Thursday, 8 December 2011

Catching up

It has been a slow week for us. We've all been ill, and the fact that Lamb's medication is no longer helping him has been taking its toll on us and our 'work'. Not much has been done!
Lamb has been teaching Moo to navigate the Cbeebies website. Lamb showed some considerable patience while doing this, and was more than happy to be the teacher for a change. Moo has gotten very confident in the short time he has been using the computer. Already his fine motor skills have mastered the art of clicking on small boxes, he knows how to find 'play' buttons and 'back' buttons. He is now desperate to master the skill of using the arrow keys to play the simple games on the Cbeebies website, which is what Lamb is attempting to teach him here.
We've made a small start on our 'Electricity and Power Sources' unit this week, and have started by finding different light sources in and out of the house. The boys have also been investigating which of their toys use batteries, and both of them are already great at locating where the batteries go.

Moo has started on the road of beginning to read in earnest. I was concerned that maybe it was too soon... A chat with NemNem sorted that out and she set my mind at ease. In the words of the sage: 'If he's hungry then feed him.' Excellent advice :-) So Moo was left eagerly awaiting his new books so he can learn to read. We chose the BBC 'Fun with Phonics' pack and have started on the 'Sounds and Letters' pack.
This comes with an animated dvd which Moo loves, a work book and giant poster. The picture quality of the dvds isn't great, but it is bright and kid friendly, and the pack comes in a handy folder to keep everything together. We also ordered a couple of the new Phonics Bug Alphablocks books to see if they were any good. These are very short, very simple, but also very clear. Moo loves these even more than the Fun With Phonics pack, and I have to say that I have high hopes for the Phonics Bug books, enough that I think that Moo will be getting some more of them for Christmas.
We have already started on phonics, but only half heartedly really, and using the free jolly phonics printable flashcards available on the Communication4All website, as this is what Lamb used when learning sounds. However Moo was reliant on the pictures and without them wasn't able to recognise the letter.
Today after only half an hour of watching his new dvd and reading through the alphablocks books together Moo is now finding both the letters 'a' and 's' within text. I'm rather impressed!

We've also started looking at our new artist with this wonderful book called 'The Magical Garden of Claude Monet' by Laurence Anholt. In this lovely book a little girl goes to meet her mother's friend, Mr. Monet where she sees both his garden and his paintings. The illustrations are lovely and actually incorporate Monet's famous paintings into the illustrations. For young children it's a wonderful introduction to the artist.
We've also been working on making paper mache bird feeders, but these are still work-in-progress! Right now the pva glue (intended to make them water proof at least for a little while) is drying, and hopefully the boys will remember some of our conversations while making them about why it is especially important to help the birds through the winter.
Fingers crossed next week will be a little more productive.

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