Tag Archives: home schooling

Slime and stuff and fun

Yet more photos – the kids both making slimy and snotty concoctions!  All in the name of science, of course.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Slack Mummy

Boy, have I neglected this blog!

Mr. D has been learning up a storm and mummy has had trouble keeping up with the documentation for the first time.  It doesn’t help that quite a few of the photographs I would normally used are actually stored on hubby’s camera and/or computer system and I haven’t had time to ask him to ship them out via thumb drive.

Therefore, for now, there will be no shots of the wonderful cooking Mr. D has undertaken.  We stick with recipes we adults know or we go with Jamie Oliver; his recipes are generally easy to follow and he is just “easy peasey, wibbly wobbly, chubbly bubbly” enough to appeal to kids.  Looking forward to having a chance to check out Alton Brown on YouTube – his kid’s recipes are apparently a real treat.  So far, Mr. D. has helped with lamb roast – including sliding the large knife between shin bone and flesh to add seasoning; cooked roast chicken, again creating cavities along the spine and over the breast and pushing in butter and herbs; he has cooked Spanakopita and salad from scratch and there are more but I can’t think of them without the photographic prod.  All cooking has included the use of a new utensil or knife of some sort, reminders about hygiene and raw foods like chicken, safety instruction, independent measuring, and new cooking techniques.  If Mr. D. can easily handle pastry at 7, I am confident he will be able to take care of himself when he is older.  The biggest bonus?  He LOVES it.  He loves being in the kitchen, he loves cooking itself, and he loves having a product he can not only show off but that can “do what mummy and daddy do”.  To feed us gives him great pleasure.  Yay.

During this time, Mr. D. has made great bounds in reading.  Using the RAZ reading system (online and paper) he finally conquered Level AA, which has taken 2 years.  Then he completed Level A in one day!  Now he is powering through Level B.  His increased confidence is wonderful to watch and he delights in reading between 2 – 4 books to us and his little sister at bedtime each night.  Now he is not only tackling the graded books but last night took over reading “Aliens Love Underpants” – one of the underacknowledged classics of kid giggles.

At the Courtenay Museum and Paleontology Centre, his class has completed a 4 week study of Octopus, including a lot of classification work and are now nearing the end of their study of Light and Luminescence.  Now that he is in the Advanced Science class, he is feeling a lot better and more confident at answering and participating rather than just trying to dominate.  Improved social skills – yay, Mr. D!

At home, we have been continuing our study of the human body by using the Magic School Bus Germ kit and doing an experiment with growing mold.  We’ve also had great fun with the Glow Germs kit and using the black light to see how effective our hand washing is.  Mr. D. was surprised to see my hands were a lot cleaning after washing – this led to me demonstrating a full surgical scrub.  A lot of hygiene videos from BrainPop and Discovery Streaming followed and the upside?  Mr. D. now washes his hands when asked and has taken a full interest in actually brushing his teeth (flossing and gargling) every night now instead of once per fortnight!

Gymnastics is wonderful, although we are missing today because mummy isn’t well.  He has the right size and shape for gym and has developed amazing muscle control; at 6 he was using the rings apparatus and is able to fleetingly do that nasty-looking cross thing they do that looks as if it will rip your arms out of your arm pits.  Balance beam is a doodle, swinging on the uneven bars is progressing to using both bars, and straddling is becoming easier and easier.  Mr. D’s favourite activity is the rope swing – grab the long, long, rope with arms and legs, hold on for dear life, and swing across a 30-40 ft gap, landing safely on the other side (eventually, Mr. D. likes the swinging).  Not all the kids, especially the smaller ones, have the arm and leg strength to do this, but Mr. D. is at it repeatedly!

Guitar is progressing.  He is learning slide technique still, at his teacher’s request, because his hands are still quite small.  To keep it interesting, the teacher brings in percussion instruments and concentrates on guitar classics like the theme from Spiderman and Marsupial Sue.  I don’t think his playing is improving much – he isn’t there developmentally – but the exposure to music in a non-judgmental environment (teacher is also a music therapist) and the chance to listen to instruction are both priceless.  Like most things, Mr. D. will amble along, not seeming to be paying attention or learning, then, out of nowhere, BAM!  He’ll master it in what seems like nanoseconds.  Just the way he is.

Latin is leaping along.  On the day that Mr. D. completed his A level in reading, he also translated a who page of Latin for me and read it!  Never ceases to amaze me.  Ms. E is having fun showing off her French and Mr. D. is showing off his Latin so they are both learning a lot.  Minimus the Mouse continues to amuse with Latin and both kids have enjoyed learning “mus, exit” when the mouse runs away from the cat!  Random times during the day you can hear one or t’other saying “mus, exit” out loud.  Three cheers for Minimus the Mouse.

OK – have to get lunch happening for hungry lad so I will post more of the photos this afternoon, if given a chance!

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The play’s the thing…

To paraphrase, just a bit.

Another bonus to living where we do is the incredible support available for home schooling families.  There is a group (collective?  collaboration?) of parents linked via computer who all home school.  Most are unschoolers but there are parents following all different styles of learning/education.  It is a very inclusive bunch.

One parent, the fabulous Nancy, has a young teen daughter who loves to direct/stage plays.  Having had great success with her first play, this girl, H, has decided to do another.  The rehearsals have been spread over several months, culminating sometime in June/July with a performance.

H has chosen to do “The Wizard of Oz” this time (Aristocats, last time) but as we all do everything we can to encourage inclusion, this Wizard has six, yes six, Dorothy parts!  We’ve all chipped in $5 so that H wasn’t out of pocket buying the script and Nancy has opened her home for all rehearsals.

What a boon!  Not only is there yet another opportunity for socialisation (something our son is no longer au fait with like when he was younger and something critics of homeschooling always point to as a negative), but there is plentiful learning happening.  Social skills.  Being patient.  The virtue of practice.  The concept of entertainment.  It is wonderful.

Would you believe that H is such a confident girl, she manages this by herself?  Up to 40 or so children can be present (I think it was 60 one day) and there is no pandemonium.  Seen that in a public school lately?  No.

Teachers (who I think are modern day saints – at least the ones who really want to teach) cannot be expected to control 60 kids when they are pumped up and running loose.  H can do this because they are a particular bunch of kids who are learning particular skills that come from more interaction with the adult world.  My humble opinion, anyways.

To cut to the chase, Mr.D. has been cast as Rascal, one of the Flying Monkeys.  Told you H was clever!

 

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized