Charlie has been pretty bad lately and I’ve spent a LOT of time focused on her. Again…I neglected poor Adrian’s blog. 😦 We do get a lot accomplished, I just never seem to find the energy to write about it. LOL
Adrian is super focused on perfecting his writing skills. He’s always writing something. He asks me how to spell stuff. He copies things from books. He traces things. He does pages in boring old workbooks. He’s gone from just randomly making letters (including completely random sizing and spacing), to letters that have meaning and fit in the lines! I’m a very proud mama!
This one is words he picked from Ghostbusters, one of his favorite movies/series of all time. It says “Slimer”, “Gray Lady”, “Trap”, and Protime Pack”. I tried to convince him it’s “Proton Pack” but he doesn’t believe me. So I humored him. There are a couple of extra letters thrown in because there was a little extra space and he insisted there needed to be something there. It was his idea to put dots between each letter to help with spacing. Now he does it just between each word.
We get a little bored with just addition and subtraction around here. I started teaching him a few things that may be a *bit* advanced for kindergarten work, but he’s doing pretty well with. First, 3D shapes! Cones, cubes, cylinders, pyramids, and spheres! We talked about what each shape looked like, then found examples of each one. For a sphere, he figured out his ball and globe by himself. Cube was pretty easy too. He found a box. I also showed him his rubix cube that he forgot we had. Cylinder…paper towel tube. Cone was harder. I couldn’t think of anything myself, so I rolled a piece of paper in the shape of a cone to show him what it looked like and he said, “Ohhhh! It’s like one of those tent things, you know…a teepee!” Then he grabbed it from me, flipped it upside down, spun around the room and said, “Look a tornado!” LOL For pyramids, I just grabbed an Ancient History book and showed him the page on the Ancient Egyptians. I’ll save that discussion for further in the blog post. 😉 Then he built pyramids from his magnets and stuck them all together:
We worked a little bit on fractions. He understands halves, but I think that’s as far as we’re going to get for a while. Or maybe the concept will “click” next week…who knows?
He can add small numbers by himself with a counting aid. He can subtract small numbers with a little help and a counting aid. He’s *thisclose* to being able to count to 20. He still skips 15 for some reason. Once he gets to 20 I’m sure the rest of the numbers will come more easily.
We’ve found a chapter book series that we can both get into and really enjoy. The Magic Treehouse books can be read easily in 2 sittings and are perfect for keeping a preschooler’s attention. They are about a brother and sister who find a magic treehouse that transports them in time and distance to see really cool things like dinosaurs and knights. Each book also conatins some interesting facts about the subject.
Adrian is coming right along with his own reading. He’s can now tell you what words start with and is getting better and better at sounding out short vowel words with help. I’ve given his dad and grandma a list of what we’re working on and I think that has helped. I noticed a huge difference after he’d been away for a few days and I checked with grandma and sure enough…they’d been working on them!
And now for the whole story on the Ancient Egyptians. It started out being a math lesson and turned into a history lesson. That’s one thing I love about just going with the flow. I don’t feel like I have to stick to one subject. And switching between subjects like this helps hold his interest longer. And he retains information better when he has other things to relate to it. He was still talking about the pyramids the next day. And the next week. He’s fascinate now with mummies and their burial rituals. And his nest book in the Magic Treehouse series is “Mummies in the Morning. How fitting. 🙂
So, Adrian is still really into maps and the United States. I’ve been focusing on that to create a whole social studies lesson plan. We’ve been learning about historical monuments, the flag, some of the presidents, and the national anthem. We’ve talked a little about the Native Americans and I plan on focusing more on that subject with Thanksgiving coming up. I’m a little nervous about explaining what REALLY happened to the Native Americans, but I’m sure it will work out. Kids always understand and can handle more than you think. I won’t go into great detail, but I won’t sugar coat it either. I was in middle school before I realized that the settlers and the indians weren’t all “buddy-buddy” like they made them out to be in my curriculum.
