Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Today was one of those days when the term homeschooling just does not adequately describe what we do. Today, the home aspect was missing. And, well the planned paper lessons did not get done.

First of all - an hour-and-a-half. That is how early I had to start rounding up kids & belongings, asking, urging, begging and crying for children to please go put clothes on. Just to get out the door and to our wildlife class. We got there, with actual time to spare - because, well I am just paranoid that way - if I am not there early I am probably having a panic attack over it.

These classes thrill the girls. They are wonderful and such a blessing for those of us with younger children. Since they are done by the State Wildlife agency the classes are generally open to the public and they still have those classes. But, because of the overwhelming response by the local homeschoolers they have set aside classes just for homeschoolers. Today there were 25 children between 3 & 7 - plus a few toddlers just for good measure. K and MB each had their own seperate classes - but covered the same thing. MB & K kept talking over each other to tell me what they had done and to compare their classes. I love listening to them talk like that and share things (something I missed having a sister so much older than I).

Today is was about What Animals Do During the Winter. They read a picture book, do some type of experiment and a craft. I believe from what I can understand they tried out the insulating qualities of diffferent substances by putting their hands into ice water and they made pine cone bird feeders (my girls have had a lot of practice with these) Nearly two hours of professionally guided (read: I don't have to do anything but show up) learning. And all for FREE.

MB's constant amazement over the fact that there are actually other people out there that homeschool just floors me. "What you mean all those kids are homeschooled too?" Honestly, I don't keep her locked up in some dungeon.

Straight from there we headed over to the Choir class. We have a new teacher this semester. I think the switch is going to be really good. Both MB & K were happy after their classes. This time MB has received a folder with the actual songs she has to practice and learn. Tonight she and her daddy went over the sheet music and talked about all the different symbols and music notes. MB told me, very seriously, "I have to practice this every day." We will see how long it goes before I have to remind, remind, remind.

Em & Jr held up pretty well throughout it all. I am so glad that jr loves his sling - pop him in there and he is just so happy. He did stay awake for most of the morning and ended up crashing most of the afternoon - but he was so happy all day. Smiling and cooing at all the people we have not seen since before Christmas. Em was a normal two-year-old, yet she managed to not get too cranky until right before we headed home. Of course she fell asleep in the car (10 minutes) and then did not want to take a nap once we were home. She had an early bedtime tonight.

My plan was to do our lessons when we got home - but I was exhausted. The girls were a little 'overstimulated' by actually being around a bunch of other children for 4 hours straight. We needed downtime before we had meltdowns. I am getting much better about spotting those. We had a couple hours before my friend was dropping off her kids for the evening so she could go to work. So - we chilled. The girls got to pick a movie and I made them milkshakes - and I curled up with a knitting book.

Our evening, even with two extra children went well. And, I am glad the girls got their downtime before the friends showed up.

So, tonight instead of putting together another lesson plan for tomorrow I am crossing out today's date and putting tomorrow's and we are all good. Then I am heading for bed.



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A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.