Friday, June 3, 2011

History, 10K Training, Friends & Reading

We completed our "school year" three weeks ago and decided to take a break for a few weeks.  Last week, the girls started to get antsy, so I knew it was time to start something.  I had planned a low-key summer but, unfortunately, although the curriculum was ordered three weeks ago, it did not arrive in time.  So, we spent the week working through the wonderful Evan Moore History Pockets: Ancient Civilizations that our friends Karen and Kei at Homeschool Girls turned us on to.  It was a great review of everything we had learned in Story of the World Volume 1.

Throughout the week, we talked about writing 5 paragraph essays.  On Thursday, each girl chose three civilizations and wrote a 5 paragraph compare/contrast essay on three topics of their choice: food, clothing, shelter, religion or contributions.  They did AMAZING!  I was so proud of both of them and impressed.

Originally I had thought they would write the essay, we would make corrections and they would re-write it.  But their rough drafts were impeccable!

Two cool things we learned that make us a hit at cocktail parties:

* Only Chinese royalty could wear yellow in ancient times.
* Chocolate can be traced to the Ancient Aztecs.

10K Training
I've been practicing yoga since P was born.  Two years ago, Jason started practicing and he quickly surpassed me.  He is a very physical person and much more daring when it comes to things like headstands.  Recently, we started trying to eat organic.  I've been trying to watch what I eat (as I approach 40 things just aren't what they used to be) so we cut out nightly beer back to once or twice a week.  This week Jason told me he feels great about all of the healthy decisions we are making and he wants to kick it up a few notches, really cut back on the beer and start running.  Jason & I are both former smokers (scandalous!).  I was more of a social smoker in college and even now once in a blue moon, I will have a cigarette with old friends when we meet at the bar.  Jason has a harder time, when work gets stressful, cigarettes are his go-to choice.  He'll buy a pack, smoke one, feel horrible and crush the pack.  He's really hoping that running will provide another stress release and help him to recover some healthy oxygenated tissue in his lungs.  We'll see!  I hope it works!!  Jason has been looking at 5Ks and wants to do at least a 5K, if not a 10K by his fortieth birthday this August!

Our Swim Club re-opened last weekend.  Jason and the girls spent an evening at the pool, where the girls met up with some friends from public school.  On Thursday afternoon, the girls and I walked over to the public school as it was letting out for the day and the girls played on the playground with their "old" school friends.  Today, A is having one of her best friends over and P is going to the home of one of her friends.  I am so, so glad that my girls have kept in touch with and are still friends with their school friends.

In addition to all of this, we've also all been reading...

Like me, A reads authors.  When she reads a new book that she loves, she then looks for other books by the same author.  A has discovered a new writer Francis O'Roark Dowell.  It started with Shooting the Moon, which I read as well, this book takes place in the 1960s and is about the sister of a soldier in Vietnam.  A and I both LOVED it! She then read:

A devours books.
She will easily stay up past midnight reading if we let her.
She read this book, which was about a girl who starts being homeschooled at the age of 12:

A also read:

The summer between 2nd & 3rd grade,
A discovered
Patricia Reilly Giff's
Polk Street Kids & Polk Street School books.
She read them all
& emailed Ms. Giff.
She LOVES Patricia Reilly Giff,
who happens to own a bookstore near our friends
Jessica, Lilah and Grace.
I am hoping to one day take Allie to the book store!

P has read all of the Goddess Girls books,
which I think reinforced her love of mythology.
She also read this book, which was recommended by Jessica at Teachable Moments.
She said she really enjoyed it.
(Again, I just can't keep up with both of their reading.)


At the girls' request, we just put holds on three copies of Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan,
the second book in the Percy Jackson series.
We may do it as a read-aloud,
although my girls will most
likely become impatient with the read-aloud
and finish the book on their own,
which is how all of our read-alouds have ended.
One chapter at a time is just not enough for these girlies!

Three Thinking Mothers
And finally, a big highlight this week for me was the launch of
Three Thinking Mothers.
IF you have not had a chance to go over and check it out,
please do so.
Three Thinking Mothers
is a place where homeschool moms can come to "think" and discuss topics pertinent to homeschooling.
Sometimes, as a homeschooler,
you may feel a little alone in your delivery of education to your children,
Three Thinking Mothers
is a place where we can all feel less alone & learn from each other.