Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wow. That was a long break from blogging.

So I took some time away because I had some health issues that were kinda scary, but all is well now and the bad stuff seems to be gone. Life is moving along at a nice pace, with lots of soul-searching on my part and rearranging priorities, and I'm glad to say that life lessons can still be learned even by old dogs like me.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I've been away from blogging to take care of some health concerns, but will be back soon. I hope all is well with everyone. Happy Autumn!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumnal Equinox/Mabon Celebration

Yesterday we met with two other families to learn about the autumnal equinox and Mabon, a celebration which celebrates the fall harvest. I tweaked the plans a bit, and I think I can safely say, we all had a grand time.

National Geographic has a nice little video about the equinox, and after viewing it, we talked about how some people think it's possible to stand an egg on its end during the vernal (spring) equinox. We decided to see if we could do it on the autumnal equinox (or actually a day early).

After awhile, and one or two seconds of success, we made a base of salt for each egg, then gently blew the salt away until the eggs were standing on end for quite some time. Of course, the nearly-invisible salt sticking to the ridges on the surface of the egg contributed greatly to the stability of the eggs, but we still called this a success.

We then talked about how different cultures celebrate the harvest during the time of year, and I pointed out our display, which has many colors and symbols of the autumn season.

I shared the story of Demeter and Persephone, after which we watched this clip on youtube:

After the clip, the children made apple candles with the assistance of the other moms...

...while I prepared the feast (also with the assistance of the other moms).

Roasted chicken, bread, butternut squash, sunflower kernels, mixed nuts, cantelouope, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and apple crisp

After our meal, the kids ran off some energy, then we gathered again to talk about another myth with similar themes to Mabon (balance, death and rebirth), this time the Celtic myth of the Green Man. After viewing some images, the children (and one of the moms) used fresh leaves to create their own versions of the Green Man.

Gallery of the Green Man

Monday, September 14, 2009

From the Archives Elsewhere: Memorable Homeschool Moments

1. A tiny bit of boasting comes back to bite me in the butt

I was at a homeschool meeting at a local park, discussing with a new acquaintance the fact that my children had been television-free for a month. She asked me how this was working, and I practically gushed. It’s been amazing, I told her. They get along so much better now! They hardly fight at all anymore!

…at which point First Daughter cut in front of The Son at the water fountain, and he whacked her in the head.

2. Sometimes the quiet isn’t a bad thing

I had been teaching the children sign language two days a week. One afternoon, I realized I hadn’t heard the kids in awhile. (I’m sure, as parents, you know the stab of fear I felt…no, not that they’d been kidnapped, but that they were destroying something.) I peeked into the living room, and they were sitting in a circle, signing to one another. I felt a rush of success, and we can all use that from time to time, right?

3. Speaking of sign language–

The first week we began learning to sign, Second Daughter became impatient to make sentences, so she made up her own signs. They were quite the riot. Of course, this doesn’t quite compare to the time she was walking around making these weird chanting noises, and I asked what she was doing. “I’m teaching myself Spanish.”

4. In the “You Never Know What They’re Going to Do or Say” Category–

You know…I take pride in the fact that my kids can carry on a conversation with just about anyone without regard to age. I attribute that to the fact that we homeschool, and because they interact with people of various ages, it just comes easily to them after awhile. I also take pride in the fact that my kids are constantly telling people how much they love homeschooling.

Oh, Smugness…thou bringest Bad Karma.

One early afternoon we were in a store, and a lady stopped to speak to the children. “Hello,” she smiled, “why aren’t you in school today?” Silence from my children. I spoke up. “We homeschool,” I said brightly.

“Oh,” said the woman, looking back at the kids. “Well. Do you like it?”

At this point, First Daughter looked shyly at her shoes, and Second Daughter shouted, “NO! We hate it!”

Boy, that was embarrassing.

5. Joy in Learning

This is from my old blog:

First Daughter made a connection today in school, and her face lit up when she got it, and I swear my heart almost burst. That flash of recognition and understanding that blew across her face…I am so thankful to have witnessed that. The excitement and wonder that they show when they learn something new…I can’t express it well, as I am so emotionally connected to it…I just can’t find the words at this moment.

So, how about you? I would love to hear about some of your most memorable homeschool moments.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I have been helping a friend with an enormous task, and will probably not be able to update much for another week. I think I will use this time to bring things over from my old blog. It's not from Blogger, so I don't think I can import it.

Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Linky Love

Today was our official first day back to homeschool. It didn't go as well as I'd hoped, and that's all I want to say about that.

We did watch President Obama's speech and talk about it, however.

But the purpose of today's post (yesterday's?) is to share three links to some things I enjoyed while reading the Carnival of Homeschooling.

First up is a post by Amy from Neighborhood Clubhouse, who shares an idea for using Google Maps--specifically My Maps--as a teaching tool. It's a very fun idea with many possibilities.

Next comes a post from Homeschool Dawn at Olive Plants, who shares a form of behavior management that will keep you from losing your marbles.

Finally, one blogger introduced another blogger who utilizes Khan Academy, a free curriculum of sorts that is posted via video. I've been poking around looking at some of the lessons, and I'm impressed.

Now it's off to Dreamland....