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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A lesson on "chain reaction"

Someone is having a hard time waking up in the morning. (Hey did you hear me hit my snooze two times? Okay…I’m busted!) JD also seems to be having difficulty getting up. It’s rather lax around here for us so I don’t mind what JD wears to school but Jeff did comment yesterday on JD’s “school uniform.” You guessed it…underwear. (At least he’s in P.J. bottoms today, per my request.) All I ask is that he wake up, take his medicine, eat breakfast, and brush his teeth before we start our school day. Today I conducted an experiment. My thesis was “Will immediate obedience save time or waste time.” It’s been a chain reaction kind of day. Like dominoes falling, everything starting with waking up late.

Devotion was about a huge 3,106 carat diamond found in Africa. (Easy ladies!) Then it transitioned from this valuable diamond to something valuable in the bible. That is wise speech. Proverbs 20:15 says, “Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies.”

Because it took so long for JD to get out of bed and get ready, we only had time to do devotion. Unfortunately, he had 30 minutes of reading as homework.

During the regular 30 minutes of daily reading JD’s medicine is being absorbed and he’s more focused for lessons. But today his delay in getting out of bed affected math too. We had to go straight from devotion into math. I was worried when he took his Concerta late. This could have potentially affected his ability to concentrate and focus on math. It did not however. He successfully learned adding and subtracting decimals and estimating decimals to do mental addition and subtraction. Some lessons are more entertaining than others and JD brought this up to me today. One lesson is shorter but more like a lecture and the other one is longer but more entertaining. Because he was singing while doing his lessons I just pressed through both of them even though it took much longer to complete than planned.

A long math lesson affected the social studies lesson. I had to make it shorter than planned. I had him pick three states and the task was to gather facts about each one. I taught him the resources available for him to research and answer some questions I typed out. They were a map (capitals), an children’s atlas (nickname and flower), the Internet (abbreviation), and the state coins (date entered the union.) I tried to make it both fun and like visiting "stations" for him. He spent time doing other stuff so that turned into homework as well. (Bummer.)

We did three short letters today for snail mail. He was again preoccupied with something else during the writing time so you guessed it…homework. I took one of the letters and counted all the individual letters it contained. I said, "If you write one letter per second this task should take only 3 minutes and 38 seconds to write this out." This seemed to speed the process up a bit once he saw the math.

The language arts lesson was about finding facts or opinions in stories. He did well with this. I love that he’s finally talking his thoughts out loud. That helps me a bunch, but not sure if it will be helpful in a group testing setting. Oh well I won't have to worry about that because I can order a test and administer it at home.
With the day being messy enough as it was I threw in a wrench. We had our first official "Fire drill." (Crazy Cheryl, seriously?) I'm sitting here giggling as I type because of the look on Jonathan's face. I was at the sink doing dishes and JD was at the computer reading his lesson when all of a sudden I broke out with "FIRE DRILL...FIRE DRILL...FIRE DRILL!" By this time I'm passing him in my very loose bedroom slippers. (I'm amazed I didn't trip over my own slippers as I shuffled along or a dog or JD's bottom jaw. (Giggle) It took him a few seconds to realize (giggle...eyes watering now) that I wasn't joking (maybe the cool breeze that passed him and the dogs scrambling to their feet to find the attacker...giggle) or maybe JD was wondering if I'd FINALLY flipped my lid. (Giggle) Shoes loose...(still screaming "Fire Drill!) get down the front steps without wiping out...check for JD...get both dogs...(Still screaming) meet up at the end of the drive way. (We all four got out of the house in less than 1 minute...but I'm not sure my neighbors want to have a B-BBQ with the Hyder's anytime soon.) The only dilemma we had was what to do next? JD said, "We'll wait for the Fire Dept." I said, "Did you call them? Because I didn't." (Oops)

Today’s science was about experiments. (What a coincidence.) He learned the difference between conducting research and conducting experiments. There was a simple experiment dealing with coins and liquid solutions. We started it today and it will not end until 16 February. (Oh the agony of waiting…)

What was the answer to my experiment? Glad you wondered. Instant obedience is a certain time saver.

Hopefully it won’t take days of experiments to convince JD of this fact (not opinion.)

Here's a picture of my student doing his social studies homework in our classroom. I got that old cracked and peeling desk and chair from the church. I glued it, sanded it, and painted it two shades of blue. (Cute right?)

Ok now a game called "Where's Tater?" Right next to her boy of course.

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