Homeschooling update: Expanding

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I've been meaning to do a homeschool update for a while.  We've just been so busy that I haven't found the time.  The following principle sums up our latest happenings.

“The question is not—how much does the youth know when he has finished his education—but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?”

In order to expand the number of things Caleb cares about, we have added classical music/composer study to our curriculum.  Before jumping in to the Ambleside Online composer study schedule, I thought I would first introduce the genre of classical music.  We began with listening to Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev.  The kids really love it and usually ask for it right after we sing our hymn at breakfast.

We've also been listening to Carnival of the Animals composed by Camille Saint-Saens and The Nutcracker by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, additionally playing them as background music while doing copywork and such.  This has been such a delight, not only for the kidlets, but for me as well.  The kids particularly love to act out Peter and the Wolf.  It's such a joy to see.  Perhaps I'll have to get them doing so on video.

Speaking of videos....a typical narration for Caleb takes place at the computer.  He narrates as I type.  However, I have been videotaping his narrations from The Trumpet of the Swan.  Here's how Chapter 14 went.

Generally speaking, Madeline isn't this distracting. She's gotten so much better at waiting until the end of Caleb's narration before speaking to me.  The both of them were just a wee bit giddy that day.

On to nature study...

Since we do most of our schooling four days a week, we set aside Fridays for nature study, errands, doctors appointments and such.  It seems that every Friday as I drive over the causeway (across the river) to run errands, I spot a Great Blue Heron hanging out along the shore in the same area.  I am constantly scanning the shoreline as I drive now instead of just occasionally.  However, no sooner do I spot it, then we drive past, and it's too late for the kids to see.  

Yesterday was no different.  However, upon returning home, I spotted both a Great Blue Heron and a Great Egret and determined that the kids were going to see one of these birds.  We parked in a recreational area, got out, and started walking along the shore.  As we turned a corner (we had walked out onto a point), we practically walked right into the Great Blue Heron.  I was so glad the kids finally got to see one.  (It had been several years since Caleb had seen one, which he has regularly reminded me about lately. lol)  Anyway, we saw it just in time because as we looked out on the river (thanks to another onlooker), a sheet of rain was coming our way.  That was pretty cool to witness.

Because we school year round, we just continue on to the next thing once we've completed the current year's work.  So we'll be starting up fourth grade math and third grade grammar next week.  This past week, Caleb finished reading Stuart Little by E. B While and has since started reading Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  He thoroughly enjoyed it when I read it aloud to him not too long ago, and he has the same enjoyment while reading it aloud to me!  It's precious.

So back to science/natural history...

As you can see, we have been studying birds a great deal lately.  We now have two bird feeders hanging from our oak trees, one in the front yard and one in the back.  Next thing we need to add are a few bird baths.  I've managed to capture a few birds with my camera.  So I will be putting together a little post on that.  

Anyway, what I love about learning at home is seeing Caleb question the world around him.  Last night as I put him to bed, he was thinking about Louis, the trumpeter swan and asked me how birds fly.  Thankfully, our science curriculum has a lesson on this physics principle, so I will be able to lead Caleb to his own understanding of how birds fly. Love it!

I have so much more that I want to blog about.  I surely hope to find some time in the next few weeks.  Monday Madeline will be celebrating her 4th birthday.  It's hard to believe.  She was just 19 months at referral.  Time has passed so quickly.  It really needs to slow down.

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your weekend!
I'm sure I'll be back to share some birthday fun!


Mom2Six 3/11/2012  

FOUR!?!?!? How can that be possible? Yes, time is flying by. So glad we get to share parts of it.

Stephanie 3/11/2012  

You're such a great mom! Love to read about your awesome ideas. Happy 4th (How is that possible?!) birthday to your sweetie!

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About This Blog

This blog is the place where shared our lives while waiting to bring our daughters Madeline and Havi home from China. (Our son Caleb was already home before this blog began.) It is now the place where we continue to share our life experiences, both big and little, as we try to glorify God and raise our 3 dumplings from China.

Feel free to join us as we journey through life, while I try to capture our days...

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