Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cuneiform and a Classmate

We've been learning a little about the earliest civilizations in Mesopotamia over the past couple of weeks. Today we pulled out a messy slab of clay and Cullen got to write like a Sumerian, or maybe a Babylonian. (I doubt what we actually produced remotely resembles either!) We found a website that could show us Cullen's name in cuneiform, which was really cool, but a bit complicated to reproduce. Numbers seemed much easier to manage, so we just went with them. Two neatly incised clay tablets are now drying in the kitchen.

I had been modifying Sonlight's Language Arts 2 for Cullen, but this week we began using WriteShop Primary. So far, I am very pleased with it. It suggests what I consider an overload of guided writing and may be just a hair below his actual writing ability, but I never hesitate to tweak things! Cullen will have a weekly "published" project, which makes him feels a greater sense of accomplishment. The goal is to make writing feel more like fun and less like work for him. (We add in Spelling Workout A, copywork, Explode the Code online phonics and mostly oral Easy Grammar to our Language Arts.)

Tomorrow we visit the Mayor's Office in Acworth with our friends from the enrichment classes Cullen takes, so we've discussed the basics of community government in preparation. This afternoon, I began popping questions on the subject to see what, if anything, had actually "stuck." I'm not sure when he managed, but Cullen suddenly had a sock puppet (made years ago by his big brother) on his arm and was consulting with the puppet on answers to my questions! You see the puppet's arm is raised. Turns out he knew what taxes were used for when Cullen had trouble remembering.

This was one of those moments when I was really glad the camera was handy!


Dawn said...

Both the clay tablet writing, and the puppet are ideas I'd like to use sometime. Thanks for sharing these. That sock puppet is pretty cute!

Alison said...

What a really cool puppet. I love that the puppet knew the answer when Cullen didn't! Can I come to your homeschool to work? It sounds really great :-)