Wednesday, February 6, 2013

what our days look like this winter

I was thinking it might be time to write about the things that we are doing this winter, and give an idea of what our days tend to look like (I love reading these posts on other blogs, and never tire of hearing how other homeschoolers are "doing it"! Not to mention looking back at old posts of mine to see how we used to do things...pretty entertaining.).  

Our weeks this winter were scheduled to be very full (for us):  homeschool coop on Tuesday, choir on Wednesday, piano on Thursday, aikido on Fridays.  Apart from the weekends, which have their own agendas and business, this leaves Mondays as our only uninterrupted "at home" day.  To this schedule we have also added some dance time for Eliza, who was invited by one of the local modern dance teachers to work on a piece with her for a performance later in the year.  Talk about a golden opportunity - this was a dream come true for Eliza, who loves to dance but hasn't enjoyed the few dance classes she's tried, so we made room for it.

What this means is that Mondays tend to be the time for me to take the lead on new stuff - our work and play with the periodic table being one of those things.  It is also the day that sets the rhythm for the home time for the rest of the week:  Eliza has a new math curriculum that she is eager to get to every morning (I'm just going with it! She does it independently for the most part, feels great about it, and is learning it all quickly...), and she practices piano before or after the math.  When we're feeling on top of it, we put yoga or an exercise video in there somewhere (a couple of weeks ago it was Bollywood Workout, which was so much fun!).  Sometimes when she's working on those things, Ani and I get into some games: cribbage, Go Fish, sudoku, and addition war (like War, but you throw down 2 cards at a time, add them up, and the winner gets them all) are our recent favorites.  Other times, Ani loses herself in an Ivy and Bean and I don't really see her for hours...

a girl, a book, a fort (and hand-knit socks from Mormor!)

Ah! and Quiddler! We're finally playing Quiddler!! Yay!!! (I'd like to point out that Ani smoked us in the game above - 112 end total to my 96 - not that it's about winning or anything, but...!!)

yeast burp bubbles - CO2!
After the initial exploration with the periodic table, we've played with it here and there - growing salt crystals, doing a few of the experiments from Fizz, Bubble and Flash, answering these riddles, watching the NOVA special, Hunting the Elements in very slow chunks (as it loads onto my computer), which maybe tells you how interesting it is, that we stick with it.  Turns out the elements are, well, everywhere, so there is a lot to talk about. And of course there are the nerdy jokes...

Two scientists walk into a cafe and one says, "I'll have H2O" and his friend says "I'll have some H2O too" and they get their drinks and the friend dies.  Why? 'Cause he was served H2O2 - hydrogen peroxide, and it's poisonous!  

figuring how atoms become molecules
trying to break out the colors in chlorophyll while talking about magnesium
checking for magnetic ink in various bills, while studying the rare earth metals
salt crystals

Of course we had to look at the salt crystals under the microscope, which lead to looking at other things under the microscope, which lead to lots of "WOW!" for Ani.

looking at bamboo cells

What else?  Well, even though we have only one full day at home, after reading Lori Pickert's Project-Based Homeschooling, I try to leave space - lots of space - for the wandering mind to figure out what it wants to be focusing on, and then time - lots of time - for projects to unfold.  I find this hard to do with the schedule we've accepted this winter, but it still happens in small chunks.  There are books being written, on the computer and off of it.  There is fort-building. There is sewing...Eliza made herself a bag this week, and altered a shirt that she decided needed embellishment.

And it's been snowing. so...

heading out at 7:45 a.m.

Ani's snow baby
Snow has interrupted much of our winter schedule, leaving us with more home days than we had planned on, which I love but has been a little disappointing for the girls.  So we have yet to feel what that level of busy-ness feels like for us in this "season" of life, but with all of the outside activities, our home goals have been simple: independent reading time, family read-aloud time, games that keep numbers alive, lots of time to create, do, be.  Balance is tricky to manage for a three-some, but of course, it's what we're always looking for...


Stephanie said...

Many fine things going on at your place!
Inspiring, engaging, and fun.
But I don't envy the 'leave the house every day' part. :) (Says the hermit.)

slim pickins said...

tell me about it, stephanie!! that's me, too, except for the running around in the woods part of being out. i should mention, though, that of all of our obligations, the furthest is about a 7 minute drive from our house...we live in a tiny tiny town, for which i am grateful.

Lori @ PBH said...

wow, so much great stuff happening. :) love that embellished shirt!