Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weekly Wrap-up: Right-brained Spelling and Living Math Books

This is my first weekly wrap-up post, linking up with WeirdUnsocializedHomeschoolers' Weekly Wrap-up.

This past week was my first week incorporating what I've been learning about right-brained learners.  I finished reading Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World, where I learned SO much about ADD and right-brained learners. With all this new-found knowledge, I attempted to incorporate a little of what I learned, including some Brain Gym exercises, and a new strategy for spelling (which Monkey has always struggled with).

The method we tried was for him to NOT try to remember the words phonetically or through memorizing sound combination rules, but to write it in a bright color and have him stare at it, then picture it in his head with his eyes closed, then 'read' off the letters, both forwards and backwards. Our words were 'sympathetic', 'temperature', 'opinion', and 'neighbor'.  Honestly, I was a bit skeptical that this would work, especially the spelling it backwards, but I was FLOORED when he was able to spell it backwards perfectly, on the first try! Then, spelling it forwards was easy! We did this a few times throughout the week and he was able to retain the spelling. Now, I will be using this method for all his spelling work.

We also took a break from our usual math routine (Singapore 5B, Singapore Math's Challenging Word Problems, and Life of Fred), and went with just exploring with some living math books:

I've always known Monkey hated math drills and repetitive problems, and I learned from reading about right-brained children that this is because he is a 'whole-to-part' learner, learning big concepts better than learning how to sequentially solve a problem. So we read from each of the above books, and explored all kinds of topics, such as exponents, the binary number system, and mobius strips, and, tying into our Ancient History theme, how ancient civilizations used the moon, sun and stars, and angles to tell dates/times, and how trigonometry was used to determine land area and boundaries of non-rectangular field! It was SO much fun.  Monkey still loves Life of Fred, and we're still going to use it, (as well as Singapore for more practice), but it was a nice break from the usual frustrations he has with math. We'll continue to include these books in our weekly math work, mixing it in with our old math material.

In Ancient History, we covered the Epic of Gilgamesh, Stonehenge, and finished up the early Mesopotamia civilizations(e.g. Sumerians, Indus Valley), using Mystery of History Vol .1, and Story of the World and Usborne Encyclopedia of World History. For writing, we've been using IEW's Ancient History, which has been a great way to reinforce his Ancient History reading. However, I don't feel a ton of excitement over Ancient History from Monkey. He does the reading and writing, but just isn't captivated by this. Next week, we're going to take a break from history and study aerodynamics (his choice) for science.

Weekly Wrap-Up