Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Dinosaur Tales

We didn't really do too much today. Cameron really wasn't in the mood for school and we had gotten off to a horribly late start because C&C were just playing so well together all morning. When they get into that wonderful imaginative, creative make-believe stuff, I just hate to break it up. Anyway, we were supposed to be at the park at 1:00 and somewhere around 11:00 I said that we could skip phonics and math and just do history today. Somewhere around 12:00, we actually got started.

We read a couple of books about fossils and dinosaurs. I really like the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Books. They are written at an age-appropriate level yet are filled with REAL information! It's not dumbed down kid versions of what they think kids can "handle." It's real stuff. Even I learn from these books. The book jackets say all sorts of wonderful things about kids "feel[ing] themselves stretch in importance" with the acquisition of knowledge and how the books are written for kids who are "eager to know." I like that. I especially like the ones written by Aliki.

Anyway we read several of those and then went to Park Day. None of our homeschool friends were there, but we did run into Cameron's old t-ball coach and his daughter! She was taking tennis camp there at the park and Cameron happened to be at the entrance to the tennis courts right as she got out. She was so surprised and excited to see him. She said, "I didn't know you were going to be here!!" and gave him a huge hug. It was super cute. A couple of our homeschool friends did show up about an hour later but nobody stayed very long. We got home with plenty of time to do some more history!

We've been watching the Walking with Dinosaurs collection on DVD the past week. We had gotten a 5-disk set from the library which would usually have come with an extended loan period but, unfortunately, since it was new we still had to return it within a week. I tried renewing it last night but someone else had put in a request for it - probably another homeschooler, lol. Anyway, it's due tomorrow so we had to finish it up this afternoon with Walking with Allosaurus. It's a great dramatization about the life of a famous fossilized allosaurus skeleton nicknamed Big Al. The best part was the second part of the show. They showed all the science behind their dramatization. They showed the initial discovery of the fossils in 1991 in what used to be a dry riverbed. They showed how they made the assumptions that they did about the life of this particular species. They showed where this particular dinosaur's bones had been broken and told how they could tell how long before his death it had happened by the amount of healing. They showed the toe bone that was so inflamed, and that had likely been so for at least six to nine months, that probably ultimately caused him to lay down and die in that riverbed. It was such a great tie in with what we read about fossils and about archaeology in general. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it. We also watched Bill Nye's episode on Fossils which was also very good. It actually meshed quite nicely with the Aliki book Fossils Tell of Long Ago. We still have one video to go, Eyewitness Dinosaur but that's not due back until Saturday. I have the feeling it will not be quite as big of a hit as the other ones. I seem to remember their DVDs being rather dull for the kids.

So that was it for the day. We may have gotten more done after dinner - I was hoping for a narration or illustration on one of the books - but I had to make a major parenting decision and send Cameron to bed ridiculously early for digging his corn holder deep into the edge of the table. Grrr. He is so used to being threatened with "do you want to go bed now??" that I felt that this case really needed the follow through. He was M-A-D. Oh boy, was he mad. I let him take his dinosaur readers to bed to read if he wasn't sleepy but he just looked at the pictures and then went back to begging me to let him get up. Once Cassia came to bed he fell asleep instantly, so it was just the principle of the thing that had him so mad. But you know what? Next time he may just think twice before destroying something. Or maybe not, but he sure will think twice next time I threaten to send him to bed early!


G said...

I really like the Let's-Read-&-Find-Out series for the same reasons, and the kids enjoy them as well.

LOL about Cameron and bed... I had to do the same thing to C.O. the night before last, and he didn't seem to take me seriously until I did it.

Pixilated Mum said...

Hmm, I am writing down those recommendations for Miguel. A kid can never have enough dinosaur movies or books to peruse.

I did that to Miguel two weeks ago. It just shocked him. He kept saying, "But ... but it's light outside." And I had to say, "But the day's over for you." It was 5 p.m., and I was *done* with him. No books. No snuggling. No nothing. I even got his dinner on a plate and made him eat in his room away from the family. He was just in complete shock. "Tomorrow's a new day and you get to start over," I told him, "but a child who misbehaves like that does not get to interact with the rest of the family."

I felt mean, mean, mean! I even cried later, feeling so mean. But, boy, howdy, he learned his lesson.

And he has been a gem since then. Oy.

Pixilated Mum said...

I can't remember if I gave you this link before, but we like it. It's pretty basic, but still cute:

~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

Way to follow through, Mom! Sometimes being a little mean is necessary for the overall good. And I bet you're right. He'll think twice next time.

G said...

I was just browsing the WTM boards and came across a documentary that might work for you - it's called "Walking with Cavemen". Netflix has it. I know I'll be renting it!

Pixilated Mum said...

Oh, c'mon, girl! I've posted more than you now. What's up with that???