Our School Day- Part 2

After our memory work, I read aloud to eight year old DD from Child's History of the World. (If I was teaching properly, CM style, I would have written the difficult words on the board before we began such as 'Renaissance', but I often forget to do this.)

Halfway through the chapter, I asked DD to orally narrate what I just read. I told her to say it in her own words but to try to sound a bit like the author. (Sometimes I  give her a point new words she says that I recognize as having come from the author). I reminded her not to say 'um' while thinking, but to just be silent and think. She really enjoyed this chapter. Three yr old DS was also listening because he helped her remember some facts about Michelangelo's life that she left out.

After the reading, I gave her a purple (this color represents Europe) index card labeled 'Renaissance' and a little square of paper with a pen sketch of an artist's palette, brush and paints. She colored it, glued it to the card and paper clipped it to our wall timeline. DS insisted on making one, too. I put his up on our little board that says 'Beautiful Work'. He was still not satisfied and burst into tears. He wanted to be just like big sister. So I taped it below DD's timeline card. He is happy. This took 30 minutes.

DD worked on her math for the next 20 minutes while I read DS's special book from his basket to him. We were interrupted twice by a few questions from DD about her math and a beggar at our front door.

It is now 11:30 am. We have our morning break outside. I call the older girls to come downstairs and go outside. They protest that they are not finished with something. I tell them that it can wait; everyone must go outside and move around. They are not allowed to just stand around. This is P.E. The kids get a snack and disappear. I take a brisk walk down the dirt road and back with whoever wants to go with me.

After about 20 minutes, we come inside and I prepare to read aloud from a  children's book in Turkish (the foreign language they are learning) to 8yr old DD. I write three words on the board that I think she probably won't recognize. I know that she won't know a lot of them, but I just choose a few. I tell her that this is a story about a little girl who has a messy bedroom and wants to buy some cake. I read the story aloud slowly and with expression in Turkish. (If you are learning a foreign language along with your children, you really shouldn't read aloud to them but have a native speaker do it or listen to an audio story together so that you won't butcher the pronunciation.) After each paragraph, I ask her to narrate orally in English and then I show her the picture. She is able to figure out most of the storyline from the context. This takes 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, the big girls are back at the books, but this time their dear little brother is in the mix. He plays upstairs in his room under a (hopefully) watchful eye from his older sibling for 30 minutes.

Next, DD reads three pages from the unabridged Pilgrim's Progress to herself quietly. We read the first half last year together, and I think she is ready to read Christiana's journey on her own this year. She does fine with it and is finished in less than 20 minutes. I forget to have her orally narrate. Oops. While she is doing this I change the laundry and relax a bit.

It is 12:30pm. One of the older girls has finished her school work and I have sent her to tidy up the house. The oldest will not finish until 1pm, which is our lunch time.

Dear little son is now bouncing off the walls and has come downstairs to see if it is supper time yet. I tell him LUNCH will be ready soon. He hangs out in the kitchen while I get out some flour tortillas, mix up some tuna with sesame seed paste, garlic, salt, lemon pepper and chili powder. I roll up several of these topped with feta cheese, put out a bowl of grapes and call the kids for lunch.

To be continued…