Homestead Update: Fun week and other stuff

This week we celebrated National School Choice Week!

Wednesday, we took a field trip with a couple other families to our volunteer fire department (where my husband puts in time as a volunteer firefighter.) We got to see the trucks, try on gear, and have all our fire safety/curious questions answered. It was so much fun- a nice change from couch/table learning.

My 6 year old finished reading The Silver Balloon and as such, we began a research project that involved looking for information, learning how to ask librarians where to find specific books, and how to synthesize information into sharable facts. It sounds intense when I list the objectives like that, but it was really a neat experience to walk with my son through his first attempt at gathering information and learning on a topic he chose: whales. Why whales? I don’t know- he just wanted to know more about whales. He spent 3 days sculpting models of a porpoise and an orca whale, only for his baby sister to tear them to pieces the day before presentation day. He was crushed in spirit, and Mama felt his pain deeply (I’m getting better at this empathy/compassion thing) because he had worked so hard, done such a great job, and was so pleased with his work! I made him a big ol’ cuppa tea and we turned our attention to his presentation poster instead.

He got the chance to present what he’d learned to a friend of mine from small group bible study this afternoon, and it was wonderful to see his efforts come full circle as he taught us about all he’d learned. There is a lot to say about motivation to learn in a child when they have freedom to pursue their interests. As a homeschooling mom, it is a joy and pleasure to get to guide them in those pursuits, and watch as a love of learning blossoms in their burgeoning little minds.

As far as curriculum goes, we’ve been “off book” this week, because of the “fun” interruptions, as well as the fact that our printer went kaput and is in the shop still. I’ve found a local copy shop where I can have my worksheets/consumables copied, and at 60% cheaper than the public library, and better quality. Hey, public libraries, as taxpayer funded entities intended to serve the community, take note: charging $1.00 per double-sided color copy is highway robbery.

So we’ve been doing a lot more reading aloud, and we’ve gotten really into Heidi by Johanna Spyri. It’s SOOOOOO good. And I see a lot of my oldest daughter in Heidi. She sees a lot of herself in Heidi, which makes it all the more fun to read as we share grins and knowing looks. I wasn’t sure if it would hold their attention at first, but it’s quickly becoming a favorite.

I made a MASSIVE crockpot meal this evening- Fiesta chicken and rice! We subbed black beans for corn, and did homemade mexi rice, not from a box, and it turned out great. I cut the cheese in half because my kids cry about melted cheese… Weirdos. But there’s a gallon bag of it left over in the freezer, and some for lunch tomorrow! Mom goal power up, +1.

We had flurries this afternoon, so I need to get out and check on the animals’ water, make sure it’s not frozen, and then I’ll be finishing up a birthday gift for a friend’s little boy- we’re celebrating his first birthday tomorrow!!! I swear that’s more for the parent than the child, “Congratulations– you’ve kept a human being alive and well for another whole year!! Let’s eat cake!” And he’s a sweetie too, so we’re excited to wind up our fun week with a celebration of friends, who feel more like family.

And there’s one more week in the books! And a fun one, at that.

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