A walk to the stables

A walk to the stables
Tamerin at the horses: we walked there on Thursday and talked rugby nearly all the way!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We're still here and doing fine!

I have been away (to Russia no less) and the modem has been giving us some problems, so I have not blogged about Tamerin for a long time.

She has been tested and is currently doing ACE English and Math. For math we are currently reviewing some Grade 2 work like place value and adding and subtracting multiples of hundred and reviewing ordinal numbers. For English we are revising punctuation: full stops (periods) and question marks and starting sentences with capital letters. Tammy has always struggled with this, and the book has helped a little, but I had to type extra work sheets in this regard. Today she seems to have really grasped it! Praise the Lord. Right now she is busy with her self test.

She also struggles with the exercises where she has to chose between "is /are" and "was/ were". Tammy has never said "She were" or "The children was", but when she has to chose she gets confused and makes mistakes. I hate these exercises: to my mind they are not helpful and only confuse children. For the same reason I never teach similar words like "there and their" or "bear and bare" at the same time! We have always dealt with them separately and there has hardly ever been a mistake. But along comes these workbooks and.....! Generally these books are helpful, but sometimes I do not agree with the method at all!

There are often little cartoons in her books and we spend a lot of time reading these and adding words to the wordless pictures e.g there was one cartoon of two little girls waking and one said "We are going on a picnic today." (The other did not say anything). In the next picture they were watching rain through the window (no words) and in the last picture the mother brought in a tray of food and the one girl said "A picnic like this is fun too."

Tammy had to say how the other girl would respond to "We are going on a picnic today" and what they would say while watching the rain. ("Oh no, it is raining!" "That's too bad, now we can't go outside.) She also put words in the mother's mouth: "Look what I've got for you! Here are your snacks."

Expanding vocabulary and speaking fluently remain our highest priority and these cartoons have been very helpful in this regard.

Other feedback:
We finished "My body" prematurely because the family planned to go to the Kruger Park, so we quickly switched to "Wild Animals" as a theme. She thoroughly enjoyed this and loved telling her family interesting bits and pieces e.g. how long a giraffe's tongue was (53cm) and why thorns do not bother them when they browse the Acasia trees.
We still practice to count money nearly every day: it is a slow, but promising process. There has been significant progress.
Tammy still keeps record of her gym progress on Excel. With the advent of the workbooks, time for life skills has dimished somewhat, however.

I've got to run. We have a short break and then it is off to swimming lesson.