Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 27, 2009: Part of today's quilt square...

I'm reading a book called "Homeschooling: A Patchwork of Days" by Nancy Lande, a collection of "a day in the life" stories written by 30 different homeschooling families. There are a couple along the lines of "We rose at 5:00 a.m. and had individual devotions and morning exercises and practiced Chinese and cared for the animals before family breakfast cooked by the six-year-old and devotions lead by Dad at 6:15, before which all the children had gotten dressed and made their beds" etc., but most of them were more in the realm of something that I could imagine, and a few were even more in the realm of our reality. I found myself observing us at some points today as if I were writing one of those chapters:
"Around 10:00 we finished cleaning up after breakfast and I went upstairs to borrow some DVDs, as we'd bribed the children with watching a DVD in return for decent behaviour at the Christian Unity Service last night. As we've never had a television and own one 23-minute DVD that we were given for Christmas last year, this was a huge treat and a great motivator. After watching the first episode of "Little House on the Prarie" and working through the children's angry reactions to Pa not having a beard and Reverand Alden claiming that one is saved by attending church, I then read a few things to the children before lunch, after which the two older ones did some math..." etc.

Of course, I could include or leave out things such as reading the same verse out loud about six times before Jacob could answer who went where: the sentence being something like "Paul entered the synagogue" and Jacob couldn't tell me who or where, because he was playing with Helen, playing with a pillow, complaining that Katie was too loud, complaining that he'd rather read Garfield, asking when lunch would be, etc. Or the "did some math" in the afternoon would be more like, "As I took Katie off of the coffee table upstairs AGAIN and tried to chat with S., Jacob said "two and one-tenth", so I checked and said, "Nope, and Lukas, stop being so wild with the cat!" then asked Marie if she needed help, and if not, please go back downstairs and check on Helen, who was asleep, and keep doing math, repeated at Jacob's insistance that 2.05 is 2 1/10 that zero-point-zero-five is NOT one-tenth, took Katie off of the coffee table again, told Lukas to be gentle with the cat, took Helen from Jacob who had just brought her upstairs and asked him if he'd figured out zero-point-zero-five yet to which he stared at me as if I were from another planet and said "It's not zero-point-zero-five, it's TWO and one-twentieth!"..."

Knowing that the above paragraph is accurate, as is the sentence "I read the Bible and history to the children before lunch and they did math after lunch", I of course really wonder what each of the sample days in this book REALLY looked like! (Please, I do hope that some of them were a little closer to ours!)

And despite being fairly anti-television, I suspect that the most valuable "educational" thing we did today was have a LOT of discussion about the Little House on the Prairie episode.

Oh, and Lukas did have another piano lesson today, this time with a book lent to us by S., who lives upstairs and to whom this apartment belongs. :-)

Katie is looking through Lukas's German book and saying "m-m-monkey", "r-r-rabbit", "d-d-dog", etc. which sounds nice and advanced and as if she were learning to read, but as I said, this is his GERMAN book, so so far not one word that she has pretended to read actually even started with the same letter in German as it does in English. Okay, now Lukas read a few words to her (in German), so now she's doing it bilingually: "fl-fl-flower, Bl-Bl-Blume, pl-pl-plate, T-T-Teller." Katie, by the way, did not approve of us trying to get her to say that she's three in Greek today--she kept saying, "No, I'm trés!" I would still really, really like for my children to learn Spanish, but I think that Spanish is going to have to take a back-seat for awhile, so she'll eventually learn to say that she's "tria" and I might eventually learn how to get Greek letters on my keyboard. (Not that I know how to spell "tria" in Greek anyway, nor, for that matter, what the official transliteration might be in English.)

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