Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hitting our stride

Our second week of school has started out calmly. Well, as calmly as life ever looks like around here. TM had his first morning of co-op classes which he liked and which went well. I worked with everyone else, and then we ended up doing land form pans. Since we are heading around the world this school year (to which I have had several children ask me, sometimes more than once, if we are really going and are we taking an airplane), it would be good to begin with some basic geography information.

These land form pans and cards were ones I purchased years and years ago, and a very worthwhile investment as I have used them over and over, and they are just as popular with this group as they were with my older children. Here are some pictures to show what we did.

The idea is to look at the cards and see what the formation is. The one down below is supposed to be a peninsula. Everyone drew and colored the formation first, then created it out of plasticine in the pan, and finishes off by pouring in water to see the various combinations of land and water. (It's the water which make this so popular. Inevitably, the work devolves into free play with clay and water, but I still love it all.)

And look at what R. did. I'm kind of flabbergasted. She traced that big circle, then looked at the card with an island on it, and drew in her own island. The squiggles down below are her attempt at copying the letters for island. No one helped her with this. Astonishing, no? Another really good day with this child.

After lunch, I work with the high schoolers for a bit, while the younger group has quiet time. Quiet time merely means people are not talking to me or making noise in my vicinity. At this point, I don't actually care where they are, so it is not a nap. It's merely time for my introvert self to recharge.

This was extremely easy today, as everyone wanted to spend every moment of the afternoon out at their new tree fort. J. and the littles concocted this over the weekend. They built it out at the extremely old and large cherry tree.

It hides in there nicely, don't you think?

The rope is to help them hoist themselves up the ladder, so I'm told.


L. and K.


They had taken lunch and their watercolors up to it.

Looking down the other side of the trunk.


The view from the top of the ladder, looking down.



Even Y. has figured out how to get up there. She wasn't so sure about it when it was first built, but she doesn't like to be left out of things, so braved the climb. Once I showed her that it was okay to put her knees down and use them to help balance, she did great. It is a tricky thing to get from the ladder to the platform, even if your legs do everything you want them to. 

H. is really quite 14 these days, and is not nearly so interested in joining the younger people in play such as this. R. is really still quite a toddler emotionally and does not even consider the possibility of going off with the younger people unless and adult is with her. That is not necessarily a bad thing. 

I had my studio time, where I spun some bad and ugly yarn. Using a spinning wheel is not quite like riding a bicycle, but I am slowly improving. No one will ever want to knit with the stuff I'm spinning, though. I'll show you a picture once I have some plied together.

We then continue with our tea time tradition. It truly is the best thing I've ever come up with. One of the things I did when I was planning was to find interesting fiction chapter books set in some of the countries we are going to be learning about. I'll of course let you know if we come across any good ones. 

So there's the basic outline of our day. It does feel good to have a semblance of a schedule again.

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