Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The goings on
There has been a lot going on around here. We are continuing with the Math Mammoth Fractions, Multiplication and Division units. The seven year old has requested a little bit more variety. So I am thinking of adding some geometry into the mix. He loves to draw so he might appreciate it. I bought a compass the other day and he was very excited about making perfect circles with it. Both big boys are doing well with copywork. They are progressing with their english reading. I decided to sneak in some poetry by having them read some of Robert Lewis Stevenson's The Child's Garden of Verses for their reading practice, we have one beautifully illustrated by Donna Young. The almost nine year old is very much into mystery and adventure these days and is reading voraciously in hebrew. I can barely supply him fast enough. I think his newly found reading obsession is inspiring his younger brother to make more reading progress, even though he had more difficulty with reading in any language initially. The hebrew writing and grammar book that the seven year old is using, I think, is too easy but probably is a good review before we move on to something else. I bought a bag of mixed plastic beads of many colors, designs and shapes so everyone has really enjoyed making necklaces, bracelets,etc. The boys made some for the girls. The jewelry they made came out very very pretty, much to the recepients' delight and the creators' pleasure. We started Five Little Peppers and How They Grew for our read aloud long story. So far the kids are enjoting it. We finished the Lost Children of Tarshish and the almost nine year old announced that he would take it along if he ever went on the boat so he would have ideas of what to do if he ever got stranded on a deserted island:) I think we should read Robinson Crusoe for kids soon. I am continuing with letters and numbers with the five year old. I would love to do more projects with the girls on regular basis. The three year old has been coming up with lots of creative and ingenius ideas while playing. Like making a swing for her doll with a scarf and some clothpins fastened to door handles. The baby is crawling and walking holding on and being cute. He is an active participant now in many games and in many of the family activities. We had more science excitement here. I signed up to the Superchargedscience newsletter so I get some great and creative science experiments in my email. So we made a hovercraft from old CD, sport's bottle top and a balloon. The children LOVED it and we repeated it many many times. Then we made some "litmus juice" by soaking some purple cabbage in boiling water and then tested various substances for being either an acid or a base. The boys couldn't get enough of trying out different things and creating different colors by adding and mixing various things into the juice. I am sure we'll be doing this again and it makes me think that they might really enjoy that Elementary Chemistry unit from Ellen McHenry I wrote about recently. Otherwise, there was the usual sheep watching, the seven year old had a very enjoyable trip to the local farm where they raise chickens and he got to feed them and plant little seedlings and push a wheelbarrow around, etc. We need to get more organized and get the kids to be more consistent about clean up. They like to help but we need to have more of a regular routine so their room stays relatively neat somehow. We did some cooking and some baking. The seven year old has rediscovered his love of vegetables to my delight. I've been rereading some of my homeschooling books like the Homeschool Openhouse and Guerilla Learning for inspiration. I've been reading some Charlotte Mason blogs which I haven't know about before. I'd like to fit in some more regular drawing and art appreciations into our routine and after Lag B'Omer we can do some more music stuff again too. So in general I try to keep things very basic, some reading, some writing and some math, plus other things if and when we have time for them. Our days are very busy but somehow things do get done and they still have time to play and dream and talk. So, thank G-d, despite the many roughspots these have been amazingly productive and full couple of weeks and we are looking forward to more of the same. We also had a birthday party and some stomach flu bouts and some really crazy things going on the geopolitical front when hordes of rioting arabs tried to crash through three of our borders. Unfortunately, there's been another terror attack, this time in Tel Aviv and a young man, recently engaged to be married was killed. Sad. We really are in G-d's hands here, one feels it in Israel all the time. We wouldn't be here if not for divine protection. It's a good thing G-d is running the world and not the UN. Anyhow, this pretty much covers many of the recent goings on here.