Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Some days, when we are so busy, I just wish that I could pack a bag and go on an impromptu trip...anywhere that the only responsibilities involve feeding the kids. If I am in one of those moods...and I am in Louisville, KY...it is very difficult for me resist the urge to take this exit...North or South...anywhere...nowhere.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Busy, Busy, Busy!
Embree and I are now in rehearsals for the fall production.
No time for much blogging this weekend or today, so I thought I'd share a photo journal of our visit to the Frankfort Cemetery last week. As our first field trip (with friends) in our study of the Civil War, we visited this historic cemetery and its memorials to both Union and Confederate soldiers. It was a very interesting afternoon. We actually spent three hours on an outing I thought might take one! We got to see Daniel and Rebecca Boone's (supposed) graves as well. Bonus history lesson! (Supposed, because DB was first buried in Missouri, but Kentucky thought he should be buried here. After his body was exhumed and re-interred in Frankfort twenty-some years later, Missouri claimed that his was not the body moved.)
Enjoy! Have a great week!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
It was a good week, with few bumps in the road. I think we might have actually had a week without tears at all. That's always an accomplishment.
We began a seventeen week long study of The American Civil War. This week we talked about the conditions/climate of American leading up to the war. Discussions were lively and writing was inspired. Looking forward to this unit. I've pieced together a thorough investigation of the War using a great piece of curriculum I found through the Civil War Trust, writing by my bell-weather in history, Howard Zinn, and a plan for local field trips related to Civil War.
Much to Embree's joy, we took a trip to the Louisville Zoo on Friday. The weather was gorgeous, with temps in the low 70s. I don't think we've ever seen so much activity from the animals. Our friends Cam and Karina joined us, which made our day even more fun. Embree could choose one animal each time and just watch it for hours. This trip, it was the sea lion. He was happy in the cooler weather and enjoyed the attention, splashing the kids each time he swam by them. There was time for Brice to play on every playground, balance on every wall, and get up close and personal with goats in the petting zoo. It was a much needed day of fun.
Brice's new obsession: maps. He is so interested in where we are on maps.He carried the zoo map with him all day on Friday, locating where we were in relation to the animals on the map. His favorite activity, though, is determining on the world map where dinos originated; Carnitaurus in Argentina, T-Rex in North America, etc. Whatever works, right?
This is the last week in our first grading period. We'll be wrapping up our study of the artist, Monet, and the composer, DeBussy. Reeves will finish his study of the writing of Rudyard Kipling, and Embree will finish her study of The Secret Garden. Reeves and Todd start their father/son book club this week, reading Sign of the Beaver. Looking forward to new literature, new artists and musicians, a brand new engineering challenge...but I'll save that for next week, after we've begun.
We enjoyed a fun neighborhood cookout last night and celebrated Todd's 45th birthday with sweet potato pie. Happy Birthday Sweetheart! We love you bunches!
Have a great week!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
After a nice long weekend with Daddy...which included no school on Monday...we worked hard to get five days worth of work into four day. Our schedule continues to be enjoyable, leaving us with time for some renewing masterly inactivity. Nice, very nice.
We are currently slogging through Newton's Three Laws of Motion in our Physics curriculum. I, personally, love to see the kids struggle with a concept. It's exciting to see them balanced on that edge just before understanding. Our conversations are more in-depth. There faces are more alive. It's a rare day, but it's the time when I am most thankful that I am able to be with them...to literally watch them grow.
Embree is working each day to tame her new pet, Penny the Parakeet. She is very patient and, as usually, so fully knowledgeable about this animal. She has recently declared that she will study to be an ornithologist.
Reeves celebrated his ninth birthday this week. He invited friends to a hot dog and flag football party at our favorite park. Nana and Poppy visited to help celebrate. The highlight of the weekend had to be the family Wii Resort tournament! It is hard for me to believe that this child is only nine. The other two seem to be growing old before my eyes, but Reeves seems like he should be so much older. He is an old soul, a wise soul, in such a young body. He is a teacher and a precious gift. Happy Birthday dear one.
And Brice! I see Brice in the evening when we are snuggling before bedtime. Otherwise he is a dinosaur these days. The hours he has spent watching dinosaur documentaries has translated to his imaginative play. Most of the day, he is a Carnotaurus. He bites and scratches, which is truly becoming a problem for his siblings. He, and we, got to spend several hours with his birthmom this afternoon. I am so thankful that he loves being with her. She is a gift to our family.
