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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Week 4... Field Trips Galore!

It was a week of field trips: living history, hands-on science, and so much fun!

We headed out to a local, smallish Renaissance Faire. You can see the pictures here. The Girl loved all the costuming; The Boy the swords and armor; both loved the games and activities. It renewed The Boy's interest in fencing. We've been having some issues with cross-country, so I have a feeling he may be switching sports!

Anyhow, back to the Faire. We met up with some friends, ran into other friends, and enjoyed the whole atmosphere. That was our history for the week!

We hit the basics: math, phonics (The Girl), spelling/word roots (The Boy), and some reading from Andrew Lang's Blue Fairy Book, Ozma of Oz, and something else I can't remember right now! It was an uneventful day, though I did write a short paper for my college class. Oh, and I graded papers while The Girl enjoyed her roller derby practice!

Experiential science day! We headed out to the California Academy of Sciences for homeschooler's day, and had a blast! You can see/read more about it here. Basically, it was a day of fossils, skeletons, taxidermied animals from Africa, ostrich eggs, volcanoes, earthquakes, a rainforest, manta rays, starfish, and plenty more! A great way to do science for the week!

Another day of basics, though we spent a little time learning about Lucy as well. I also started both kids on the Couch Potato to 5K program, which we may do at a slightly slower pace than the program recommends. The Girl is reading more smoothly lately, and seems to at last have a vested interest in learning - frankly, I think she's embarrassed slightly at Park Days when the other kids play card and other games that involve reading, and she can't. We finished up the evening watching a few old episodes of Gilligan's Island, and of course some more Oz reading. We're really enjoying this series together! My dad recently gave me a number of lovely hardbound, illustrated volumes of the original Oz series - I have many fond memories of hours spent reading the books, and admiring the artwork, so I am thrilled to be sharing these with the kids!

More basics! I do have The Boy considering dropping Teaching Textbooks, completing a couple of multiplication & division units in Math Mammoth, and then moving directly into Life of Fred Fractions. I think LOF would be more challenging for him, appeal to his odd sense of humor more, and make him think more than Teaching Textbooks does. He's going to take the weekend to think about it.

We also went for a long, family walk, since they put actual sidewalks on the street next to the new elementary school. We found another trail leading off along a creek, where there will eventually be a park!

Friday was in some ways a very bad day, and in others, an opportunity to grow. M finally got a call back from his boss regarding his job status now that he's not "disabled" any longer from his arm injury. It was not a good call. Basically, his job was filled while he was out, and so he no longer has a job. Unfortunately, in California, when you're on state disability, your employer does not have to keep the position open, especially if it would cause hardship for the company. If M had been on Worker's Comp, it would have been a different matter entirely.

He did get a severance package that will help for a bit, and he will get unemployment. Truthfully, he didn't love his job anyhow, and often came home angry or upset. I personally think it will be good for him to find something new, something more along the lines of his interests, away from all the negativity that job had to offer.

He's looking at getting back into landscape maintenance, perhaps at a local college. We are trying our best to look at this as an opportunity, rather than something terrible, but I admit that with the economy the way it is, I am worried.

We did really enjoy watching the first half of the director's cut of Fellowship of the Rings last night though! We are all very much looking forward to The Hobbit this December, right in time for my fortieth birthday! We plan to watch the second half of Fellowship tonight, and then next weekend, we can work on the second movie. We're also thinking about reading The Hobbit before the film comes out, which of course might lead the reading The Lord of the Rings. I wouldn't have any problem with that!

Next Week
We're going to try a two-fold approach to history this week: Sunday will be world history with readings from Builders of the Old World, The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way, and some Book of Centuries work. On Wednesday, we'll read from The Rainbow Book of American History, and do more work in the Book of Centuries.

Science will be focusing on energy and matter, with a combo of a couple of lessons from BFSU, then a chapter from The World in a Drop of Water. We need to get out and collect some pond water samples for this, so I think we'll be visiting the local wetlands area - a nature walk and specimen collection all in one!

I'm also taking a break on regular math lessons to give each kid an "end-of-year" test from Math Mammoth, so that I can pinpoint their weak areas, and target those. The tests are multiple pages long, so I will be spreading them out over the course of the week.

And finally, we're trying to decide between reading The Dragon in the Cliff, The Swiss Family Robinson, and The Hobbit! Which would you choose?


  1. Hoping a good job becomes available SOON! Sounds like a lovely homeschooling week!

  2. We're SCA folk (or working toward it anyway) and envy you the Faire! :) We're also LOTR fans and eagerly looking forward to the Hobbit also.
    I hope the job loss leads to much better things for your family!!!

  3. I hope a job comes about quick...you have a very positive way of looking at it, and I do think it is definitely an opportunity for you all-which is not to say it's easy! My 6th grader just finished reading the LOTR series with her dad and she really enjoyed it- I would vote Hobbit!

  4. I'm sorry about the job situation. We are in the same EXACT situation with the disability and uncertainity of the future.

    Looks like you had some fun trips out this week.


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