"Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be rather a sort of amusement; this will better enable you to find out the natural bent of the child."
We are having a fairly typical week around here. Our best intentions got a little bit sidelined by my headache on Tuesday, a dinner with my cousin Mark last night, and he and his wife are visiting on Friday. However, there are learning opportunities in everything. Mark is being deployed to Afghanistan (again) in a couple of months. The first time he went, Robotson was too young to understand or care. When his tour was done, he got a job with a private security company in Iraq, but he was recently let go, so he came home. But he needed a job, so he rejoined the Reserves, and that's just how it goes sometimes. Robotson and I have talked a little about Afghanistan and Iraq. He understands (well as much as an eight year old can) what is going on in these areas and he's pretty upset that my cousin will be going over there. To help him, I'm trying to schedule as much time for the two of them together so he can ask questions. Mark's job is in supply and he's not likely to see much, if any, of the fighting but it's still a dangerous place to be.
Despite the distractions, we've had a full week. Here are some highlights:
We looked up the Stygimoloch and Carnotaurus dinosaurs to see what their skeletons looked like. We talked about how scientists try to figure out what colors they should be. He also found out Dr. Grant (from The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd) does the Field Guide Facts voice on the Dinosaur Train website. Big thrill!!
While listening to the Classics for Kids podcast, I heard about learning music using The Kodaly Method. I really liked it and would like to do it myself. I'm researching to see if it's something I can do on my own (because money is tight), but also looking for resources in our area.
We drove up to Pigeon Forge for the weekend to celebrate my dad's birthday. On the way through Cherokee we talked a little bit about American Indians.
We finished Little Women today and plan to watch the movie tomorrow. I have no idea what we will read next. I'll worry about that next week.
The best part of the week was when after discussing for the millionth time how mistakes are normal, but not learning from them gets me really frustrated; he told me he wants to learn everything. He wants to do much more school and could I please, please, please teach him how to read as well as I do so he can read everything. Plus I really need to help him do multiplications and all science and technology. He has so much to learn, you know! Not that he's ever been opposed to learning, but this was a unique burst of inspiration. I can't help but be a little tickled. If only he realized how much of this we already are doing. But hey, if he wants to do sit down work, that works too.
Funny Girl has started asking to do "her reading time", just like her brother. How can I refuse? I think I'm going to have find time for just her and I everyday. She may be ready for chapter books, whereas Dimples is not. Ah, the fun of having more than one child! I need a clone. I don't remember reading anything new with the girls this week. I kept meaning to get to the library, but we never made it.
Last, but certainly not least, two very cool websites came to my attention in the last week.
The first (added to the Thinking Bloggers on the right) is the Forensic Science Schools blog. There are links upon links of great science websites. I clicked on half a dozen and found so much amazing stuff that it might take us a year to just glance at them all. Check out Adrienne's posts on the Top Ten Female Science Bloggers, and her latest post 100 Best Web Tools for Science Students. I'm seriously in love with her blog right now.
The second is Creekside Education. Susie pulls together free (or not too expensive) education resources on her blog. This week she found me and I was so honored I just had to return the favor. She's found some real gems too. Check out her post on Worldschooling and for you crafty homeschoolers, Handmade News. One of the coolest things that Susie does is bring attention to Twitter feeds. I have been amazed at how much I've learned from the homeschooling community on Twitter. If only I could keep up with it all!
Check those ladies out and give them props. They deserve it.