Sunday, September 16, 2007

A full day, with translations


In the car on the way to work at the gym childcare, Leo read part of Go Dog, Go! (Eastman) aloud, Leo and Sophie repeated a couple chants and songs about punctuation that they learned from “The Electric Company” (dvd), and we all listened to several chapters of my favorite translation of the Tao Te Ching on audiobook.

At work, Leo finished Go Dog, Go!, Marian started The Little Ballerina (Ross), and I read all of them Stars: Near and Far (Dexter) which talked about stars, suns, the solar system, and the galaxy. Everyone played a lot—Marian and Leo played mostly with each other, and Sophie played with a couple of her little friends (who are regulars), and meanwhile we listened to They Might Be Giants’ “Here Come the ABCs” cd. While we were there, Leo memorized the lyrics to “The Farmer in the Dell” and played with a toy clock, showing me different times and trying to tell me when it was snack time by moving the hands on his clock. lol Later Marian asked to watch Emergency Vets on Animal Planet, and then the younger two joined in for Animal Cops Houston that followed. (These are our favorite family shows.)

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After work, I read them the story "Zeus and Hera", and on the drive home, we listened to more of the Tao Te Ching for a total of 14 chapters so far today. We listened mostly in silence (its very soothing), but I answered a few questions about vocabulary and the Tao as well. This led into a conversation about theology and history which covered some of the Bible, Jesus, afterlives, spirits, Harry Potter, death, and suffering, all led by questions from Marian and Leo. We also listened to some lovely folk music on NPR and Sophie entertained us with her rendition of the song, “Bullfrogs and Butterflies.”

We made a quick pit-stop back home, where Marian watered the dogs and one of the kittens, and I checked on the fosterlings and picked up some medicine for the shelter kitties, and then we went to the animal shelter, where we spent over an hour. The kids opted for a late lunch so they could stay with the cats longer. Marian assisted me while I de-wormed some cats, I acquainted myself with the new arrivals, and the kids held, petted, played with, and loved on any of the cats and kittens who were willing to accept their affection. They even take turns getting into the cage with one of our former fosterlings to give her some extended one-on-one.

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Back home, the kids watched an episode of "The Electric Company" while I fixed lunch, and now they are finishing up their food and Marian is singing her own composition that goes something like this—“Reading is amazing, amazing, amazing, Everyone should read, please read, please read. Just try it!”

Okay, all the kids are done eating and Marian is organizing them with large paper grocery sacks that it sounds like they’ll be decorating with a Halloween theme.


Sophie lost interest in the paper bag project quickly, but Leo and Marian stayed involved for a bit, until I asked them to let me know when they were at a good stopping point so we could walk to the post office to mail a couple packages. A minute later, they were ready to go, leaving their work areas as is:

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We had a nice walk to the post office, talking about nature and street safety and walking shoes and lots of other things.
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Along the way I bypassed a sprinkler obstacle, but the kids, of course, opted to plow right through.
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They love the stairs and columns at the post office. :)
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On the way home, we found some feathers…
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Stopped to smell some flowers…
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And picked some crabapples…
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Which the kids deemed quite sour. :lol
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Now we’re home having some down time. I’m at the computer, and Marian and Leo are back at their paper bag project. They decorated one for Sophie first and gave it to her, and she’s now using it in her baby doll play. We’ll be leaving in a bit to go back to the next town over (for the second time today), so that my friend can watch them while I go to an hour-long appointment. It’ll be dinnertime when we get home.


Marian ended up decorating her bag with books and phrases like “Books are magical” and “I love books” and “Magic of the world” and random book titles, and decided to be The Book Fairy for Halloween. (I thought it looked more official with caps. :lol) She and Leo decorated his bad with lots of orange and black and had to pack up their “work station” before they finished. They’ll work on it more another time.

On the way to town, we listened to some classical music and the radio, and sang “Welcome back to the rain” when it started raining. At my friend’s house, they played with their good friend Autum (between Marian and Leo in age) and the neighbor boy. According to them they built a “barn” out of wood, as a team, and Marian also knitted a couple rows on the scarf she’s working on. On the way home we sang “I wish I was a little English Sparrow”, “The Wishy Washy Washer Woman”, and we laughed a LOT over random silly stuff. The kids chose dinner by food group, with Sophie choosing the protein, Leo the starch, and Marian the fruit/veggie. So they’re having turkey pepperoni, corn tortillas, and grapes.

