IN THE CAR THIS WEEK
The Phantom Tollbooth "This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom."
So far, so good! I was excited to learn there is a Phantom Tollbooth movie, which we will watch after finishing the audio.
Johnny Tremain Beautifully narrated, an ABSOLUTE MUST! Having watched Disney's 1950's take on this 1943 classic by Esther Forbes, I wondered if this wouldn't be a bit redundant, but oh no! The book is rich with wonderful details and character development not found in the movie. It took us several weeks to get through it in the car but, I can't wait to do it again, several years down the road when each child will be able to get that much more out of it. By the time the last line was read: A man can stand up, I was in tears! -- "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."
9:30 – 3:00 Homeschool in the Forest
When I pick up the kids today, Beanie was wearing a beautiful new necklace made of freshly picked madrone berries and elderberry beads.
"In this week's Halloween edition, we got to become local plants and animals. In the morning we found costumes for those of us who may have forgotten. We admired the large trout in Bon Tempe and had snack with them. We then headed to Fort Sambucus to make some elderberry beads and flutes. After lunch, we hiked to the top of Medicine Wheel Hill, where we were supposed to meet the rest of the group. They weren't there yet so we created some Madrone berry necklaces and added our newly made elderberry beads to them. They turned out quite nice.
6:00 Big kids work on their language arts assignment, due the next morning. They both hate the idea of it, but one kid powers through without complaint, and the other kid complains endlessly but does a great job.
Bedtime reading - 5yo is very interested in learning how to read his letters. Beanie is finally reading small chapter books on her own and enjoying it! 10yo just received the first six books in The Hardy Boys collection - and he's devouring them, asking me to buy him the remaining 52 books in the series. :-/
9:00 - 12:00 Big kids go to Language Arts and Math/Drawing out Arithmetic classes for homeschoolers. Math class consists of four students (two 2nd grades, and two 4th graders). Language arts is just three students, but content is delivered at appropriate grade level for each, while being in-line with their specific interests.
12:00 - 2:00 Open studio art class for homeschoolers. Imagine a fully stocked open room and the freedom to create whatever you want. They both did so much today! 10you beaded a necklace and an impressive leather and beaded bracelet. He also made an acrylic maze of sorts - for his lizard, I wonder? Beanie worked on props for her dolls at home - a campfire scene.
1:00 - 4:00 PreK for Tiny Buns
2:15 - 3:15 10yo has music class, currently focused on guitar and drums. Beanie and I walk two blocks to our regular cafe and read.
3:45 - 5:15 While the 10yo plays SOCCER, Beanie teaches Tiny Buns how to count to 100 while rolling around on the field. "10, 20, 30, 40 - then what comes next? I'll give you a hint - fffffffif. Fffffffif. Fifty! Good!! 50, 60, then 70, and 80..." Love, love, love the sibling-to-sibling teaching that goes on. :-D
10yo has an early dentist appointment while little kids watch an episode of The Magic School Bus.
10:00 - 11:00 In-home family Spanish class. We work on basic addition and subtraction, but in Spanish. We also play a little game of *Spanish Verb Charades*. Lots of giggles. Beanie bailando!
11:45 - 12:45 Beanie and three other 7yos meet for SCIENCE at a friend's home. Meanwhile, host mother works with 10yo to prepare and bake an orange bundt cake. Report from science teacher:
"This week, we focused on learning about energy. Energy is needed to do work. We discussed how work was when an object was doing something, moving, or changing. We introduced two types of energy - potential and kinetic. Potential energy is stored energy. An object has potential energy when it has the potential to do work, but is not currently doing any work. In the case of our roller racers, we turned the straw lever to build up potential energy in the twisted rubber band inside of the racer. When the racer is released, the potential energy is transferred to kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is active energy that is doing work. We measured the distances our racers traveled in relation to the number of turns of the lever and the amount of potential energy stored up in the rubber band. We found that the more your turned the lever, the more potential energy was stored and transferred into kinetic energy resulting in the racer going further."
1:00 - 4:00 PreK for Tiny Buns
1:00 - 2:00 Poetry for 7yos. This language arts instructor doesn't send out reports, and I'm usually driving up or down the hwy at this point, getting Tiny Buns to PreK. But I always interupt things, usually out on the deck and in the sunshine, to take a shot of what four kids are doing. Here is Beanie writing a poem with very dirty feet. I just love that she can do this in whatever position feels more comfortable to her.
1:00 - 2:30 Science for 10yos - and I just LOVED today's project - constructing a sample of blood out of candy! Update from instructor:
1. Red Blood Cells (candy red hots/red sprinkle circles): 44% of blood volume, carry oxygen and carbon dioxide around body. RBC's only live for about 3 months, but are continuously produced in the bone marrow.
2. Plasma (laundry detergent): 55%, syrups, thick, clear, yellowish liquid that carries dissolved food and wastes.
3. White Blood Cells (marshmallows): 0.5%, bigger than red blood cells, oddly shaped cells that "eat" bits of old blood cells and attack germs.
4. Platelets (small sprinkles): 0.5% -bits of cells and cytoplasm that help clot your blood.
Next week, we'll continue with the circulatory system and the heart."
3:00 - 4:30 Beanie goes to Grandma's house for some fun, 10yo and I go on a walk until it's time to pick-up Tiny Buns and Beanie, and head home to carve pumpkins.
8:15 - 9:15 I take all three kids to 10yo's math tutor. Tough morning getting everyone out the door on time. The good news is his tutor tells me she's more than happy to start coming to OUR house for lessons, which is huge for me. One less time a week when I need to pack-up and drive somewhere. I love all the great classes the kids do, but the driving is getting to me fast.
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:
1:00 - 4:00 PreK for Tiny Buns
1:15 - 2:15 French immersion for Beanie, while I get a quick walk around the town in.
3:15 - 4:15 Beanie soccer
6:00 10yo does journal entry on day in nature. His handwriting is getting better! :)
FRIDAY - HALLOWEEN!
Fridays I try to leave for field trips. Because it is Halloween, I cancelled our Spanish class and take a trip out to the Point Reyes lighthouse. Shocking, but we've never been.
EXTENDED LEARNING (aka THE WEEKEND)
We catch a performance of Mummenschanz, then dinner with Grandpa, who gives Tiny Buns a much needed lesson in how to twirl spaghetti! ;-)
As I always like to say: Don't over-estimate the education your kids get in school, and don't ever, ever underestimate the education you give them at home!