Monday, February 23, 2004

Another Uno day! We played Uno this morning, which besides being fun also reinforces multiplication and addition, turn taking, counting, color and number recognition for the littler ones.

Later, the girls pulled out some magnetic numbers, letters and shapes. Emily re-told a story that we had borrowed from the library called Three Wise Women, a retelling of the three wise men. Emily used geometric shapes to make the manger with the star above it, the people and the baby. It was really neat, and I was amazed at how much she absorbed from the discussions we've had on religion, considering that we don't practice ourselves.

After storytelling, Emily began playing around with the numbers and asking a bunch of questions, so we just started playing around together. She was making equations, so we were talking about plus, minus, times and equals and what their symbols look like. We were doing simple equations when she asked why letters weren't part of the equations, which brought us to x as a symbol for times and x as a variable. We looked at simple algebraic equations and talked about why we'd need to solve an equation where the numbers weren't all known. I related it to last Spring when we were building the shed--how to figure out how many left-over pieces of wood could come together to make a whole piece, things like that. Then we started making the biggest numbers we could, and I would read them out. We went over all the different places up to the millions, talking about how commas separate every three numbers and each set has the same pattern from ones to tens to hundreds, making it easy to remember how to read them. We also talked about how the "and" in a number really means the decimal point like you see in prices. So if someone heard the number "Five hundred and thirty," it would really represent 500.30, like $500 dollars and 30 cents, instead of 530. Lots of concepts from just playing around with some magnetic numbers!

Then we started playing with the letters, and Emiy wanted to use them to make a story. So, we were trying to make simple sentences, which was really tricky because there was only one a, e, o and u--don't know what happened to the i. We came up with things like "The man works." and "We go up." Letter and word play just for fun!

Around noon, we all got ready to go to Emily's drama class, which she absolutely loves! Julia, Sam and I went to the craft store while Em was in class, and we got the materials we needed to make our letterboxing stamp. I'm excited to try to carve it tomorrow. Maybe this weekend, we'll head over to St. Mary's City and try to find the box down there. We got back to Em's class in time to see the final show for the "audience"--another scene in the Rumplestilskin story that they're acting out. It's so great to see them all having so much fun. The teacher just started homeschooling her daughter, and they've made most of the costumes and props themselves. All in all, a pretty terrific atmosphere.

After class, we met up with some new friends for a playdate, who are the same ages as Em, Julia and Sam. We played in their backyard for a while--soccer, hide and seek, superheroes. The kids had a really fun time and enjoyed getting to know some new friends even better. We're hoping to get together on a more regular basis--it'll be nice to have some more friends our ages.

When we finally got home around 5:00, Sam helped me make some pizza dough. He loves measuring out all the ingredients! The kids and dh made pizza while I left for my Mom's Night Out with other homeschooling moms. It was another fun, busy day! Looking forward to some down time tomorrow to play on the computer and try out my stamp-making skills.

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