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On Discovery

We finished our second math block last week and it was a really encouraging experience.  We spent about three weeks on the Four Friends story.  In the story, Mini Minus puts food outside for the animals in late Winter.  Paddy Plus comes bumbling along and begins collecting it for himself when Max Multiply cartwheels by, grabbing up lots of goodies.  He knocks Paddy down, wants all the food for himself, an argument ensues, and Mini is unable to sort things out.  King Dominick Divide arrives and declares "an equal share for every hand," and so everyone puts aside their differences.

Number Cards

After a week of drawing pictures from the story for each character, a puppet show, and a play, we spent time working with grid sheets for the four processes.  These are simple enough.  The top column says "Mini has, Mini gives away, Mini keeps" or "Paddy has, Paddy picks up, now Paddy has" and so on.  The idea of giving away instead of taking away sounds much more agreeable to me.  Dominick "shares among," which goes well with the way families have to divide things in everyday life to keep the peace.  It was great to watch Willow discover how to do things.  One example and a little story recall and she was off on her way.  Discovery is a big part of Enki, as is the child taking the lesson in his or her own hands.  Much of Willow's work is independent, though I am always on hand.

Math Work

This week, we move back to word families for a coloring book that uses the first three. Then there will be a short vowels block and two more word families.  The sleep cycle has really worked so far, with continued digestion in the off months.  I could see math concepts working themselves out over the Winter as Willow discovered doubling, addition, and skip counting.  Willow has begun to recognize how words are put together and assemble clues as to what they say.  I am interested to see how things will go as we pick up language arts again.  There have certainly been numerous ways that I have fallen short of the ideal, but there has been marked progress this year and I still feel good about the path we are on.  I feel good about waiting and allowing things to slowly unfold in their own time, and I'm looking foward to doing it all again when Roan and Laurel are in first grade.


( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )
Feb. 29th, 2016 06:34 pm (UTC)
Your math is way prettier than our math. I love this approach! And I love how all the functions are introduced together rather than over several years.
Mar. 1st, 2016 10:15 am (UTC)
I do love the aesthetics, yes. :-) It made perfect sense to me when I saw that all four came together.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 1st, 2016 10:18 am (UTC)
I'd be happy to send the story to you, if you would like. Everything is done by story and it has really worked. The only times I've struggled are the times that I have not personally gotten the story (odd and even, greater than and less than, though I think those are topics that can wait). In those cases, we've made up for it with movement games and some of the worksheets.
( 4 trees — Plant a Forest )

A Blessed Wilderness

It was just like being in heaven, being in there. In those days there was no road. The park was all a blessed wilderness. I have often thought what a wonderful people we would have been if we had wanted to keep it that way.

~Adolph Murie, biologist, on Denali


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