Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday, Again

More of the usual here, except that that the weather is finally warm enough that I want to go outside and play in the yard instead of snuggle up in front of the fire.  And about time, too.
Katie and I do have a new passion -- listening to books and lectures on the cute little mp3 player my parents gave her for her birthday.  I listened to most of the Susan Wise Bauer homeschooling lectures from Peace Hill Press and had just started in on talks by N.T. Wright when I foolishly introduced Katie to the audio books from Project Gutenberg.  She is sweet and still shares, but I'm so pleased to have her listening to Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass. The Wind in the Willows, etc. that I hate to ask.

(The mp3 player is ready to read aloud first thing in the morning -- it doesn't even need coffee!)

 And Ed is going to get me my own little player soon!

Since the weather finally got warm enough to dig worms, we started our postponed "worm study" last week.  Here Katie is drawing a picture to show how the worms mixed the layers of stuff in their jar...

Today Katie did the final part of the worm project, which was about the environmental preferences of worms.  There were five suggested worm tests, including whether he prefered dark or light, wet or moist, sandpaper or paper towel, vinegar soaked paper towel or water soaked paper towel, etc., and the results came in as Katie and I had predicted every time.  The last test was supposed to be one of her own invention, and if you know Katie you won't be a bit surprised at what she wanted to know about worm tastes.
Yup.  That is chocolate syrup. (And the choice on the left is just a damp towel.)
And my prediction on this one was just as wrong as it could be!
Turns out that worms, or at least Fred the Worm, adore chocolate!  Fred made a beeline for the syrup and completely immersed himself.  I took a picture of him wallowing, but when I posted it it looked rather obscene, so I took it out again.  Who'd have thought worms liked chocolate, eh?  Since this was the last project, we released all the worms back into the garden, first having given Fred a good rinse off, just in case chocolate syrup isn't good for worm skin.  Ed was very pleased to see them back outside.

But we still have these creepy crawlies to keep him on his toes...
Katie's Painted Lady caterpillars are becoming chrysalises!  Well, except for that one in the back, who was the runt of the litter.  Pretty soon we'll move them to their butterfly habitat.

And finally, the egg.  Katie has cared for it faithfully, but it still hasn't hatched, and yesterday was the twenty-first day.  But today a friend who knows chickens told us that incubator eggs sometimes take a bit longer, so there's still hope.

At church on Sunday the search committee announced that they have picked a new priest!  Yay!  And it is a man!  Another yay!  They aren't giving a name, as the bishop still has to give his approval, but it is nice to see things moving along on that front (of course, I'd just as soon keep the interim, since I've finally gotten used to him,. but they won't let us do that).

And we continue to trudge along with our other school stuff.  Katie is nearly through Writing With Ease, level 2, and First Language Lessons.  I'm going to get her Writing Tales I, because Travis liked their level II so much, and start with Rod and Staff 3, because it gets the job done.  Travis is nearly through First Form Latin, which means I'll need to order Second Form (still a beta program, but the beta of First Form was easy enough to use).  This is definitely the best Latin program (for us), I've seen so far.  Katie is doing better with her multiplication facts, and both kids are continuing with Singapore math (plus Life of Fred Pre-Algebra1 with Biology, which is giving Travis a run for his money mathematically speaking, but which he loves anyway because it is so entertaining).  And then there is history.

We are finally through the Reformation this week.  Praise be!  Tapestry of Grace is by a Reformed publisher, so I was pleasantly surprised by how even handed their teacher notes were on the subject, but some of assigned books were quite unabashed in their admiration for the noble, wise, pure hearted reformers and their loathing of the universally diabolical Catholics.  Which actually gave me a great opportunity to talk to Travis about recognizing authorial bias (we had so many nice, blatant examples!) and using multiple sources.  But still, there is only so much gushing over John Calvin that I can stand (and, to be honest, it's not much).  So now we are up to the Counter-Reformation, William of Orange, and the French Huguenots.  On we go!

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