Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Daring Letter D Among Other Things

Although this week is devoted to the daring letter D, we have mostly been enjoying spooky stories, as selected by Aidyn. He's at an age where the safe spook of a story thrills him, and hearing the creepy narrations (voiced both by David and I), bubbles him up with excitement.

As it turns out, we moved away from letter units and focused more on a singular subject from that letter. For instance, I made a vague connection with D by selecting books about the dark. All of the books chosen pertain to darkness though not all repeat the word enough to cement the phonetic sound of D. It doesn't bother me; I prefer this kind of learning. Our letter units might stay, and they might not. I may select a specific subject (or ask Aidyn to) that begins with that letter, but drilling the phonetics is not the priority.

This week, I have also selected our kindergarten curriculum that we'll be starting in August (if Aidyn were born just 29 days early, he'd be in public kindergarten this August). After much research, reading, comparing and contrasting, we have settled on Five In a Row (FIAR). Focusing on literature, it also introduces geography, ethics, values, science, history, and such. At the core of it is the joy of reading and the kindling of the warm connection that reading together provides. Since I've selected the curriculum, I have been hunting for the supplemental books for steals. I found a handful yesterday for about 75 cents each! My goal is to find the rest of the books (or make sure the library has them) by August.

Yesterday evening, I also introduced Aidyn to a new math manipulative called a Geoboard. The concept is simple enough. One one side of the board are pegs in the shape of a square with several pegs on the inside; on the flip side, the pegs formed a circle with one peg in the center. The idea is to stretch rubber bands on the pegs. Aidyn soon learned that he can make a straight line with a rubber band. Then, he discovered that pulling the rubber band to a new peg created a triangle. Playing with the geoboard, Aidyn experimented with different shapes (some I didn't even know the names of!) and made "pizza slices" with the circle side. At this stage, my only motive is to familiarize him with geometric shapes and lay the foundation for mathematics. I hope that this hands-on approach will help him grow to like and understand mathematics.

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