Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At the county fair -- the first field trip of fall


Around here, the last week of September never brings chilly weather or hints of autumn color. (Unless you count our outfits and that it was under 95 degrees today.)

The first week of fall is the week of The Fair. The county fair, that is -- the carnival rides, the 4-H animals, the hobby competitions, the food. As much greasy, fried, sugary, bad-for-your-arteries, good-for-charity, can't-get-enough-of-it-in-one-visit food as you could want.

We typically avoid the rowdy evening crowds, and make the most of the free morning School Days. Admission is free, and the fair puts on special shows just for the kids on these days. We especially like the hands-on science area, the farm animals, and seeing what our friends have entered in the exhibit halls.

And the food, of course.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Homeschooling lately

Nature study --

Redhumped caterpillars love redbud trees (and liquid amber, plum, apple, and walnut trees). We hoped we might see some cocoons and moths before we realized they're considered pests, but we suspect the neighborhood wasps got them first.

Most of our interest-led science studies have centered on pets the last few weeks. Minnie is our new dwarf hamster. She's very friendly, and seems to be adjusting well to our home. We've also been obsessively researching dog breeds, in hopes that we will eventually be finished with remodeling, and able to welcome a puppy into our home -- preferably one that doesn't eat hamsters.

History and architecture -- monasteries, castles, mosques and cathedrals...

We may not have cabinets in our kitchen, but we have lot of boxes with which to re-enact medieval battles!

Math --

"If they're friends, he shouldn't charge them anything, Mom!"

Reading --

Literature --

We finished listening to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, which was a hit. And Littlest got to see "The Sword in the Stone" for the first time. (The big boys agreed the book was better!)

I exchanged "Idylls of the King" for "The Lady of Shalott," but the boys were, sadly, unimpressed by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. They did like this obnoxious version.

Caedmon's Song was a nice introduction to early English poetry, and we enjoyed A Boy Named Giotto for artist study.

We're now finishing Beowulf, and beginning Arabian Nights.

Music --

Daily practice, lessons on Fridays, lots of Vivaldi for composer studies, and a little birthday concert for Great-Gramma Kathy, who is 82 today.

Happy birthday, Gramma!
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