What a couple of weeks it’s been! The water heater self destructed, then the dryer called it quits. Anna got sick, then the boys, and now Daryl and I are. I’ve lost most of my voice and my throat and ears are especially painful, and no home remedies are working so far (though one led to a rather scary physical reaction!). We’re still buried in snow, and we’re expecting another 8-10 inches today.
I’ve been driving myself to distraction trying to plan, budget and work out our Florida vacation. Last night I couldn’t sleep at all between my sore throat, earaches and stressing about the trip. I found out there’s an organic CSA with openings in Mankato and I really want to take part but that would be another chunk of money due soon, on top of a bunch of unexpected expenses this month. Disney-related stuff is completely overwhelming to research too!
Victoria is down in Nebraska for another week. They all are having a wonderful time and asked if she could stay longer, and I couldn’t see why not. That’s one of the joys of homeschooling, after all, being able to take advantage of opportunities like that!
Despite all my grumblings, we have managed to do some fun things around here. Here’s a bit…
1. I came downstairs and found Jack reading a Garfield book to Alex. They looked very cute, snuggled up together and laughing!
2. Anna has been doing Aleks math and Jack has been doing math games on my iPod. Alex has been doing physics games on my iPod (he loves them and he’s so good! He’s better than I am at age three!). The kids have been watching the daily free BrainPOP movie on that free app, too, and Jack has been doing the quizzes. I put my favorite free educational apps here, BTW.
3. Daryl bought an Iron Chef game for the Wii. The kids have been having fun pretending to chop, filet and so on, and they all get to hear tidbits the whole time from Alton Brown.
4. Anna has been blogging, writing emails, writing stories and writing screenplays. I think there may have been one or two poems and songs too. She stays up late at night and writes or reads for hours after the rest of us are asleep. Her room is filled with notebook paper sheets with stories, songs, letters, poems and so on.
5. We got our box from Scientific Surplus. Happy dance.
6. We got a Harry Potter physics kit that Anna loves. This was in the SciSurplus order and it’s been a big hit. It’s just a simple booklet of experiments, ideas and HP talk with a few little gadgets, but it’s totally magic to Annalee! There’s a little pop gadget that flings itself up in the air to explain potential energy, kinetic energy and so on, and she played with that little thing for a good 15 minutes before she even looked at the rest. It does seem to have some pretty good science explaining each little bit too. It was well worth the couple of dollars!
7. Daryl and Anna acted out an old fashioned story that Daryl found online and turned into a play. Jack had a bit part as a neighbor too!
8. Alex colored snow and did experiments. Alex is in home-based Head Start (as all of our kids have been at that age), which means that a delightful teacher comes over one afternoon a week and plays with him (while Daryl and I talk her ear off and the older kids clamor to show her their latest creations). We’ve known Jan since Jack was 3 and starting Head Start himself. Jan brings books, puzzles, manipulatives, games, crafts, etc. and we all adore her. This time she brought colored water in lots of containers. The big kids did the colored water and snow thing outside last week, but I kept Alex in then because it was so cold. This time it was all his, and he had a blast coloring snowbanks.
The really interesting thing to me is that he didn’t really care about making them pretty. He very definitely saw the bottles of colored water as things to explore with and experiment with, not art tools. For instance, he pushed them upside down into the snowbanks and then observed how much colored water saturated the snow underneath, checking by digging in the snow underneath to see how far down it traveled.
9. Anna has taken up Suduku puzzles. She also taught Jack how to do them. It was another cute sibling moment to walk into on the couch.
10. We got some connecting straws that the kids have been having a blast with. They’ve also led to some good dinner table conversations about vacuums, the weight of air versus water and other science tidbits!
We’ve also been reading, watching movies, playing computer games, doing Wii exercises and so on, as always.
New yappings elsewhere…
Ice cube hockey math to density columns… (Fun homeschool projects)
And now, I think a small boy and I are going to settle down for a much-needed winter’s nap. It’s the perfect day for it!