mr. D. loves it, too, which helps.

Today that changed.  Thanks to another wonderful homeschooling Mother in the Comox Valley, a newish shop in Courtenay is holding beading classes for home schooled kids; such was the demand, there are now four different groups going.  Class will only be once per month but that is just fine.  It is cheap.  They make something.  They make something pretty (Mr. D. likes his pretty).  The shop is called “Shipwrecked” and there is a pretty strong pirate/skull theme happening inside.  Woot!  Mr. D. was right at home.  Made a beautiful string of beads today, with charms, on brass wire and with brass clasps.  Teacher explained about brass and its connection to sailing vessels and this made our lad super-happy.  Mr. D. has always had outstanding fine motor coordination (even when he struggles with writing) and he loves the fiddliness of projects like this.  At the end of class, Mr. D. of course wanted to buy everything in the shop; he is our proto-consumerist (where did we go wrong?).  He ‘made do’ with a new winter hat – made in Nepal and in Nepalese style but with a skull pattern on the front!

This morning was different, too.  Hubby took some time out from work and he and Mr. D. sat together at the dining table to take apart my old computer tower.  They only got so far today – no small components undone as yet – but it was a good start.  Our natural born tinkerer was in heaven.

To fill in a small amount of time, we turned to a book provided by NIDES called Cornerstone.  We read a poem, and a story, then Mr. D. had to crack a code to read a letter.  I got him to crack the code, transcribe the words, then read.  He loved it – codes and our boy go together like peaches and cream.

Just to make our day complete, we found that the photography competition has had its deadline extended; this means that Mummy won’t have to stay up late tonight uploading and selecting photographs, when I would rather have Mr. D. handle the technicalities and make the decisions.  Yay!

Tomorrow holds Museum Science and then tutoring at NIDES, which coincides with Literacy Day.  NIDES will have guest speakers talking about careers in literacy, such as songwriting and storytelling.  Mr. D. will enjoy that sooooooo much and is really excited to be going.  That should be a good start to our weekend.

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Flu Flown

It finally feels as if the stomach flu is leaving our building.  Finally.  We’ve been slack on the home school front during this time.  Lots of movies (War of the Worlds followed the next day by E.T. the Extraterrestrial), more “Merlin”, a haircut, a few play dates, some sentence writing, some Life of Fred, and lots and lots of reading.  This is improving really fast and in no small part due to NIDES and his marvellous EA there who tutors Mr. D. twice per week.  Ploughing through RAZ online reading – started the school year in level AA (still) and now is finishing off C.  Yay!

Science at the Museum has been concentrating on the Solar system and we’ve done some background work on Pluto and dwarf planets.  Lots of posters made.

Greek mythology is being revisited – and the Mensa for Kids mythology unit.  Contemplating Duke University TIP courses online for Mr. D. – there are a couple I think he would like and be capable of, especially those dealing with mythology and with King Arthur.  It would stretch his writing – which is still slow – but we would do this in another medium, perhaps.

Off now to upload some photographs Mr. D. has taken with his camera; NIDES is having its annual photography competition, which is great fun, and this will be his first time entering.  Not sure of the quality of the photographs – I wasn’t around when he took them – but he did take some wonderful photographs with his father’s camera the other day.  An improved camera may have to be on the cards for this year.

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Slime and stuff and fun

Yet more photos – the kids both making slimy and snotty concoctions!  All in the name of science, of course.

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Guitar

These are “stills” of Mr. D. practising the guitar.  As it takes a long time to move video to YouTube then to here, I am saving that for later in the week.  Not always melodic, but always inventive.

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So let us start with dissection!

Oh my goodness – have I got a lot to post; not even going to do it in chronological order because I can’t be sure I would get it right.

So – we’ll start with a recent dissection lesson.  Daddy and Mr. D. tackled a chicken leg & back, peeling the skin, removing and pining down the skin, identifying the parts, separating bones and then cutting meat off bones.  A lot of fun was had even though the chicken was still a little cold to the touch.  Fun?  Yup.  That’s one of the things that passes for good times around here.

Unlike the last few days for Mr. D.  You see, his little sister turned 5 yesterday.  The big party was Saturday and then family dinner and gifts last night.  You know how most kids are not angelic and dislike other kids getting gifts when they don’t?  You don’t?  Your kids aren’t like that?  Take that bad attitude and pump it up on ‘ROIDS because we are talking serious meltdowns because we only gave him two gifts for his sister’s birthday.  It isn’t as bad as it sounds – he isn’t a bad kid and frankly was not completely in control of his own reactions – we know it is a stressor for him, we’re just not sure what to do about it.  Anyway, we have survived and now only have Christmas to get through until the birthday blitz starts again in March.  Phew.

The photos:

Our Glossary of words learnt, or re-learnt, during this process included:  muscle, skin, membrane, fat, blood, veins, nerve, bone, tendon, joint, kidney, spine, and hip.

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How did that happen?

Where is all my time going?  Seriously, that’s not rhetorical – where is my time going?

Well, some of it has been spent on these activities:

Remembering how to count by 2’s and by 5’s.  Repeating how to count out loud by 10’s.  It is this rote work that is the killer for my lad.  Using manipulatives has made it more concrete to him and more like a play activity.

A lot of time has been spent ferrying lad between guitar lessons, gymnastics, extra tutoring provided by NIDES, science classes at Courtenay Museum and Paleontology Centre (lots of Octopus so far), and all sorts of fun things like visits to the Pumpkin Patch!

Guitar lessons are progressing slowly.  When we measure progression we aren’t talking about his ability to play, rather, we combine a few things like paying attention, retention of material heard even if he is moving around furiously while listening, respect to his teacher, and other ephemera not normally the focus of music classes.  After three lessons, he is progressing.  Yay, team!

We’ve spent some time on Dolche words and words in connection with our major interest at present (Pirates, don’t ya know!) and unit studies from ABC Teach and EdHelper and other online resources.  Thankfully, NIDES has a huge choice of subscriptions for us ‘facilitators’ to take advantage of.

In math, we’ve started our Life of Fred “Apples” unit and Mr. D. continues his new-found love affair with math.  We’ve also done some flash card math and made a tiny start on Mathletics for the year.

Our main science focus, aside from the classes at the museum, is a curriculum provided by what used to be Los Banos and it is an elementary, multi-level course on the human body.  We are very, very, close to finishing the section on cells; Mr. D. is in a rush to get to germs and organ dissection, so I’ve deliberately slowed this down so other things can get done.   Another source of great ideas is “Sandwich Bag Science” by Scholastic.  We’ve done desalinisation and attempted replicating a human stomach, but this latter had to be abandoned after the muscular action on the sandwich bag turned into direct squishing of the contents!  We will replicate this experiment in a week or two!

Here are our photos of the ‘action’.

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