Friday, November 7, 2008

Coming together

It's been another great homeschooling week in which things just came together beautifully. We'd taken a break after weeks on the road studying our nation's geography, history, nature and people, journaling about it, earning Junior Ranger badges and meeting people from around the world. We all deserved a bit of a break, and I needed some time to decompress, and plan ahead, so the girls have been reacquainting them with their garden, neighborhood and toys while I've been sorting and planning and catching up on records.
I use a nice piece of software to track our homeschooling activities. What I like best about it when I keep up with my records is that it prints out a nice, easy-to-read summary of what we've done all year. The only problem is that it's VERY time intensive to record everything we do that might include teachable moments captured, particularly if I fall more than a day or so behind. And because I don't record EVERY moment we spend together reading or crafting or practicing math or talking about theoretical solutions to the world's problems, it doesn't accurately portray our homeschool experience. But it gives a pretty good indication of what we do, and it'll be a nice record to look back on as the years pass and memories fade.

After inputing the information from our trip, it seems we've far exceeded the state's requirements for "minutes of instruction" for this school year. It would have been difficult NOT to with all the time we spent at each fantastic historic, scenic, scientific, artistic or simply experiential opportunity. But there's always more to learn, isn't there? So we're back on track with reading, writing and 'rithmetic with the arts and p.e. in the mix as well as a look at the Middle Ages and science (particularly for V).

Plan or not, the pieces continue to fall just right. Today we finished reading The Invention of Hugo Cabret" by Brian Selznick. I'd picked it up at the new library earlier in the week on a whim. Hadn't ever heard of it, but it was sitting atop the Enchanted Forest shelf, yawning at me, displaying some of the 156 pencil drawings that help to make this book different. I started reading it aloud to the girls as we traveled through town (stop lights) and at home. Then E took over and read most of the book to us as I drove, or here on the couch, or in bed. It's a great story, full of suspense, with some basis in fact. It refers to early movies by the Lumiere Brothers and others.

After we finished the story, I logged on to the internet where, you guessed it, I found LOTS of great stuff including this film, featured prominently in the book, from the turn of the 20th Century. (Be sure to pause the music on the PlayList sidebar before this takes off or you'll have competing audio.)

It's interesting rocketry and space travel keeps finding its way into our lives, in one form or another, perhaps in spite of my plans. We watched the launch on September 24th, which, if you're a follower of this blog, you know lead to a decent discussion of rocketry including the history, science and future of it. Today's story got a bit into space travel. And, coincidentally, V's math resulted in the creation of a rocket on paper today. I couldn't PLAN this stuff better!


  1. That must be a practiced skill of reading while at stop lights. If I tried that, I would surely stay to long at the light and get honks and gestures. I love your blog. It is just crazy how somethings just fall together so perfectly, even when planned or not. Good work with your girls!
    Cousin Cyndi

  2. The reading at stoplights takes place at those LOOOONG lights here in the "big city" and when we're not first in line. We're basically in a parking lot awaiting a green light, and the girls are staring out the windows, so it's not like I won't KNOW when people start moving! :)

    Thanks for causing me to clarify! :)


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