Saturday, February 22, 2014

Cursive gone right

Joseph deserved those chocolate chips. 

In an effort to make cursive more interesting, I found a short detective story for his writing practice. That wasn't enough. So he thought up a little math game to go along with his writing. For every line that he wrote on twice, for example "t" (up, then down), he counts one. Then he adds that total with the total amount of letters in the word. So, "chocolate" would be 15 (I think).  Since he loves math, this helped him conquer the tedium. After a while, I started hearing him say, "10! Yes!"  Ten had become the lucky number. I just couldn't resist; I just had to throw in an incentive. He was trying so hard, after all.

So, for every "10" word that he got, he got a mini chocolate chip. In record time, his work for that day and the next was completed. I think he got a total of 14 mini chips.

All you teachers out there, this is one way to do cursive. You can always substitute kale chips for chocolate chips. By the way, I use Really handy.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rice paddies

Today Ken took the kids to help a friend plant her rice field. He said they were thrilled with the whole experience. I'm so glad they finally got a taste of what ought to be a prerequisite to long-term living in Taiwan. This is how it was done for years before machinery eased some of the pain. Backbreaking work. This happy morning cannot come even close to the hardships farmers in Taiwan faced (and still face), but at least they came a step closer to understanding the lives of so many unsung heroes. 

Thank you, Wendy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Calvin and Hobbes

was not supposed to be a part of Joseph's curriculum, but last year in the States, he started reading them at my parents' house. I don't think he understood much at that time, but he was engrossed. Just a few days ago, he was given the opportunity to borrow one from friends who kindly took care of our kids while we went out on our anniversary date. All I have been hearing these days have been snippets of C&H dialogue with a lot of laughing and between, and cute mispronunciations sprinkled here and there. What to do? I really do think it's a little too early for Joseph to be able to handle Calvin as a role-model. But I can understand the pain of having tasted and then being deprived. We three sisters laughed our way through every single Bill Watterson book. Nevertheless, I'm going quietly try to return it without him realizing it. Highly unlikely. But miracles can happen. Here's a sampling of how much Joseph likes C&H:

....hmmm....why can't I upload a video? It says there was an error....

Well, here's a picture: