It’s Been A Good Week

It’s Thursday afternoon and it has been a good, no, GREAT week. We have learned a lot, spent plenty of hours outside in the sun (except for today’s return of winter), and delved into many areas of interest and learning.

This morning, daunted by the cold wind and rain, Emily quietly refused to change out of her pajamas until lunchtime. I can’t say that I blame her – it is almost inconceivable that it was 80 degrees out just two days ago!

I have been fighting a massive allergy attack all week, and today I woke up in a haze, two hours later than normal (which was still only a little after 7am in the morning), and feeling completely yucky.

We ate breakfast and wandered into the homeschool room. On the big table were some Kumon workbooks – Emily opened up one of them and began doing the exercises spontaneously. Her reading has continued to improve, and she is quite comfortable with most of the Dolch sight words. In fact, it is about time I did a learning check on her and see how she does on a timed test. (I have Dave administer the test, while I mark the words she knows and circle the ones she needs to work on)

If you are interested in a good source for Dolch sight words (and activities and stories that help promote them) go to this site for some great downloadables.

As I finished making some more storage boxes for the house – out of old boxes, twine, and fabric – Emily experimented with paint color combinations, re-painted a model plane, and then turned to Play-Doh. Along the way we talked about a lot of things and this took up most of the morning until 11:30 or so when I insisted she get dressed.

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She named this “Weird Pink” and said she was going to trademark it.

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Cheap, attractive storage…

After lunch we baked cookies and I pointed out the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Emily mixed all of the ingredients together, including carefully breaking the eggs into the bowl and stirring everything. Of course, the favorite part of it all was eating the finished product!

I am so doggone motivated for this kid to learn how to read – and it is for a rather odd reason…I cannot read aloud for very long at all – it puts me to sleep no matter how much sleep I’ve had!

It happened AGAIN today. A full belly and ten minutes of reading and I was out like a light. Poor kid – she even tries shaking me and I simply growl and turn away. I’ve been known to fall asleep sitting up. Come to think of it, it happened yesterday too!

Speaking of yesterday, Emily asked if we could do another experiment and of course I said yes. Her friend Anthony had told her about soaking an egg in vinegar and turning it into a bouncy ball. So we grabbed a jar, an egg, and some vinegar. I asked him more about it yesterday and he told me that we would need to wait four days – no disturbing or shaking the egg – and it should be rubbery, shell and all.

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Just in time for all of this miserable rain, we finished work on digging out the pond. I think it looks awesome! Here are a ton of kids (I swear they just kept multiplying last night) working away on it…

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They even created a “volcano” out of an area of concentrated coal (probably an old coal bin)…

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And Borrower Island now has “ruins” on it, possibly an old cistern?

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We had at least eight kids in the yard last evening, running around like wildlings and having the time of their life…it was great!

The “museum” of found objects has increased exponentially – here is a photo of some piece Emily had just discovered…

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This was in spite of the local nutcase two doors down who, when he gets to adding alcohol to his already addled state, becomes verbally abusive and screams racist rants about the local populace. He wandered about the neighborhood, sticking to the sidewalk, and yelling at me. I had my phone in my pocket, not particularly wanting to call the cops on him, but getting rather annoyed. Next time, I’m just calling the cops – he was making all of us edgy.

In any case, there has been plenty of outdoor learning, educational play, and experimenting going on around here. Life is good.

Now if only winter would go away…until OCTOBER.

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