Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Snails and Karate

Over the past few days, we've been trying to do some work from the R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Life curriculum I bought at the beginning of the summer.  I feel very mixed about it.  On one hand, it's nice having a curriculum where what you need to do is all laid out.  I like the extra reading suggestions list and the fact that they have a page listing everything you need for each lab (which is mostly household items).  On the other hand, the worksheets included are very writing intensive, and writing is not Red's strength (i.e. she can write well when she feels like it, but is quickly fatigued).  Even though the publisher says it's designed for 1st through 5th grade, I think if you intend to have the child do most of the writing it is definitely geared toward the older grades in that range.

A couple of days ago we went for a hike on a trail close to our house.  We didn't last very long because there were mosquitoes out the size of pterodactyls, but we did collect some snails for observation for the unit on mollusks.  We're planning on returning them to their home on the trail tomorrow, but in the meantime we've had fun checking out the little creatures and their slime.
Another new development in the last week is that we started Tom Thumb in karate class.  Red has been taking dance since she was two and took two years of figure skating when she was 3 and 4.  Unlike Red who is super outgoing and always wants to try something new, Tom Thumb has been a little bit more cautious.  He tried a couple of dance classes last year because there was another boy in the class for his age group.  He would last about 10 minutes in class and then would want to come sit on my lap with his blankie in the hall.  Since he's not going to preschool, I wanted to give him some more opportunities to hang out with some other kids. We decided to try a local martial arts studio that offered a deal on one month of classes including the uniform to try it out.  So far, he's gone to three classes and has loved every single one.  He spends most of the class smiling and the instructors are very encouraging and enthusiastic.  This might be a winner.  Fingers crossed...

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