When I was Adrian’s age, I don’t think I could have told you very much about our country at all. Maybe the name of the state I lived in. I probably recognized the national anthem and the flag. That’s about it. So it THRILLS me to see Adrian identifying several states, recognizing and naming the president, identifying and drawing the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty, and knows the U.S. and Ohio flag. 😀 Not that my parents neglected my education. They were great, I can assure you. But I wasn’t interested in social studies much and more interested in reading. It just never occurred to me that an almost 5 year old would care about this stuff enough to retain the information. We were having lunch with a friend at Roster’s one day and he saw the president on TV and said, “Hey mom, is that Barack Obama?” I was so proud! I didn’t know who Reagan was until I was a teen, well past his presidency. LOL
Adrian and his map:
Believe it or not, the kid does these things on his own. I just walk into rooms and find him like this. I only encourage real “school” stuff about once or twice a week, and only if I feel like I have something to teach him that would actually interest him. I regularly find him with his nose in a book, or with a science kit out. We’re not doing full-on unschooling, but I do believe in the principle and I know it’s hard for other people to understand. Kids really DO want to learn and WILL do so just fine if you surround them with opportunities and give them encouragement.
We haven’t done a whole lot with science lately. Mostly we’re learning about animals and insects. He’s catching ladybugs and watching them. We still work with magnets a LOT. We did get a cool Solar System kit on the discount rack at the bookstore with stencils and stickers and other cool stuff. We talk about a lot of medical stuff as always. He understands more than you’d think about Charlie. He’s going to have a better understanding of the human body than most adults by the time he’s 5! I really need to get my butt in gear and organize some science projects for him! He loves that stuff and it’s the one thing he can’t really do on his own, or come up with on his own. Nope, that’s my job. And I’m going to get on it, I swear!
It seems like all Adrian does anymore is draw and color. He does still sometimes get into his craft bag and this is usually the result:
He loves puppets so I’m really glad he’s getting a bunch for Christmas!
He made another one that was…anatomically correct. and the boy part was as long as the legs. LOL And then Grandma got into the spirit and added nipples to hers. Well, I’m all for education right? LMAO
He’s coloring really well and staying in the lines. He prefers to color things the appropriate color. His drawings are usually recognizable and he’s started coloring those in as well.
Well he lost interest in Spanish, but that’s ok. I’m more concerned abot him (re)learning some Sign Language. I can’t seem to get him interested again though. He always really liked the Signing Time videos and I’ve tried getting those back from his dad, but it’s like pulling teeth! Maybe I can find them cheap on Craigslist or something. We do have one book that’s really geared towards kids and we work on some of the signs in it a little, but he’s not retaining the information. This was the kid that knew 350 signs by the time he was 2!
We’re still working to get Adrian to eat better. The issue is not that he’s picky. He’ll eat most healthy foods. It’s just that he doesn’t want to eat…period. He’ll go until 4 or 5 pm only having water and then just crash. It makes him grumpy and moody and just….not pleasant. I’ve been working on just teaching him that eating isn’t optional, it’s what our bodies NEED to grow and be healthy. He’s doing a little better. I was really worried about a month ago because he would only *drink* calories for days at a time!
We haven’t really mentioned anything to Adrian about H1N1. Personally, I believe the panic is mostly media-induced and it’s not really any more dangerous than any other bug out there. But we’ve been stressing hand-washing a bit more. He’s a clean kid anyway and has not fought us on hand-washing. But with a little encouragement, I think he’s even better at remembering than *I* am!
Getting exercise is not a problem for Adrian. He hardly ever stop moving! I put up a swing for Charlie, but Adrian claimed it as his own (she does still use it whenever she wants though 😉 ) and he spends a fair bit of time in that, pretending to be a trapeze artist in the circus, or just spinning around and around for an hour at a time. I think it’ll help a little with cabin fever this winter. An outdoor activity inside is just what every little kid needs don’t ya think? 🙂