Sunday, June 13, 2010

D is for Diligence

Since I usually keep our weekday activities fairly structured, Sunday is a good day for letting Katie pick our agenda (with some contribution from me, of course). Sometimes she likes to cuddle in bed and read for awhile before getting up, but this morning she was ready to get dressed right away. She wanted to wear her pink polka dot dress, and she chose a pink ribbon for her hair. I was planning on putting her into play clothes, but why not have fun?

We greeted the morning and then started making breakfast.

We like to check on our apple tree. What an abundance this year! So fun to watch them grow...

Katie goes shopping for ingredients. She brought over her toy register and I rang her up. She likes to pretend her pink doggy is her baby and she puts her in the front of the cart.

When I asked Katie what we should make for breakfast, she wanted something sweet. We thought about popovers, but then she came up with: chocolate chip muffins! Well, that sounded like a fine idea to me. I don't have a recipe for them, but I used a basic muffin recipe and just added the chocolate---they turned out all right.

Katie helped to stir the dry ingredients. As she mixed, she chanted, "Incoporate, incorporate, incorporate." I guess I must have used that word before sometime in our many cooking adventures.

While the muffins cooked, Katie wanted to work in her alphabet book. She now knows "B" and "C" really well, and we're moving forward. I found a couple more phonics resouces at the teaching supply store and have been xeroxing them to paste in our book (I want to save the masters so I can make a book for Eric, too). I also end each letter unit with a page from one of our books, and she circles whatever letter we're working on each time it appears in the excerpt. We're excited to move on to "D"---which I am calling the "doggy letter" since she adores dogs.

Katie traces the lower case "d."

Her instructions were to color each object that began with the "d" sound. She is coloring the "door."

Shortly after this, we went back into the kitchen to check our muffins and make our scrambled eggs. I played a game with her: what could we name around the kitchen that started with the "d" sound, the same sound that starts "dog?" We played for a few minutes and then...


It was almost as if Katie had awakened in an epiphany. As we spoke about various kitchen objects, she suddenly made the deep realization that everything begins with a different letter. I could see her move to a new understanding. She was asking, "And what does___ start with? And ____? What about my purse?" And on and on. All through family breakfast, we talked about sounds and object names. She seemed to make the connection that sounds form words... And that all words start with certain sounds. It was a good moment, the moment I knew more about her knowledge than any summative assessment could have told me at this point. I think if we keep working through the alphabet, we'll continue to make exciting and steady progress in this area.

Eventually, after I exercised on the bike, we made our way outside for playtime this afternoon. We blew bubbles, rode the swing, jumped through our hula hoops, and replenished our finch food and hummingbird food. After awhile, we came in and prepped dinner (stir fried orange peel beef with rice and egg rolls). Then we settled in for storytime and naps. We fell asleep together with her head on my chest and had the most peaceful rest.

I woke up before she did and couldn't help myself: I snuck in some study time.

The day had a beautiful balance to it, and I have some fun things planned for us this week. We haven't had an art project or craft for a couple of weeks, so I need to get in gear. I have one ruminating in the back of my mind...I just have to think it all the way through first!

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend!