Friday, December 21, 2007

Bard of Avon.

I decided to start working on a time line with the girls. We've been reading a lot of books about artists, writers, historical figures, presidents, inventors, about ancient Egypt and Greece, the story of Trojan war, Pompeii, etc., that I thought to make little notes about what we learned and hang them in a chronological order. I still don't have a clear picture of how it will eventually look, but that is not important, the process is.
And I think this way both Ivana and Leona will remember more. Just like in the summer when we were reading the book about George Washington, and Ivana wanted to know how tall a 6 feet person would be, I measured six feet up on the doorway and taped a piece of paper with the name G. Washington on it. Then we measured both of my early learners, taped the marks to the door frame and they were amazed to see the difference. Those strips of paper have been hanging there since.
And last week we were reading a story of William Shakespeare, "Bard of Avon", written by Diane Stanley. We really enjoyed it and learned a lot about W. Shakespeare. All the not so many known facts about his childhood, the controversy among the historians and the mystery that this man had left behind. The illustrations were fabulous, very detailed and pretty. Of course Ivana tried to copy some of the pages, and she did a phenomenal job drawing the face of the poet on the card for our time line.
And then they wanted to try to write with the feathers! I love those spontaneous ideas! I didn't think of it, but since they expressed the interest I took up on right away. And here you go, a day not being planned out to be a "school day", so to speak, turned out to be one of the great learning days!
Leona was dipping the feather and scribbling her sonnets (wink!) like you would never believe it! Her level of concentration was absolutely astonishing to me, though, as you could've guessed, did not last for a very long time. "Mom, I am done writing my sonnets", announce she after her page was covered in tiny and very neat little curls ("letters").
Ivana, on the other hand, was going strong! She was so excited to write with the ink and a feather, that she decided to write the whole story of "Romeo and Juliet". All I hear was, "Mom, more ink, please!" She said she didn't need any help, and was enjoying herself to the pieces!
Half an hour later or so, there was what she had come up with. If you click on the photo, you''ll be able to see the enlarged version, so you can really read it. And it did not matter to me that Ivana made some grammar mistakes, forgot to use capital letters and misspelled a few words. I am teaching her the rules and we will go over the pages she wrote and correct the mishaps. But it gives me such joy to see her already using the knowledge to enjoy herself.

And can you guess whose puffy fingers are there on the bottom? You know , a second later and the arranged pages did not look the same...

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