Monday, May 12, 2014

Recent School Adventures with Gabe and Ezra

For our Literature based Unit Study (FIAR) this month, we have turned to a couple of Virginia Lee Burton books--Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel and Maybelle the Cable Car. The boys of course think these are super fun books. Anything with machinery and vehicles hit the spot with them. We cheered on Mike Mulligan and Mary Ann as they beat the odds to complete the task of digging the cellar. We talked about the character qualities of working hard, faithfulness, good stewardship, and encouraging one another. We talked about the progression of technology from steam shovels to electric and diesel powered machinery. We did a science experiment on the states of matter. We then learned about San Francisco, its geography, and the famous cable cars. This story is based on the attempt to preserve their place in the life of San Francisco. Again, we talked about the progression of technology and times. We also discussed some of the topics of city politics that were brought up in the book. (Interestingly election day fell this week--pretty cool timing that I didn't plan). We showed the kids how the cable cars functioned and did a demonstration about friction. We discussed cheerfulness which is something that Maybelle demonstrates well. She also is gracious to forgive Bill the bus who was jealous of her and a bit mean until the end of the story. Gabe wrote a selection from each of the stories. We did story problems based off of Mike Mulligan and we learned about tally marks with Maybelle.

Gabe started a new math curriculum that he loves. It is like Olivia's (just an earlier volume). It is called Math Lessons for a Living Education. Each week there is a story to read and then there are short exercises for each day that week. He is mostly writing numbers and associating objects with numbers. He continues to work through Rod and Staff preschool books. He is trying much harder and making gains with his reading skills.

Ezra asked for his own workbooks so we got some of the early Kumon books for him to work on. He is doing coloring and tracing right now. He gets up early and does them first thing in the morning. Well, after he sneaks outside bare foot to do who knows what... Every morning we hear him go outside and when asked, he says he was just going outside for a bit. :)

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