Saturday, December 11, 2010

Month of Memories - December 11th

Today I am remembering why I love to homeschool, and particularly why I love using Sonlight, our curriculum.  Moments like this:
Today I am busy cleaning and packing (this is actually Friday morning while I am writing this), but I still wanted to get some school done with the boys.  Right now we are reading "Mr. Poppers Penguins" and the boys are loving it.  So, I set Caleb up to read while I got other work done.

Joshua's favorite part of school, other than reading these great books, is the science experiments.  Yesterday we did an experiment with air to see the volume of our lungs.  We put a full water bottle upside-down into a bowl of water, then removed the lid and inserted a bendy-straw into the water bottle.  Then, the boys took turns taking a big breath and blowing their air into the water bottle through the straw, thus displacing water equal to the volume of the air in their lungs.  Joshua went first and displaced about 1/3 of the water in the bottle.  Then it was Caleb's turn.  He displaced the whole bottle and about 1/2 the bottle more (by approx time he was blowing)!  We all got a good laugh out of that, as none of us expected his to blow Joshua out of the water (pun intended) by that much!  I told Caleb this demonstrated why he was such a good runner.  He's certainly got the lung capacity! :)

Caleb just loves learning, period.  Every time we have a shorter school day than usual, he always says "I want to do more."  He especially enjoys reading the many Usborne books we have.  And of course everything we read aloud, from Missionary Stories to the Wizard of Oz and Doctor Doolittle.  The last book we finished reading was Homer Price.  Hilarious and ridiculous, but perfect for little imaginations.

I recently read an interesting article about reading and boys.  Here's an excerpt from the beginning of the article:
"According to a recent report from the Center on Education Policy, for example, substantially more boys than girls score below the proficiency level on the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress reading test. This disparity goes back to 1992, and in some states the percentage of boys proficient in reading is now more than ten points below that of girls. The male-female reading gap is found in every socio-economic and ethnic category, including the children of white, college-educated parents."

and here's one from the end:
 "Most importantly, a boy raised on great literature is more likely to grow up to think, to speak, and to write like a civilized man. Whom would you prefer to have shaped the boyhood imagination of your daughter’s husband—Raymond Bean or Robert Louis Stevenson?

I offer a final piece of evidence that is perhaps unanswerable: There is no literacy gap between home-schooled boys and girls."

I love it!  And I can see this in action every day as we read and read and read.

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