November 5, 2009

Homeschool Days 11/05/09

"In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."
--Carl Sagan

Thursdays seem to come around a whole lot faster with B's new work schedule. Our weekends are somewhat confusing. We may start "doing school" on Saturday and Sunday as well. Of course, every day is already a learning opportunity. What I mean is that we may do more of our organized activities all seven days of the week since we seem to be doing a little less when dad is around. When I mentioned it to Robotson he said he'd like to do more reading on the weekends. Reading is just the word we settled into for "schoolwork". Yes, we mostly read, but it's so much more than that and encompasses all subjects.

This week Robotson and I read Great Expectations and are currently immersed in Black Beauty. We read the illustrated, abridged version of Great Expectations so it only took us a couple of hours. We are reading the unabridged Black Beauty. We own many of those illustrated classics; the ones that really water down the stories and take imagination out by providing pictures. See I made some mistakes when Robotson was little. The one I regret the most is not reading to him. I interpreted his fidgeting as disinterest. It seemed pointless to read to someone who didn't want to be read to, and I stopped. So when we started reading together for school, I thought this would be a good way to introduce him to the classics and keep him engaged. Funny thing though, the first classic I read to him was the unabridged Anne of Green Gables, which had only a handful of illustrations. He mostly played quietly, still appearing to be ignoring me, but in reality soaking up every word. What makes me choose the watered-down classics over the originals now? Mostly how difficult the language is for him to understand. I tried to read A Christmas Carol to him last year but he had a hard time following Dickens' writing style. Little Women was sometimes difficult for him. Mark Twain is too hard right now, but Anna Sewell is just perfect. So when you see that we've read two great classics in one week, it's probably a safe bet that we have cheated a little bit. I always let him know when we're done that if he enjoys the story, and wants to read it again later, we'll go for the unabridged text. Oh and as for the pictures-- he rarely asks to look at them.

Our week has been a little stranger than usual. Monday I had to take all three in to the pediatrician. Funny Girl had her four year check-up, Robotson had to get another round of vaccinations, and Dimples was supposed to get her second seasonal flu shot (I ended up not getting it). I meant to show them the Sid the Science kid episode on vaccinations, but I forgot. I'm still planning on working that in soonish. They were all pretty crabby with me after that so we pretty much blew off Monday and Tuesday, except for going to the park.

Our microwave ignited on Monday. I gave it to Robotson to take apart. He hasn't really gotten started yet, but it's only a matter of time.

Tuesday I had to get his glasses replaced because he broke the frames. Much discussion ensued about responsibility, finances, and the difference between accidents and mistreating things.

And though the girls mostly played this week, there were dozens of mini conflict resolutions that I tried to work them through. It's an exhausting exercise trying to get a four year old and a two year old to stop pulling each other's hair and talk about their feelings. It even sounds ridiculous to me as I type it.

I did read with the girls, but not as much, and I can't think of a single book right now.

Funny Girl informed me that mermaids eat Pink Lady apples. They have their own website, as every apple should.

We reevaluated the computer schedule this afternoon and are giving it another two weeks. This time Robotson was not happy with the resolution. His computer time was reduced overall. Part of the problem was getting him to discuss it with us reasonably. He would either refuse to talk or claim things were said that were not. B and I are hoping to fill in those hours with something better than sitting in front of a computer screen. I think, in the end, we will have a very good solution. I don't think we are there just yet.

A few things we checked out online this week:

Days of the Dead celebrations around the world, and the Ares I-X launch. Robotson new more about the Ares launch than I did.

Creaturecast released another way cool episode, this time on multi cellular organisms (that's us!). The first episode is just as neat, watch that one too!

The Symphony of Science
" is a musical project by John Boswell designed to deliver scientific knowledge and philosophy in musical form."
This song gets me teary-eyed every time. The kids ask to hear it on every van ride. Yay!


  1. Sounds like a busy week. The negotiations between kids must be exhausting. I looked at the computer schedule - whoa, that's A LOT of computer time. I hope that you will find out the solution that works for everyone.

  2. Yes, it is a lot of computer time. We are definitely a computer family. There are 9 working and daily used computers in our house (plus several just laying around as backup). I know our kids will be on them much more than most. However, we let loose the restrictions quite a bit this year for Robotson to see if he could self-regulate. Some days he did very well, others- not so much. Prior to this year he had only 10 hours of computer time per week. He was watching more t.v. though. Anyway, now the computer time is really screen time and includes the Wii and t.v. We are down to 25 hours a week in our next trial. Both B and I agree that we'd like it to be even less, but we are moving slowly. I'll probably write about it soon :)

  3. I tried Gamma on one of the Illustrated Classics books -- he was less than thrilled. Right now we're reading The Jungle Book, and he's riveted! The language is a little involved for him, so we're also listening to a dramatized audiobook of it. It's really helping him to get the story details that he might otherwise have missed.

  4. Ohh, I forgot to add -- we LOVE Pink Ladies!! I thought that was just a European thing, as I'd never seen them for sale when we lived in the states.

  5. Beta- The illustrated classics aren't my favorite, but I think he's growing out of them quickly.

    I've only seen the Pink Ladies at Costco, and not all of the time. They are delicious!