Twenty weeks? Is that really possible? What an interesting journey this has been so far. This week felt very busy to me. I feel like we were out of the house quite a bit, and I’m trying to figure out how best to organize this post to give an accurate picture of how our week went. I guess the best place to start would be…
Note: I was recently informed that too many of my photos feature the back of Lillia’s head. This week I did my very best to get as many shots as I could of her beautiful face 🙂
This week started off with…snow! Lillia loves playing in the snow, and outdoor time will always take precedence over academics around here. It took her a couple of days to carve out this snow fort, but she was very proud of herself when she was done.
Despite the lure of the outdoors, we were able to get a lot done, academically, thanks to the new software I started using (blogged about here). We are in our second-to-last week of our Ancient Egypt unit, and this week we learned about the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. What a wonderful experience that must have been for Howard Carter! Given the considerable amount of treasure contained in Tut’s burial tomb, despite its hastily thrown together nature, we must assume that some of the greater and more long-lived pharaohs were buried with an astounding amount of wealth. It really is a pity that most of the tombs were robbed of their treasures, most likely not long after the pharaoh’s death, and that the best efforts of the tomb architects to deter thieves were not successful. Still, Tut’s tomb does give us a glimpse of the power, the wealth, and the significance of the pharaohs in their own time. Next week Lillia told me she would like to learn more about the gods and goddesses, and their religious significance, in Ancient Egypt. So, I am on the hunt for a good documentary that will give a nice overview of the Ancient Egyptian deities. I did a quick search on YouTube, but was fairly disappointed at the amount of rubbish that came up when I typed in “egyptian mythology.” If I find anything useful, I will post it here.
We were waiting for the Life of Fred: Farming to arrive so we didn’t do much with math, although we did work with division a bit when we were trying to figure out how best to break up the valentines that Lillia needed to make. She was invited to exchange valentines with the third grade at our local public school (which she attended for 1st and 2nd grade, and still attends twice a week for P.E. and Art). This year we kept the process fairly simple because we had 36 kids to make cards for, plus a few teachers, and we spread the workload over several days. I find this is the best way to tackle large jobs that tend to overwhelm Lillia.
I had prepared Lillia for the possibility that she might not get any valentines because she is not on the class rosters. I was completely shocked and very touched when she showed me that both classes had prepared a bag full of valentines for her! Unlike families that homeschool from the start, when we made the decision to keep Lillia home we also made the decision to leave the school that had been our educational and social community for two years. I sometimes feel a little guilty about that, and our ties to the wider community are weaker because we are not involved with the school system in the traditional way. However, this gesture of goodwill and kindness made me feel less like an outsider, and I am very appreciative of their efforts to include Lillia.
And, lastly, we did finally attend our local homeschooling group meet-up at the library. It was a small group this week, but that was really nice because we were able to get comfortable and acquainted without being overwhelmed by the dynamics of a large group. At first Lillia and Zane kind of did their own thing and colored quietly at one of the tables.
After about twenty minutes the kids all discovered each other and started playing tag, which eventually became “hound dog pack.” Lillia was the oldest and, given the right ingredients, she is a natural leader. She kept all the hounds on task for at least 45 minutes, and it is so good for kids to play with a mixed age group (that’s what real socialization is about!). I think both kids actually had a good time, and we’ll definitely be going back. It was also nice for me to have other homeschooling parents to talk to in person. It certainly makes me feel less isolated.
This week Zane helped us make valentines. I was so impressed with his fine motor skills — he actually used the glue stick appropriately!
He played with the shape sorter (with help from his big sister). He can put all the shapes into the correct holes, but he has a hard time figuring out which side to use. I know he will master it soon.
He did some serious plumbing in his kitchen.
He had a great time building block towers with Nanny (my mother). He can build a very small tower of his own, but he likes knocking them over more than he likes building them.
He helped Oliver keep an eye on the neighborhood cats.
And, he was really excited to get this awesome cupboard for his kitchen area from one of my daughter’s friends. The work surface is a bit high, but he will grow into it. And, it’s great for storing all of his tools, dishes, and play food.
I hope you all had a wonderful week!