Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Wow!

Now G.K. Chesterton has answered the Map Guys' Geography Meme!!

Gus and Ria are keeping track of all the responses over on The Map Guys' blog. I do searches for them a couple of times a day (they're not allowed to use search engines yet). They're SO excited.

I think GKC would approve of our new family project. (I think we need a name for this one - The Great Word Project - or something else understood in the tone of "Bill Nye the Science Guy"). After the kids had been begging for some more fun words like "argillaceous" (still inspired by Akeelah and the Bee) to learn to spell, I had to get serious. We now have eight card boxes and hundreds of blank index cards and we're doing some serious searching for "fun" words and organizing them into categories. Terri wrote out eight or ten word cards from a Latin derivates list yesterday. Bernie copied some words out from Sound Beginnings so she could have some easier ones. We saw the Princess Bride and immediately had to write down "inconceivable" (we couldn't find the word "hippopotanic" in the dictionary - maybe I don't have the spelling right yet). Ria dutifully looked up about 25 words yesterday from the 80 words she had copied down from Akeelah and the Bee and recorded the language of origin and definition. Gus did a little of everything and took special care to organize the geography section properly. Ria got scolded for leaving indelible pens in the reach of Frank and we both went "Oooh! "indelible"!". You get the idea.

I found a few interesting sites which we've been using to unearth fun words:

Merriam-Webster Online (you can use the unabridged dictionary for free if you're willing to watch a commercial - just don't close that window down in between times, or you'll have to watch the commercial again).

Constellation List
Geology Words
Music Words
Technology Words

Some of our best learning comes from these "child-led" projects. I make a concerted effort to leave enough wiggle room in our studies to be able to put other things aside when a great moment like this comes up. I think this wiggle room has been really important for them in developing a love of learning as well. Not that there aren't any requirements in our home (there certainly are), but I'm battling against my own tendencies to latch onto even unnecessary conventions and keep my priorities on helping the kids really learn. This is hard sometimes!

I think one of the roles of a teacher is to cultivate - because learning isn't only about what the children know, but also about what they LOVE. So it's nice to see some of those efforts (like encouraging a love of language, but avoiding structured vocabulary programs) pay off once in awhile. :)

4 comments:

2nd grade mom said...

L2L Mom said:

"Some of our best learning comes from these "child-led" projects. I make a concerted effort to leave enough wiggle room in our studies to be able to put other things aside when a great moment like this comes up. I think this wiggle room has been really important for them in developing a love of learning as well. Not that there aren't any requirements in our home (there certainly are), but I'm battling against my own tendencies to latch onto even unnecessary conventions and keep my priorities on helping the kids really learn. This is hard sometimes!

"I think one of the roles of a teacher is to cultivate - because learning isn't only about what the children know, but also about what they LOVE. So it's nice to see some of those efforts (like encouraging a love of language, but avoiding structured vocabulary programs) pay off once in awhile. :)"

This is great! We're working on trying to find the right balance too.

Dr. Thursday said...

I cannot suggest a name just now, but as I thought about this excellent idea, I came up with an interesting coat of arms, and I did not want to lose it. So here it is:

Shield: Fesswise azure and vert; in chief a mullet or, in base an open book argent.
Crest: a lighted lamp proper.
Motto: Lucem verbi audaciter sequimur.

That is, "We boldly follow the light of the word." (Boy, I hope I got the Latin correct!)

Sorry I cannot post the drawing tonight, but I will try to get it on my blogg soon. Of course if you know how to read blazonings, you can draw it yourself from what I wrote!

Love2Learn Mom said...

I have no clue how to read it but it sounds wonderful. The kids are all ready to print it out and emblazon it on all the card boxes.

Reminds me of a coat-of-arms I was supposed to make before my confirmation (I was about Ria's age at the time) - these were to hang up in the vestibule of church. It wasn't anything official - four-sections in which to draw and/or write things about ourselves. Parts of mine seem pretty silly now. But the quote I chose was "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God."

Dr. Thursday said...

OK I needed something like this as a diversion, so I did it tonight!

It's a bit smeared, but it will do. They might want to re-draw and color it themselves - the colors are important, and cannot be changed without changing the blazon - which would also change the symbolic meaning... and there is a rule about how colors may be placed, one of the very few such rules! More on all that another day... but it really is lots of fun.

PS: Kindly say a prayer for a situation we have at work, which we struggled with all day today, and will have to continue with tomorrow. Thanks!