If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. ~ Adlai Stevenson

Friday, September 17, 2010

About face...

Well, just a few weeks into our "school year" and of course interests have greatly shifted. This was brought about by a few things... books, The Sword in the Stone (Disney version), a trip to a small, local Renaissance Faire... but anyhow, it looks like we'll put most American history on the back burner for a bit, while we jump into the Middle Ages!

However, having just recieved our (free) copy of the History Channel's America: The Story of US, we will continue watching that, maybe one episode a week. I think this will give the kids a broad overview of American history.

In science (i.e. nature studies), we have been fascinated by the birds in our area lately, so they will be the focal point. I'm pulling together resources:
Handbook of California Birds
Peterson First Guide to Birds of North America
Burgess Bird Book for Children
The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon
a really great freebie from CurrClick... Bird Notebooking pages.

This week I'll admit we didn't do a lot of lessons. We did sign up for some great projects at 4H-- Nature Crafts, Arts & Crafts, science (of course, since I'm leading it), Business for Primaries (where they'll practice setting up and running a business), and maybe a nature related drawing class. Fairy memorized the Pledge of Allegience on the way to the meeting, in under 10 minutes (she's definately an auditory learner).

I also participated in a Homeschool Q&A night, answering questions for would-be homeschoolers. I have to say, I learned a lot! Most, though not all, of the other women on the panel are unschoolers, so I heard several real life examples of how unschooling works. I daydream about unschooling, but there are parts of me that just can't let go! So I've decided relaxed homeschooling is where it's at, for us. At least right now. I am trying to let science, art, and history be more child led.

The kids finished up fencing this week, at least this set of classes offered through our city parks & rec. Elf has decided he wants to continue with it, on a more serious level, so I'm planning to have him try the homeschool class offered by the same teacher next week (that reminds me, I need to email him...). He seems to be doing well, and really enjoying it, so I am more than willing to let him pursue this. Fairy however has decided she would probably rather return to gymnastics (something she is good at), so I'm taking her to homeschool gymnastics this afternoon to decide for sure.

The Renaissance Fare was pretty fun, although it whetted my appetite for a larger venue (we're going to try The Dickens Faire in December I think, and maybe a large scale Ren Faire next year). The kids made herbal sachets and played Rat-a-Pult. Elf made a chain mail bracelet, and was fascinated by the process, while Fairy made a flower fairy wand. We ran into a few homeschool friends, ate giant turkey legs, listened to music while watching dancing, and the kids were presented to the Queen! It was so cute - Fairy actually curtsied! She also was in awe of the bellydancers... they used to offer a kids' class around here but unfortunately it was cancelled before she ever got a chance to try it.

Anyhow, I don't mind a historical detour... as I am a nut about the Middle Ages. I'm picking up A Little History of the World and The White Stag at the library tomorrow, while waiting for Margaret Hodges' King Arthur stories to arrive at our local branch. Thankfully, I already have a book list made, so the switch is easy! Oh, and hey, if you happen to know of a really good (chapter book) version of the King Arthur tales that I could read aloud, let me know! I've been looking at Andrew Lang's version, and that done by Roger Lanclyn Green, but I just don't know!

1 comment :

  1. You have great plans here! This is something that my children would enjoy. D'Aulaires Myths is still one of their favorite books.


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