Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Math in Our Presidental Study

Today our presidential study quickly changed to a math study. Of course! I should have figured as much; I should have taken notice to the foreshadowing in the day's unfolding story. Enter a book about presidents, a printable book from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/history/us/pres/washington/books/tab/ and four girls who really wanted to play store rather than school.

As we began reading our president book for the day, an inquisitive young one asked, "Where have I seen him before?" Not two seconds passed and another young one announced, "On the money!" She was indeed, on the money with her answer. George Washington was on the money. This discussion landed us right back to the store request. Okay, I give.

We read the president story and then, at the request of our oldest daughter, headed to the Internet to print money, play money that is, at http://www.moneyinstructor.com/play.asp. We didn't have enough real dollar bills to play store, so we printed our own and had a discussion about counterfeiting. Minutes later, we had a bank vault full of cash: \$1, \$5, \$10, \$20 and \$50 dollar bills. And now... as I write, a country store has developed in our living room. Not only that, but there is a fair amount of adding, subtracting, multiplying and change making happening without me even having to ask! Hummm...wonder where this will go...wonder how the story will end.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

President's Day Is Just Around the Corner

We read some great stories today; so great I had to share them with you! Having watched the 44th President of the United States take the oath of office and now getting ready to celebrate President's Day, we have embarked on an impromptu unit study.
The first adventure in our unit study was to make a visit to the public library. The trip was successful, just like the many before. We hurried home and began reading. We learned heart-warming stories about the amazing men who have served our great nation. Here is a sampling of the books we checked out:

The Legend of the Teddy Bear by Frank Murphy (one of our favorites!)
Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha Brenner
Bully For You, Teddy Roosevelt by Jean Fritz
Presidents' Day by Anne Rockwell
A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln by David Adler
Young John Quincy by Cheryl Harness
William Henry Harrison: Young Tippecanoe by Howard Peckham

What Will Happen Next?

Caught between the unfolding events, I wonder what will happen next? What will the next paragraph reveal? What shadow does this sentence cast on the next chapter? My life is an eloquently-written classic penned by The Author and I sit on the edge of a paragraph waiting to see how today's actions will unfold and impact the rest of the story. It is a masterpiece.

I remind myself not to want to read ahead, but to enjoy today's chapter. The sights and the sounds, to take them in, to relish them. As I focus on today's action, I find myself content, patient, joyous and full of gratitude. This is how the author intended me to read this masterpiece, this classic. He hoped I would not skip ahead, impatiently reading what might spoil today's joy.

Tomorrow will reveal new events, new characters, new lessons but I pray I can be content to enjoy today's amazing paragraph and not read ahead.

Monday, January 26, 2009

There's Always a Story

The story we read yesterday. The story we read today. The story we are living. There's always a story. We all experience stories, our own or the stories of others, everyday. This blog shares the stories of yesterday, the stories of today and the stories that will influence our tomorrows. Enjoy!