Friday, February 27, 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up...Happy Seollal!

Wow...this week was really weird for us.  We were told that our area would have ice and snow, so all schools and government offices were closed. We got 0 inches of snow, but about an inch of rain!  Sigh.  It's the first time in a while that snow completely missed us all winter....and I know that my friends to the north would be happy to share a foot or two with us : ).  Oh, well. 

Anyway, because the weather wasn't as bad as we thought it would be, we DID make our second field trip!  We went to a celebration for Seollal, or Korean New Year and had a wonderful time - eventually. At first, Eli was having some difficulties with his attitude, but that disappeared when he realized that there was a ton of food to eat (including the traditional rice cake soup). We were taught about traditional songs (the Magpie) and traditional games. A short lesson on some Korean phrases was included, though our family was already familiar with phrases that the were taught. However, Eli enjoyed participating in that part and has been saying "안녕하세요" (annyonghaseyo, which means hello) and "감사합니다" ( kamsahamnida, which means thank you) a LOT this week. I think it was pretty exciting - and very valuable - for him to hear other kids speaking Korean, and not just adults. We were able to participate in sae bae, which is when children do a special bow for their parents, to show gratitude and to wish their parents well for the new year. In return, parents wish their children blessings and a happy new year and give them an envelope with a small amount money as a gift (Eli got $1).
Ready for some great Korean food!

This week in reading, Eli completed the Horizon's Fast Track A/B book.  Grandpa ordered it last year, when Eli first started showing an intense interest and readiness to learn to read. They've worked on it occasionally throughout the year, whenever Eli wanted to, and we are very proud of him for completing all of the lessons. Immediately after finishing the last story in Horizon's A/B, he picked up the next book (Horizons C/D) and completed the first lesson in it independently.  At home, we are still reading with Eli on a nightly basis, and this is working well. He gets to really practice his decoding skills in a format that he enjoys and - quite frankly - tends to remember better. He finished "One Fish, Two Fish" this week, and we've now begun "The Cat in the Hat."  I've begun to notice that multiple sentences per page seem to be less intimidating to him than they used to be, and he's getting better at staying focused. Though he definitely still prefers the one-sentence-per-page type books, I did see him put one back at the library because "it was too easy."  He's trying to read signs and t-shirts everywhere we go! His reading fluency has improved dramatically in the last few weeks, and it's been a lot of fun to witness.  His interest in books that he cannot yet manage is also still very high, and we are all enjoying the experience of reading to him - even if we have to read 3 or 4 books (or chapters, from longer books) each time. 

In math, we continued to follow Eli's interests. We've begun using Life of Fred again, and have introduced skip counting by 5s.  He hasn't gotten on the computer or iPad at all in a couple of days (which is how we often do math skills), though he did some online math problems earlier this week. One day, he got stuck on 8 + 4, and asked for help. Patrick and I both refused to give him the answer, and responded to him that if he wanted to play his math game, then he'd need to figure it out for himself. Please don't think us heartless...I'd actually shown him how to do it previously, and he'd forgotten.  I wasn't against teaching him again if he really needed it - but I am definitely a believer in allowing him to develop problem solving skills, and I knew this was WELL within his reach.  After he realized that neither Patrick nor I would just tell him the answer, he hemmed and hawed for a bit...then decided to work it out.  I was so proud of him for persevering through a problem he considered difficult - and even prouder when he continued to work on 4 or 5 more before getting tired and moving on to something else. He's generally very quick when adding 1 or 2 to a number, and has become really fast with sums of 10 or less. 

Science has been very low key this week. While we've not done any cool experiments lately (and I wanna!), we've been reading a lot about the planets and stars. Eli's also been doing a lot of Montessori puzzles on the parts of plants and animals, and we've been discussing vertebrates and invertebrates.  I love that there are so many amazing apps that recreate these beautiful Montessori puzzles!

In geography, we are studying Deleware for 50 States Friday!  Patrick and Eli are continuing to discuss landforms (island, peninsula, canyon, mountain), and we've begun singing "The Continent Song."

Eli also got to go see a movie with his grandparents and attend gymnastics this week. He absolutely  loved the movie (and popcorn, and ice cream, and - most of all - the time with his grandparents). He is still enjoying the gymnastics class, and it's amazing to see how much he's learned in just a few weeks of starting.  I still have a post planned to show what he's up to there...but time definitely got away from me this week!  I just realized exactly how short this post is on here's a flashback picture of Eli's first Seollal with us, three years ago.

Eli's first Seollal at home

Weekly Wrap-Up

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