Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week 9: Happy Birthday!

This was another short week in terms of "schoolwork" and I'm a little late in getting this post up. DJ turned four years old this week. He insisted he wouldn't be 4 until he ate cake. Hah. He also is very nostalgic for babyhood and does not want to get bigger. I miss my baby too but I'm also loving how well my boy is growing.

DJ is showing a greater interest in the calendar and trying to understand the concept of time. He's been asking me when the "last day" is, which leads to a discussion of the circular nature of our time. At the end of each year, a new year begins, so there is no last day, we just keep getting older. He does know about death as we've lost two pets but so far there hasn't been any question about when he or I might die. I'm not looking forward to those topics.

He's also been asking me why it's night or day and why it's winter or summer. So I've begun informally telling him about the rotation of the earth around the sun as it spins. He listens and accepts my explanation as an answer to his question but I don't think he fully understands yet. The idea of the earth moving with us on it is a rather esoteric one.

DJ asked to do the Decanomial Square again (still so glad I made this for him) and he's seeing some intriguing patterns in this work. This time, as he added each color he would say, it made a square! And then when the work was complete, he began removing colors starting with 1 and noticing the empty space each time was a square.

Then he stacked the #8 pieces like this and looked at them for awhile and said, "Hey, that looks like the Brown Stair, only flat!"

Then he took all of the 1cm width pieces of each length and stacked them, noticing that they were each 1cm square longer than the next one. This may seem obvious to us as adults but it is just this type of independent discovery that I love about Montessori.

Next we did more multiplication with the Golden Beads. We were working in the kitchen because the carpets were being cleaned. I gave DJ 4 white cards with 2, 3, 4 & 5 on them and asked him to choose one. He chose 3 so I said we'd take a number and multiply it 3 times. I let him roll the place value dice to determine the number, but I held back the thousand dice and chose 2,000 for him to be sure the final result would not be over 9,999. The number he rolled was 139 so I had him gather that 2,139 beads from the bank three times. As you can see, he's working on the third one and of course had to use his flat bed truck to move the quantities.

After he had gathered 2,139 beads three times, he combined them and added up the total quantity. Using the trucks takes a LONG time, but it keeps him engaged so I roll with it. When we had the final quantity, he selected the matching large number cards and we read the answer, 2,139 times 3 is 6,417. And yes, he's obsessed with doing a goofy face shot on our final pictures these days.

In other news, DJ drew his very first face this week! Complete with eyes, nose, mouth, ears & hair. Yay! I don't pay too much attention when "developmental milestones" are supposed to happen but I knew this one was coming up and had wondered when (if) it would happen so I was happily surprised when he declared, "Look mom, I drew a happy face!"

We finished the week with a Halloween themed birthday party. Although we have a small place, all of DJ's friends and family came to celebrate. It was chaotic at times but so much fun. I was exhausted in the end but my little social butterfly declared, "I'm sad that everyone went home."

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