The kids spent the afternoon in the sprinkler. They ride their plasma cars or bikes in and out of the water. Michael soon tired of this - we've had the sprinkler out almost every day for the last 2 weeks. The temps have topped 100.
So, I broke out the side walk chalk. He drew a seashell in green, then decided to explore chalk in the water of the sprinkler. The effect was beautiful. The driveway is black asphalt and the water both blurred the chalk and deepened the color. It looked like Burt's drawing's in Mary Poppins.
As Michael started this project, it began to rain. We turned off the sprinkler. Lindsay left the ballet she was directing in the garage and joined him in the rain. They covered the side walk in pink, green, blue, and yellow water.
After sidewalk chalk we came inside and were cleaning up. Lindsay panicked. "Mom! We haven't done any homeschooling today!" I tried to explain that she'd been learning all day -- hiking, playing the "listening and looking game", on our nature scavenger hunt, reading books in the car, reading books in the house, singing with her Sandra Boyton CD, making lunch together, reading about dingoes then pretending to be dingoes, reading about wild cats of North America, practicing bike riding without the training wheels. These were all enriching activities. She was unconvinced. I was thrilled. Not that she wanted to sit down and "homeschool" but that she had had a fabulous enriching day and didn't once feel like I was trying to "school" her! Success!
Still it was not surprising that she asked to do "patterns" a few minutes later. She loves figuring out and I'm sure it feels like homeschooling to her. The only problem? She's so good at it, I'm hard-pressed to create any that are challenging. We've done shapes, colors, numbers, equations. So I wrote the following:
1/2 , 2/4 , 3/6 , 4/8 , 5/10 ...
She paused for all of 2 seconds before writing 6/12. Now, at 5, I don't think she understands what these fractions mean. We've talked about halves and fourths when cooking and when drawing circles, but I don't think she's aware of the divison symbol - except for seeing it on measuring cups. Still... to get the numerator and denominator and not to get flustered by the new arrangement of a number on top of another. I was excited! So, I decided to up the ante a bit:
1/3 , 2/6 , 3/9 ...
I had to leave the room to help Michael. When I came back, 4/12 was written in sequence. My mom was standing a few feet away. I asked if she helped her. Nope. How is this possible? We certainly haven't practiced counting by 3s. Much less within the context of a fraction. See why I'm at a loss on how to make this more difficult? She wanted to keep going, but I couldn't think of anything, so I resorted to shapes. Please, send suggestions!!