Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lest You Think About Calling CPS on Pepper...

She and Banana Boy are examining our presidents poster. She's quizzing him on presidents. He found George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as any good American child should.

Next, she's giving him clues. "Find James Buck an an. He has fives by his name. Warmer....Colder.....Warmer... Warmer!!!! YETH!"

"Find Calvin Coolidge. It starts with a C. Two C's."

Banana Boy wants to see that Marak Obama's picture, but then he reasons to himself, "I guess he's not on there yet because he didn't get there yet and they (all the other presidents) were there for lots of times."

Then they are talking about Theodore Roosevelt. BB asks why there are mountains in the background of his picture and Pepper explains,

"He loved animals and he made lots of parks because people were shooting the animals and then they had a place to live."

*I* didn't teach her that! We haven't even gotten to TR yet. She picks all that up from reading books.

Also this week, in Pepper's world:

She colored her December calendar (and filed all the rest of them in her binder), filled out the dates and announced there were STILL 35 days until Christmas! All with no help from me.

She quizzed BB on sight words. We have a bunch of them hanging on the kitchen cabinet.

She opened the Penguin set and had an Antarctic penguin party.

She worked on discovering whether sums and products of numbers were odd or even. This is in her Miquon Blue book. So for example, she works
2+2, 4+6, 12+30 and so on, a whole column of them and determines whether the sum is odd or even. Eventually, it asks her to decide whether ANY even + even combination will always be even (yes, it will) and then she has to make up 3 or 4 of her own problems following the pattern. She followed this same pattern for odd + even, even + odd and odd + odd, then odd x odd, odd x even, even x odd and even x even. Because of my head cold, it makes even ME dizzy thinking about it.

She and I also played Bananagrams together, making just one puzzle instead of each our own.

If you have grade schoolers and you have not yet purchased this game, PUT IT ON YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST! We LOVE this game.
It's fast to play and anyone can join in. You turn all the tiles face down in the middle of the table and each person picks 21 tiles (for 2-5 players, fewer if there are more players). Someone says "split" and everyone turns over all their tiles in front of them. You each begin building your own Scrabble/Crossword style puzzle using just your tiles. If you get stuck with a bad tile, you can "dump" and exchange it for 3 new ones. Whenever anyone has used all their tiles, they say "peel" and everyone picks one new tile. The first one to use up all their tiles after the middle tiles have been used up says, "bananas" and wins.

Banana Boy gets his own set of 21 tiles and makes 3 letter words, but he's not required to connect them together. It's great for his beginning reading and spelling. Pepper and Daisy are pretty evenly matched, since Pepper is a natural speller and Daisy is not. I am fast at using my tiles, but rather than using my last tile and calling "peel" right away, I stop and help out whomever looks stuck. I spend as much time helping the kids as I do making my own puzzle, but we don't play competitively anyway.

The girls got out their Hands & Hearts Early American kit this week and made pomanders. The skewer, the cloves and the string and ribbon were all included. We just had to supply the apples.

We also discussed the importance of correct spelling and how changing the spelling of a word changes the vowel sound from long to short or vice versa. We explored the difference between exploding the CODE and exploding a COD, being sure you are eating a SNACK and not a SNAKE, and SCRAPPING, not SCRAPING your photographs.

She also colored a picture of Lewis and Clark and read about 4 million books about Sacagawea.

So there you have it. A week in Pepper's unschooling world.

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