Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week feels like we accomplished a lot, for the first time in a while. We also had some interesting conversations with Eli.  It's so funny when he comes home from pre-K and says things like "I'm a little concerned that my teacher wasn't listening to me today. I really wanted to play with trucks and she would only let me play with dinosaurs today."  This is verbatim...and it's an excellent summary of why we don't depend on the preschool to meet his academic needs!

Eli's favorite activity from the week was making a batch of gluten free brownies....YUM!  We had him read the directions (with help), but he was very independent with the measuring and mixing. I definitely love having him in the kitchen, and he really enjoys it, too.

This week, we also saw a lot of this:

And a TON of this:

Eli is still really loving his SNAP kit. He's done about a fourth of the projects and has favorite ones that he likes to go back and repeat. This week, we learned some really cool stuff about how police car sirens are wired (even I was excited about that one!).  He's not only picking up new vocabulary from the set...he's learned a little bit about addition, too. Using the grid, coordinates, and snap-style wires has led to him generalizing a few addition facts (like 2+2 = 4 and 5+1 = 6).

In other news this week, we took Eli to try out a gymnastics class for young kids. Unfortunately, we apparently ended up in the wrong class, so we're going to try the correct class next week. Even still, Eli really participated, thoroughly enjoyed himself, and was happy with his decision to do gymnastics instead of trying t-ball or soccer. I hope he enjoys the correct class as much as he did the one he actually attended.  If he hadn't been more than a foot shorter than all of the other boys, he could have stayed in it!

This is also the week that we discovered the educational value of items like this:

Earlier this week, Eli was snacking on chips...and began reading the bag.  The hysterical part is that even though he can definitely sound out the words on the bag (and pronounce them correctly), he doesn't know what most of them mean. After reading the bag (and subsequently asking what the words "Lays" and "Classic" meant), he asked what the numbers at the bottom were (the weight of the chips in grams).

It's been really sweet, though, that Eli's reading is improving to the point where he is starting to try to read everything he sees. He knows enough phonics to figure out the majority of words he comes across, though he doesn't read with much speed. We are currently reading "Frog and Toad All Year" together and he is loving the free readers from StarFall.  This week, we watched the "vowel team" video that they have...and he's been pointing out vowel teams all week.  He also worked on the sight word "one," which means that he now knows the number words for 1-6, 9, and 10.  We've heard a lot more spontaneous spelling and sounding-out from him as well. In the car on Thursday, he amused himself by repeating the word "kid" several times, the broke down the sounds..."kuh....i....duh". He went from thinking about the sounds to saying "kid" is "k......i.....d". 

We introduced the concept of 1,000 this week as well. We are using wooden base-10 blocks to represent numbers, and did a couple of bigger addition problems (like 1,232+1,421 and 345+821) using the blocks for a model (this is similar to the Montessori sequence for mathematics). We also practiced demonstrating how there are 10 tens in a hundred and 10 hundreds in a thousand.  Eli definitely needed help with this, since he's just now learning to use the materials.  I am planning to create some number cards he can use to go along with the blocks...but it may be a while before I have the opportunity.

Eli has now gotten to the point with his computer skills that he was able to start using language software for Korean. Yay!  This is the one thing we do that he doesn't initiate....but I believe that it will be good for him in the long run. We did some work in his Korean workbook, too, and he's learning the Korean consonants (he does love the workbook). He is being exposed to some Spanish in pre-K and is soaking it up!

For "50 States Friday", we concentrated on Arizona.  Eli and Patrick used play sand to build their own version of the Grand Canyon in a tray. Patrick explained in very simple terms the Colorado River's role in creating the canyon, and Eli was enthralled. For our Japan study, we looked at bento-style lunches and Eli helped make one for his lunch on Tuesday. 

The weather was unseasonably warm again, so we also managed to fit in a tiny bit of this during the week:

I'll be happy when we have some longer, warmer days so that Eli can spend more time in the saddle.  He only got to ride for 15 minutes or so...but had a blast. He's quite confident, but he definitely needs practice!

Weekly Wrap-Up

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