Monday, May 31, 2010

What to do with all the time?

We have about six days left until C's first summer program (it's focused on life in space) and we are already in the summer doldrums. Here's some of what's going on:
  • C has finished 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and is now reading Journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • Earlier today, the kids were pulling their dragons along on leashes or (in D's case) pushing a dragon around in a doll stroller.
  • My husband continues to explore the world of K-12 math contests. His most recent find is a largely Polish organization called Math Kangaroo in USA. Earlier today, C did a five-page 3rd/4th grade test from Math Kangaroo. It was HARD. C got a small cash prize for each correct answer, so she got about $1 for that test. She also got to watch an episode of Avatar with her dad. We're also rewarding her with movie time for going through her missed items. Later today, she did a 2nd grade level Math Kangaroo test, which was much easier, and I owe her $2 for that. She'll go over those missed items with her dad later.
  • What have we learned from this? First of all, the low-hanging fruit is math vocabulary. Just knowing a few more words (like "radius") would be very helpful. Secondly, C approaches her math very intuitively, solving problems in her head with no paper notes or computation. She isn't used to working at her problems, and if she doesn't immediately "see" the answer, she gets frustrated. Thirdly, a little algebra is very handy, even for the 3rd/4th grade problems.
  • Our long term plan is to have the kids do a science or math club, and it looks like there are some good options. For next year, we'll probably just do the board game club, and take it from there. C's 4th grade might be a good time to launch something like that, if nobody else steps forward.

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