Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

A Week in Review

This past week has been an absolute whirlwind of activity. It’s our last week of M4, and we have been running ragged for the past month. I am seriously considering taking our week off next week and doing absolutely nothing!

Like I mentioned in the planning post, we’re doing more that feels like ‘unschooling’ than true desk-work. In fact, this week, we’ve omitted desk and workbook work altogether in favor of letting the kids wind down a bit.

Tuesday involved a non-educational movie, Alvin and the Chipmunks – the Squeakuel… I’m really out of the loop. I had no idea about the controversy over a video on YouTube of a few 7 year olds doing one of the routines that the Chipettes do. Apparently the original video was removed, but you can still see portions of it on other YouTuber’s responses to it and on news channels. Although I pretty much agree wholeheartedly that the choice of song, outfit and dance movements of those little girls was entirely inappropriate, once you get past all that and actually watch them dance – holy cow they are talented!! I’m going to save the sexualization of little girls for another post because right now, I am just jealous that I can’t move like that. In any case, the movie was an exercise in tolerance and my Loverly Husband praised my self-sacrificing spirit and dedication to making our children happy. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, but since I was expecting my ears to start bleeding, that’s not really saying much. The kids loved it which was, of course, the point.

After the movie, we had lunch (and scored some awesome heavy-duty cardboard tubes from Subway that they had those huge window decals in – not sure what we’re going to use them for but I just know they’ll come in handy) and I got some pretty good shots of the kiddos. While we were eating, a little yellow spider attempted to make it’s home in LittleBoyBlue’s shoe. We ousted him and were going to look up what kind it was but have so far been unsuccessful.

As  we were finishing up, another family with several kids came to picnic in the same area we were in. Turns out the little girl was a former classmate of the kids’. I went and talked to their mom for a bit and we got into a great discussion about education and homeschooling. I know that some moms run up against opposition when others find out that they’re homeschooling, but I never have. Everyone I’ve talked to pretty much is interested if not outright supportive. It’s really nice to live in an area where my choices are validated by other moms.

They were headed to the library too, so we all went together. While the kids browsed, I found out that LittleBoyBlue actually won a prize for the summer reading club (SRC). We don’t know what he won yet – we go pick his prize up next week. That was a huge boost to his reading confidence. He’s definitely more excited to read now that he thinks there might be a reward in it. PeaGreen was understandably upset. I forget sometimes that he’s still such a little kid. He thinks it’s terribly unfair that his brother won and he didn’t. He’s pretty much past it now, but the disappointment was profound for a while there.

After the library, we went over to the Civic Center for a science lesson with Gary Saurage and Jana Parr from Gator Country (and CMT’s ‘Gator 911‘) do a presentation for the SRC. The kids always have such a great time when we do anything Gator Country related. We’ve gone on several field trips with school and playgroup, and we’ve taken the kids out there ‘just because’ and they always get so much out of the trip. Gary & Jana were great. They brought an alligator (Chubbs) and a crocodile (Moe) for the kids to hold, and the infamous Banana for the kids to take pictures with. They had to have answered a million questions – you really have to admire people who can patiently and coherently give out as much information as Gary did while wrangling 40 children under the age of 10.

Wednesday, we got our history and social studies lessons in with a presentation on “Timeless Toys” put on by the McFaddin Ward House. The ladies dressed up in clothing from the 1920’s through the 1960’s and showcased toys from those decades. It was interesting to see how many toys we still have and how the packaging has changed, yet still has the same feel. They also let the kids handle the toys, which was great – so many times, it’s ‘look with your eyes not your hands’ and they don’t get much out of it. The ladies had tables set up with different decades and a bunch of toys and interesting things for the kids to explore, like play-dog, silly putty, metal and wooden airplanes and boats, penny tin toys – it was neat to see all the kinds of thing that our grandparents might have played with.

Thursday we didn’t have any big plans, so I sent the kids out to explore. I told them to take the camera and illustrate their walk. Here are a couple of the pictures they came back with.

It was really interesting to see the things that they chose to photograph. I love just handing them the (shatterproof, waterproof – basically kid-proof) camera and giving them free rein*. It makes seeing the world from their perspective much more interesting. They took pictures of our house, the pool, the backyard, each other – they must have taken 50 pictures (have I mentioned how much I love the digital camera age??) and many of them turned out reasonably well. I’m going to print them and have the kids write the story to go along with their pictures when we start M5.

And of course, Thursday evening was the roller derby game that I posted about last week. It’s a record – I’m in the paper 3 months in a row, lol.

Red, White, Black & Blue

This bout was a double-header with Spindletop Rollergirls and the Houston Roller Derby. They mixed the teams up to form 4 teams – Scars and Stripes (white) vs. The Bill of Fights (blue) played first and blue won. Then The Patriot Axe (red) vs. Babraham Lincolns (black) played a tight game – at 0:03, the score was 100/99 red. Since my sister was playing on black, that was a bad thing. Thankfully roller derby games don’t stop when the clock runs out, they stop when the jam is over. With 3 seconds left on the clock, that means one more jam… in which black racked up an impressive 16 points and the win!

][[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[=rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrtkmmmmmmmmmmm <——- (our new cat, Cosmo’s thoughts on this post… more about him in a couple of paragraphs…)

Friday was supposed to be our Homeschool Group’s Park Day, but it was raining (again – like it has been all week thanks to the hurricane down south) so the park was under water and we went to the bookstore instead.

This morning was Home Depot’s kids workshop – they got to make a periscope. That’s a pretty cool little toy! The boys are definitely getting better at making these little things. We’ve done 4 or 5 at Lowe’s and this is our second one at HD and I am definitely seeing improvements in their building skills.

Afterwards, we went to lunch and then to PetSmart to ‘look’ – at least that’s what we told the boys. In reality, we were planning to adopt a kitten. I’m not a dog person and my Loverly Husband is and has been lobbying hard to get a dog ‘for the children’ for some time. This is his latest attempt to convince me that animals are not the great evil I am predisposed to believing they are, and that our home might be enhanced by the addition of one or more small creatures in it. I have to give him credit – it’s working. We browsed dogs and then cats (then birds, hamsters and hermit crabs) and settled on a sweet little cream and orange tabby. He’s buff colored all over with no white, active enough to keep up with the boys but big enough to not be skittish or dangerously small under busy feet. We went through several names (including and discarding ‘Spot’, ‘Mr. Sprinkles’ and ‘Fluffy’) and finally settled on Cosmo.

After playing all afternoon with two very excited little boys, Cosmo’s new perch is apparently going to be the back of my chair in the living room. As long as he keeps his claws out of my hair, we’re cool. {wink} This is the boys’ first real pet. We’ve had fish before, but this is out first foray into the world of furry. So far, so good!



* In an interesting side note, I found this about the expression ‘free rein’ vs. ‘free reign’. Interesting reading!


2 responses

  1. Awww Cosmo is so handsome and I love his name. Congratulations Cosmo on landing such a fantastic home.

    July 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

  2. Thanks! We’re enjoying having a pet again. Our last interactive one was a chocolate lab when LittleBoyBlue was a baby – and he’s almost 9!

    July 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm

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