Wednesday, February 20, 2008

School's Out!

Outdoors that is!

It was a nice day for a change, at least for a few hours, so we decided to do school outside today. Little did I know that they would want to play school too! LOL, so we set up the chairs and filled the classroom with plastic animals and babies (real and plastic). Cameron, Greyson, and I were the teachers and Cassia and the rest were the students. Greyson was actually a "student teacher" because he couldn't decide where he wanted to sit. ;) Cameron would demonstrate the lesson to the students by reading from his phonics book and Cassia would copy down what he said. OK, she would just doodle, but it was fun. When it was time for Grammar/Language, I brought out our slate boards and chalk and C&C learned the abbreviations for titles of respect (Mr., Dr., etc). Cameron did some copywork on the concrete. It was a fun change.

But by the time we got to math, it was getting chilly again and Cameron was more interested in playing than working. It took him over an hour to not even finish one exercise. He was doing well and then suddenly had a major brain freeze and couldn't remember how to do anything. I made him finish up the section and then said we would move on and he could finish it later. So we read a chapter in SOTW about Moses' birth and the story of the Exodus. The kids were pretty enthralled by the whole thing. They were shocked that people could be so mean and kill so heartlessly. That actually led to a discussion of the UN and human rights and war crimes and such. Somehow, I don't think the topic would have gone there in a brick & mortar school, lol. After that we went to the store to get supplies for our 4-H cooking project tomorrow. Once we got home, Cameron got right back to work on his math. He's doing much better on it now that he's had a break. The number of problems on a page seem to have taken a huge jump in this book. It's been a bit of an adjustment.

Backtracking a bit, we had a crazy day yesterday! We started out with a field trip to a local recycling center. That was pretty uneventful (and boring) except for the fact that of all the kids there, guess who didn't know how to keep a safe distance from the giant piles of broken glass bottles? I mean, it didn't even occur to them that it might not be safe to walk right up to the 8-foot high piles of broken glass and investigate! On one hand, I really, really like that they are so adventurous and curious. They probably got more out of the field trip than the others because they were so busy exploring everything. But on the other hand, don't they have any common sense??? Man! Cassia was being pretty contrary too. The guy was showing them the little bricks of aluminum cans that go together to make the large bales and said, "Now don't touch these because they can be really sharp," and what does she do? Of course, she immediately reaches out and touches it. And then Cameron has to because she did. *sigh* Oh well, they'll grow out of it, right?

Next we came home and did some quick schoolwork (Phonics, Grammar, Spelling, and Math) before heading out to gymnastics. They were closed Monday for President's Day and so we had a make-up class. Cassia, Greyson, and I had to spend Cameron's class waiting in the car though because Greyson decided that it would be fun to start throwing toys over the edge of the Mezzanine and onto the gym floor. They have a little toddler toy area that's enclosed (everywhere but the top) but it just seems like all the toddlers hate it, lol. I can convince him to spend a few minutes in there sometimes but not yesterday! He started by throwing puzzles out in my direction and then I thought he had calmed down but one of the coaches yelled up that he had tossed a plastic bowling pin over the edge and it almost hit someone in the head!! At least that was light. Next he picked up this big elephant pull toy - very hard, very heavy - and started to hurl it over the edge. Luckily, I got to him first, but that was the point where I gathered everyone up and headed out to the car instead. There he proceeded to just scream the whole time instead - but at least he wasn't hurting anyone. And I actually managed to get half a nap in too, lol.

When Cameron's class was over we headed home to change shoes and then headed right back out for Cam's first Little League practice. The only problem was that the coach never showed! So Cam and this other little boy just played catch for about half an hour and then we left. About an hour later we get a call from the coach telling us that they were there, just in a different place! Turns out that he forgot to tell several of us that in case of rain we would meet in front of the school, not around back. In the directions that he gave me, you turn just before you see the front of the school so I never noticed that there was anyone out front. I think that the other people just parked in front of the school automatically rather than driving around the side like our two families did. Anyway, you'd think that he would have taken a walk around to where we were just to make sure no one was there, wouldn't you? Well, he didn't. Grrrr. But the second practice is tomorrow and now I have his cell phone number to make sure we're all in the same place.

Monday, we took the day off of schoolwork for President's Day (aka DH is Home Day) but it was no vacation!! We spent the day purging old toys. Here's the before picture...

Scary, huh! We had the kids help decide what was to keep, trash, or donate. We ended up with 4 big trash barrels filled with broken and otherwise useless toys, a trunk full of nice toys for donating, and a bedroom full of toys that can actually be contained in their containers. WooHooo!! AND with all this extra floor space, we were able to move the toddler bed in there for Greyson. Yes, we now have room for four in one bedroom: bunk beds, toddler bed, and crib. Grey's still not quite ready to sleep in his big boy bed even though he loves to play in it. It's hard convincing him to actually stay in it though, lol.

OK, I'm done with my novel now. Hope everyone else is well. Love to all. :)

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