Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fighting Off the Blahs

As of yesterday afternoon, Ed has his computer back too, so my excuses for not blogging are drying up.  My e-mail is working (though I lost all my addresses), and I have the programs I used regularly re-installed.  Now I need to re-install my enthusiasm!
Can I blame the weather?  We had that long, very cold streak, which was finally broken by a few lovely warm days.  I went around proclaiming Spring.  In vain.  Today is cold and the rain hasn't quit, and I can't stop looking up to check on the water stains on the ceiling where the roof began leaking again on Sunday.  It is actually excellent staying-inside-doing-schoolwork weather, but it makes me just want to curl up in bed and not come out 'til the daffodils pop up.

We carry on, however.  We finally started our second unit of Tapestry of Grace, and I finished putting together the notebooks yesterday.  I used the color printer this time, and they look very nice.  Having rather dramatically over scheduled the reading last unit, I did my best to exercise restraint this time.  It was hard, though!  This week we have the beginnings of the Renaissance, and there are wonderful Diane Stanley biographies of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as the Mike Venezia books, exercises in perspective drawing, etc., etc.  And later we come up on Shakespeare, Sir Francis Drake, Henry VIII, Elizabeth, Mary, and all.  There are definitely a couple of weeks where our reading will run over, but this stuff is too good to skim through.

Yesterday I went ahead and took the plunge and subscribed to Discovery Education Streaming.  I justified the expense (and it is expensive, even through the Home School Buyers Co-op) by the fact that it offers Elementary Spanish for grades 1-6 (plus other Spanish, but this is all we need for now & quite a while to come) for less than one level of  Rosetta Stone.  Plus something like seven zillion other videos and video clips on every subject I can think of.  I think it is going to be wonderful -- we've already watched videos on photosynthesis, ratios, and Michelangelo & the Sistine Chapel -- but also a tremendous time-sucker for me, as there are so many videos and it takes a while to pick the ones that will be useful.  Still, it helps my enthusiasm to have a new toy to play with, and I've been feeling guilty all year for not starting Travis on Spanish, since that was the plan.

Yesterday we did a science activity from R.E.A.L Science relating to the five senses, and Katie's behavior when it came to the tasting part just made us laugh.  I has set up plates, jars, and paper bags with various things on and in them, and Katie was to identify each using just a particular sense.  She did fine until it came to tasting -- she is a terribly picky eater.  She was convinced that I had hidden something toxic and horrible, like peas or broccoli, under the paper towels, and she wept and wailed when it came time to taste them.  Travis and Ed, who had tasted before her, couldn't stop laughing (which only made her more upset) because the hidden items were strawberry jam and chocolate chips.  Even Katie laughed when she finally tried them and realized that for the first time in her whole life she had been required to eat chocolate and had complained about it!

And on the subject of kids eating, Travis had his first grapefruit this week.  It just isn't something we tend to eat, but he got it into his head that he would like it.  We don't have grapefruit spoons, so I used a knife to loosen the segments for him, and he noted with pleasure that "it's like they come in little hotel rooms!"  The flavor wasn't quite what he had in mind, though, as he had expected "a mix of oranges and watermelon."  Which would be quite nice, but not like a grapefruit.

Finally, Katie identified a new bird at our feeder.  She has named it the Squatted Pitmouse.  I'd have called it a sparrow, but that just shows what I know.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Let me know what that Spanish program is like. DH really wants the girls to start learning Spanish, but I never took it.