Friday, October 10, 2008

New Avenues of Learning


Wow, what a difference a few tweaks and a couple of days makes! On Monday I didn't really even want to look at the school week ahead. I just had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that things just weren't right. Not right how they could be right and how I'd dreamed of them being right. But after making changes and feeling good about those changes and seeing how much fun the girls are having with their even newer school year, the place we've arrived at the end of this week is not where I thought I'd be at the beginning.

As I'd said in the previous post, we are now doing many of the same subjects, but doing them differently. We've also made room for chosen subjects; Maia is thrilled to know that her comic creations are part of her school day and Eve is happy to get to play Junkbot over at Lego.com as well as head on outdoors to climb the tree and work in her nature journal. Things like the nature journaling and reading Ranger Rick were things we had incorporated in the past, but I had run out of room in this year's schedule. Well, more room has been made again. When I come across something in our curriculum that is looking more like "chore" than "fun," I don't necessarily eliminate it, but am seeking more alternative ways to teach the same thing that leaves everyone with smiles on their faces.

I honestly don't know why I got so uptight this year and have had to return to this more relaxed method of homeschooling - which is what attracted me to it in the first place. I think it might have something to do, though, with the idea of high school approaching in two years and me beginning to feel like a whole stream of expectations was looming around the corner and, by golly, we just better buckle down and get used to it.

The next time I start thinking like that, someone snap me out of it, okay?

Part of our day today was poetry. Daddy sat with Eve and assisted in getting hers typed onto the computer for printing...


...so that later they could be illustrated. Illustration may as well be Maia's middle name. My girl loves to draw.


She used her Manga style characters from her comic book story to illustrate her poems.


I confess, that I am excited, now, to see the new directions we will take this year as my children's education takes on a more collaborative effort. I see their eyes light up when I ask them what they are interested in and they are ready and willing with lots of new ideas. One new activity next on the agenda is a pen pal for Maia from Japan! Stay tuned to hear more about that.

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A note about that water bottle in the photos! >:/ I am not a fan of disposable water bottles at all for various reasons! That is one that was given to Maia at some event or another and one that she refills regularly. I still don't like it, preferring her to use a non-plastic container.

See the badge in my sidebar if you are interested in the wonderful new campaign started by Center for a New American Dream to end the use of bottled water. Incidentally, one of my favorite reasons for steering clear of the bottle is that not only does the bottle use petroleum in its manufacturing, but also uses so much gas in carting the stuff all around the U.S. Water is heavy, folks, and instead of drinking our perfectly good water that we should be thankful to have essentially for free in our own back yards, we want water from somewhere else - flown or driven from thousands of miles away - and then we pay for it - twice, since we've already paid for our own water service at home. Absurd.

Well, I'm off to watch some news. I steer clear of commercial news networks, preferring to watch on PBS. Ordinarily, I would just listen to the news on NPR as I was making dinner, but since our suppers have become easier and lighter affairs, with Paul with us for lunch rather than supper, and with the economy as it is, I have been spending some more time in front of the TV screen and just wondering... wondering where it all will lead.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. Take time to say some prayers for our country in these hard times.
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