So, last week got away from me, and I apologize. I am now fully immersed in my own schoolwork and I just haven’t had the time to blog. That doesn’t mean we weren’t doing anything, though.
Last week we finished up our study of the Ancient Far East. We finished The Tao of Pooh and we also read The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching, by Demi. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I decided that this would be our last Ancient History unit for this year as I ordered the Oak Meadow third grade curriculum and I really wanted to try it out. I just decided to start with the beginning of the third semester work and we’ll see how far we get. I’m not following the math curriculum from Oak Meadow because we really love Life of Fred, but we did dive into the Science and Social Studies material.
This week we were instructed to study desert plant and animal life for Science, and the history of our local area for Social Studies. We checked out some books from the library and read them during the first three days of our school week (we don’t do school on Tuesdays right now because of my class). Lillia really enjoyed Cactus Hotel, by Brenda Guiberson and so we decided to make a page for our science journal based on Guiberson’s idea of a cactus that houses many small mammals and birds. Note: Oak Meadow is “Waldorf-inspired” and so they encourage using a pre-bound “main lesson book” for each subject. We are making individual pages on drawing paper and then putting them together at the end. The idea of a book that couldn’t be changed (i.e. if one makes a mistake) was just too overwhelming for our little perfectionist. Here’s our first page for this unit (it didn’t scan very well, but you get the idea):
I made a really interesting discovery about Lillia during the creation of this page. Lillia loves to draw and write but if you ask her to do either one on command, she freaks out. This is especially true if what you are asking of her is a multi-part process (i.e. draw the cactus and animals, color it, and then label it). But, I had a moment of clarity and remembered that she really likes doing “collabs” (collaborative drawings) and often asks me to do them with her. Usually they are just silly pictures and we take turns drawing different absurd things, but I thought it might also work in an academic setting. You know what? I was right! Although it took some patience and persistence on my part, what we made is the first really complete piece of work I think she’s done this year. I feel so relieved (and satisfied). If she needs to work collaboratively, then that’s what we’ll do. We didn’t make our page for our town studies yet because the weather has been terrible (for example, today we had freezing rain and snow) and we haven’t been able to get out to any of the historical sites. We did do some map work, though, and I’ll post that when we’re finished.
The past two weeks I have been working really hard to establish a rhythm for the kids. I’ve worked out that Monday is painting day, Tuesday we have off, Wednesday we do a seasonal craft, Thursday we go the library, and Friday is baking day (treats — not bread!). So, Zane has been very busy…
…making some pretty birds for our nature mobile, (we used these patterns from the Downeast Thunder Farm blog — bluebird, robin, chickadee — but we made ours with paper instead of felt),
…picking out “Zane books” at the library,
…and baking with his sister.
Identity crisis, anyone? In less than a month I will be a college graduate. This is kind of a big deal. I have been in college either part- or full-time for the past 13 and a half years. All told, that’s more than 40% of my life so far. I’m incredibly excited to move on to something new and to finally accomplish what I set out to do more than a decade ago. But, it’s going to be weird. I became an adult while in college (literally and figuratively). I got married, had children, had jobs…but I was always a “student.” I have a lot to think about, and if I’m not blogging at full capacity it’s not because I don’t care or things aren’t going well. I have so many things I want to blog about, but right now I need to focus my mental energy on crossing this threshold into the next phase of my life. Then I’ll be back full steam ahead.