Sunday, September 28, 2014

Guilt Free Learning Notes

So the notes I've been relying on are kind of a wreck this week, because this last week was full of emergencies about my parents, and the formal learning kind of collapsed. We spent part of one morning listening to poetry set to music and spoken. We started off with Loreena McKennitt's The Stolen Child, and I went looking for a spoken version and found one, which lead to Sailing to Byzatium, which I've never heard read before. And because of Melanie's Shakespeare we went on to Fern Hill and then to Kenneth Branagh's St. Crispin's Day Speech. After that I noodled around on YouTube and found Sir Ian McKellen, very young, in MacBeth, talking to the witches.

The kids weren't much interested in the MacBeth, but later in the week I was reading some children's poetry to Nat and found the witches' speech and connected it, and he remembered the film version.

On Monday afternoon I took the boys to get their hair cut and sort of accidentally picked up a Frog and Toad collection, hardbound, to replace all our crumbling paperbacks. The next day I read several of them aloud and then had to go do something, and heard Nat take up the reading as I left the room.
Post haircut treat
The next day I think was Mesopotamian videos and then playdough cuneiform.
I hate playdough.

But catching Nat reading to Thomas made everything better.

Wednesday we went on a big trip to visit my parents, and then lunch out, and then a beautiful playground for lots and lots of running around. 
Nat bravely turning a handle that operates a little rail car
After we got home it was quiet time, which means videos and drawing and computer games. Elizabeth has been doing these very complicated drawings with hundreds of tiny marks, and I finally got a picture:
She sometimes draws on top of someone else's art, as in this picture, and sometimes does drawings from scratch. I love it. She's very intent and hates to be interrupted.

Wednesday was when things started to degenerate again with my parents, so the rest of the week is kind of a blur. We did some Khan academy, and more reading, and another park visit
Down at the park near the beach, where the boys spent two hours playing tag with some smaller kids, and the girls wandered around chatting happily
And being really really cute

Later on in the week Nat became fascinated with Rube Goldberg machines (which he read about in a magazine. I had no idea what they were) so we looked up videos on Youtube, and interspersed them with creation myths. The kids were very excited by the Egyptian and Hindu myths, and I got down the sandalwood Ganesh and Mim carried it around for a few days. Thomas was royally freaked by the Japanese and Aboriginal myths. I noted, to discuss for later, that in all the myths the humans were created as an afterthought or a side effect of creating everything else. Very interesting.

So, looking back, there has been too much screen time but a whole lot of really really good outside time, which is great, because this was probably the last golden week we'll have before it starts to cool off and we all go into hibernation for the winter. The more sun we soak up now, the better. And I managed the Mass readings at breakfast at least some of the time, which is good. I have literally no idea how this coming week will play out, and I am worried about the amount of time and concentration I'll have for the children, but I'm hoping a new book of poetry will arrive in a couple of days, and we'll continue the loose ancient history/poetry/myths things that we've been doing.


Melanie Bettinelli said...

I love Elizabeth's drawing.

My brothers spent much of their childhood fascinated with Rube Goldberg and building contraptions. I seem to recall a computer game along those lines too. I'll have to ask them about it.

lissla lissar said...

The Incredible Machine! I'll see if Geoff can find a copy for Nathaniel.

mrsdarwin said...

Oh, I want to see young Ian McKellen in MacBeth!