After the disaster that was yesterday, I’m happy to say that today flowed much more smoothly. The fact that it was Library Day gave all of us a bit of extra motivation to get started and get through the basics quickly.
We started the Bible stories, songs, and some just-for-fun reading; then, Little Bear and I tackled a new unit in The Reading Lesson and worked through today’s Daily Math Practice Grade 1 exercise. With library time approaching, I sent the girls to watch Bill Nye the Science Guy: Lakes & Ponds, the final video component of our lake and pond study, while I packed up two bags full of books that needed to be returned to the library and did a bit of housework.
They finished watching the video about the time I got everything ready for us to walk out the door — with just enough “extra” time to allow a stop by our local Mardel before library story time. I do most of our school shopping online, but Mardel is running a half-price sale this week on Trend Fun-to-Know puzzles, and I wanted to pick up a few sets for Baby Bear along with fish stickers to add to a planned pond craft project. We found everything on our list quickly and even managed to get out with no “extras” leaping into our shopping basket. Success!
Next, we headed on to the library where the girls enjoyed song and story time, then carefully selected a new stack of just-for-fun books. By the time we got checked out, we were all hungry, and Little Bear reminded me that I’d promised to take her out for Chinese food one day this week. A short drive later, we discovered that her favorite Chinese restaurant was no longer in business.
“I’m really going to miss their sushi,” she lamented.
“Sushi?” I asked. “Honey, if you’re wanting sushi, I promise that we can find better sushi in this town than that buffet ever thought about offering.”
We ended up at a newly opened and decidedly not-marketed-to-kids sushi bar/hibachi grill. But while kids may not have been the restaurant’s intended market, both girls fell in love with the place from their first sip of miso soup. Little Bear devoured most of a sushi roll by herself, while Baby Bear put a substantial dent in a adult-portioned teriyaki chicken bento box. By the time we left, Little Bear declared the new restaurant even better than her old favorite, even though the new restaurant didn’t serve ice cream — high praise indeed from a 5-year-old!
Back home, we read through several of the girls’ just-for-fun book selections along with a couple of pond-themed books I’d selected before our daily rest time (alternately known as “Mommy’s down time”). Baby Bear watched a couple of episodes of Special Agent Oso, while Little Bear completed a couple of lessons on ReadingEggs.com and played several Sid the Science Kid games on PBS.com.
Shortly before the girls hit their screen time quota for the day, UPS delivered a box of supplemental materials I’d ordered for this school year, and both girls came running. The immediate favorite was a canister of Edushape Ez-Grip Flexies , a unique rubber construction toy I’d ordered to foster motor skill development. Once we actually held the product in our hand, however, I found that it could do even more than I’d hoped. Little Bear spent a good 15 minutes creating patterns, while Baby Bear contented herself with simply stacking the peg-like Flexies as high as she could.
Little Bear eventually noticed the pattern sheets in the canister and set about to replicate some of the items pictured. Her favorite creation was a simple 3-D flower, which she begged me to photograph and share with her grandmothers.
Leaving Baby Bear to play alone, Little Bear and I turned our attention to the final unit in Life of Fred: Apples and took time to review the concepts we’d covered in the book …
- identifying number sets
- using ordinal numbers
- applying the commutative power of addition to solve problems
- counting by 2′s, 5′s, 10′s, and 100′s
- telling time to the hour and half-hour
- solving word problems
- solving for the value of x in basic arithmetic problems (x + 4 = 7; 10 – x = 5; etc.)
The book now complete, I’m still not sure what I think of the series. The stories begin with a 5-year-old university math professor and only grow odder from there. But Little Bear cannot get enough of them. We completed the first book in less than two weeks, with her mastering most of the material presented in it, and she would have gone through it even faster if I hadn’t imposed a limit of no more than two units per day. (At $16 per book, I can’t afford for her to go through them any faster!) I guess I’m at least somewhat sold on the unique story-based approach given that I ordered the next three books in the series over the weekend, but we won’t be abandoning Miquon any time soon.
We wrapped up math time with a couple of games of Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks Game. Baby Bear got some painless practice with basic number recognition, while Little Bear made more/less comparisons and got a bit of basic addition practice. More importantly, the girls both had fun.
A little more fine motor work and several more read-alouds brought the day to a close. All in all, it was a full one and a good one — a welcome respite after yesterday!