May 28th – June 2, 2012

As we approach the end of the year our various classes begin to wrap up. Dance is finished for the year now but fortunately we have a few more Monday art classes yet! E really enjoys exploring different mediums and forms through this abstract art class. She has done quite a bit of painting but also some sculpture. Taking advantage of Dad being home today, E and I went out for girls time! We had high tea at a local teahouse and practised good manners and conversational skills. E was thrilled to be doing such a grown up thing and had many questions about high tea and the traditions involved with it. She was also wonderfully curious about the gorgeous items on our platter and we had a lot of fun trying everything and guessing the ingredients!

Tuesday we did math in the morning with more concentration on subtraction. E has a strong grasp of her numbers and can do the problems easily with manipultives (ie. her fingers or a number line), but has difficulty staying focussed and can be slow to complete the work. Conversely when she works quickly she tends to be messy and careless. This was E’s second last PE day with more competitive sports. E misses the co-operative games but is excited about their wrap up swim party next week.

Wednesday was our final Mom’s morning out. E helped with childcare again and then we hurried home to have lunch and get ready for swimming. This was also E’s final swimming lesson for the session. She was not able to complete Swimkids 3 as her endurance is not up to that level yet. Her instructor was happy with her stroke improvements and kick so E has set herself some healthy living goals to increase exercise and thereby increase her overall cardio-health and endurance for swimming. Following swimming lessons we went to the farmer’s market which has just re-opened for the summer. In addition to all the small local farms featuring their harvests, there were many artisans and crafts people. We were able to observe some of these folks spinning alpaca wool on modern spinning machines. One of the men gave E pieces of the wool before and after it had been spun. He was also wearing a handmade hat woven from reeds. He showed us his hat and explained how he made it then E was able to make her own paper mat using strips woven together.

Thursday was more focussed seat work time with some attention to writing and making cards for her baby’s brother’s first birthday. E loves to make notes and cards for her family and friends and we are each gifted with an I love you note regularly! We also have a whiteboard on our fridge that she and I use to write positive notes to each other. It has become a fun game to write and message and then watch and wait how ever long it takes for the other one to notice the new note.

Friday  and Saturday, E had a couple of days off with friends and family while I attended the local homeschool conference. I was amazed and energized by the various sessions I attended: Brain Gym (Allen Stanton), Reading and Writing (David Albert), Storytelling and Brain research (Terry Small). This conference was a real flashpoint for me in defining our homeschool goals and methods. I came away from the weekend excited for the coming year and ready to implement dozens of new strategies to improve E’s learning experience.  On Friday and Saturday I came home bubbling with new ideas and E and I had great conversations at bedtime about all the things I was learning and how even Moms need to go to school sometimes so they can learn new things!  This weekend was also our littlest one’s 1st birthday so Saturday night wrapped up with a special dinner and some cake. E proudly gave her brother her handmade card and a book called “My Big Sister” which she promptly read to him.

She is so proud of her increasing reading ability and regularly reads to her brothers. Her favourites are Dr. Seuss books.

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