April 22, 2010

Secular Thursday: Homeschool Days 4/22/10

“The earth is what we all have in common.”
-Wendell Barry

Lots of Secular Thursday posts for today!  Go check them out!

I should write about Earth Day.

I love having a day to celebrate this awesome planet and our lives here.  I also love to read blog posts today because I always see beautiful pictures, get new book recommendations, and read inspiring stories.

The Earth deserves a day like this, especially after all it's done for us.  It reminds me of Mother's Day.  And just like moms, the Earth can go quite unappreciated the other 364 days of the year.  So don't forget our beautiful planet tomorrow.  It puts up with a lot from us.  :)

Did you see the Good Morning America clip on Radical Unschooling?  I don't want to link to it because it was complete drivel.  Plenty of other fine bloggers have torn it apart.  I'll just give a "me too."  Though it will seem as if I was inspired by the current attention, I actually had a second epiphany this week (before GMA).  I figured out a pretty big flaw in the way that I approach homeschooling.  I'm not ready to write about it yet, but my Thursday posts will be going in a new direction.

Interesting Things This Week

We had a dragon fly friend stay with us for a little while.  I went out to get the mail and noticed this little guy on the ground.  He was hurt, but I thought the kids might like to see him anyway, so I brought him inside.

Robotson had a friend sleepover on Tuesday.  We haven't hosted many sleepovers.  I worry that I will feel overwhelmed, and usually can't commit, but that's not fair to my kids or to myself.  I don't know what I can handle if I never try it.  I have to say that it was absolutely painless.  The boys just played and played.  No bedtime hassles, no arguments.  For a while there, I wished Robotson had a brother close in age so he could have this sort of relationship all the time.  It was very similar to the way the girls go off and do things together.  But then I realize that it's not always fun and games, and unlimited access to the Wii.  I think I learned a very valuable lesson, and I expect we'll be having friends over more often.

In honor of Earth Day, I took Funny Girl to see Disney's Oceans, and we carpooled with friends.  The movie was as beautiful and moving as you would expect.  I liked how the focus was put the wonder of the ocean and the overall mood was optimistic and positive, yet realistic about the troubles they face.  Funny Girl asked dozens of questions, some rather loudly, but I had a hard time shushing her.  I felt it was much more important to talk about it while it was right there, than for the theater to be silent.  Most of the other viewers were children.

Interesting Things Coming Up

We have a very busy next few days planned.  We have field trips to pick strawberries, and go behind-the-scenes at the zoo.  We also have two birthday parties!

I am seriously considering purchasing a state park pass, or rather, becoming a Friend of the Parks.   Plus, I want to get a parking pass for Stone Mountain so that we can hang out there in the summer.  I am hoping to keep us outdoors as much as possible this year.  I am finally at a weight where I don't get so tired, and the exercise is helping me gain strength.  Plus, what better way to keep minds off t.v. and computer than to not even be around them.  I know...obvious.  I'm just as enamored with my computer as the kids though.  It will be hard for me as well.


The Tempest
Robotson doesn't want to finish The Lightning Thief.  I'm not entirely sure why.  As I felt myself pushing him, I remembered that what doesn't interest him now, might in six months.  So we are dropping it.  We haven't started any new chapter books, but we have started Shakespeare.  While reading A Wrinkle in Time, there was a mention of the story, The Tempest.  I found this gorgeous illustrated children's version to introduce the story.  He wants to find a movie, and I want to learn more as well.  I also want to take him to the Shakespeare's Tavern when they do The Tempest again.

Robotson has joined us in our nighttime reading.  This has greatly improved our evenings, as well as overall attitudes during the day.  Things were already getting better with earlier bedtimes, but this extra time spent together is making a huge difference.  Sometimes I baffle myself with how hard I make things before realizing what a dolt I have been.  I wonder if they'll agree to start at 9pm so that I can get to bed a little bit earlier?  Anyway, some of our books for this week were:

Goggles! [GOGGLES]Goggles! by Ezra Jack Keats - Two boys find a cool pair of goggles, but some older boys want to take them.  They find a clever way to beat the boys with the help of their dog.  My kids enjoyed the story because of our ongoing issues with the kids down the street.  It was nice to see the younger kids pull one over on the bigger kids. I personally loved the illustrations.  The colors are great.

MadelineMadeline by Ludwig Bemelmans - I was only vaguely aware of the Madeline series.  I don't remember reading any of them as a child, and I was never much interested in the t.v. show.  I picked this up at Goodwill on a whim.  Recently I saw that Madeline's Best Manners was available to Watch Instantly through Netflix.  Since I'm always looking for new ways to teach manners, I thought I should introduce her to the kids.  I ended up liking the story a lot and will look for more of her adventures.  In this story, Madeline has to have her appendix removed.  What would normally be scary and painful, is made so much better when all of Madeline's friends come to visit her.

The Fisherman and His Wife with Benjy and Bubbles adapted by Ruth Lerner Perle - I originally picked this book up because of the illustrator - Giulio Maestro.  He and his wife did my favorite book on introducing children to the world's religions, so every time I see his name; I pick the book up.  This is an old story about greed that we've listened to many, many times on Storynory.  I don't get the Benjy and Bubbles part, but no one seemed to mind.

Follow that Car! by Marcia Leonard - This was a cute little rhyming book and it had the added bonus of asking you to find things as you went along.  It was a breeze for Funny Girl at four.  I might read it a few more times with Dimples, but it probably won't be with us too much longer.

The Last Basselope: One Ferocious StoryThe Last Basselope by Berkley Breathed - My kids love this story.  Opus and friends are off to find the last basselope.  He is rumored to be quite ferocious, and seems to live up to his reputation at first.  Turns out things aren't always what they seem.  There is a good lesson here about friendship and not judging people based on appearances.  Berkeley Breathed is a pretty awesome storyteller if you ask me.

The Beginning of the Earth by Franklyn M. Branley - This was another one that I picked up originally because of Giulio Maestro, but the story is about the birth of our solar system, so you know that's a keeper!  It is a little dated (Pluto is still a planet), but it's basically the same story that Jennifer Morgan tells in her books, Born With a Bang and From Lava to Life.   Since we read it today, it seemed a nice way to end Earth Day.

The Underwater Alphabet Book [UNDERWATER ALPHABET BK]The Underwater Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta - I'm not sure if I've mentioned this one before or not.  We've had it for a while.  This was another fitting book for today after watching Oceans. Just a quick stroll through the alphabet with a look at coral reefs.  Robotson has been listening to the Georgia Aquarium podcast again.  It's their audio tour.  I think he could probably start doing his own tours at this point.  Anyway, he knew a lot about the many fish and other animals in this book.  So between talking about seeing them in the movie and the aquarium, it was well after 10:30 before we were done reading.  And that is why this post is so very late (though I am back posting it)!

Cool Links

We are making Vegan Strawberry Shortcake tomorrow with our fresh berries!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah that GMA thing made my skin crawl. I just heard about it yesterday and spent the better part of last night catching up on various links.
    I can't wait to hear what your epiphany is...
    As for strawberries, I just posted a yummy recipe all about strawberries too, come check it out. 'Tis the season!