Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hobby Lobby Homeschool

When I'm out and about with the munchkins, I often try to sneak in a lesson or two. For example, if I buy something that costs $6.84 and give the clerk a $10 (on the rare occasion that I actually have cash in my purse), I'll ask one of the kiddos to tell me how much change I'm getting back. If I'm really quick (and have a calculator handy), I can get the answer before Thing 3 does. He is a math whiz!

Sometimes, a lesson just jumps off a shelf and slaps me in the face. Today was one of those times. We were strolling around Hobby Lobby when I glanced over at a shelf filled with frames and saw this spelling/grammar lesson staring me in the face.

In case you have old eyes like I do, that picture frame says "Grandma's are Great!"

When I saw the frame, I literally gasped and said, "Oh. My. Goodness." My children looked around, expecting to see someone impaled by a knitting needle.

I admit that I am a grammar and spelling snob. It's rare that I read an article on the website of our local paper with stopping 10 times and exclaiming, "For crying out loud! Don't these people proofread?" Even so, I was pretty sure that my 8 and 10 year olds could spot the problem with this frame.

First of all, to be completely nit picky, given that "Great" is capitalized, "are" should have been capitalized, as well. I could let that go, however, if not for the other glaring mistake on this commercially made frame that some sweet child is going to give Grandma for Mother's Day. Let me show you again.

After regaining my composure, I turned to my darling children and said, "Do you see anything wrong with this frame?" Without hesitating, they both said, "It's the apostrophe." Thing 3 then added, "You don't use an apostrophe to make a word plural."

Ahhhhhh. Exactly. You don't use an apostrophe to make a word plural. Ever. You don't do it when addressing Christmas cards. (It's "The Smiths", please, not "The Smith's".) You don't do it on a picture frame.

My children are paying attention.

I did consider the possibility that some sweet child is going to put a photo of Grandma's cookies in this frame, making the caption, "Grandma's Are Great!", entirely grammatically correct. In that case, just ignore this post.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Unschooling Days

"It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated."
--Alec Bourne

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead!

Thing 3 finished 4th Grade Shurley English today! I don't know who was more excited...him or me. I'm pretty sure it was me.

I have a love/hate relationship with Shurley. In October, I almost divorced her. I couldn't handle the jingles, detail and repetition any longer. I was about ready to set fire to the books when I decided I didn't want to spend another dime on curriculum and vowed to give it one more try. I went through the curriculum, figured out what parts of it would work for us and ignored the rest. Once I did that, it worked beautifully. Thing 3 developed a really solid grammar foundation, and for that, I'm glad I stuck with it. That said, Shurley and I are going our separate ways next year.

We headed to Quik Trip this afternoon for a celebratory Icee.

As if we don't draw enough attention to ourselves just by being out and about during school hours, Thing 4 got some extra attention by wearing her favorite shoes.

The old me...the one who didn't expend a ridiculous amount of energy every day arguing about subtraction...might have said "no" to wearing those shoes out. The new, tired me was just glad she was getting out of the house.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Freedom To Be Creative

Thing 4 loves to create. It doesn't matter if she's creating with paint, clay, sticks or trash she found in the street. The simple act of creating feeds her sweet little soul. So last week when she took one of her frequent outdoor breaks, it was no surprise to me that she came back in with an armload of flowers, (or weeds, depending on your perspective) and asked if she could make some flower arrangements.

We still had math and cursive to complete, but who am I to stifle the creative spirit of an 8 year old? Math and cursive can wait. Creativity can't. She spent the better part of the next 90 minutes creating and then placing her beautiful arrangements around our home.

I know people wonder how she will ever learn to cope in the "real world" if I don't make her sit for most of the day doing pencil and paper work. I have heard that criticism concern first-hand.

How will she ever learn to sit at a desk for hours at a time if I give in to her need to move?

The answer is "She won't", and that's precisely the point.

I could fight who she is and we would both be miserable. Instead, I choose to allow her to be the person God created her to be, (as much as it frustrates me sometimes).

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some days we have recess first...

I believe that children need to spend time outside. A lot of time outside. It's good for their minds. It's good for their bodies. It's good for the sanity of their mother.

Yesterday was a beautiful day, so instead of jumping into schoolwork, we started our day with a long bike ride and took in the beauty of Spring.

Some people see this as a weed.

Others see it as a something beautiful.

"We are all meant to be naturalists, each in his own degree, and it is inexcusable to live in a world so full of the marvels of plant and animal life and to care for none of these things." ~ Charlotte Mason

Always concerned about all of God's creatures, Thing 4 collected sticks and made a raft for any birds that might get tired while flying over the pond.

In a beautiful moment of Homeschool Teacher Affirmation, Thing 3 noted that this flower looks a lot like the flowers in the Van Gogh painting at the Philbrook.

The flowers in the Van Gogh are actually lilacs, but I can see why a ten year old would think these were the same flowers.

"Children are born naturalists. They explore the world with all of their senses, experiment in the environment, and communicate their discoveries to those around them." ~ The Audubon Nature Preschool


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