I had hoped to get back to lessons on Monday (after a month-long break). While I was making breakfast, Gerrick started making rolling shades for his clubhouse (bottom bunk bed) from paper taped together and rolled on paper towel rolls. I gave him plenty of time to work on that after breakfast & chores. When I went to get him for lessons, he was snuggled up in said clubhouse with the cat reading a book. At this point, I never, ever pull him away from reading. He spent the whole day in there (except for coming out for food) and read the entire Illustrated Classics edition of The Swiss Family Robinson, one of the books he chose during our recent trip to McKay Used Books. He enjoyed the book throughout, but the ending ruined it for him. He wanted the whole family to remain on the island and live happily ever after. It was a five-star book all along until that did not happen, then he cut it down to 3.5 stars.
On Tuesday, I was again prepared to start lessons, but Gerrick read another book, The Iron Giant. (Basically, I plan lessons just in case he isn't too busy with something else. I was able to read aloud a bit while he built with LEGOs later in the day, though.) He gave this book 4.5 stars.
He's been playing Mario Kart on the Wii with Rick a lot in the evenings before dinner. This is the spread on the playroom table right now. They are very serious.
On Wednesday we finally got to do some lessons! In addition to lots of read-alouds, including finishing The Burgess Bird Book, we did some math review by playing Flip Ten and Odd/Even Slap It.
Later in the afternoon, all the stars aligned so that we could spend some time in the back yard (nice weather PLUS the construction jack hammer operators were absent)! We carried his LEGO drawers out, and he built while I read aloud.
On Thursday morning he looked through the JM Cremp's Adventure catalog, getting ideas for his Christmas wishlist. When he saw the wooden trebuchet kit he got really excited and decided to build his own right then. (He had recently watched this video, so he was very familiar with the trebuchet.) He started and quickly realized that tape just wasn't going to work for this project. As I was making breakfast, I suggested he try the glue gun (which he has always feared and never wanted to try). He agreed to try it and wanted me to help him (that very second). As I said, I was in the middle of making breakfast, so I told him I would help him later in the afternoon after lessons. The next thing I knew, he was handing me this folded up in an envelope:
So, yeah, who could resist that? I told him I'd help after we ate, and shortly thereafter I received this:
I showed him how to use the glue gun and he took it from there. Glue gun fears are all gone!
Shortly after this point, he got frustrated and decided to take a break. He ended up finishing it after lessons.
This video shows it in action. It was actually a poor shot compared to what it can do, but he didn't want me to make another video.
Later, he built all this to go with it...
Friday morning I set up an art provocation. As soon as he saw it, he jumped right on it.
|(crayons, an old painted canvas, pumpkin, glue gun)|
G: Oh, I'm going to draw with the crayons on the pumpkin and then I'm going to put glue over the crayon lines. Yesterday, I learned that the glue works like a magnifying glass.
Me: How did you learn that?
G: There was a joke on one of the popsicle sticks I used. The glue made the letters look bigger.
Me: That sounds neat. There's not much glue in the gun, though. Do you think there is enough here?
G: (Checks out the gun.) Hmm...not enough.
Me: What else could you do with just the materials on the counter?
G: (very long thoughtful pause)
Me: What if we peel the paper off the crayons. How could you use them in a different way?
G: (long thoughtful pause) Like glue sticks? I CAN MELT THE CRAYONS IN THE GLUE GUN?! THIS WILL BE AWESOME!
|He ignored the canvas and went straight for the pumpkin.|
|As warm wax splattered all over his chest, he learned next time he should probably put on a shirt and maybe some safety goggles.|
Here are some snapshots of this week's lessons:
|Answering Life of Fred math questions on the dry-erase board|
|Working on Teaching Textbooks Math|
Gerrick's doctor has suggested that he drink more water. (The child literally has been drinking nearly nothing his whole life!) This week I finally got serious about making it happen. I marked a glass bottle with a Sharpie and set a timer. When the timer goes off he has to take a water break and drink to the next line. This is working wonderfully! By the end of this week he is already up to 24 ounces a day (or one and a half of these glass kombucha bottles). I like the Sharpie because it wipes off the glass easily. Every day I adjust the lines when I fill the bottles so he's drinking a little more at each break. I keep a straw in the bottle he is currently drinking from because he will not drink without one and keeping it there makes it more convenient. I plan to work him up to three bottles (48 oz) per day. This is in addition to the few sips of water he drinks with his meals/snacks.
Have a great week!