Monday I needed to make a trip into the nearest town half an hour away for a dentist appointment, groceries, “field trips” for Caleb’s science, and immunizations for the children. Three out of the four kids got shots, and we sat in the doctor’s waiting room for over 45 minutes before they took us in to administer them! I was relieved that the children sat fairly patiently for so long with just a few books to look at (Caleb’s readers for school, which I made him read to me during the car ride!) Caleb needed a booster shot, Callie needed 2 shots for MMR, and Carson needed 2 for measles. Callie tensed up so much for the second, that her arm was red and swollen for two days afterwards; and Carson had a minor fever on Tuesday. So we survived with minimum damage.
But we didn’t take Monday off completely from homeschooling. Caleb finished language arts and math that day before or during the town trip. While in town, we visited a jewelry store to see different kinds of “rocks” that come from the earth; then we visited a nursery to see the plants, and Caleb got to help the owner replant seeds from a small cactus plant. She also took the time to explain how she was preparing soil for her plants.
I only managed to squeeze in the doctor’s visit and the field trips before Seth was done teaching at LBI that morning. Town visit days are usually crammed full with errands. The rest of the day flew by, as did the rest of the week.
This week has brought a sense of accomplishment with homeschooling. First, Caleb took his last tests for single-digit addition on Monday, so now he knows all of his addition facts! That seems like such a milestone to me! (Or is it a kilometer-stone?) We celebrated with ice cream. We spent the rest of the week working on telling time.
In language arts, Caleb finished his second reader, as well as memorizing his fourth poem, and memorizing Psalm 34:8-13 in Bible. His killer spelling list for this week included 13 words with the “special sounds” of “ir in bird,” “ur in nurse,” and “er in verse,” with no clues as to how to know when to use which sound. 😉 Only two used “er,” so we memorized those with the “verse,” “Serve her.” Four words used “ur,” so I gave him this sentence to remember them: “The nurse with a purse and a curl helped a patient with a burn to turn over.” All the other words used “ir.” I felt an inordinate degree of self-congratulation over that small burst of teacherly creativity.
Besides taking field trips for science, we finished our unit study on the third day of creation as well as our read-aloud on George Washington Carver. I almost cried at the end. A hair too emotional, right? But it was such an interesting story, and his work was so fascinating! Maybe I should translate that into Tsonga. 🙂 He makes a great African hero. Now we have begun studying the fourth day of creation and are reading Moonwalk: The First Trip to the Moon.
We also had a banner week in history. We finished up our unit on ancient Egypt and Israel and started a unit on Israel divided—Assyria and Babylon. This week we studied about the ancient civilizations of the Americas. We read about the Nazca people of South America’s incredible line drawings, the Olmecs of Central America with their huge stone sculptures of heads and enormous clay pyramids, and the North Americans. We made Navajo fry bread to represent N. America (which was delicious!) and tapioca pudding for S. America (which didn’t thicken up correctly. The recipe called for 3-minute tapioca, but I must have just had “normal” tapioca. I’ve never cooked with it before, obviously! It was still good—tasted like eggnog!)
I combined drawing class with history, as we tried our own Nazca line drawing. This activity went perfectly with a step in our drawing lesson, so we took the parrot from the art lesson, and made that our picture for the line drawing. First we attempted to draw the parrot in white crayon on white paper. Then we painted in watercolors over it, practicing some shading tips from our drawing book, and saw how our drawing came out!
Colin learned the letter “N” (N is for nest) this week. When Seth finished his last distance course for seminary yesterday (Hip, Hip, Hoorah!!!!), we made a family night of watching Finding Nemo together—for the letter “N,” and one of Seth’s favorites. We also read The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman and made rice krispie nests with candy eggs inside.
I’m glad I’m writing all this out, because in retrospect it was such a wonderful week! It’s easy to remember the frustrating moments, like when Callie woke up the baby two different times this week by going into his room and climbing into his bed. (I need that baby-naptime!)
So, experiencing some already rough times with mobile baby and toddler while homeschooling, and anticipating another rough two years ahead, I asked a question on my favorite homeschooling forums on the web, entitled, “Must-Haves for homeschooling sanity with littles?” Anyone else in my position can hop on over there and see tips for things to assemble or buy to help keep little toddler fingers happily (and hopefully not destructively) occupied while homeschooling the older children. I would welcome any ideas from you as well. Please!