After a week of rain, the last few days have been feeling quite autumnal. Windows are open and more time has been spent on the front porch. Daddy's happy...Dallas is one TV tonight. It must be Fall!! Welcome to our favorite time of year.
Have a great week!
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
There’s a spider in a glass on the floor beside my desk. It’s really big and it’s been there since last night. We try not to kill spiders around here. I have no desire to end his life. But HE’S HUGE and HE’S FAST! I have no idea how to catch him and get him to the window without him crawling on me. Before long, he’ll be dead anyway from my inaction. I need to make a decision one way or the other.
Sometimes in life, I feel faced with decisions similar to this one. I know the right thing to do, but it isn’t always the easy thing to do. I know the right thing to do, but it isn’t always the thing I want to do, even if it’s easy. I don’t always make the right decision. Sometimes I’m selfish, and sometimes I try my best and realize what I thought was good decision, the right decision, was not. I’m ok with that. On the whole, I ruminate too much about the smallest things, and no decision is made without thought. But, I am willing to swallow fear and get on with it. The scariest acts usually end up far less serious than I had imagined.
So, in the middle of writing the paragraph above, I freed the spider. I opened the window, scooped him up, and flung him out. It was thrilling…and not so scary after all.
Monday, September 5, 2011
What a pleasure the last three weeks have been! I'm going to quit wondering why and just enjoy the easy, lid-back routine we've gotten into this year. I hope it lasts...we'll enjoy it while it does.
This week, having finished up the introduction chapter last week, we began our Latin lessons in earnest. This will be a challenging subject, but both of the big kids are really excited about it. We hope to finish up two full years before Embree gets into her high school work. Then, she'll be able to choose from Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, or Romanian...or more than one! The goal is to have enough Latin under her belt to make the study of any Romance language more enjoyable and productive.
We are doing quite a bit of writing in History; learning to summarize in a more efficient manner and to construct the types of paragraphs that will ultimately lead to essays and research papers.
Embree is part of a theatrical repertory company for middle and high schoolers this year. She began rehearsals for that this week. She'll be playing Andromache in a combined version of The Iliad and The Aeneid. She resumed guitar lessons this week and will be practicing "Soul Sister" by train and "She Loves You" by the Beatles. She also started a yoga class that she really enjoys. It's going to be a busy year for her!
We'll be celebrating Reeves' 9th birthday this week. He's having a cookout with friends to play flag football and eat hot dogs (nonvegetarian hot dogs for the birthday boy!). He and a friend are attending their first meeting of the Lego club at the library. I hope he'll enjoy it. Legos are still his favorite activity aside from screen time. We ordered the first part of the Lego Master Builder's series for him for school. He still swears he'll be a Lego designer some day. I see a trip to Legoland in FL in our future!
Brice continues to love dinosaurs and trains. He has spent many hours this week constructing intricate rail and station systems in his room. He's enjoying a preschool workbook all about dinosaurs and he's learning his ABCs. I often hear making up his own songs about letters and their sounds while he's playing.
This week I thought I'd share some links that I love or have found useful in our studies.
Hope you'll be able to use some of them as well.
Here's the Lego Master Builders Academy site I mentioned above.
We recently subscribed to the blog The Kid Should See This. Nearly every day there's been a short video that amazed us or sparked some meaningful conversation. Check it out!
Every week, we take a break from serious writing to explore some fun topics. We have found so many good - free - ideas at Education.com.
Another blog I have found extremely useful of late is Freely Educate. There are several sites that offer free curriculum, but this site seems to offer more than the usual sites of old litereature in the public domain. I have found some valuable resources that we actually are using every day.
Finally, have you ever heard of Evernote? It's available on you pc as well as in an app form for iPod and iPhone. I read lots of blogs and pull lots of curricular ideas from online. Evernote is a greatplace to store and organize these ideas...much better than trying to bookmark and review random sites. My understanding is that you can make notes and store docuemnt in Evernote as well. And it's free. I can't tell you how many times I've gone back to easily find a recipe or idea asavedfor a certain topic in school. Love it!
Hope you have a lovely last hurrah if summer weekend! Todd is actually off all weekend for a change, so we are hideing out, doing family stuff and loving having him home with us!!
Have a great week! Namaste.