Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Immersion Learning

She got interested in playing Monopoly when she watched older cousins doing so on vacation. So yesterday I bought the game and brought it home. (I probably haven't played it for 25 years, so I had to read the directions ;)

She wanted to play her own hand, so she had both the opportunity and the desire to practice math and reading skills.

We made her Assistant Banker, so she counted and distributed the money at the beginning of the game, selected and sold the right property out of a group of 2 or 3, and collected the money for it.

In the course of the game, she had to add up the dice, count the spaces to move her token, count out her money for a purchase, read the property card to collect rent, make change, and estimate whether she had enough money to buy houses to improve a property.

This turned out to be quite an immersion experience. I really didn't expect the attention span to play pretty far into the game (until bedtime). I really only expected that for the first game we would roll and count dice, move the proper number of spaces, and play with the game pieces :) . She previously has had very little experience with board games.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Here's a homeschooler for you

We were on vacation for 10 days. Did a lot of playing with cousins, swimming, and even watching TV.

The moment we walked in the door at home, she had a snack, watched a Magic School Bus video, and set about to make a model of the Solar System. "How many planets are there, Mom?" "Usually nine, but I think they discovered a 10th." "Can I have 11 colored wires, 11 sticky tags, and some tape?"

I found a few web pages to refresh my memory about the planets while she took out some rubber balls, made some balls out of wire, asked for help labeling the planets, and attached them to a couple of clothes hangers. The sun is a yellow tennis ball.

We think the 10th planet's name is Quaoar (from an internet search) and included that one too.

This morning she woke up and asked: "What planet should we study today, Mom?"

So we will be off to the library to check out books about the Solar System.