THIS WEEKS BOOKS
In The Car: We finished up a great book in the car over our break, Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and Other Wily Characters. We are now onto Every Soul A Star, and everyone is enthralled.
10yo: He's reading Just A Drop of Water, a book I picked up for him about a boy's experience with September 11th. He also devoured Rifle, although I now see the reviews are terrible. I am reading to him (when he lets me) Hero on a Bicycle. Between the two he fills his free time with Reptiles Magazine.
9:30 - 3:00 Homeschool in the forest! It's a beautiful day but we still bundle them up for the morning before dropping them off. Everyone LOVES Mondays!
3:00 We stop at the library and load up. Here is a pile of great DVDs I find on all sorts of interesting subjects that may (or may not) interest one or all of the kids at once. I also grabbed a stack of books for Tiny Buns that come in an envelope with CDs to accompany. They can be a great way to work on reading.
6:00 I get my way (!) and we sit down to watch Sacagawea. Its poor production quality annoys the 10yo. I roll my eyes at his high production standards and make him power through. We've covered Lewis & Clark before, but I'm a big believer in returning to subject matter again and again to really solidify ones understanding of it.
8:30 - 10:30 Math tutor for all three kids. Tiny Buns always asks to go first. This week he counted to 1,000 by tens, ya know, just for fun. The kid is all about numbers, counting and math problems.
10:30 - 12:00 Language arts for the two older kids. We've started splitting the time 50/50 and it seems to be working better for everyone. The 10yo is over his *block* and doing much better. I need to write about a post about the trick that worked for him. More to come.
1:00 - 4:00 Prek for Tiny Buns
2:15 - 3:15 Music for the 10yo while Beanie and I take a walk
At home, the kids decide on their own that they want to make signs for their treehouse. :)
6:00 We sit down and watch this documentary on Versailles. I figured it would be great to watch with Beanie - a refresher on our trip. Didn't mind if the boys caught it too. It was what it was. Through the really dry parts I tried to keep their attention by cracking jokes about the hairstyles and how these guys looked like '80's rockers. That carried us through to the more exiting parts like watching furniture restoration, touring the garden, etc.
We wake up and clean our rooms. Lots of organizing and purging. The 10yo is constantly revamping his reptile terrariums. There is always packaging, sawdust and vitamin powder on the floor. For a kid who loves to spend time cleaning his room, his room is certainly not clean enough.
10:00 - 12:00 We sit down together and do a whole bunch of different things - some math, some memorization of Shakespeare, cursive practice, a Tinker Crate, reading, etc.
I want my kids to have good penmanship. The books haven't don't a good enough job for me - it's just tracing the letters, then some dumb sentence. "C is for crocodile" won't cut it for the 10yo. So I had an idea for custom print + cursive worksheets. Of course, a little research and what did I find - a website where you can create custom handwriting pages! This source has been huge for us.
I'm pretty sure I promised myself that we would never do worksheets in homeschool. Oh well, looks like I lied. Tiny Buns is a complete sponge, and he likes to talk about numbers all day long. He begs for math worksheets, and I deliver them with a Star Wars theme.
12:30 - 2:30 Big kids go to their SHAKESPEARE CLASS down the street. All lines are memorized, including one soliloquy each. The 10yo is not as enthusiastic as he was in the beginning but Beanie is loving it.
1:00 - 4:00 Tiny Buns to Prek
2:45 - 4:15 10yo to art instruction. I'm excited when M. tells me at drop-off that they are going to work on "throwing paint" today. What 10yo boy wouldn't want to throw paint?? They do a little online research on Jackson Pollack and head off to the park. M. sends me multiple shots of the progress and there is a clear progression from the kid's first to last painting. You can really see the difference as he learns to let go.
3:00 - 5:30 Beanie goes to her grandma's house to bake brownies and needlepoint.
5:30 My mom brings Beanie home and we have our (almost) ritual Wednesday night dinner. After dinner we sit down and watch Food Inc. - the second time this week for a few of us. This is a film worth revisiting once a year. (Also recommending tween version of The Omnivore's Dilemma, which we read last year together.)
9:00 - 10:30 Beanie does art. She too works on throwing paint this week.
9:30 - 3:00 10yo's Thursday nature camp with boys. Pure bliss for that kid! (No pack leader report issued this week.)
10:30 - 11:00 Karate for Tiny Buns
1:00 - 4:00 PreK for Tiny Buns
1:15 - 2:15 French for Beanie. The three girls continue working on their 3D Paris map, which is adorable.
3:30 - 5:15 Beanie does *after school* art workshop
An early morning trip to the vet is 110% educational in my mind. I asked the vet if the 10yo could go in back with the dog and see her getting X-rays. It didn't work this day but he actually encouraged us to call in at a future date and come down for a few hours of observation. Amazing!
Back home, we start planting our veggie garden. We put spinach, beets, radish and carrot seeds into the ground. Everyone was so incredibly excited that I nearly lost my mind trying to keep it semi-organized and thoughtful. Oliver basked in the sun next to us. Later, the boys took the initiative and propagated our orchids. My heart exploded at the sight!
EXTENDED LEARNING (AKA: THE WEEKEND)
Beanie does a Saturday morning art class with her BFF. The 10yo and Dad build a rabbit hutch for Beanie's new friend. Saturday and Sunday, Daddy and I take turns mountain biking with the big kid. Don't every underestimate the education you give your kids on the weekend! :)