Monday, October 27, 2008

Math Moments with Banana Boy

Banana Boy is a thinker. He is a math head. He takes after his mom and dad, as do the rest of his siblings. (well, the jury is still out on Sunshine. He counts "1...2...2...1...5")

Yesterday BB says to me, out of the blue, "Mom, do you know what 5 pears and 5 pears are?" He's always giving me little problems to solve, usually involving thirty-twenty hundred, five hundred, seventy-eight, ninety-seven, 40 hundred." (that's all one number, BTW)

So I think to myself, well, 5 pears plus 5 pears is going to be, "10 pears!" I say, triumphantly.

"No, Mom, it's TWENTY!" Because of course, my 5 year old means PAIRS!!!


Friday, October 10, 2008


The past few weeks have actually been productive, if not exciting.  We've been busily plowing through math, Explode the Code, R&S Grammar and AWANA.  Spelling has completely fallen by the wayside as Daisy conveniently "forgets" to do it.  Today we did two days' worth and she thought she was going to die!  Many tears.


We finished Eli Whitney yesterday.   I actually dislike this book.  It has a happy ending, and I guess the theme by which Eli Whitney lives his life--to keep on keeping on--is fulfilled in the end.  But, golly, he had a hard road of it!  I kept wanting to quit reading the book, his life is so depressing!  It also throws in A LOT of "what else is going on in the world right now" information."  It might be a better book to read AFTER we've covered more of that info, sort of as a wrap up.


Anyway, we finished it. 


We also finally finished Mrs. Frisby!  The girls LOVED this book as much as I did when I was young and begged every day to read more.


For our next "fun" book, as they call it, I think we'll read The Ordinary Princess.  I never read this story until I read it aloud to Rose Bud when she was this age and she and I both loved it.  I think they'll enjoy this one as well.


We've also begun Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, another "keep on keeping on" story, also by Jean Lee Latham.  This is a much better story, though.  Very exciting.


Pepper has begun carrying in addition and, after the initial resistance to learning something new, has discovered she is good at it and has caught on to it quickly.  She was dismayed to look ahead in her book and discover about 12 pages of practice of this skill before she moves into what looks to her to be more of the same.  This would be borrowing in subtraction! 


WHY do I have to do all THIS!  It doesn't look fun! 

Well, I told her, this would be the major work of a second grader:  learning to borrow and carry. 

sigh of resignation.

Daisy, at least, is enjoying learning to round off in math.


And in science, we've finally finished our savanna unit and have begun to learn about the rainforest.


One last great resource we used for the savanna:  Wildebeest: The Great African Migration  or, as we like to call it in our house, 48 Ways to Kill a Wildebeest.  This was a GREAT movie, if your kids don't mind death and destruction.  My girls actually watched it at BEDTIME and loved it!  It told the story of the wildebeest of Africa and their great migration (in case you didn't get the gist of it from the title!).  Unfortunately for the wildebeest, they have a tough life. 


We saw baby wildebeest get separated from their mothers and die of dehydration, baby wildebeest (hereafter known as WB) get eaten by hyenas, baby WB cross a muddy river and bake to a hard muddy crust in the sun, baby WB born deformed and doomed.  We enjoyed watching adult WB trample each other, get eaten by lions, hyenas, giant crocodiles, vultures and wild dogs, break a leg and drown, fall and drown, get dragged under by crocodiles and drown.  The only thing we never saw was a WB get hit by lightning.  I think one even died of a heart attack over stress from the failing economy.


In any case, it was a well-done video (although I think all the WB were eaten raw) and if you don't have squeamish kids, it's worth a watch if you can find it.