I'm really proud of how the three girls are taking ownership of doing their required on-line work. No fussing, except over who gets to use my computer, about doing the work. They enjoy it, are learning and they still have plenty of time to follow their desires during the day.
I'm still wavering over next year, whether to do topic/unit studies in the afternoon or be more unschooly in the afternoon. Right now we are seeing how the unschooly thing goes. They are staying busy and doing a lot of neat stuff, but the girls keep asking me when I'm going to 'do school' with them. I don't know, but they just don't buy that they are learning unless I'm feeding them bits and pieces of information. I'm hoping for the best of both worlds with them picking their topics/units most of the time next year.
The past couple of weeks we've spent some time reading and trying to understand the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This has led us to read about the Exxon Valdez and IxCon incidents. We've looked at maps and traced the Gulf Stream up the East Coast.
We've read about Jacques Cousteau, who would have been 100 on Friday. Looked at the history of diving and diving equipment. Then we had to see how much diving lessons would cost and how old the girls had to be. I was a certified diver in my teens - Looooved it, but stopped being able to clear my ears well enough and just ran out of time to keep up with my diving. Would love for the girls to experience diving, but think I might have them wait until they can be certified to dive without a parent.
Mary and Katie have decided that if they can't be SCUBA divers, then being a mermaid is the next best thing. They found this video on you tube, and then spent several hours measuring each other, looking up the cost of materials and making a shopping list. Now, they are figuring out how to earn the money to buy the materials. I think the fins are going to be the hardest part.
Emily has been re-potting weeds from the yard so that she can have them inside to look at all the time. She also says she needs them as models for her paintings. I'm trying to be very careful to be sure that she doesn't bring poison ivy in to grow in her bedroom. She also decided that she needed to hang glow-in-the-dark stars on her walls so that the plants wouldn't be homesick. According to her we couldn't just stick the stars on the wall, they have to make pictures...so out came our H.A. Reys "Find the Constellations" book.
Today I am waiting for this science kit to be delivered. This is going to be a special thing for Emily and I to do together this summer while her older sisters will be in and out of town all summer for camps. It is also to make up for the fact that we never got to science this year with Emily.
The girls are still reading. Mary has moved on to a joke book this week. So, we've been listening to jokes along the lines of "What do you call a pet bunny of a bug? Bug's Bunny." Katie is reading a 'Katie Kazoo' book while she takes a break from the Magic Treehouse Series. We are still reading Book 8 of The 39 Clues as our read aloud. Set in China, we've already watched the Last Emperor, which then led to all sorts of discussions about modern Chinese history.
After watching a Spongebob episode, I had to read them The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe. And, then we talked about how many cartoons have references to classic literature. Mary thinks this is done to drive her nuts, but I explained that it is probably due to the fact that classics are considered universal and that all should know and understand references to them. THAT is yet another reason we should be well-read. I think that went over like a lead weight if the rolling eyes were any indication. But, she did say she liked The Tell-Tale Heart, although the narrator creeped her out.
This week I am really, REALLY trying to clean the house. Sunday we are having about 15 people over for a cookout. But, I think I am losing that battle. I'm probably better off waiting until Saturday to get it all done. I work better under pressure, and it will give the natives less time to scatter all their belongings in the corners and under furniture.
Off to enjoy another day. I wonder what the kids have planned?