Monday, October 08, 2007

Our Non-Holiday

My kids could hear the whip cracking shortly after breakfast was finished. We had just come off of an ultra relaxing and fun-all-the-day weekend and I was determined to settle into our routine as quickly as we could. For you see, for me, routine equals comfort zone and comfort zone equals a very happy, patient and content mother. Yes, despite the holiday, we schooled today.

We had a few lessons to catch up on and I figured that my children are small and trusting enough not to argue with me about the public school children having the day off. They were confused when they saw our neighbor skateboarding and mentioned that they thought it to be strange that "he was home from school so early".
What a blessing though! We had a very productive and peaceful day as we went through our daily schedule:

Bible: Luke 2:41- 52
Math: finish lesson 13, begin lesson 14 (we also constructed "Decimal Street"- the concept in our math curriculum)
Reading/Spelling/Copywork: "The Little Engine that Could" (they were amazed to learn that this book was written the year that their "Grand Nana" was ten years old)
Poetry: "Where Go the Boats" by Robert Louis Stevenson
Literature: "How the Camel Got Its Hump" by Rudyard Kipling
Geography: "Paddle-to-the-Sea" by Holling Clancey Holling
Extra: (I always leave this spot open for a new learning experience. As we know, most of these are quite spontaneous and best kept that way)

One of the beautiful aspects of homeschooling is that a short lesson can spark curiosity and interest and lead then to a day of "looking deeper" at a certain subject, person, geographical place, custom, etc. Today, as I read "Paddle-to-the-Sea" to my older two, they begged for "more" and "more". We read a total of 4 lessons instead of the 1 that we had scheduled. Now, these were short lessons (Charlotte Mason advised keeping lessons 10- 15 minutes for younger students to help train them to give full attention to what they are experiencing. I guess you could say that "No Dawdling" was a motto of sorts for her!).

Sophia became so interested in the Great Lakes and the Canadian/U.S. border that I had to track down a map. We then colored each Lake with blue colored pencils and the states and Canada green to show land (this was her idea). Through this experience with the map, along with our narrative about an Indian boy and his wooden "paddle person", Sophia learned the names of the five lakes, the states that border (and a few of their capitals), several Canadian provinces and their capitals and how to describe the lakes in reference to their positions (ex: "Lake Ontario is the most eastern lake").

Amazing. Truly amazing.

And as for that unpenciled-in "extra" on our schedule... well Nicolas took care of that for us today when he asked to have his training wheels removed and rode on two wheels for the first time. It was precious. He must have stunt driver blood in him because he kept purposely wiping out on the grass every time he wanted to stop. And not a scratch.

I was so uplifted and encouraged by our day that I just had to share.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

what a great day! sounds precious. how invigorating to see your kids wanting to learn. found a blog you might