This week was tough. I was sick, Daddy was out of town, and two of my three were on-and-off sick the entire week. We had to miss some of our classes, some of our classes canceled on us, and each day felt like a juggling act. The good part was we wrapped-up our focus on the Rennaisance after attending the fair on Sunday, and we launched into Colonial times and the American Revolution, which will take us through Halloween week when we showcase our Boston-Tea-Terrier-Party-themed-doggie-float at various pet parades. Dork alert! DORK ALERT!!!
IN THE CAR THIS WEEK
I love audio books. I can NOT tell you how good audio books are for us. For all that time spent in the car each week, instead of the pop music, we go educational.
Living Language - Spanish Started this as an in-car suppliment to our in-home classes (2xs/week). I secretly love it when we are all repeating words and phrases together in the car. Highlight - 5yo: "Oh, mom. Did you hear that one? I just did a really good 'Buenas noches'."
Johnny Tremain A story of the turbulent, passionate times in Boston just before the Revolutionary War. Johnny, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught with Otis, Hancock, and John and Samuel Adams in the exciting operations and subterfuges leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. As Johnny is forced into the role of a full-grown man in the face of his new country's independence, he finds that his relations with those he loves changes for the better as well.
Leonardo da Vinci - Science of Giants Another great one and only 2.5 hours. Lots of fun tidbits to keep kids engaged. (Note: You might want to listen to track 11 + 12 of disc one before sharing with younger kids. Some heavier/sensitive content there.)
Shakespeare for Children: A Midsummer Night's Dream + The Taming of the Shrew, Jim Weiss. These short adaptations are a great starter for any age (40 and over included :). Easy enough to understand in today's modern world, they offer a nice foundation, with just enough original wording to get everyone comfortable in the world of Shakespeare. A great primer.
Because we are down south still for the Renaissance Faire, we decided to skip our Monday Homeschool in the Forest, and spend the day in Santa Cruz, taking our time driving home along the coast. We took our breakfast at the infamous, Gayle's Bakery, and while it wasn't meant to be more than a quick *lesson* in eating snickerdoodle muffins, it evolved into a lesson in fractions after Beanie meticulously removed one muffin crumb at a time, until she was left with a perfect 1/4 wedge missing, and exactly 3/4 of her muffin remaining. What I've noticed with homeschooling is that because we know we are 100% responsible for our children's education, we step-up at every opportunity to teach them. Never does a moment slip when we might be able to awaken their senses to something new. And I just love this.
After breakfast we plopped ourselves down at Natural Bridges State Park and took in the perfect fall day with hundreds of brown pelicans and a pod humpback whales off the coast. :)
Language Arts + Drawing Out Arithmetic were canceled this week. Instead I worked with the 10yo on some of the assignments his math tutor gave him - a math cross word puzzle, making a deck of fraction flash cards and building a dodecahedron out of rolled paper. (This took about three hours to complete!!)
I have Beanie work on her penmanship and she's off to do imaginary play with her little brother.
Chores: brushing, cleaning, bed making.
12:00 - 2:00 Open studio art class for homeschoolers. Imagine a fully stocked open room and the freedom to create whatever you want. 10yo works leather pieces, cutting and stitching. I forget to ask Beanie what she worked on.
2:15 - 3:15 Music for the 10yo. He's super excited to get his aunt's middle school guitar re-strung and proudly brings it to his lesson. While he's in his lesson, Beanie and I hit a cafe where we order hot drinks and take turns reading Who Cloned the President. I'm thinking this series will be good for her as she just returned from DC and her reading skills are finally taking off.
3:45 - 5:15 Soccer
Tonight the 10yo finishes up his latest book - The Boys of Blur, by N. D. Wilson
Chores: brushing, cleaning, bed making.
9:30 Kiddo haircuts, followed by tag in the park, a stop at the library and then breakfast out. I'm feeling guilty about enjoying a quiet breakfast out with my kids and so we go over our manners once the meal arrives.
12:30 Drop 10yo at a friend's house who will bring him to science class and back. Beanie is sick and will stay with me. Report from science instructor for this week:
"This week we worked on our review of the nervous system. We finished our neurons and assembled our spinal cord with the different bones that make up the vertebrae. We added it to our posters and labeled the different parts. Next week, we'll connect the nervous system to how the fingers move."
