Monday, January 30, 2006

Tea, Chemists, Dirt and Taiko

So then, we have had a busy few days here. The kids have fallen into their rhythm with our lessons and such which has really helped our days come together quite well. We are done with our focussed time by 11:00-11:30am and have the rest of our day to persue our interests, do projects, run around or just hanging out together. Now if I can just keep it up!!

Friday was a good day! An old friend from Virginia came over to learn about homeschooling and to see what all we do, check out our resources etc. It was a nice visit and we managed to finish our lessons before they arrived. After they were off and on their way we had some lunch and waited for Dad to come home (half day on Friday) so GM and I could head off to the Natural History Museum for a class on Dirt. This was fun because it was for kids 7 and up, and was a two hour look at dirt, what lives in it, where does it come from, what can we learn about the surrounding environment from dirt samples etc. GM loved it and was happy to find that some other friends had signed up too. Afterwards we hit Costco and headed home for a quiet evening!

Saturday was all about building the Mars Rover LEGO GM got for Christmas and attending a sweet Tea Party for a freind who was turning six. It was a Felicity Colonial Tea Party and most of the kids dressed the part. The boys were so gratious about participating in the tea time, and of course GD LOVED it!!! ME basically played with all their toys, even helping herself to the birthday girl's gifts before they were opened! She is so fast and quiet!! We visitied and played for the whole afternoon, coming home to hang out together and continue our little house projects. ME really liked the whole tea party theme and decided to throw a tea party for her animal friends. It was so cute to see her starting this sort of "girlie" play. I of course had to take some pictures!!!

Sunday we had our coffee and worked on the renovation plans for our house. Boy we have so much to do! It will be great, but I am DREADING the real construction faze. We cleaned up the house and got ready to go to see the San Jose Taiko perform here at the the University. It was terrific! Grandma came over to watch ME for us so the boys could really enjoy the performance. They both thought it was just Okay, but I loved it. They were really very talented and made it all seem so easy. Theatre and attending a variety of live performances is definitely a lare part of our homeschooling this year (and in the past). We have been to quite a few performances so far and have tickets for four more before the summer starts. So far we have seen...

Dr. Wilderness: The Magic of Science
The Very Hungry Catepillar (an amazing puppet show with huge puppets)

FROGZ check out the video link on their site, it was such a good show!
Lecture by Dr. Jane Goodall
Tales of the Southwest
Popejoy Orchestral Performance
Nutcracker Ballet
Mariachi Christmas
Broadway's Beauty and the Beast
San Jose Taiko

We still have four performances that we have tickets for, but I may add a few if I can. We will be going to hear Joe Hayes a local author read from his book The Day it Snowed Tortillas, a story we already read and really enjoyed and Im trying to get tickets to see a live performance of Alice In Wonderland. I hope it comes together. They all three really enojoy going and it is such a wonderful way for them to get to experience different interests and admire all the variety of things in life. We love it!

Today we had our Scientists Fair which is much like a Science Fair, accept instead of doing an experiment they each did a presentation on a Scientist. Initially we thought of doing someone famous, but then I realized two things; first that I didnt want to suddenly bring a random Scientist into our rhythm, and second that Grandma is a Scientist! It worled out GREAT, and Grandma was a huge help! She let us interview her and brought pictures from a few projects she has worked on. GM really got into it. This was the first time he wanted to do some typing and choose fonts, colors and layouts for the board we made. He sat at his table and told the kids all about his Grandma the Chemist and really did a terrific job. After he was done he went around and wrote in his journal about DaVinci, Von Braun, Dr. Goodall, Sir Isacc Newton, more on DaVinci and of course Grandma Jeanne! :-) I was very proud of him. He really got a lot out of it, even with a lot of distractions and while fighting the urge to just visit with friends. I can see him really maturing a lot recently. It's exciting to watch!!

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