13 October 2008

Making the proverbial lemonade

I misplaced the book. The FIAR book! The book about Mako, the little girl with the red clogs. I've been referencing Mako with some frequency because TJ has been complaining about her purple crocs. "No one else has two straps!" "They are dirty!" "When can I get new ones that fit?"

She might have a point with that last one.

Still, the book has appeared at just the right moment in our lives. All I have to do is say sweetly, "Yes, Mako, maybe I will get you new ones before the next festival day," and TJ stops whining.

And I couldn't find it, just when it was time to read it.

The plan was to read it to them as they ate a Japanese lunch like Mako might have had. It was a stir fry of snow peas and carrots, beef, and udon noodles. TJ discovered a new love for beef, and PJ slurped down the julienned carrots. Instead of enjoying lunch with them, I ran around the house looking through piles of stuff (because that's the way I "organize") not finding A Pair of Red Clogs.

To set a good example and not panic about losing the book, I decided to make the best of it and try something that I've been wanting to do anyway. It's the technique of narration as described by Charlotte Mason; just see how much of the story TJ could recreate, since I COULDN'T FIND THE D**N BOOK. (Is it clear how much I have to censor my internal dialogue, that I practice it in my blog?)

TJ then proceeded to narrate for me, beginning to end, Mako's story of the red clogs with the crack in them. I "scribed," to use the CM terminology, and wrote three and a half pages.
We followed this with the math lesson I had planned for TJ, of circling the multiples of 2 in a Hundreds Chart. Then she wanted to circle the odd numbers on another copy of the chart, and then to put hearts around each individual number.

All's well that ends well. Daddy came home and found the book ... next to the bed.

08 October 2008

A Pair of Red Clogs

My favorite part about the FIAR curriculum is the art lesson. It's right in the middle of the week and GREAT for the Wednesday afternoon doldrums.

A Pair of Red Clogs is our story this week. The illustrations are done in colored pencil, "Like Ping was," TJ observed. Also like Ping, the illustrator chose a limited color palette of red, blue, yellow, and black. Our box of pencils has fifty hues! For the last two art lessons, we chose to follow the cues of the illustrators.

If I had proposed that the girls use only four pencils for a picture, I think they would have gotten mad at me. The interesting thing is that I didn't have to suggest it myself. After examining the illustrations carefully, TJ decided on her own that she wanted only those colors to do the assignment. "Assignment" used loosely, of course.

You can see the result from this week. She turned a stick figure (that I provided) into her own illustration of Mako kicking off her red clog. I love it!