Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Girls' School

I had no intention of "doing school" with the girls this year, but we have fallen into it and are having a great time.

After our morning Bible activity we have an early lunch, then see Agent 002 off on his school bus. Cousin P is usually sleeping at this point, so it is girl time.

We finish reading whatever book we started while waiting for the bus, then one or two more books. Then we go into the "red room" (our art room) for school.

Some days we start with a game like ABC Bingo or Go Fish, but the girls usually want to get right down to work. Work, to them, is done with crayons and paper.

Agent 004 has a goal in mind; she is determined to write her name. I typed it up in 300 point dotted letters for her to trace, but as she mangled that (and got quite frustrated), I realized that she didn't know how to form the letters. I decided that she may as well learn how to write them correctly now, before forming bad habits.

I put stickers on a piece of paper as guides for each letter. For "K" I put a bug sticker at the top of the sheet and at the bottom along the left, then put a yellow star further right along the top with a matching yellow star in the middle left for the diagonal, then a blue star in the middle left, and one on the bottom right. She needed to make a line from the dot to dot, then yellow star to yellow star, then blue star to blue star. Voila! a "K."

Cousin F colors happily while Agent 004 writes. She chooses one page from the coloring book then rips it out to give to her mommy in the evening. Her coloring book is excellent -- the pictures are simple, but interesting -- but I can't give y'all a link because it is something I bought in Russia a few years ago.

When their attention wanders (after 5-10 minutes), the girls can choose any one activity from the red room shelves, which they can do for 10 minutes. F frequently writes on the chalkboard, and 004 does a puzzle or play dough.

Once the red room is tidied, we use the bathroom, then head upstairs for two pre-nap stories.

All told they spend about 20 minutes in "school," which is more than enough at this age. The best part is that they are both excited about it.

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