Saturday, October 15, 2011
We've been back in NC for some time now, but things got off to a shaky start what with Chris leaving for training again and with my surgery. So that explain the yet another long break between the posts.
Things are almost back to normal now:
I pretty much cut down on all the detailed planning for our homeschool that I did for the first couple of months. It's mostly because apart from math and reading, nothing else tended to happen as planned. M sets up his own pace here. I figure, since he follows along with math and reading, I can reciprocate by following his lead in all the other subjects.
At this point our daily school work looks something like this:
Math - first, we do 2-3 works sheets of logic and reasoning problems. He's working through a problems marked for ages 5-6 now although it's definitely not effortless. Since many of these problems require connecting the dots, drawing circles, coloring and otherwise putting a pencil to paper, he gets to work on his fine motor skills.
Reading - I'm grateful for a Russian cartoon called Smeshariki. M loves it (ok, I do too 'cause it's so funny). More importantly, he is a lot more willing to read now. The key is to have a reading primer book that's built around the cartoon. Thankfully I do have this book (having borrowed it from my cousin). So every day we practice reading two-letter combinations and then move onto longer words. M is a bit more fluent now, blends much better and is not particularly scared of long words. At least he was fine reading "воронка" and "мухомор" and a few other longish words. We are even trying some very short and simple sentences now.
More Reading - generally we end up our school with a reading session where I read chapter books. It can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on M's mood. He always loves this part of our school. The coolest part for me is that now he recognizes small-print letters in the books and points them out to me. He can even read some of the book titles, especially if they are short and the typeface is simple.
Everything else - this includes building with Legos (he actually prefers little blocks now and is not very interested in Duplos at all). Or it can be tinkering with his rather large collection of spare parts and junk. Or it can be playing with an even more sizable collection of rockets and robots. Starting this week, it's all about making decorations for Halloween.
Thankfully, Chris took quite a few pictures plus M told me all about the gigantic Lego StarWars sculptures. I think it was seeing these sculptures that made him re-consider Legos as a building medium. Before the festival he wasn't too keen on Legos. But afterwards, if he gets a new idea for building something (like every 5 minutes), he says that he can do it out of Legos. Because, as M put it, "you can build everything with Legos".
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Squishy Circuits. And she was there her own self! A while ago we made a couple of circuits and played with them. We built a couple of circuits using just some LEDs and a motor. So while at AnnMarie's display we concentrated mostly on the motor and the buzzers. This was one of the busiest displays too. One of the things that I really liked was that the Squishy Circuits seemed to attract just as many girls as boys. Also, kids were very active and unafraid to try things. After all, most of them already had plenty of experience with playdough so this probably didn't seem like a whole new thing to them.
Thinker Linkers at the Faire. M already played them at our local Maker Faire where he spent quite a long time building some very large and complicated structure. This time he was more interested in finding more robots. Still, he stopped by Thinker Linkers area and worked with Chris on assembling "a house for a robot". I really hope Marbles, our local kids museum, will add a huge mega set of Thinker Linkers to its collection of building toys! And if not Marbles, then maybe Durham's Life and Science Museum then even though it's a drive for us.
LED throwie and this recyclables weaving craft. Guess which one took more time, more components and was more complicated?
New York Hall of Science and the ticket to a Faire included admission to NYHS. Let me just say, if you are looking for something kid-friendly and amazing to do in NYC, put this destination at the top of your must-do list. Just make sure to leave plenty of time to explore the place.
I am hopelessly late with this post, so it's going to be pretty much pictures only.
So this one is of M on a deck a couple of days before Hurricane Irene went through the area.
Then there was also plenty of baking with Grandma (she's trying all those no-gluten recipes). M actually created his own recipe for a crispy cracker-like bread and mixed dough. Then we baked it and, surprisingly it was very good!
We did spend a few days post-hurricane without electricity, which at my parents' house also means without water. And M did get sick. But all's well that ends well. So we celebrated with a little get-together.
Also, grilled with Grandma
And it was a huge win for all of us (Grandpa, M and myself) since we all enjoyed it. First, we looked at all the airplanes on the flight deck