Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A "Typical" Homeschool Day

We love home education. Each day is anything but typical though! Here's why, for example...

Recently, Nicolas obsessed about skipping ahead in science. I gave in, as I always do when it comes to science; I guess because we went through all of our 2nd grade material last summer and are working our way through 3rd grade. He is a boy of many questions, that's for sure, and that also sends us on various tangents and "bunny trails"... plus, he was enthusiastic –so, why not? We did a lot of experiments with magnets, which lead us to rocks, minerals and gemstones. Leading us to jewelry. To get off the gemstone cuts and shapes subject, I asked Nicolas to take a little break and help water some of my plants. (He loves the long spout on my little watering can and was glad to help.) Then, I asked him to remember to water one of the plants I had recently moved named "Jim". (I never intended to name my plants; however, I have and they're all named after family and friends who have died. I know it sounds just terrible and morbid - but, it's not. Not at all. The plants came from funerals and it allows me to think back to fond thoughts of those who have passed away, that's all. I have had a staggering amount of funerals the past few years, and it isn't easy, ever.) Anyway... I should have known...

Nicolas laughed and laughed and asked me about all of our plants and who they were named after. GREAT... another fine mess I got myself in to. Since I couldn't beat him I decided to join him. I told him that "Jim" needed a trim and instantly, we were back to science. For the next hour, we started "rooting" plants and vines in little vases of water and planted one that had already "rooted" or grown roots in water. I explained about the components of healthy soil and showed him pictures from his science book about seeds, roots, shoots and seedlings. To Nicolas, it was great and he enjoyed the hands-on aspect of it all. It also gave me the opportunity to explain that almost all living things reproduce after their own kind. It reinforced our genetics chapter from last fall, about dogs only give birth to dogs, not cats and so on and so forth. After all, he is only 7 years old. But he kept asking if starfish can grow back. Back? Back from what?? He claims that an employee at a pet store told him that years ago, some people, some where - used to try to get rid of starfish by ripping and tearing them in half. And that it made more starfish, because they can grow back their limbs, if the main part of the central nervous system is present - right? I can't remember if it's just one limb... or is it all? Apparently, these people weren't too smart and didn't understand that they were only making their over-population of starfish worse. Nick liked this story because it's kind of gross and funny how ignorant people can be. He thinks it's "cool" and we got through more school than I thought we would, even with all of our distractions. Science is the best subject to be distracted in, for now.

We also started talking about how wonderful it is that God was and is so creative! So many different kinds of fruits and vegetables to grow in our garden this year. I didn't do much of a garden last year and… this year, it will be my best garden ever! Our best garden ever, that is. The kids are looking forward to it. Yeah... right. I hope they keep the enthusiasm when the bugs are biting, the sun is scorching and our backs hurt. Forget hope! I'd better pray! Ha!!

I am so thankful for Nick's ability to understand phonetic language and be able to read! The whole world has opened up to him, since he started reading well, just this year. Pictured below are Abeka, Spectrum Phonics and Explode the Code.

After lunch, Nick practices his piano and then, before diving in to the rest of our school day, he enjoys listening to this audio series: Jonathan Park. It's awesome and I am so glad a fellow homeschooling family recommended it to me! It teaches creation and evolution in a suspenseful drama series, based on real places and scientific discoveries - all designed to build faith... produced by Vision Forum... it really does teach scientific and biblical lessons. I can wash dishes, load the dishwasher, sweep the floor, switch the laundry, wipe the table, pick up toys and take the dogs out - all while listening to this.

Nicolas, on the other hand, cannot pick up crayons while this is on. He can only listen. One thing at a time. No multitasking. No way. Who knows what his little mind is picturing, but - this I do know: it's a great audio drama and he learns from it. Also has a study guide and I would highly recommend this series to compliment your curricula or just for something to do, other than video games and tv.

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear..." 1 Peter 3:15

1 comment:

  1. I think it's great to go with their interests, as learning will automatically take place. We've enjoyed the Jonathan Park audio CDs too.