Saturday, 24 August 2013

Just Messing About on the River

We started our study of The Wind in the Willows by having shared reading sessions between Tiger and I of the original, unabridged version of the book.  This is part of our language arts lesson using a corresponding back issue of The Arrow to help us get deeper into our reading.  So far so good.  Our first session went on easily enough, with a surprise in store for me as I dictated two fairly long sentences taken from the first chapter of the book for Tiger to write.  I was half expecting Tiger to encounter some difficulty at this point since we did not do any dictation or spelling last year.  Furthermore, Tiger has never been too keen on writing more than a few words on paper.

Maybe it is the summer, or perhaps Tiger found the new format intriguing.  Anyhow he managed to write the entire dictation passage down without making any mistake in spelling or punctuation, and he wrote it in cursive handwriting!

I suspect this sudden improvement in Tiger's ability to write neatly and to spell accurately has to do with a few things:
  1. A gradual and natural maturation over time that helps with his fine motor skills - I had tried to enforce daily practice of cursive handwriting at the beginning of the year but that soon fell by the wayside because Tiger has never been keen on repetitive tasks.
  2. Reading voraciously.  I'd really like to claim credit for Tiger's spelling ability, but without having done any spelling activity in the previous year, Tiger's ability to spell accurately can only be attributed to his exposure to words from reading many good quality books. 
We then watched a short clip that gave us some background to the book:

The following book gave a more detailed description to the background of Kenneth Grahame, his life, and the motivation behind the story:

This post is linked up to:
  1. Hobbies and Handicrafts - August 23
  2. Collage Friday - Week 1 of The Big Change!
  3. TGIF Linky Party #91
  4. Weekly Wrap-Up: The One Where Our First Break Week Sped By
  5. Homeschool Review - with a Science and History Focus
  6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {August 24, 2013}
  7. Hip Homeschool Hop - 8/27/13


  1. Lovely handwriting :) and what a fab topic, I really like the Wind in the Willows!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Debbie. :-) The Wind in the Willows is such a classic, isn't it?

  3. We've been reading The Wind in the Willows too. Thanks for posting about it. The video will be a nice addition and can help tie in our ecosystem study. :)

  4. You're welcome, Wendy, and thanks for stopping by. :-)

  5. We read wind in the willows a few years back and the children just loved it! How wonderful to be doing extra activities linked to it - just up my street! We were given the newish (not latest) dvd for Christmas shortly after reading it, which was a nice addition, but apart from that the children were too young to do much at the time (my youngest two weren't even born yet. I might have to do a revisit with all five! You've inspired me!!

  6. What beautiful dictation. I'd like to do more dictation with C(9) this year; up to now we've mostly done copywork. Thank you for the videos!

  7. I've always loved the idea of extending activities to tie in with a good book. It just makes reading the book all the more fun. It's very similar to what you've been doing, Claire, with the little ones using FIAR and with everyone this summer using The Little House. :-)


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