Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Children are Actually Planning Ahead?

I can't wait for Tuesday! Our best friends Stan & Noel are coming from California!!! It has been almost 2 years since we last saw them, and even then we only got a day with them. They are coming for {8 days} and I know it is going to be WONDERFUL! Snapper and Pepper don't know who is coming, but they do know we have to pick someone up at the airport on Tuesday evening. Snapper decided she wanted to get started on this week's homework early so she will have more time to spend with our visitors. Pepper agreed with her, and he has gotten a jump-start on his homework, too.

All of last week Snapper was working on research for the paper/presentation she has to do about the Apalachee Indians, a large group of Native Floridians. The paper isn't due until the 23rd, but she didn't want to have to deal with it at all this week. She averages about 3 hours of homework per night as it is. So Snapper buckled down today, researched three websites, took an additional 2 pages of notes, and we wrote her paper together. She dictated to me, I typed exactly what she said, and then we went back through and edited it together. We got to talk about a lot of the things she has been learning in writing and language arts, such as transitions, flow, colorful language, variety in sentence structure, and punctuation. We also used the thesaurus. It is so much fun for me to watch her developing as a writer. Her thoughts flow to naturally, and she is extremely creative. The end result was a lovely story titled Niponi's Tale: An Apalachee Anecdote. It is 2 solid pages telling all about the culture, customs, government, and historical importance of the Apalachee Indians. She is building a diorama with her small group at school, too. As soon as I finish here, we're going to build several tiny Apalachees out of Sculpey clay. They will be Snapper's contribution to the diorama. I am so proud of my sweet girl for working giving up 3 hours of her Saturday to work so hard to finish this project early. She was focused, cheerful, and diligent the entire time. It shows such growth in her! What a long way we've come in the last year. Proud, proud, proud!

Next, Pepper and I are tackling his January homework folder. His teacher is a firm believer in worksheets, and he has a bundle of them. There are 25 math worksheets and 14 phonics worksheets, as well as a family project and 20 minutes of reading each day. All are due the last day of January. We just got our packet yesterday. She also sends home bags of books tailored to each child's reading level. After the child has read each book three times, you send the bag back and the teacher swaps it for another bag. Pepper and I usually read them together every afternoon. This morning he delighted me by picking up his book bag and independently reading 4 books! They are level 2 readers and he made it through all of them entirely on his own! I worked quietly in the kitchen while he read right through them, using his decoding skills to sound out the words he didn't easily know. He was so proud of himself, and so happy to be independently reading for pleasure. Pepper is going to be my reader...I just know it! Proud, proud, proud!

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