April 15, 2010

Secular Thursday: Homeschool Days 4/15/10

"Poetry is so vital to us until school spoils it."

-Russell Baker

Rather productive week at our house.  We got caught up on all of the reading, though not on the other stuff I had hoped to do.  Part of that is because we ended up reading a lot of extra stuff.  This weekend we'll sit down and plan out some things to study for the rest of the (school) year.

Oh and look!  Unlike other Secular Thursday posts, this one actually has some relevance to the topic of secular homeschooling!  Two other interesting things to note concerning religion (or lack thereof) from this week; we totally missed the GUST meeting when I completely forgot about it.  DOH!   And, I am going today to join the YMCA because they are doing half-price registration fees this week.  W00t!  I was beginning to regret becoming a fan on Facebook because the bible quotations weren't jiving with my news feed, but finding out about saving money has made up for that.   Oh and speaking of the Y, I have broken my plateau and dropped a couple more pounds!  I have also decided on my next tattoo, but I'm keeping it to myself for now.  It will probably be the end of May before I have a chance to get it.   I will say that's it's not related to atheism.  I'm still undecided on that one.

Don't forget to check out the other Secular Thursday bloggers!


Robotson and I finished A Wrinkle in Time, just in time for his book club.  He read a decent amount of it on his own and I think what he got out of it was worth the time.  He now knows that he can read quite well and even a little above his grade level.  The biggest issue we had was attention.  Reading sort of requires a stillness and focus that he's not ready for yet.  He frequently lost his place because he never stopped moving.  When I read to him, he plays or draws or skips around the room.  I know he loves books, he's just not ready to stop for them.   Our next book club pick is How to Train Your Dragon, Robotson's choice!

Mythology: Myths, Legends and FantasiesFavorite Greek MythsWe picked up The Lightning Thief again finally.  After reading half a chapter, I was struck by how much better the book would be if he actually knew something of Greek mythology.  So we took a couple of days to study those.  First we went through the Greek section of Mythology: Myths, Legends, and Fantasies.  We picked that up at Costco several years ago and it's been an invaluable resource.  The first half of the book is dedicated to the Classical Era, but the rest of the book covers myths from around the world.  The illustrations are the best part though because you can see the art created around the stories.  Robotson was quite captivated by Medusa.   I read a few stories from the book as we went along.  Then I pulled out Favorite Greek Myths.  I was thrilled when he picked up on the similarities in the story of Baucis and Philemon with the story of Noah and the ark.  We literally spent hours reading from these two books.  We'll have to finish The Lightning Thief  this weekend.

Big, Bad, and a Little Bit Scary: Poems that Bite BackThe girls were really feeling neglected with all the time I spent with Robotson.  We had them with us for about an hour while I read Greek myths, before they just wandered off outside.  Poor girls.  I had to make it up to them at night.  We reread The Three Pigs most nights, as well as more from How To Be a Princess.  Since April is National Poetry Month, I picked My First Book of Poems to start our reading time each night.  I also read Big, Bad, and a Little Bit Scary: Poems That Bite Back!   A really fun book with some great rhymes.  I bet little boys would love this sort of poetry.  The girls liked the scariest ones about piranha and barracuda!

The other big hit of the week was A Moth is Born.  It's one of those old Rand McNally books that I picked up somewhere along the way.  The best part is the moth in the story looks like a cecropia moth and we've seen them around here.  I took this picture several years ago of one that landed on our front porch and visited with us for a while.

Jennie's Hat (Picture Puffins)We also read Jennie's Hat, where a little girl learns that even something plain can be made beautiful with a little bit of effort and love.

A Day with Wilbur RobinsonA Day With Wilbur Robinson is the book that inspired the Disney movie, Meet the Robinsons.  The movie is one of our all-time favorites with the great growth mindset message:  Keep moving forward!  (I also find myself frequently saying "THAT is an excellent question!" Love Wilbur!)  The book is different from the movie, but the illustrations are so great and the characters are such a hoot!  If you aren't into Disney movies, still check out the book.  It's a great read!

The last new book we read this week was Time Train.  It's about a class that is going to study dinosaurs in Utah.  They hop aboard a train, but it takes them back in time as well as across the country.  It's very similar to Dinosaur Train, only there are humans.  It's a cute story, but there isn't much substance to it.


With all the reading we did this week, we didn't get to much on the computer.  Here a few interesting places we visited this week.

Wacky Web Tales (via Instructify) You can do Mad Libs online!  Robotson was never really interested in the Mad Lib books.  So much so, that I gave his unused books away.  But everything is always better on the computer at our house.  As my friend G says, it's a great way to learn the parts of speech!

From The Big Picture, photos of spring.  Baby animals are adorable!   Holy week was not adorable.  His exact words after viewing #33, #34, and #37, "Oh my gosh, this stuff is creeping me out!"

America on the Move (via Free Technology for Teachers) didn't capture Robotson's attention.  We both made a movie though.  His was much better than mine.


  1. Love the looks of A Moth is Born - especially since that seems to be one of the major forms of wildlife that visit our house. =) I'll have to find a copy.

  2. i know i've been MIA lately. WTG on getting past your plateau! true inspiration for me to push through mine! :D

  3. Queen Bee- Hope you can find it!

    vertpaix- Thanks!