Saturday, February 03, 2007

Miscellaneous Stuff

Sh... It's Saturday morning and ds has not asked to play x-box yet (they get to play Sat. and Sun. morning). He saw all the cars he'd left out yesterday and is playing with those instead. Don't tell him it's Saturday!

It's been an okay week. The 12yo had a fairly bad cold, but was still rather cooperative and got a bit of work done. The oldest has been so tired and just doing what she can with her school work--at times getting very frustrated, though, because she just can't think any more deeply and is getting easily confused. I'm tired--been fighting off that darn cold all week, not succumbing but not being totally well, either. And I would get suddenly hit with tiredness or a headache and everything for schooling would crumble after that.

We did watch a few episodes of You Are What You Eat. That's health class. ;) Actually, it's really good at showing what can happen, how important it is to get your fruits and veggies and I think in some way it shows what you can do if you commit yourself to something. Yesterday's show had a guy who lost 56 pounds, I think they say, in 8 weeks. THAT was the most dramatic weight loss we've seen to date. They usually lose up to 2 stones (roughly 28 pounds). He looked so much healthier. But his belly in the beginning looked so swollen, not just fat. So many of the people they have on the show have diets that are almost uniform in colour: basically some shade of brown for everything. Fries, fried chicken, hamburgers, pizza, pop, chocolate, tea, coffee, pastries, other baked goods (not healthy ones). The kids see all the colourful foods she offers the people and it really does make it look more appealing! I have noticed dd turning more towards fruit as a snack this week. hehe.

I finally made a decision about the Ray's math books: I purchased the first 4 books from and ordered an original algebra text (the 5th book--not yet re-published like the first four are) from the series off of ebay *for only $10.50US, including shipping!). Now, WHY would a Montessorian purchase this program, you might be asking? Well, there are reasons:

1) The kids don't see a lot of other kids working with materials for math and so aren't particularly inspired to just go off an use them. And I'm horrible for presenting stuff or even knowing what I'd what to present to them.

2) Workbooks and worksheets only go so far in terms of guidance. (And dd has hit a total frustration point with the workbook she had chosen and I find the setup too hard to work with to provide lessons.) And the kids ask for worksheets, but there's only so much out there that's readily available and I really don't have creating a bunch of worksheets or question cards as a priority at the moment.

3) The early books focus on oral mastery of operations with constant review questions--this fits with the 12yo's style soooooooo well and will really help him, I think, but will also be appealing to dd and ds. The actual style, from what I've seen, is mostly solving problems. "One bird is sitting on a tree and three more come. How many birds are in the tree?" "Bobby goes to the store and buys 3 items for a nickel each. How much has he spent?" (The kids love this kind of thing and see it as a game when it's done orally.) It really works the mental arithmetic, which people in the past could do quite well. It actually surprised me to see the content of the algebra books since some of it is now done with calculators, yet they would have done it all mentally back then. I might sometime break down and get the CD that has the geometry and other high school level books, just to see how it could all be done without a calculator!

4) This program has appeal to the kids because it was what they used "way back when".

5) Since I don't really plan on using it very strictly, it's another inspirational item to be part of our environment. I really could see dd in particular just sitting down with one of the books and going through various pages, doing it on her own (yet another Montessori element--independent learning!).

(Oh, ds just asked for x-box. lol.)

Anyhow, I now eagerly await the books' arrival!

No comments: