It’s time to do a little show and tell–kind of a what’s happening post.
When I think about sharing what we’re doing for school, I often don’t know what to share, because much of the time, we just kind of do the normal, everyday “school stuff”, and that’s not terribly remarkable. I mean, all regular school kids have to do math, spelling, reading, and language, and all homeschooled kids have to do that stuff too. And, to be perfectly honest, even though I’d like to give a glowing report of how the Little A’s wake up with shining eyes and eager hands to jump right into our school subjects for the day, I’d be fibbing! 🙂 They’re boys! They’re normal boys! They like being schooled at home (when compared to the number of hours they’d be sitting in traditional school), but they don’t exactly adore school! They love: riding bikes through mud puddles, digging deep holes in the dirt, building stuff like Legos, making forts and loud noises, big machines, running, playing, and getting good and dirty! School? It’s something to get done so they can go out to play…
And yet…we have a decent time in school work, most of the time. Learning can be fun!
We’re all enjoying our “travel” through the fifty states, one by one. We take two or three per day, and just learn the highlights about each state. This is not meant to be a full geography project at this point, but a way to get acquainted with the states, their capitals, and some interesting facts about each area. All of the Little A’s got quite a kick out of our study of the “Bluegrass State”, KY, where my family lived for many years. It turns out that it’s a law in Lexington, that carrying an ice-cream cone in your pocket is illegal. Who knew? Thankfully, no one in our family took that chance! Another law of KY states that every citizen must take a bath at least once a year! Hmmm…I’d hate to see the people who made it necessary to write that law.
We learned a bit about Ohio yesterday, and found that they are known for their blown glass creations. So, while the boys worked on coloring sheets of a glass blower, we found several videos to give us an idea of how glass blowers work, both on a small scale, and in internationally-known crystal manufacturers’ factories. It was pretty cool!
One new item of curriculum that we are test-driving is a math curriculum, that so far, even for this group of kiddos, has started out as a success! Yay! We have tried several different approaches, and so far, this is the only math that has met with smiles instead of groans. A week is not a very long trial period, but I’ll take anything I can get! Time will tell, both with the results, as well as the love of it!
Little Acorn, our resident Nature Lover, turned eight this past week! We had fun with another family of three boys who came over for a little celebration (we served none other than healthy banana splits, of course! Frozen bananas made into ice cream, fresh bananas, topped with nuts, cherries, coconut, pineapple, and carob-peanut butter sauce–all healthy, so I let the boys build their creations high!). Then we had a get-together later with some of the grandparents and family at our home. One of his gifts, from his Grandpa, was a full instructional set made to teach concepts of electrical circuits. He was thrilled with this, and has been happily performing experiments ever since. Action A suddenly remembered that he also had some of these same type of “toys”, which he promptly hauled out, and they both, side by side, sat working on experiments. Some produced sound, some turned on lights, and others just wowed the boys with what they had made. So…I am thinking that this will be a great addition to our lessons. The only problem is, the experiments are so fun that the boys might forget that they are learning! That would be a real shame!
One highlight from today comes from our down time in the afternoon. I was feeling kind of aimless between afternoon activities and the evening routine, so, while the Little A’s played outside, I decided to just go out with them to see what they were up to. Turns out it was making a fort. Aunt A., in her wonderfully creative way, gifted the boys with a lot of material for constructing a jungle safari tent. So, the picture with the cloth draped all around is their most recent fort. I love creativity!
Shortly after snapping the fort picture, our evening activity rolled into the driveway. Some friends with a load of bananas! They came to the right house! We don’t refer to Daddy around here as ‘The Banana Man” for nothing! We do eat bananas. (The people from our local grocery story know him by name–not by his first name, but as in “Hi, Banana Man”) They offered us a big box full of fully-ripe, if not over-ripe bananas. “That’s a lot of smoothies”, I was thinking. But then our friend reminded us that we can dry them, and make, well, dried bananas. Excellent idea, and that’s what we did. The boys took turns peeling while I sliced, and in less than an hour, we had that whole big box of bananas in the dehydrator! So, now the house smells like a tropical getaway, and as we sniff we anticipate the sweet treat that we will feast on when they’re finished drying! Yum!
Home dried bananas are so sweet, almost like candy! They are usually leathery, not like the deep-fried ones you will find in the store. Once you try them, you will definitely want to make some yourself! And, by the way, if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can slow-bake/dry them in a low oven, or even on screens in the sun (if you live somewhere a LOT warmer than here). It just may take a little while, and you have to watch out for bugs that might like to eat them before you get a chance to try them! Seriously, I have heard of people who utilize their car’s heat on a sunny day to dehydrate all kinds of things. That would be safer, in my opinion, than leaving fruit out in the sun, and it would be fast!
In addition to the three little ground monkeys running around here, you might find a bigger monkey climbing trees, as Banana Man has been taking to the trees lately. He’s been learning the ropes, figuratively and literally, of arborist work. This has naturally sparked much chatter and interest from the A Team as they watch Daddy climb. It’s not really that hard at this age to impress the boys. I hope that reality lasts for a long time!
Well, as usual, I have rambled on. But that’s a slice of the pie of our life for the last little while. Our life may be ordinary, but it’s rarely dull.