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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Short days

From now on we will be on our summer schedule. I will rotate the following subject throughout the week: read 30 minutes independently, math basics, spelling strategies, basic grammar, and keyboarding. Total it will take 1 ½ hours a day depending on how quickly he gets his work done. These are subjects that either need improvement or a refresher course in the basics to make sure he has the concept down. Basic subtraction, multiplication, and division along with grammar were deficiencies during the assessment.

Our devotion this morning was about Captain James Lawrence when he exclaimed, “Don’t give up the ship!” During the War of 1812, he was mortally wounded but shouted to his men, “Don’t give up the ship!” Then it transitioned into giving up when the going gets tough. When it seems the odds are against us and were suffering instead of persevering. Paul wrote, “…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance” Endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. So when the going gets tough…“Don’t give up the ship!”

We only read one chapter in the book of Exodus. Chapter was the song the Israelites sang after their rescue from the Red Sea. It only took them three days to start complaining again when a sufficient water source could not be located.

For math we took ½ hour to review the basic concept of multiplication. I used small bowls and pennies to represent 2 x 4 = 8. Then, we filled in the multiplication chart with all the numbers he knew without hesitation. We filled in the: 0s, 1s, 2s, 3s, 5s, 10s, and 11s. All the while he was busy telling me the rules for each one. He would say, “One times anything is still one” or “Ten times anything, just add a zero.” But for more difficult numbers we don’t have rules. I showed him a nines pattern and what do you know he also showed me a nines pattern. My pattern is: the left column goes up one number (1,2,3) and the right side counts back a number (8,7,6). He said, “18, 81, 27, 72, 36, 63, 45, 54. They mirror one another.” We’ll work on the 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s, and 12s another day. (I’m in no rush.)

It’s apparent when JD sounds out words that he does not hear phonics sounds like I do. That made this next task was hard to teach, but thanks to a couple of hippies from the internet I was able to get through to JD. He thought it was slightly embarrassing to motion the sounds, but he suffered through and it worked. The lesson was long and short vowels. The long vowels say what they are: A, E, I, O, and U. But those tricky short vowels say something completely different.
A says “aah” like a baby crying (whaa) (I had him cry like a baby.)
E says “eh” like an old man asking a question. (I had him cup his ear and say it rather loud.)
I says “ih” as if you sat in peanut butter. (I had him look behind himself and say it.)
O says “ah” the like when you drink cold water on a hot day. (I had him lift his glass and drink.)
U says “uh” like lifting a heavy table. (I had him lift the corner of the table.)
Then, I had him do two small worksheets to sort out the long and short vowels into two columns. The last part of the lesson I introduced two simple spelling rules. One was “Q” and “U” are best friends. They hang out ALL the time. Wherever you find Q you will also find U. The next rule was the letter “X” and “S.” I told him, “Unlike Q and U, X and S are mortal enemies. You will never see S follow X anywhere at the end of a word. They sometimes get close to one another, but they always have a mediator. That mediator is the letter E.” He will have only eight spelling words related to these two spelling rules. (I absolutely dread teaching I before E except after C because there are so many exceptions.) This lesson was also only ½ hour long.

The last thing we did for the day was his solar system models. We looked up Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn and made replicas. Once we have them all finished he will paste them to black paper to hang in the classroom. This only took about 15 minutes.

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