Wind flows through feathers Blue sky sparkles like water The birds look like fish
Space, Another Frontier
One of the indispensable parts of our homeschool routine is the ability of the kids to take classes online. Both kids are interpersonal, introverted learners, meaning that they love to share learning with others and talk about what they love, but they become easily overwhelmed and drained when surrounded by other people. It is generally quite easy to find courses for Sir Talks A Lot, but the opposite can be said for Lady Chatterly. Most of the courses that she has taken struggle with finding the right balance between age appropriate content and engaging, challenging material. Fortunately for us, Brandi Jordan of Mama Teaches Online provides amazing classes for the pre-reader to early reader age group via Currclick. Lady Chatterly has taken science, poetry and grammar, history and reading classes with Mrs. Jordan, and each one has led to Lady wanting to learn or do more. In fact, Lady wrote the haiku above as a result of her class on poetry.
Recently, Lady took a class with Mrs. Jordan on the solar system. This provided us with a natural springboard to study further on our own.
Celestia -- The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
May, for many, is a time of endings. Classes at the university wind down to their final moments, clubs conclude, and play groups end. For us, May is a time of performances. Lady Chatterly has been taking guitar lessons with the magnificent Kevin Hart of Laramie Community Guitar for almost a year now. Here is a recording of her in her most recent concert.
Little Lady Chatterly loves to dance. At any given moment of the day she glides, she turns, she leaps, she jumps. Once her imagination takes fire, she is up on her feet. She dances stories and science and writing and spelling and math. She dances with her toys, her brother and the dog. She gestures, she emotes, she narrates. She sings, she twirls, she reaches, she balances. And she never seems to get tired. This month, she performed in the wonderful Alice in Wonderland extravaganza choreographed, staged, directed and produced by Brianna Boyle.
Alice yawns very tired of playing "Tea for Two" on her sleepy cello. After all, there is nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it was so very much out of the way to hear a White Rabbit say to itself, "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!" (Curious, Alice thinks as she is also late to her Mother's annual tea party.) You see, this tea party is a very special occasion as it is a Mother's Day celebration. Just as Alice hurries to the door, her guests begin to arrive bringing gifts of tea, white roses, and one Red Rose. Alice dances the afternoon away with her Mother and curious friends. Waltzes and Polkas are a party favorite until a very tardy rabbit dashes through the guests stating, "No time to say hello goodbye, I'm late!" As the guests fade away, Alice chases after the Rabbit. Lanterns light and hide the path and lead Alice to trip down, down, down. "Eat me" and "Drink me" potions encourage Alice to find her way from the Rabbit Hole. As she follows these instructions, Alice finds Wonderland...
4-H is a big part of our family's lives. All of its principles in terms of its devotion to mentoring children, encouraging learning by doing, expecting high moral/ethical standards, and emphasizing community engagement and involvement are the same goals and expectations that we have in our home education. Lady was only 6 months old when we moved to Wyoming, and she has grown up watching her brother be transformed by his experiences in 4-H. Finally, it is her turn. While she is still not old enough to tackle the main 4-H projects, she is old enough for a wonderful program called Cloverbuds.
We here in Laramie are extremely fortunate to have an amazing 4-H director in the person of Mary Louise Wood. Her tireless work to help children embrace a passion for learning is truly awe inspiring. I usually forget to bring my camera, but I actually remembered to take pictures during this month's meeting.
The theme for the meeting was color. First, every child got to make a work of art by dipping marbles into paint and rolling them around on a piece of paper. Each child's work was different.
Next, it was science time. The kids were given a plate of whole milk and asked to predict what would happen if drops of food color were placed in it and a cotton swab was dipped into the dye. After that accomplished nothing more than the absorption of the dye by the swab, they were asked to predict what would happen if a drop of dish detergent were placed on the swab. The gasps of amazement when the kids saw the reaction of the milk and dye to the soap were delightful. All of the kids got to experiment in small groups with their own milk and dye. Not surprisingly, each group kept making reactions happen until no more reactions were possible.
After the science experiment was over, we all went outside, and the children tried to make giant bubbles with a wand made of yarn and straws. Of course, we had to contend with the Wyoming wind. The kids were all determined and tenacious, and a few managed some gigantic bubbles. Lady Chatterly was, of course, the last child to go back inside.