Thursday, July 1, 2010

In Which Summer Continues

Being as I completely failed as a mom this year (which I'm blaming on the incredible bout of depression followed by the adjustment to the fabulous happy drugs) I didn't really plan our summer.  Not in the way I have previously planned our summers, anyway.  Typically, we have a THEME!! for each week (like pandas! Let's make panda crafts and panda snacks and read books about them and go to the zoo!) so that I'm prepared and have the kids occupied.  This year, not so much.  I'll add it to my mother of the year application, fear not :) 

Last week was fairly easy because of VBS (which Logan wants to go to AGAIN!!) but this week I've actually had to keep them busy, especially in light of my anti-TV declaration.  The good news is that my children are fish, which means I can keep them busy for at least 90 minutes swimming at grandma's house (yay for a pool without tons of random people in it!! I'm sorry, I'm just grossed out by public pools, especially (shudder) the ones with overly warm pee receptacles baby pools).  By the time we drive 15 minutes there and 15 minutes home, that's 2 hours of quality entertainment!! Unfortunately, with kids that wake up at 7 and go to bed at 8, there are still 11 more hours to fill.  

Fear not, however, because we have now gone on a quest with ED Hirsch using some fabulously outdated books of his:
OOOhh yeah son!  It's What Your First Grader NEEDS TO KNOW! Hirsch uses the theory that we need to have a firm understanding of some cultural stuff so we can all....(okay, fine, I admit I didn't read the intro- but my mom used these books with us each summer and saved them all so they're free!!! Plus, he works at Mr. Jefferson's University, so he must be smart) Our edition is not revised, which mainly matters in Geography, but luckily Riley isn't enough of a reading fan to notice the map says "Soviet Union" on it.  Whatevs.

We are also huge fans of workbooks in Casa de Kotlii.  Especially the ones that come with bonus stickers!!! Those things work as motivation for anything.  However, WYFGNTK (that's not as catchy as EVOO, is it?) is working for me because it gives us lots of projects to work on.  The science section this week is about the Physical World, including a fun-filled discussion of minerals, which lead to the rock tumbler.  The rock tumbler has been noisy, but exciting.  We check the rocks daily, which is probably a no-no, but after step 1 they look like this:
Which is a vast improvement!! Also, in literature, we're memorizing some nursery rhymes that I never knew about (I mean, I guess I did when my mom did this with me, but I didn't remember some of them). We're also reading Anansi Rides the Tiger, which we're turning into a play for Daddy to watch on Friday.  I already had a spider costume for Logan, but we decided we'd need masks and a painted cardboard backdrop, so more time spent!!
Then there's fine arts, where we're learning about music.  This involves lots of dancing to lots of CDs and itunes downloads.  Plus, we like to do field trips once a week or so, and since the Smithsonian NEVER lets me down, the plan is to check out the Smithsonian Museum of African Art- which, as a bonus, streams African Music.  Bam.  Add in some baking and some playdates and you have a pretty full week!! 

Look at that, I could totally be a homeschooler.

Ha.  No I couldn't :)