1:00 - 4:00 Tiny Buns does PreK
3:00 - 5:00 10yo and his buddy go to Nana's house and fish on the creek. They get nibbles, but no bites. I'm just happy that they are on their own, doing boy stuff. I will always wonder what they talk about, if anything. ;) Beanie and I are at home, I'm super under the weather, she plays in her room. I start reading her an easy reader edition of Les Miserables. We've been meaning to do this since we went to Paris.
8:15 - 9:15 Math tutor for 10yo.
9:30 – 3:00 Homeschool 4-wheel drive - the 10yo's second day a week in nature. Run by the same organization as Monday's class, this group happens have only boys enrolled at this time, which I love. It's great to see them just go off a wild adventure with a great male leader. This week's report:
"We started our day playing a migration game in the morning, as the "Hawk Watchers" tried to 'catch' the migrating hawks on their journey south (and north). Our day started warm and sunny, but as we approached Mill Valley we could see the fog lingering...and linger it did, all day long. We enjoyed some sound exploration in the tunnels up there, and made our way up to the top of the hill for snack, only to realize how cold and windy it really was. Like animals, we made our way back down the hill to a little microclimate that was protected from the wind. Some stealth games in the tunnel, with fog rolling in, while I played flute or didjeridoo made for an epic game - that they didn't want to stop. After a couple rounds, we came back to the warm spot for some raptor journalling, drawing and learning more about the birds we chose at opening circle. We headed up the hill to explore wingspans of various raptors and see how we measured up. Atop the hill, we were still in the fog, we we found a place to process some acorns. Since our last search for Black Oak Acorns, at Azalea Hill, wasn't a success, I brought some from home. We cracked open hundreds which I've since leached on the stove, using a hot-water leach. I'll dry out the acorn meal and save it for some autumn treats. If we had running water, we could have done it that way as well. Our search continues for more wild ingredients to make some wild foods this autumn."
Tiny Buns has sickness flare-up, stays home from soccer and PreK. Instead we drown our sicky sorrows in comfort food for lunch.
Meatballs and French fries.
1:15 - 2:15 French class for Beanie. This is a time when I plan to walk for an hour and get some much needed movement. I am finding that I'm sitting entirely too much with all the driving around I do. But Tiny Buns is with me today and sick, so we just hang out. :(
3:00 pick-up 10yo, 3:15 soccer drop 7yo 4:15 soccer pick-up
8:00 We watch Johnny Tremain, a 1950's Disney movie on the classic, and perfect for the kids. I found it while online at our county library, searching *Boston Tea Party*. I love, love, love our county library and all that it affords us. Every few days I'm on the website, researching subject matter and ordering audio, books and videos to be delivered to our local branch.
Our Friday morning Spanish class was cancelled due to it being Tiny Buns' birthday party. Unfortunately, Tiny and I have been sick all week and so the party is cancelled. We are home all morning which gives us the perfect opportunity to get started on our big history/Halloween project - a doggie float which we plan to enter into local pet parades. We'll call it "The Boston Tea Terrier Party". More to come on this exciting project. For today, we begin crafting our float out of cardboard, making templates, learning about planning one's project out, mock-ups, pattern making, trial and error. When the kids need a break, I have the 10yo read to the others about the BTP while I keep going. They spend much of the morning crafting a first round of doggie costumes. Despite me throwing my back out during this activity, it was super cute to see them all get so into it.
Kiddos scrubbing a wagon which will serve as a base for our history project/Halloween doggie float.
The doggie costumes (colonists disguised as Indians!) are coming along!!
7:00 Kids watch Old Yeller.
EXTENDED LEARNING (aka THE WEEKEND)
SATURDAY Soccer games and I'm out with a bad back. Daddy takes kids out to play and eat burgers. These awesome, never before used board games arrive! I found them on Etsy while looking for math games. I'm super excited to try them with the kids.
SUNDAY Pancake breakfast at the firehouse, a birthday party for one, fishing with Daddy for the other two, dinner with three other families. Phew!