After their dinner we went to Subway for my dinner, and the kids brought stuff to entertain themselves. I worked on the UU RE curriculum for this year, while Marian helped Leo with a grade 1 workbook which he continued independently while she did some addition games (math crosswords, etc), and Sophie looked at the book Winter Waits (Plourde) and asked me questions. We were there for close to an hour.

After that we walked around outside a bit before getting into the car, and observed a flock of birds, commenting on the word “flock” and speculating about what kinds of birds we thought they were. Sophie is on a kick lately with clouds that are lit up, while others are in shadow, and she pointed out a bunch of those (it was close to sunset, too, so they were particularly pretty), and we sky-gazed for a bit. Later, we learned the songs “Chalice Children”, “How Do You Do?”, and a new verse we’d never heard to “Make New Friends, but Keep the Old.” We also learned a new poem with actions called Church of the Flaming Chalice. (All these were from the UU books I was perusing at dinner.) Leo read to us from On Your Toes (Jordan) on the way home, and Marian desperately speed-read Who Made That? and Pat’s Perfect Pizza immediately before getting ready for bed. She just had to cram those in. :)

Now all three of them are in bed. Marian and Leo are upstairs listening to a Harry Potter audiobook and Sophie is in my bed listening to the Friends theme song music (instrumental) that plays at the menu of the Friends dvds while looking through a pile of books.

Thus ends day 1 for the kids, but I still have a few hours left. I need to do some studying for my sociology course on deviance, and I have just a bit of stuff to do for my WAH job.

For those less familiar with 'unschooling', here’s a view of our day in “schoolese”:

Reading and Literature, Grammar
Go Dog, Go! (Eastman)
The Little Ballerina (Ross)
Stars: Near and Far (Dexter)
the Tao Te Ching
Winter Waits (Plourde)
Harry Potter audiobook
poem with actions called Church of the Flaming Chalice.
Repetition of chants and songs about punctuation
related theological concepts to Harry Potter themes
discussed meanings of vocabulary from the the Tao Te Ching
Viewed an episode of The Electric Company
Decorated large paper bag with images of books, titles of books, and saying about books
Multiple pages of grade 1 workbook (by 5-year-old)

Reading three digit numbers (333—three-hundred thirty-three, etc)
Verbally adding 2 digit numbers
Verbally multiplying numbers
Played math games
Completed written addition-based math crossword
telling time

Stars: Near and Far (Dexter)
Discussed stars and their locations, composition, constellations, colors, and temperature
Discussed and the sun and its function, composition, temperature, and nature
Discussed and viewed diagrams of the solar system
Viewed images of and learned the name of our galaxy
Viewed and discussed Emergency Vets
Viewed and discussed Animal Cops Houston
Cared for 3 dogs and 6 cats at home
Assisted de-worming of kittens at animal shelter
Cared for multiple cats and kittens at animal shelter
Water science (sprinklers :lol)
Discussed and viewed many aspects of nature
Smelled and observed flowers
Viewed, touched, felt, and washed bird feathers
Picked and ate crabapples
Each child chose the food from designated food group for a meal
Observed flocks of birds
Observed and discussed the effect of sunlight on clouds
Observed and discussed the sky

Social Studies
Telling time
Viewed and discussed Animal Cops Houston
Presented packages for shipping at the post office
Requested items from various service employees
Street-crossing safety

Listened to They Might Be Giants’ “Here Come the ABCs”
“The Farmer in the Dell”
“Bullfrogs & Butterflies”
“Welcome Back to the Rain”
“I wish I was a little English Sparrow”
“The Wishy Washy Washer Woman”
“Chalice Children”
“How Do You Do?”
“Make New Friends, but Keep the Old.”
Listened to folk music
Listened to classical music
Listened to adult alternative music
Marian composed a song about reading
Friends theme song music

Decorated large paper bags—
-1 with Halloween images
-1 with Halloween colors
-1 with images of books, titles of books, and saying about books

the story of Zeus and Hera
discussed the origins of the Bible
discussed the life, teachings, and death of Jesus
discussed afterlives and spirits
related theological concepts to Harry Potter
comparative analysis of the worth of death and suffering

Listened to 14 chapters of the Tao Te Ching
Discussed the Tao as it relates to our lives

Physical Education
Ran through sprinklers
Ran for several blocks
Laughed a lot :lol
Built a transitory small scale barn
Swung on swings
Ran around a large yard
Went on walk through town

Played with children ages 7 months to 4 at gym childcare
Volunteered at animal shelter with 14-year-old homeschooler
Played with 2 6-year-olds at friend’s house
Played with each other all day
Talked to various service workers throughout the day
Worked on cooperative building project
Worked on cooperative art project
Participated in peer tutoring

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