Tuesday, July 15, 2008 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Emma at 7.5 – learning notes

I realized it’s been a while since and Emma update and a talk about what she’s learning. Again, she is in an upswing of amassing information as quickly as posible. This is one of those times where I start to rethink our parental policy of answering questions as best we can.

As a side note, does anyone else have small(ish) children that regularly say, “Can we go look that up on wikipedia?”

Emma has been getting along with Meaghan, which is good because they share a room. Yesterday, or maybe the day before, Meaghan accidentally whipped some cream too far and made butter. Since it had sugar and vanilla in it already, it was very gourmet butter. We then had cinnamon toast. 🙂

So at some point she grabbed Emma, took her off to the kitchen and made butter again, explaining to Emma how it worked and letting her use the noisy scary mixer too. It was extra delicious because they made it themselves. Today, they presented me with pictures explaining how the milk fat molecules get happy and link arms. It included smiley faces on the molecules.

Meaghan also helped Emma update her blog.

Another day, back last week when it was desperately hot, Emma set up an experiment. I don’t even know if she got it from Zoom or if she thought it up herself. She filled some smaller 500ml pop bottles with water and placed them in various locations outside in the sun. Then she used Daddy’s laser temperature gun to take their temperature. She wrote it down in a chart that she made on a piece of paper. Every so often, she went back out and took the temperatures of the bottles and wrote it down. It was interesting to see that some of the bottles got hotter depending on where they were. (You and I know this is likely, but here she proved the theory.)

Something she did get from Zoom, she did yesterday with Daddy’s help because he was still home. She wanted to find out how many people in our house were squares and how many were rectangles. If you are a square, then your height is the same (or close enough) as the span of your arms held out wide, from fingertip to fingertip. Daddy helped her measure after they hunted down his measuring tape. She again grabbed a piece of paper and made a chart, complete with faces and checkboxes, to record her results. Initially she wrote that 3 of us were percents. She asked me if this was right. I could see her brow furrowing, thinking hard. So I did explain that in this case we weren’t using percents (I’ll save that for later), but it was 3 of us out of 5 total. A fraction.  Ah, that was better. It all made sense now.

Emma would also like Addison and Kaytlyn to measure themselves and send their results, please. 🙂

We had to wait for Sarah to get up then wake up before she got measured. After that, the big kids and the parents talked about torso length compared to leg length. Sarah is 5’4″ and Meaghan is 4’10”, but seat them side by side on the dining room chairs and Meaghan is taller. Ron is taller than I am, yet we have the same inseam.

This recording things is happening more often, and is good. 🙂 One time when we got the groceries, she took out her notebook and pen from her purse and made a graphic list of what we needed, checking off each item when we got them. Somehow her list had a few special items on it that my list didn’t.

We also managed to get her to try a few new things to eat. She’s always had food issues, despite my efforts. Once she decides she doesn’t like something, it’s a struggle to get her to eat it again, even if it was a previous favorite. But we have had success! Last night, she ate fruit cocktail with me. Sure, she stuck to the pineapple and pear chunks, but that was pretty good. “I have to go in the other room for a minute, don’t eat my share,” I said. She giggled. Naturally when I came back a large portion was gone. I am a sneaky mom indeed.

Meaghan also make pumpkin cake which Emma really REALLY liked and we all talked up how much she would like my specially baked squash (with butter and brown sugar…mmmm… ). Another item was Kraft Dinner, which she loves, but we got a box with spiral noodles, which made her quite suspicious. Once she tried it, of course, it’s her new favorite.

Saturday I took her to a small yardsale down the road as they had clothes her size. She brought her purse because she is seven going on forty. She found a new Spongebob purse and eventually transferred all her items to her new purse. She also picked out a Spongebob hat and tshirt. She picked out most of the shirts we bought, and played with the kids there. They had chicks, so she wanted to go look.

Over the weekend, I also cleaned off and organized her desk, so she could not only see the top of it, but use it too. She was so happy! So grateful even. I got plenty of hugs for it. I found some more of her best pipsqueak markers, so she has almost filled her marker case I made. She still uses it faithfully. I organized her drawers a little better, so she has glue & tape and scissors available and will hopefully not run off with mine quite so much. When I was done and showed her where everything was, she only moved a few things to make more sense to her. 😀 Then she spent quite a bit of time drawing.today there is a large workbook left open on it.

We have a large box of blank assorted paper for kid use, which I just moved to the side of her desk. There’s one-sided printouts, stray looseleaf, some construction paper, and scraps cut off from longer paper. Ron still occasionally brings home paper printed one side because it might be good for a kid project. He did this when he worked for Star Choice, as in the early days, they would print off reports and then find the calculations weren’t correct and literally have a ream to throw out. So he’d bring it home for the kids. Often only 1/4 of one side would have printing. Meaghan recently told me that when she was little, she thought that’s how paper was when you bought it.

Emma has also been making little booklets for the neighbours – full of pictures of them and her, and declarations of love. Even Earl mowing his lawn, which was pretty funny. “But I drew him with a shirt on,” she told us, very solemnly. The last time she drew some pictures for Wanda at the post office, it was a series of hearts & love. Except the hearts were anatomically correct, in the ribcage, with veins and arteries, and with lines to show it was beating. Wanda was so impressed she gave her a toonie. That’s a $2 coin with a polar bear on it.

In what can only be sheer coincidence, the polar bear is now Emma’s favorite animal.

Thursday, June 26, 2008 in Them kids o' mine

Some days I can barely keep up

Especially with Emma. We were at the grocery store last night and she was chatting up the clerk, like she always does. And then I hear her ask,

“Do you know what powers solar sails?”

I’m standing there trying to make sure the clerk doesn’t put meat on top of the bread and simultaneously trying to figure out where Emma heard about this. I’m also playfully guessing the answer.

“Solar wind?” I’m thinking that’s obvious, right?

“Nope!” Emma grins at me.

The clerk and I go back and forth, and eventually I have to remind her there’s no gravity in space. Emma finally ends our suffering by grinning hugely, opening her arms wide and declaring, “PHOTONS!”

Photons?” I ask, “Seriously?”

I look at the clerk. She shrugs. “Hey, I’ve never even heard of the word before.”

“Oh, I have,” I assured the clerk, “I’m just wondering where SHE did.”

Today, we were over at the post office and I asked Emma if she thought our post mistress might know the answer. We went through the same stream of questions. At the end, Wanda looks at Emma and says, “How old are you again?”

And shakes her head.