Thursday, January 04, 2007

Now that's what I call Homeschool!

We finally had a day that felt, pretty much, like I think homeschool should feel. You know what made the difference? ME! Yup, me. First thing this morning Cassia asked if she could watch Robin Hood and I said that no one could watch movies or anything until schoolwork was done. Well, she instantly said that she wanted to do her schoolwork, lol. The past few days I've just been saying yes to the requests to do other things. In my quest to not make schoolwork a chore by making it optional, I've made it a chore. Now my goal is to make it "just what we do" so that it becomes a more neutral part of our day.

So anyway, she did a couple pages in EB Math on comparing mass with a balance. We found out that Lego Darth Vader weighs less than a pacifier, lol. (Despite Mary's brilliant idea of doing the volume comparison problems in the bathtub, I just skipped those pages.) She's only got about two and a half pages left in that book (1A) but unlike Cameron, she wasn't in any rush to finish. She was much more interested in building towers with the hex-grams than in finishing the page. No rush on my part either, I just think it's interesting how different they are. Next she did a few pages in her ETC primer. It was mostly review, but I think we're still in the letter P section. It's been a while since she's worked on anything so I've forgotten where we were, lol.

Throughout the morning Cameron was playing LEGOs, surprise, surprise. He's built this really cool "Death Star" using some of the old moon bases from DH's old astronaut set. It has a landing pad for the Millennium Falcon and a control panel for R2D2 to use, lol. He's pretty creative sometimes. While Cassia was finding things to compare on the balance, she started talking about The Little Mermaid and wanted to weigh Sebastian the crab and some sand, lol. Well, this got Cameron thinking about crabs and he asked me if all crabs could live both in the water and on the land like Sebastian could. I said I wasn't sure and so we looked up crabs in our two children's animal encyclopedias. We each had one to use and I showed him how to use the index and introduced the concept of alphabetization, though I don't think he really got it. So that was science. ;)

They were playing more after that and I was reading message boards and email and such and came across a free music curriculum! The kids have been really into music lately, thanks to the video game Guitar Hero and various musical instrument gifts, so the timing of this was perfect. I downloaded it with the intent of just looking it over, but with my new "just do it!" attitude I decided that we should, well, just do it! I printed out two sets of worksheets from the first unit, figuring that we'd maybe get through the introduction and maybe two of the four worksheets. I told the kids to get out any instrument of choice (Cameron got his guitar, Cassia a Native American drum, and I grabbed one of her Barbie Drum set drums (gee thanks Auntie K) and we started reading through the first lesson. Well, they were SO into it!! We played all the sample beats and then they did all of the worksheets. I was about ready to pack it up when Cameron, who originally said that I could just do it with Cassia and not him (I said no he had no choice), excitedly said "What's next???" Well how could I refuse? We read the next section on the Italian term "piano" and then I had to print out a couple more activities: flash cards and pictures for a collage. They were both really into the whole collage experience and I now have two beautifully musical pieces of art hanging in my kitchen. So that was music and art.

Back to LEGOs and lunch and laundry and all the other daily usuals. Still, no one had asked to watch tv! But I did remember that Cassia still wanted to watch Robin Hood - she had said again a few times that she was going to watch it once everyone was done with school - so I told Cameron that we had better do his schoolwork before it got too late. He said ok (and didn't even try to claim that we had already done science and music!) and we did a phonics lesson on long /u/ to which he originally protested, I gave him no choice but to do, and then he settled down and finally did with a minimum of silliness. Then we did a math exercise on wording numbers as a group of tens and a group of ones; i.e. 37 = 3 tens and 7 ones. Easy cheesy, but thank God it was because Greyson has learned to crawl and is T-R-O-U-B-L-E. Man, that kids just puts everything in his mouth! Including power cables and dog food. He's also trying very hard to crack his head open on something, but we'll try to stave off stitches for another few months, at least. ;)

So there ya go. A perfect homeschool day because I said so. Child led education is one thing, but Rules is Rules and Momma Knows Best and all that is very valid too. Actually, that's not it at all. I just have a tendency towards laziness and wanting to read about things rather than doing them. I think I just realized that the time to stop reading and start schooling had come once again. It goes in phases around here and I've got to do what feels right at the time. Right now, this feels right. :)


G said...

I need a day that feels like homeschool should feel... and now I guess it could be me, not necessarily the kids. Darn. I definately need to look at that music curriculum - sounds like fun!

Meesh said...

I'm excited to go look at that music curriculum. Reading intead of doing huh? that sounds a tad to familiar for comfort. Time for me to start doing methinks.