Saturday, September 13, 2014

Guilt Free Learning Notes

Sept 7- it's a Sunday, so didn't do much, but in the evening Nat flipped through an Eyewitness book about the animal kingdom and we read parts together and talked about the spine and amphibians and reptiles and the different parts of an insect and how some lizards squirt blood out of the eyes. Nat, "That is nasty". After we read the first chapter of The Story of the World, about nomads and the Fertile Crescent and the invention of agriculture, and Nat really liked it and asked that we keep reading it, as well as plugging away at The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle.  Of course we'll do both. Should do some Khan Academy with him tomorrow.

Sept 8- read some picture books aloud, managed to make smoothie and feed everyone breakfast and then Nat got sick and retired to bed, so we watched Wild Kratts about caracals . Nat perked up at lunch but had a blood sugar of 27 and was shouty. Did Starfall math with Thomas, girls watched.

Sept 9- Farmers Market day. On the way there picked up acorns and talked about where a plant will grow and where it won't, running down the list of sunlight, water, earth, air. The kids think acorns are exciting because of Tototo.

 Out at the library getting a stack of books. Sadly, the children's section is still flooded out but they've moved some of the collection up. Back to the market for brisk running around, ran into the wife of my second cousin and her two kids and chatted. Dropped the books and fruit off at the house and went to get bread at the grocery store. In the way home stopped to watch two honey bees pollinating flowers. Pointed out the pollen on their legs.

Home and wiped. Two hour hike pushing both girls and ten pounds of books.

In the evening Nat and I read a couple of chapters about Egypt and the uniting of the upper and lower kingdoms, the double crown, hieroglyphs and cuneiform. Also mummies.

Sept 10- no storybooks in the morning. Off to my parents in the morning, and then the ROM in the afternoon, very bravely. Dragged the protesting children in to see cuneiform tablets and Mesopotamian money and then parts of ancient Egypt, but everyone freaked out at the mummy. Caught Miriam trying to climb Queen Hatsheput's funerary wall with security glaring. Thomas really alarmed by Ancient Greece and started crying but Nat and I found Zeus and Athena and Apollo, then headed down to the kids section and stayed there aside from a brief stop at the dinosaurs. 
Blurry canopic jars

Mesopotamian lion

Real cuneiform

On the way home Nat was telling me that the mummy was okay because it wasn't real, and I probably made it worse by telling him that yep, real dead human. Went that colour because it's really old and also the drying out made it brown. I was sort of at the other side farther from the mummy and reassuring the children without going near the thing.

I really hate mummies and also the inorrupt saints. I am a wimp.

In the evening read another two chapters of Story of the World to Nat, plus Khan Academy and Turtlediary.

Sept 11- very tired. Read aloud for almost an hour, assorted picture books. Looked at random things in the Nature Encyclopedia. Told Nat briefly about Sept. 11th but didn't go into detail. Mostly avoided the children all day, although I think we did another few chapters of Story of the World, and got Nat through into the story of the Israelites.
Thomas helped clear the dishes
Sept 12- I was gone practically all day doing things for my parents, and various people watched the children. I figure that with all the ancient history plus the hours and hours of stories aloud we're sort of ahead. Thomas is showing more inclination to count higher than five, which is great. Nat read aloud from A Light In the Attic for at least fifteen minutes.

Sept 13- spent all of today in a haze of worrying-about-parents misery, although Nat insisted on doing a lot of complicated geometry, much too high a grade level, on Turtle Diary. It was asking him for something about tetrahedrons. I don't know anything about tetrahedrons. Bah, it's the weekend.

And so, tomorrow, nothing on purpose educational, and start again on Monday!


Melanie Bettinelli said...

Wow it sounds so busy and like you're managing to get so much in. A rich learning environment. And how lucky to have an excellent museum to visit regularly.

I got us an MFA membership for this fall and am completely frustrated that with my foot in a cast I don't feel up to going this month. But I hope to make up for it in October and November if the weather doesn't get me down. It usually does though.

lissla lissar said...

It really is excellent. We've gone over thirty times in the last year and a half and we've barely scratched the surface. The gallery with the Mesopotamian artifacts was one I'd never been in before. They also have a very nice kids' learning and play area that is my default for when I get tired of rescuing artifacts from Thomas. It's our backup bad weather or no-thought field trip.

Toronto has a ton of good museums, and I'm hoping we can visit more of them, and more regularly, as the kids get older. We'll be going to the Art Gallery of Ontario in a year or so, when I think the kids will pay attention, and we might get another Science Centre membership.

Anyway, I am satisfied that we had a really good homeschool week. It's always rough balancing multiple trips and doing any reading and math at home, but we managed it.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

30 times! I wish we lived close enough to go to the MFA even a quarter as often. But even with a membership, getting into the city is a major expedition and by the time I've paid for parking and lunch, it's not really all that cheap. Though admittedly a part of the problem is that the food in the cafeteria is so good I don't want to bring a lunch and eat on the cheap. I don't have that problem at the Museum of Science where the food is mediocre.

lissla lissar said...

I usually wimp out and buy lunch, too. The food isn't fantastic, but it's decent, and the cafeteria is nice. The room you have to eat in if you brought a bagged lunch is not nice. I promised the kids that we'd take a picnic to the Philosopher's Walk sometime, and we will, but usually by the end of a museum outing I am exhausted and just want to slump over a plate of fries while the children smear themselves with ketchup.

We're lucky that we basically just have a five minute walk to the subway, and it drops us one block from the museum, in the heart of downtown. We go much less often to the zoo because the zoo is more than an hour away on transit. I don't think I'll be up to doing that on my own until one of the girls is reliably walking i. e. next summer.

lissla lissar said...

And thanks for the compliment! We haven't been very successful at a lot of sit down work yet, but we generally manage a decent amount of good conversation and varying amounts of reading aloud, so I'm satisfied.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

When Bella was Nat's age we did hardly any sit down work. I've always seen it as something to work up to. Now Sophie likes sit down work, so I make sure to give her some. It's harder to rope her into listening to books. I'm going to try to start Ben with learning letters and doing Saxon K math as soon as I get the math workbook. I've been held up by lack of funds.

lissla lissar said...

I keep trying with Thomas, but I think he's not ready because he's pretty uninterested. He's been slower verbally and his vocabulary isn't anything like Nat's was at four, so I think he's just a slower developer.

mrsdarwin said...

Just piping in to say that I don't think we've been to a museum in the past year, and not just because I was pregnant last year. So hats off to you for going with the small fry and the twins. You're a braver woman than I am!

lissla lissar said...

Thank you! It's sometimes deeply nerve-wracking but I think it's worth it. I think we won't go back to the Chinese artifacts section for a while, though, because I can still see Thomas trying to push that vase off the pedestal and very nearly succeeding.

There's actually a museum of ceramic art directly opposite the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), and I occasionally imagine us going there, and then I fall over laughing.