I thought I’d do a review of our week using pictures. Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget how much we do over a week!
We learned about place value.
Kai showed me how he can draw a skull.
After using a website from Scholastic (BookFlix, courtesy of our Seattle Public Library cards) where Kai read about voting, Joe showed him our ballots (WA state is completely vote-by-mail, though they do have ballot collection bins in some places) and we all discussed the process of voting.
Joe hung up some magnetic cork boards in Kai’s workspace.
Hot chocolate and a gluten-free poppyseed muffin at Firehouse Coffee in Ballard, where they have a small playroom.
Walking to clay class.
Last clay class of the session.
We made sure the kids all played together at the train table afterwards.
On the way home, we heard a train and raced to look at it. (Kai loves trains.)
Played Starfall. (That’s my soda, not his!)
Displayed Kai’s ceramics.
Played with trains at home.
Did a Halloween word search.
Played an edible math game.
Played more Starfall. Some days, he tends to stick to the reading side of the site. Other days, the math side.
Worked on an Angry Birds puzzle together.
Played A la Carte on gamenight.
Finished up “The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe.”
Did some math practice with pictures.
Pretended to be fishing and hunting with a bow and arrow in Minecraft.
Watched Minecraft videos.
Watched E.T. and had marshmallow popcorn.
Let him pick out new pants from the store.
Had taco soup.
The pumpkins (left to right – Minecraft Creeper (done by me), Scary Face (Kai’s, with Joe’s help), Rainbow Dash (Joe’s).
Visited the Woodland Park Zoo.
They were doing a “Pumpkin Bash” where they gave pumpkins to different animals at different times. Lots of fun, but it did have us going back and forth all over the zoo! Kai helped us navigate for a while.
Kai said he liked the “toys” (Zoomazium) the best. “But the animals are good, too.”
He seemed to really love the penguins. Whereas we were lucky if we got three minutes with the rest of the animals, Kai probably spent half an hour with the penguins (we stopped by repeatedly).
He kept pretending he was “in the water”.
In this picture, you can see how they stuck fish in the pumpkins. I believe that for this one, they were using fake pumpkins.
And we finished off with the carousel! I swear they were having a better time than it looks.
On the way home on Sunday, we saw this house. On a truck. It’s part of an art installation, apparently.
Kai really loves numbers. It’s not uncommon for him to pick out a math DVD when we got to the library. Likewise, he’s a big fan of number books.
Yesterday, he watched a DVD designed for 4th through 8th graders. Kai’s 4, so I’m not sure he understood a lot of what they were talking about. One of the topics they touch on was place value. He seemed interested, so I thought I’d try a simple place value activity with him.
We made stacks of 10 blocks each and used a few single blocks. I wrote each number out on a small index card and Kai moved the appropriate number of 10 stacks and single blocks to the right column. We talked about how, for numbers under 100, what is really being said is “X number of 10s plus x numbers of 1s.” (Example: 24 could be said, instead, as “2 tens plus 5 ones.”
We even talked about how single digit numbers could be written as two digit numbers. For example, instead of writing “4”, you could write “04”.
He seemed to grasp the concept right away and was excited to play with it for a while before moving on to other things with his blocks.
Kai and I have been taking a pottery class, which will come to an end next week. It’s for kids ages 4 to 5, I believe, and it’s one of those “Parent/Child” classes, so it’s mainly Kai making stuff and me helping (though I have been able to make one or two things, as well). Over the course of six weeks, he’s made a mask, a spider, a rocket and some planets, the letter K (the first letter of his name), a leaf, and a bowl. There MIGHT be something else, but those are the ones I remember.
During the last class, we were finally able to glaze for the first time. Kai is fascinated with the idea of things going into the kiln and has been waiting anxiously to see what his pieces would look like once they were fired. Mr. Barry showed the kids how to wipe off the pieces with a wet sponge to get any dust/grit off and then away they went. One of the younger kids ended up drinking some glaze – twice! But, other than that, nothing really went wrong. Nobody broke anything, which is really good.
Kai was able to paint his “K” – I believe we used three colors of glaze. We did his bowl as well. I’m looking forward to seeing how they look after they’re fired – so is Kai.
We’re hoping to continue into the older kids’ clay class, but it may not get enough people to run. If it doesn’t run, we may look into doing this class again – I think Mr. Barry said we’d be working on different items.
Kai’s been really enjoying the class. I think it’s been a wonderful opportunity for him and I hope he gets to continue doing it. Whether he does or not, we’ve got plenty of playdough and I’m planning to get some air dry clay for him. The class has really helped him figure out things to do with the dough. And now that we’ve got his playdough supplies out where he can see them, Kai has been using them more. The other day, he got them out without any prompting and put them away back in the same spot when he was done. The only thing he needed help with were the lids on the containers! In the past, he would have asked me to get the dough out, then asked for ideas about what he could do with it. So it feels like we’re making a little bit of progress towards independence for him plus having things available for him to see seems to be helping him want to work with his supplies more.
It’s really nice when everything comes together like that.
I’m in the process of creating more of a dedicated workspace for Kai. There are a few reasons we’re doing this.
I’d like to see Kai be able to do long-term projects and he can’t do that if his only real workspace is the living room table (not very well, anyway). I’d also like to see Kai create more. He LOVES doing what he calls “art crafts” but he often has a hard time remembering that we have the things to do them. He’s a very visual child and if he can’t see something, unless it’s one of a few specific things, he’ll often forget it’s there to do.
Kai’s Current Workspace
Additionally, because he likes being around us, he won’t use workspace if we put it in his room. (We tried that.) So, we’ve rearranged part of the living room and moved his desk from his room to the living room. I’d also like to get a corkboard or a magnetic whiteboard with a bunch of magnets. We may end up mounting a corkboard above his desk and getting a whiteboard for him to write/draw (which would come in handy for me, sometimes, as well).
Currently, we’ve got a shelf for all of his playdough stuff. This is a fairly big interest for him and he and I are currently taking a parent/child clay class together, so it’s featuring pretty prominently. I’ve also begun moving paints and other various supplies to the other other shelf. We’ve got a bunch of paintbrushes, markers, and pens on his desk. I’d like to go through them soon and organize these a little bit better and move duplicates to a separate storage area on one of the shelves. Then, he’s got markers and crayons that can maybe be moved to the desk or the top of the shelving unit to feature more prominently.
I’ve already seen how having this space in the living room encourages him to use it. The other day, we came home and tried out a bunch of the paintbrushes. Then, he sat down with some markers and began copying out sight words, “just for fun”. He is usually not a big fan of writing, so I was surprised to see that happening. He started getting “fancy with the letters” (as he called it) and experimenting with different ways to write each letter, including several decorative ones. That was encouraging to see.
But this is all still in its experimental stages. I’d welcome any input. We’re still trying to figure out what will work best.