Thursday, September 11, 2008

living it out

Happy Friday morning to you all! Our second week of homeschooling has been full of discovery, exploration, building, creating, stick-fighting, leaf-throwing, dancing, reading, painting, writing, bike-riding and living life as only children know how to do.

It is now customary for my kids to be out riding their bikes shortly after breakfast- which in our house is by 8 am. Our amazing neighbors go bike riding up and down our cul-de-sac every morning before they drive their son to school and my kids have joined them in this morning routine. And now, it is a ritual. Of course, most of it has to do with the fact that my older pair adore this older neighbor and can't get enough time spent with him. He is ten-years old and is super kind to my kids.

We spent one morning raking leaves from our maple tree out front. Yes, their are actually leaves that have changed color and fallen off the tree. It was a group effort and some of us didn't even make it out of our pajamas. Nonetheless, this same person was courteous enough to at least put on his mucky boots before trudging out on the wet grass!

The scene whet something like this- rake a pile, jump in it- rake another pile, dump it on your siblings' heads- rake a pile and make a "confetti machine" with it. At least the cycle was predictable.
There was plenty of hammering, as usual, this week too. It seems that at least once a day one child comes running into the house screaming "treasure, treasure". They call anything shiny and metallic treasure. But still, they search pretty hard for it and work hard at hammering each little rock to tiny smithereens!
We have started reading Tree in the Trail by Holling Clancy Holling part of our geography study for this term. It is a book about a cottonwood tree that watches the "paegant of history on the Santa Fe Trail for over two hundred years". We read Paddle to the Sea by the same author last year and L O V E D it. They kids know the Great Lakes inside and out and loved reading this living book about this magnificent portion of our country.

After reading about the buffalo hunting, teepee building and the travois of the Kansas Indians, my kids were inspired to build their own teepees using fabric, twigs and salt dough as a base for their structures. It didn't stop there. They brought their little dwellings outside and proceeded to build entire villages around the base of our tree out front.

This one chapter taught them so much about the way in which Native People lived and things like teepees versus earth-lodges, travois built from sticks for transporting and the use of buffalo-chips for camp fires (this one took them a minute, but only a minute!). The term buffalo-chip is now a common household word now- "does anyone else smell buffalo-chips in here?"

Nicolas sounded out his first word- cobra. And then his second- box. This child has a new-found interest in the alphabet and at least once a day we see him sitting in a quiet spot making sounds in an attempt to read some of his favorite books. This is true learning- self-motivated and living!

Sophia started up with her ballet lessons again. She thought we wanted to try something different last year like karate because she was "more violent than flexible". Yeah. We're totally not giving her karate instruction if this is what she things the point of it all is! In the end, she chose ballet and is thrilled to back in her class.

Lastly, we were reading out of Matthew today for our Bible reading and came to Matthew 21:21 when Jesus told his disciples that they too could do what was done to the fig tree (commanded to wither) and move mountains if they have faith and do not doubt.

I could see their eyes light up at the knowledge and possibility of having enough power to work miracles. I told them that it was true and that with faith and belief in Jesus anthing is possible.

Minutes later I saw Sophia standing out front in front of our tree saying "Die tree! Wither!" over and over. She turned after a moment or two and looked at me. "It's not working" she said. I think we will have to revisit this verse tomorrow!

1 comment:

lovingmom said...

Looks like fall... we miss it!!!!!
It is great that you let your little ones enjoy the outside, and your neighbors and the "wonders" of nature. I admire that you take the time to bring the outdoors into your lessons. SO important since today we just like to use a classroom for everything...