Public schools in our area closed on Monday and Tuesday of this week due to cold weather. Even though there was some heavy lobbying for us to cancel school, we did not. I pointed out that since they did not need to set a foot outside, nothing was hindering them from cracking the books. This worked well for Monday, but Tuesday, J.'s school closed the campus, so he was home. With Daddy home, I relented and gave everyone the day off as well.
As I watched my children entertain themselves all day, it became obvious to me (again) that so much of learning happens outside of textbooks. What did they do all day? Well, there was a lot of reading, of course. D. decided to teach HG how to play chess, which he did, and the chess set has been out ever since and receiving heavy use. More mancala was played. This has become H.'s favorite game (a definite step up from endless games of Uno. A quick aside... I have been greatly impressed with how H. has mastered this game. When she started playing it this summer, her choice of moves was pretty random, with no discernible thought behind them. At that point, I was impressed that she could manage the basic rules. Now, after many, many games, both against herself and others, she has really figured it out. In fact, she can beat her siblings and no one gives her any quarter when playing with her. It makes me happy.
Our old version of Zoo Tycoon (on our even older dinosaur of an upstairs computer) has also been receiving some heavy use. While it is not exactly educational in the strict sense, it has lead to some interesting dinner discussions about the relationship between cost and profit. Sounds impressive, huh? Well, on the flip side it also teaches them what happens when you lock the gates to the zoo so your visitors can't get out and you open the tiger cages. Sigh.
A. had a lesson in learning to make hard candy and we now know how to test for the hard crack sugar stage without a candy thermometer. (Where, oh where did my candy thermometer go?) P. also did some baking and is becoming quite adept at following recipes.
Later that afternoon, the Klamms and the Currys did a child swap. TM and D. went to their house where they played and played and played. Miss Klamm came here. K. also had the treat of having his best buddy P6 come over for a while. I took H. to the doctor. Yes, again. An eye appointment this time. The good news is that her weak eye slowly grows stronger with the patching. This time she measured at 20/60, though she also read a few letters on the 20/50 line. Remember, she started at 20/200. Her eye doctor, whom I like a lot, still continues to have his universe rocked. Children this age are not supposed to respond to patching because it is thought that their brains are no longer open to change. I'm pretty sure this is not true.
K. and P6 played and played and played. A. and Miss Klamm made a mess. (They were supposed to be grinding flour for Miss Klamm's mother, but something went awry and they ended up cleaning and cleaning and cleaning instead.) And what went awry, you ask? I wasn't here, but it seems to something about not keeping an eye on the grinder because they were too busy taking pictures in hopes of me putting them on the blog. So, since they worked so hard making the mess and cleaning it up just to appear on the blog, what else can I do but oblige?