Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tired, Tired

I've had a hard time keeping my eyeballs open these past couple of nights. It's off to bed with me very soon.

It's been a pretty busy week. DH was in Ashland for Grandpa Neil's funeral. All is well as one could hope, so that is good. Monday morning we got a lovely visit from Doda S, and even though it had been a while since we'd seen her it felt like it was just a day. We got some learning done before her visit, and some after lunch. This afternoon we picked plums with the H family. Very fun! Tomorrow, we're all going swimming at a friend's pool and Amirah has Read to the Dogs in the evening, and Thursday and Friday is the rush to prepare for Rosh Hashanah. Can you say nap? :)

Today we got into our regular schedule and all our learning went really well... Learning words like officer, face, people, city, heart. This kind of memorization comes really naturally to Amirah so she finds this very easy. We've added many more prefixes too, so she's starting to really get some good phrases down (i.e. like the sun, when the officer, in the city, and that the heart, etc.). Hebrew reading/phonics is moving along too. Not too much longer and we'll have finished the book that we're using and be going on to the next one. She's learning more letters in script - dalet and pei/fei today. She would gladly do script all day long if we could! We've also been talking a lot about Rosh Hashanah, making our own machzorim (holiday prayer books), singing holiday songs, davening, conducting our shofar orchestra, learning the laws of the holiday.

In chol we did our spelling (her list is: six, box, top, book, mix, and pop). We did little crossword puzzles, rhyming games, etc. In grammar we're learning the names of all the months and how many days they have (using the Mother Goose rhyme to help us!). We should be memorizing our Hebrew months too, and good timing with a new year beginning (even if the new year technically begins with the 7th month...). In composition we've been reading excerpts from various stories and answering comprehension questions about them, then copying a sentence or two from the excerpt. Part of getting the mechanics and sounds of good writing into her bones so she really just knows what good writing should sound like. She also has to do all of her answers in complete sentences. This took some nudging at first, but now it's a habit. After the two-week break we took, her printing looked slightly more askew. It was interesting to note the difference. I'm sure after a couple more days it will be back up to usual! :) For reading, we just finished reviewing the silent "e" at the ends of words that causes the vowels before it to be long. She's got that down pretty well.

Math has been really interesting. We've been doing addition and subtraction with numbers up to 20. Singapore Math really gives the students the tools to be able to perform mental math quickly and accurately. For example... for a problem like 18 - 7 = __, you first "make" the number 18 with tens and ones (we've been using teddy bear counters), so a group of 10 and a group of 8. You subtract the 7 from the group of 10, leaving 3. You add that to the other 1s that are still remaining to get an answer of 11. You'd think it would be more logical to subtract the ones from each other (i.e. 8 - 7), but then you realize that doesn't work with problems like 12 - 7. She is getting the calculations done pretty fast in her head and her math facts are pretty well memorized between 1 and 10 (i.e. 2 + 8 = 10, etc., etc.). I really love Singapore Math. I think it really lays an excellent foundation for being very flexible and adept with calculations. It's a very satisfying approach.

In history we just read about Thutmose I (who conquered land from Nubia (Ethiopia) all the way up to Canaan and over to the Babylonian border), his daughter the female pharaoh Hatshepsut, Amenhotep (who abolished polytheism and sought to establish monotheism in Egypt!) and King Tutankhamen (who subsequently abolished monotheism). It was all very interesting. I had no idea that there was a pharaoh who shut down all the temples and declared monotheism the law of the land. And this not long before the Jews arrive in Egypt. So interesting!!

Time to nod off. Past time, actually. I've got to get this go to bed thing down a little better. :)

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