Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homeschooling Thursday: This and That

These days we have a bit of a rhythm going, with a short morning session of math (sometimes on the windows just for kicks*)  and a few sentences of handwriting.  For handwriting we work on a few lines of a poem each day, and by the end of the month have memorized a new poem.  My go to book for seasonal children's poetry is the  "ChildCraft book of Poems and Rhymes".  We adopted a whole set of ChildCraft books from our neighbors last year, and they have been a great resource for just about everything.

Having accomplished these two subjects I'm pretty happy to leave the rest of the day up to chance.  It usually involves a little of this and some more of that--for instance:

* We have been slowly working our way through some study of Ancient Arabic times.  I was envisioning all kinds of excitement and imaginative play to arise from this study but so far the kids are showing little interest in it, aside from the classic stories we've been reading.   I'd like to be reading so much more with them, but find that life with a two (2!) year old allows for very little sit down reading--unless its of the worker truck variety.

* There's always plenty of outdoor play which leads to some pretty amazing nature study, almost always unexpectedly.  Yesterday Wylie took down our bird house and found an abandoned chickadee nest with eggs still  in it!  The nest was made up entirely of moss and hair and was somehow full of mushrooms.  It was unclear whether they'd grown from the nest, or had been stored there by some other critter.  A week ago we got to dissect a basketball sized wasp's nest that had blown out of a tree.  We were surprised to find the biggest wasp I have ever seen still inside it (um...yikes!).  Fortunately she was too cold to move quickly and just sat there enjoying the sun.  (I have since heard the trick of putting the nest in the freezer for a few days to make sure everything inside is dead.  We'll be sure to do that next time.)  

* Artwork happens on its own around here, with very few structured projects.  Juniper however, has created a new tradition of hanging a new collage in our mudroom at the start of each season.  Her project has specific guidelines, namely that she and I work on it side by side, that it involve paper, glue, and some elements of nature.  This is our third so far.  I'm hoping next season we can break out of the box a bit, but I seldom have much say in these matters.
Wylie's art is mostly in sculptural form, heavy on the hot glue and random electronic pieces.
Playdough rarely makes an appearance but when it does it is always a good time. In the picture above they were "in Mexico learning how to make cannoli"!   Which reminds me that we should certainly learn to make real cannoli--sans playdough. 

* Recently the kids have started performing all kinds of plays for us, usually in the after dinner hours.  They always involve some kind of ballerina, along with many costume and set changes.

Add an afternoon of playgroup, a homeschool co-op day, a play date, an afternoon of errands, and a quiet day at home (hopefully more than one) and that's our week.  Its almost never what I plan for and the mood is likely to change dramatically from one minute to the next--but its never boring.  Just the way we like it.

* The window crayons are Giotto Decor for glass, purchased at our new local art store, Fiddlehead Artisan Supply--they wash off really easily and would make a great holiday gift.

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