9/18/07 keeping your place, bedtime routine, games
I don’t know if I mentioned it before or not. I have a good way to keep your place in the curriculum guidebooks. Use a large paper clip attached to the day’s lesson page. At the end of the lesson move it (if necessary) to the next page. Use a separate paperclip for each subject in the book. This keeps the pages neat for use with another child later. It saves time because you already have the page(s) marked and aren’t constantly flipping through to find your place at the start of the lesson or if you drop the book.
Richard was more cheerful in his lessons this morning. We haven’t done “mark the vowels” for 2 days now. It was getting monotonous. I don’t blame him for getting tired of it. Handwriting is still a struggle to get through but we manage. We finished Fun With Pets and started Tiptoes. He said reading from Tiptoes was fun.
The workbooks and parts of the readers are in both manuscript and cursive writing. I like that it exposes him to both rather than suddenly switching all to cursive like some curriculums do. Using cursive is optional in the Abeka first grade workbooks. Next year we will begin cursive. I want him to learn manuscript better first.
We are also firmly into a sleep/wake schedule. The kids go to bed between 9-930 and he gets up about 8-830. I think part of his school problems were from being tired as he was getting used to the schedule. Over the summer we were a bit relaxed about schedules but now that we are doing school, it is important to have a schedule and not be tired. I wonder how many kids in public schools have trouble learning simply because they are tired from not having a consistent sleep/wake schedule.
I have found that lowering the lights in the house about half an hour before bedtime (using a lamp instead of the bright overhead lights) helps the kids calm down and be ready for bed. After a snack and a story read by me in my lap, the kids go to bed. She goes to sleep while he gets an extra few minutes (10-30) of free reading in bed before lights out.
Richard chose (with no prodding from me) to play checkers during quiet time when Karen was starting her nap this afternoon. We played one game together then he played with the pieces by himself. He did pretty good. I thought he might win but made one mistake which I was able to take advantage of. I could tell he was thinking about what to move and we discussed some options at times when he was undecided which would be best. I agree with my dad that old fashioned board and card games (checkers, candy land, go fish, old maid, yatzee, monopoly, etc) are good for children and teach them many things. It makes them learn the value of rules, strategy, and fair play. Its pretty hard to cheat in video games but relatively easy with board games so honesty is also learned. These games can be modified for difficulty or silliness, thus teaching creativity. I don’t think by teaching children card games they will later have a gambling problem. If you model that card games are just fun then that will go a long way..