Wednesday the 19th
My homeschool day started at 6:38 am when Tommy, my cosleeping buddy, started chattering in a very chipper manner like he does.
Tommy – “Mama, when is it going to be morning time?”
Me – (muffled mutter)
Tommy – “How many numbers until morning time?”
Me – (grumbles) “100!”
Tommy- “1...2...3...” (He makes it up to 20 with some skipping in the teens.) Then, he cheerfully asks, “What comes next?”
I start him on the 20s and he gets up to “20-10” and gets stuck. I start him on the 30s, more awake at this point than I had hoped to be. I make a valiant effort to explain that he basically just has to count to 10 over and over again until he does it 10 times. Thinking he might have understood this at 40, I hear “41...42...43...83...84...85...100!!!! It's morning time!!!!”
If my kids ever sleep past 730, I'll be shocked.
Early in the morning, Ben colored. Tommy drew, which he doesn't normally do.
After looking at a long line with a stick and some small circles above the line, I commented, “Oh, look at the train you're drawing!”
Tommy- “It's not a train! It's 'One Thousand!!' And this one here (he points to 100000...) is one TRENTY!”
Tommy- “You know what's two 1000s?”
Tommy-”One-Trenty! That's a LOT! When I grow up and become an engineer and I'm going to have this number, one trenty!”
Tommy- (starts trying to sound something out and settles on the word 'goofy'.) “Mama, how do you spell 'goofy'? “
Knowing that he's been trying to sound out lately, I say, “Well, what does it start with? G-g-goofy...”
Tommy- “a Ghee!”
Me – “Yes, a 'gee'. What makes the next sound, 'oo oo'?”
Tommy – “Monkeys!”, collapsing with laughter.
Realizing he was right, I giggled. We had a good laugh, while Ben tried to explain that two o's make the 'oo' sound. Clearly, the joke was lost on him.
He was on a roll this morning. Later he asked, “Mama, when I am going to be humongous and be even bigger than you?”
At one point, Ben drew a map of what he wanted our new backyard to look like. He drew two tree houses, with a bridge leading down to a wooden dinosaur. In Ben fashion, he circled a couple of details and then drew a larger sketch of what those details would look like if they were bigger.
While I got ready, the kids looked through a pile of books while listening to another Henry Huggins audio tape. I vowed to make it to the library today so that Ben didn't have to listen to the same CDs over and over! The kids were flipping through some kids' anatomy books, the DK dinosaur encyclopedia, a Curious George book and “Miranda the Explorer”, among others. I asked Tommy for a kiss and he sternly told me, “This is the library. There's no kissing allowed!” Then, they went back to their book pile. I promised to read “Miranda the Explorer” (by James Mayhew) later.
Once we were all ready, we went to what we simply refer to as “downtown”; it's the big county seat and the big city in this area of the state. There are lots of things to do downtown, but I suggested looking for some obscure park I read about in a guidebook that I had never heard of. First we got coffee in a new place, a coffee shop that curiously sells woolen items. The kids played chess, or at least their own version of it. Ben is trying to remember which pieces move in which particular way, whereas Tommy is concerned with jumping and taking enemy pieces in any way he feels like it; it makes for contentious games. We talked about how the sheep had their hair cut and how that wool is spun into thread to make things in the shop, more of a lesson for Tommy than anyone else. We touched the wool stuff (super expensive!) and then moved on.
The obscure city park was very near the coffee shop. It was very small, a planned children's garden near an underpass. This whole section of the downtown area has been undergoing a massive revitalization campaign, one which probably started almost 20 years ago when the trees were planted in downtown and one that has picked up with dizzying speed recently as the area has experienced growth. A large and smelly old river was cleaned up and reclaimed. Now this river area is full of gorgeous city parks, upscale condos, art galleries, fancy restaurants and a large theater complex.
After playing in the “children's garden” for a while, we leisurely walked back along the river. We looked in the windows of several art galleries. Ben was really attracted to a boat sculpture that was made of crinkled newspaper strips. He wanted to look at some chalk art on the path, so we looked at those and discussed the famous paintings that they were based on. We discovered urban water sprinklers that were designed for kids to admire and to walk in. I wish I had known about those when we had temperatures in the 100s F!
We eventually ended up at large toy store, one that attracts people with its boutique toys and availability of toys to freely play with. This is not a homeschool particular, but I knew the MDC crowd would appreciate this: I got irked by a Mom who wouldn't let her little girl out of her stroller to play with the train table that she desperately wanted but she let her play with the dollhouse instead.
We wound up at the library where I was unable to find an audio tape of Paddington Bear, but I did find the BFG by Roald Dahl. It was part of the same series as the Eric Idle narration of “Charlie...”
It was actually pretty late in the afternoon when we got home. The kids watched Postman Pat and then the Magic SchoolBus space episode.
Before supper, Ben started working on a giant paper castle he's planning. He wants to make it big enough for Tommy to enter and play inside, in the hopes that it will give Tommy something to do while Ben listens to audio books. So far, he's drawn and colored about 5 bricks.
At supper time, one of Ben's remarks led to a zillion tangents. He remarked that men are taller than women, which led me to say that I would be taller than many men in the world, which required an explanation of how different ethnicities share common genes which give some general characteristics (e.g. skin color, height). That further required a list of exceptions (e.g. the U.S.) which were based on migrations. That led to a discussion about how many ethnicities, e.g. the English, are based on a mixed gene pool from various migrations (e.g. the Jutes, Romans and Vikings). There was a brief mention of the Native Americans originating from Asia. And there was a brief chat about the original humans probably coming from Africa, based on the oldest human skeletons that have been found.
Ben said he wished that the Vikings came to America so he could personally find a Viking skeleton (hopefully with a Viking hat). That tangent led us to talk about Vinland and how the Vikings could have hopped, skipped and jumped across. I mentioned that York, England has a big Viking historical center. Dh added that York also has fantastic train museum and that the Flying Scotsman from the Thomas stories is from York. Now, the three of us really want to visit York the next time we go to England.
Ben thought there was a New York in England, which led to a discussion about how the English named New York and other places in America after their homes. Suddenly, I had “They Might be Giants” in my head and I was saying how it used to be New Amsterdam. Ben wanted to know where Amsterdam was (and he thought it was a funny place name) so I showed him on a world placemat.
While dh and Tommy played soccer in the other room, Ben burst into the study (where I was typing this), complaining that he needed help with his giant paper castle. I'm not really good at architectural things. But I had him stand on the floor and I put papers around him and showed him how to estimate how much paper he would need to build the perimeter. We determined that he would need roughly 3 sheets of paper across and 3 deep. I pointed out that he would therefore need 9, with 3 3s being 9. Dh interjected that he didn't think it would be architecturally sound, so when I left them, they were attempting to use a box to brace it.
When I came back in, dh and both boys were busy taping paper together. They had decided that such a large paper box would not stand up by itself, unlike the small paper tower that Ben had already created. Dh convinced them to tape a panel across a recessed storage area to make a cubby-hole castle. Ben discovered an outlet under there and before I knew it, both kids were inside the castle, listening to the BFG audio book. Then, they went to bed.
Here are some pictures:
Inside a secret garden at the park:http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...sspot_wed1.jpg
We saw lots of butterflies at the park!http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...sspot_wed2.jpg
Some fountains to play in, downtown:http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...sspot_wed3.jpg
This is what the modified paper castle looked like in the end:http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...sspot_wed4.jpg
The paper castle turned out to be a great place for listening to audio books:http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...sspot_wed5.jpg
I found Ben like this right before bedtime. I don't know why he was in the box:http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...sspot_wed6.jpg