IN THE CAR THIS WEEK
Magic Treehouse audiobooks per the 6yo's request
BOOKS BEING LOVED
11yo read: Half Brother
6yo: working on learning to reading, Mom and Dad reading him Magic Tree House books.
9:00 - 10:30 8yo has private art lesson with M. This morning is a still life.
9:30 – 3:00 Homeschool in the Forest for 6yo + 11yo. When I drop them off, they are discussing what causes fog to lay low like it is on the lake that morning.
11:00 - 2:00 8yo and I work on math, language arts, and memorizing her CC timeline, following the lessons online. Each time I work with her, we drill down a little deeper and research the subject on one of the cards. Today we did Gandhi, and I pulled up this great song, Ah Ahimsa, by The Deedle Deedle Dees. It was perfect for her and she danced and couldn't stop singing it. To help her memorize the words, and to also work on penmanship, I printed the lyrics out on a custom cursive worksheet and had her copy them.
6yo Group Report: "Hello Dirt Time parents, We had another beautiful day of dirt time yesterday, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be out exploring on the land with your children. Because it is Halloween week as well as full moon, we planned an extra sneaky day and were receiving strange clues as to poncho's whereabouts through a walkie talkie. We found conch and Dane hidden together beneath the spillway! Our opening game helped us review hazards (naming a hazardous plant or animal was the only thing defense against being eaten by hungry humans), and then, in opening circle, we had a brief discussion about changes that are happening this season as well as a challenge to notice one thing we'd never seen before in this often visited morning circle spot as well as to report back with a new sound we're hearing now that we weren't hearing a month ago. Maybe you will notice some this week! / Some of our group were hungry right after morning circle so we snacked at the picnic tables, sharing riddles and mysteries, and then headed out on our hike to pumpkin ridge. Once we got to a nice woodland at the top of pumpkin ridge, we saw Mia and the 8 musketeers running by us. We decided to try to sneak up and follow them, following them all the way back down the hill to where they were sitting pretending to have lunch and story. At the end of the day we learned, to our great amusement, that they had been sneakily following us all morning up to that point, and gave them kudos on their great stealth! We headed back up the ridge to where our backpacks were and where I had set up a blindfolded string walk. The children got to follow a string through the woods using all of their senses besides sight and trusting themselves, their intuition (and trusting that I had laid out a safe course) to the courses end. Everyone accomplished it without peeking and were also great at remaining quiet so other kids could enjoy the sounds of the forest. / We had lunch and heard a Native American story about birds migrating south and a turtle that convinced them to take him along only to fall from the stick he was clamping in his mouth and end up spending the winter beneath the mud in the lake. We wondered what the turtles that live at Lake Lagunitas will do for the winter. We'll have to watch and see! / We next played a game of coyote trackers in which one half of the group stayed with Dane and the other half came with me to hide as a pack of coyotes. Once we were hidden, we made a call and the trackers had to find us just using sound. Once found we switched roles and found the new group of coyotes. / Many of the children were tired from all of the up-hill hiking and were ready for some down-time and free play. We found a wonderful oak tree with many low branches that somehow fit our whole group, and they organized themselves into an imaginary world of animal friends. It was quite lovely (and funny) to watch how they played, and I was so happy with how well everyone was playing together and including each other. It feels like our group is really beginning to get and become harmonious! / We hiked back with enough time for the children to lead Dane and I in a blindfolded string walk, which they loved, and to have a few more minutes of unstructured play before closing circle."
11yo Group Report: "Greetings everyone, Today was a sneaky day of sorts, drawing upon the energy of Halloween and the full moon, and samhain (festival of the dead, that marks the shift from the autumn equinox towards the winter solstice - more on that next week). We managed to review hazards for the "hungry humans" during a game this morning, and then headed off into the forest. A short stroll to Bon Tempe for snack got us going in the direction of our stealthy plan to hide from Mia's group. There also began the adventure/mystery of the blow dart gun (more details momentarily)... let's just say our crafting for Water Dragon Credits (our new alternative currency for multi-person trades) is expanding beyond Dirt Time to home. There was much excitement to try blowing the darts, before continuing on our journey. A quick game at "Dragon Beach" before it was time to hide from Mia's group. A delay gave us time to eat lunch and plan, until we heard them coming through the walkie talkie. Covered in mud or leaves or branches, we disappeared into the forest. It was only our bird songs that clued them in after a good 5-10 minutes, and we slowly got found one by one (except Finn who jumped out screaming - covered in mud, don't forget - to scare them…it worked). / Up stream, we found our way up to a rocky outcropping for a sit spot/chill spot. After 10 minutes of solo silence we came back together to share observations and feelings - what we heard and how it felt in our place. By then it was time to make our way back, somehow finding a previously unknown forest of Buckeye - perfect for our fire kits… so we carried a couple dead branches back to work with in the near future."
3:30 - 4:30 8yo has dance class while her brothers finish up their math homework in the car (and on the sidewalk).
We eat dinner out and on our walk home we notice that our local library is open until 8pm!!! :) We stop in and stock-up on all sorts of goodness. While we were planning on reading The Watsons Go to Burmingham, 1963 for our next tween boys book club, I find Half Brother and am instantly hooked by page two. 11yo grabs it from me and won't give it back. A book about a 13yo boy who's family raises a chimp - so perfect for his mindset. After reaching out to the other moms of like-minded boys in our book club, we make a switch. Half Brother it is!
9:00 - 11:30 Kids meet one on one with their amazing math tutor - a true kid whisperer. While each on is in the other room with her, I work with them individually on things like phonics, writing a letter to a grandparent/cousin, chores, etc. When I have the two youngest together, we work on our CC timeline song and back up the memorization with short history lessons on YouTube. Because when you have to sing about Mesopotamia and Sumer, it's best to know what the heck it is you are actually singing about! From here I will solidify their learning by quizzing them - "Who invented the wheel?" "The Sumerians!" "Who contributed the arch to architecture?" "The Sumerians!" "Who first spun pottery?" "The Sumerians!"
1:30 - 3:30 Drop in art class for the 6 and 8yo.
2:00 - 3:00 Music lesson for the 11yo
9:00 - 2:00 All three kids rotate in and out of Math Club/ Art Appreciation / Maker Science, based on their age.
3:00 - 4:00 Parkour / Gymnastics
9:15 - 12:00 Classical Conversations for 6 and 8yo
9:30 - 3:00 All boys nature camp for the 11yo. The report:
We hosted a weird science party at our house today! I purchased a Steve Spangler Halloween Science Party kit, and invited some of our favorite people over for some creepy experiments. My favorite were the vampire veins, but all of the activities were a huge hit!