Thursday, April 25, 2013

Week of April 20, 2013

It's been a week of spring cleaning, house sprucing and spoiling my little metalmouth!
Taking before photos.  I spied through a fish tank while she got the braces on.
Allie lived on smoothies this week.

Allie got her braces on Monday and I took Monday and Tuesday (the only two days I work) off from work.  It felt like a vacation.  I spent the week spoiling Allie with milkshakes and smoothies and fro-yo and doing some homeschool development by reading Delight-Directed Learning by Lee Binz (thanks for the recommendation, Mary!) and Escape from Childhood by John Holt.

What We Are Doing

Last weekend our entire family pulled together and got some spring cleaning done!  I love when we all work together like that!  Windows were scrubbed, curtains were taken down and laundered, paint was touched up.  Jason even re-planted the garden I had planted two weeks ago--who's controlling? I promised everyone a trip to the new Crumbs Bake Shop that just opened in town--this could be dangerous, y'all!

All that cleaning got me set off on the right foot.  I only work 10 hours a week, but since I took off this week, I felt like I had ALL THIS TIME.  I primed and painted our front door.  I picked out new fabric to cover our dining room chairs and bought fabric for new throw pillows for our living room.

It feels like a whole new house!

What We Are Watching

Walking with Monsters

Switched at Birth - this was our guilty pleasure this week.  We spent hours soothing Allie's poor teeth and gums with milkshakes and smoothies while sitting on the couch watching episodes of this show about two girls who were mixed up at the hospital when they were born.  One of them is deaf and the idea of a cochlear implant was broached, so I decided it was the perfect time to watch Sound and Fury.

Sound and Fury - is a documentary about the Artinian family.  The oldest son of the family was born deaf.  His wife and three kids are all deaf.  One of his daughters considers a cochlear implant, but Peter is against it because he feels it would get her away from deaf culture.  Peter's younger brother, Chris has one deaf child and decides to get the cochlear implant for his son.  This is a personal story for my family, as we know the Artinian family.  I hung out with Peter and his sister, who is also deaf and his two brothers, both of whom can hear, when I was a child.  Their strength of spirit is something that has always stood out to me.  I don't know a lot about deaf culture, Peter and his sister are the only deaf people that I have ever known, but I can understand the controversy with the cochlear implant.  It lead to an interesting family discussion.

Life of Pi - this was a stunningly beautiful film.  If I had it to do over, I would have waited and read the book with the girls in a couple of years and then watched it.  A lot went over their heads.  Piper had to leave the room because of the animal violence and I hid under a blanket.  The movie does not do justice to the symbolism in the book.

What We Are Creating

There was actually a lot of video making this week.  Allie has been keeping a video diary of her experience of getting braces.  Piper made an American Girl stop motion.  I am not sure if they plan to share those.

The topic on Seven Cool Homeschoolers for this week was your favorite character from a book, movie or TV show.  Allie chose Anne Frank.

What We are Reading

The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle (Theresa)
Delight Directed Learning by Lee Binz (Thanks for the recommendation, Mary!)
Escape from Childhood by John Holt (Theresa)
Christy by Catherine Marshall (Allie)
Top Dog by Po Bronson (Jason)
We are addicted to Switched at Birth and spent HOURS watching it while drinking smoothies and milkshakes.
#survivingthefirstdaysofbraces Lab app provided some entertainment, too!
This week's stack of library books.
This week on Seven Cool Homeschoolers the challenge was to make a video of your favorite character from a book or movie, Allie chose her hero, Anne Frank.

Favorite Apps and Resources

iCivics - learning about the law and our government through games Lab App
and of course, MineCraft!


We started our spring term of co-op last Friday.  Our co-op is sort of organized in three different areas: pre-schoolers/early elementary, early-mid elementary and Middle School.  Allie takes all Middle School classes: Survival Skills (how to survive a natural disaster or if our society completely breaks down), Destination Imagination Instant Challenges (to get a 'taste' of DI and decide if we want to start a team next year), The Hobbit (read and discuss) and The Twilight Zone (watch the classic TV show and discuss).  Piper takes a mix of classes:  Survival Skills (same as Allie-Middle School class)), Destination Imagination Instant Challenges (same as Allie--Middle School class), American Girls class (read and discuss Julie this term--early-mid elementary age class) and Gardening (mixed ages class).

This term I am teaching Geography (same program as I run at the library) for early-mid elementary and I am teaching Art Journaling to mixed ages.  Geography runs at the same time as gardening and gardening is soooooo popular that I hardly had anyone in my class, but those that came did seem to like it.  Art Journaling was a much more popular class, it's a mixed age class so there are kids in there from 4-12, I wasn't sure how it would work, but it ended up being great last week.  I required the kids to all have an art journal.  I had them write their name on the first page in ornate letters (I brought samples) it was so neat to see how everyone did something else and that they all seemed to have a natural idea about color relationships.  Then we did a two page spread of what they like, again they all did something different than my example but they all did amazing work.  I loved how they all really personalized everything and I am excited to see where this class leads us!