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Learning Notes

October 2, 2008

I just answered one of those political surveys on the phone. (I used to do some political polling when I was in college. I’d almost forgotten about that.) This was the easiest survey I ever completed — 3 answers — *LOL* — “I’ll definitely vote,” “Barack Obama,” and “I’m 42.”

By the way, on the way back from Sharp Shopper, I saw a yard full of campaign signs. Beside the ubiquitous “McCain/Palin” signs was an ENORMOUS sign that said, “I’m voting for the chick.” Seriously? You want to advertise loudly — to everyone in the county — that your choice for the potential next leader of the free world is based on the fact that she has a vagina ? Really?

O.K. I’m done being snarky. I promise.

I’ve been on the old Mood Swing Rollercoaster, and John is still recuperating from surgery. :-/ No one has had a great couple of days. What have we gotten done?

James and I played two games of Mythmatical Battles, which we play according to the rules except that we also keep track of “life points.” Each player starts with 500 life points, and the object is to bring one’s opponent’s score down to zero.  I’m also making a new game to practice division facts; I’m almost finished. We worked in Math-U-See Gamma; we’re still focusing on multi-digit multiplication.

I worked with James in Spelling Power. Our approach to using curricula seems to be WWGATI (When We Get Around to It). So we reviewed a lot; we played “Hangman” with his spelling words on the white board. James had a blast with that game, and he challenged me with words he came up with. He tried to give me Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, but when I saw how many blanks he was drawing for letters, I told him “forget it.” Yeesh! That kid’ll do anything to feel like he’s winning a game.

He is still reading Outcast by Michelle Paver. James also worked a bit on the story he’s writing. His writing seems to be getting a little more fluent, and his spelling seems to be gradually improving with little intervention from me.

He had a soccer game last night. His team lost, but they played really well.  He also practiced piano. He is working on a new piece: Ode to Joy.

Sarah and I have been reading You Don’t Know Me by David Klass. She’s working on writing a novel and making more fantasy trading cards for James.

She also talked to me about Inside Out by Terry Trueman, a book she recently read about a boy with schizophrenia. She was saying that there should be more YA books about kids with schizophrenia, things schizophrenic kids could read for support. Inside Out would NOT be a good choice for bibliotherapy, because the boy commits suicide. 😦 Sarah also perused a psychology textbook I bought her several years ago and compared the textbook’s information on schizophrenia to the way it was portrayed in Inside Out. She said she thought the author had done his research, and she gave me a specific example. This was not one of our dining room table talks. It happened in the car on the way to Sharp Shopper. Never underestimate the power of getting one kid alone in the car for a little while. 😉

Trisha played Dogopoly with John and me.

We read 2 bedtime stories every night. As I mentioned before, she is wild about Miss Bindergarten, and she has taught herself the alphabet quickly. She wants to learn to spell so she can play “Bookworm,” “Word Whomp,” and “Tumble Bees” on my computer. *LOL* Having mastered her ABCs pretty well, she seems to have moved on to teaching herself phonics. She just walked into the room and announced:

“What “F” is the beginning of is The F Word and fum (thumb) and fluff. That’s all the fings “F” is for.”


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