Friday, March 20, 2009

Successes and working in the ZPD

I have had writers / bloggers 'cramp' for about four months now. You do the math. But I've really been blessed with some great God moments in the midst of the storms. Take this morning... We are reading a Christian Liberty Press science book on crabs. I found a lapbook online based on the Eric Carle book "House for a Hermit Crab." One of the exercises was reading about the wise and foolish builders in Luke 6. (ie: crabs make their houses in sand and rocks..segue to the Bible.) I read it without interruption and asked Andrew what he thought it meant. Without delay he says....well the rock is Jesus and the storms are the troubles in life. And there was more discussion that followed.

Andrew also has such a giving heart. The kid, like all kids, wants STUFF! (Heck..i want stuff. I just bought myself a belated Christmas gift this year.) I was doing the Dave Ramesy 'spend save give' program with Andrew but we stopped allowance for awhile. He found fifty cents and asked if he could have it and I told him yes. So....he gives me a quarter and then puts the other quarter in his give envelope. What a wonderful heart!

Andrew has most of his difficulties....emotionally and practically...with math. But I have recently found that when we take it very very slow and joke along the way, he does so well. I mention this for folks that homeschool and those that don't. If math is a struggle..find a way to make it SUCCESSFUL. Do one or two problems instead of one or two pages. And work on the concept to understanding before moving on. This is a major blessing of homeschooling... There is no need to rush ahead. You work in the zone of proximal development.

I pulled out a worksheet book on third grade language arts this week. We haven't studied formally much in LA. I was pleasantly surprised at how well he did! He was missing however, something we DID study formally: capitalization. I believe that the reason is that when we studied it, he was barely writing his capital letters. Even though he had mastered the concept at 100% when I did the writing, it was lost because he was not able to write it down. He finds language art study tedious and do I. But if I shorten it by having him edit, vs do all the writing, and make it fun and interesting.... it becomes more enjoyable. Here is a picture of one page we did today to cement the concept of proper and common noun capitalization rules. Other language arts concepts just seemed to have been learned by osmosis. Another blessing.

Another concept was also mastered this week because we were in the 'zone.' We have a pen pal and that has been wonderful for developing fine motor and seeing a connection for WHY we need to practice our writing. Andrew has two new favorite books from the library: Ladybug Girl and Naked Mole Rat Gets dressed. He took it upon himself to write the authors a letter asking them to make tv shows of these books. He found an address in the back of the book, addressed the envelope, wrote the letter, asked for a stamp... and off to the post office it went. I call that learnin'!


Chef Penny said...

Woohoo! Go Andrew! God is good all the time!

argsmommy said...

I love how your study of crabs led to a great spiritual discussion!


MasterpieceMom said...

Love that letter! The 'oh really? Thanks!' part is hilarious. ;D

Prince Andrew and the Queen Mum said...

chef penny..yes..all the time..God is good;)

to argsmommy: just to be clear- i'm not that creative. i googled lapbooks..and that idea was online LOL!!! Andrew however would come up w/ something like that on his own.

MM...isn't he a hoot??!! the only problem..he's waiting for a letter via the USPS back from them. thankfully my mail carrier knows us well by now. I am going to have to get her a coffee gift card or something for all the hassle she puts up w/ from Andrew! she is such a good sport

The Glasers said...

The letters are priceless!!!! I loved reading about Mr. and Mrs. Crab with my kids. Have you checked out any of the Greg Tang books? (See my recent blog post.)

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