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Aug. 30th, 2013

Neil was telling us his life plans the other day.
N: "When I'm an adult I want to live with you."
Me: "Oh. Maybe when you're an adult you'll find someone you'd like to live with even more."
N: "No, I just want to live with you sometimes."
Me: "You mean you'd like to visit? I'd like that very much!"
N: "But first I'm going to go to a studying place in South England, and then I'm going to be a paleontologist and find fossils of Edmontosaurus."
:-D

In other news, Neil continues to be obsessed with pterosaurs and all sorts of dinosaurs, particularly Microraptor.

Our basement is all torn up, and all of the plumbing, gas lines, and electrical work has been done to move our laundry area into the garage and add a new bathroom. The bathroom is framed, and I think they're putting up the sheetrock tomorrow. I found out that we all have enough clothes for about a week without laundry, but everyone was starting to run out of a few things by the end of the week. Fortunately, there's a laundromat very close by and it's open late so I could go with a good book and not have to drag the kids along.

Wendell is walking more often than crawling now. He's talking a bit, although there aren't all that many words I recognize. The other day at lunch, I asked who wanted more grilled cheese sandwich because I'd made an extra, anticipating that someone would like seconds. Wendell shouted out "Meee!" and was delighted when this resulted in another piece of sandwich on his tray.

The kids just finished 3 consecutive weeks of swim lessons. Zinnia did really well and passed level 1. She seemed to be having so much fun in the water and gets her head fully underwater. She's comfortable doing a back float as well as a front float ("starfish"), which I remember being terrified of as a kid. And she's not at all afraid to jump into the water. It was pretty awesome watching her do something that came really easily to her and seeing her encourage Neil, who has only gradually tolerated putting his head underwater.

Homeschooling is continuing to go well with Iris. I was afraid to do it a few years ago because it seemed like she'd get so frustrated when I'd try to work with her. There's still some of the frustration from time to time, but it feels like it's lessening as she's starting to see that I'm going to make her push through it before we have free time in the afternoon, and that I'm really not trying to get her to do stuff that's way too difficult. We're both enjoying the science labs and lots of good books. I've been learning lots of new things as I've looked through different curricula and decided on approaches to take this year. For example, I don't think I ever learned many of the rules of spelling as a kid - it was mostly just memorizing word lists. It surprised me to learn that c is soft before i, e, and y and hard before other letters. (Not that I had it wrong - I just had never noticed that pattern.)

It's also nice that we're generally done with the main school stuff by lunchtime (1:30 or so because we generally eat 2 breakfasts and then have a late lunch) and have the afternoons free for art and going to parks.

It's a little strange using the charter school because they (specifically the teacher we meet with once per month) have to show that what we're doing conforms to state standards. For math and language, that's pretty straightforward. But for science and social studies, there are lists of topics to cover. For example, second grade science is supposed to cover animals, gravity and magnets, health, investigation, motion, plants, earth materials, and sound. I chose to use a curriculum that takes the approach of covering elementary life science one year, geology and astronomy the next, chemistry after that, and then physics. (The same publisher also provides middle-school level texts for these subjects as well.) The idea is that with multiple children of different ages, you can do science as a group and have all of them study the same subject at different levels as needed. We're taking a similar approach with social studies - going through different time periods (ancients, medieval, early modern, and recent) one year at a time. It sounds like the same topics are covered over a 4-year period using either approach, so I hope there isn't any trouble.

I'm curious how I'll feel about homeschooling in a year or two. Right now, I'm pretty excited about it, but it's easy to imagine feeling burned out after a while. Weirdly, I'm feeling burned out on gardening at the moment, and I decided not to plant a fall garden this year for the first time since I've had a backyard (6 years). I figure with a baby due real soon now, I probably wouldn't get all that much done anyhow, and it's a good time to take a break. Hopefully, I'll be all excited about it again in the spring. (Iris will be studying plants then, so that should work well. I said that if she wanted to and is willing to take care of it, she could have one of our garden beds to plant with whatever she likes. She's looking forward to it, and I'm curious what she will choose.)

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
jetspeaks
Aug. 30th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
That teaching approach to history is how my (independent, hippy) primary school did things. We were also grouped by ability rather than age. It was an interesting place. :)

How old are the twins now?
anemone
Sep. 2nd, 2013 05:51 am (UTC)
c is soft before i, e, and y and hard before other letters.

Funny thing about humans--I bet most people do know that rule, even if they can't recite it. Give them an unfamiliar word with c followed by i, e, or y, they'll make it soft. Give them an unfamiliar word with c followed by something else, they'll make it hard.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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