Saturday, September 22, 2007

Need more art

We haven't been doing much art, except for little craft projects that Audrey can do with us (does Play-Doh count as art education?) I liked the books I bought, but pulling all the resources together has been too time-consuming, and we haven't been making time to actually do any of the projects I've planned. So I went ahead and ordered the second Artistic Pursuits K-3 book. We enjoyed their lessons two years ago, and Mary looked forward to art every week. Now art can be a grab-and-go subject.

Drip by drip

Charlotte Mason advocated short, focused lessons, and that's what we're doing here, not on purpose, but because that's all the time Audrey allows us. We're not reading or writing as much as I think we should, but Greek, math and Spanish are touched on every day, or nearly so, and piano happens pretty regularly, even if it's only a playing one short piece a couple of times. When I think we're getting nothing done, I look ahead to the end of the book to see what all these little drips will add up to by the end of the year. Dripping water can drill a hole in rock or build stalactites and stalagmites, one drip at a time.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Greek Everywhere

Now that Mary and I are starting to learn Greek, we're discovering Greek words everywhere. The classical homeschoolers always point out how much English vocabulary comes from Latin, but there's much less mention of how much Greek we have. I would have guessed it was just all those -ology words, but there are so many more Greek-based words in our language. For example, the other day we went to the children's museum (museum comes from Greek). In the painting area, Mary wondered why there was only red paint set out. Another mom sitting next to her said, "I don't know, but do you know what it's called when you paint with shades of just one color? A monochrome."
"Hey," I thought, "I'll bet that's Greek!"
So when we got home we looked it up, and sure enough, mono (one) and chrome (color) are both Greek. We found lots more mono and chrome words in the dictionary. We've started a collection of Greek-based words we come across. Now that we're aware of them, we'll be noticing lots more.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

iPod Time

We've been calling our first subject of the day "Memory Time". Some families start their day with a Circle Time or Gathering Time, a time for the family to have devotions, read a story together, maybe sing some songs. Ours is sort of a cross between Circle Time and the Simply Charlotte Mason Scripture Memory System, pulled together by my favorite homeschooling tool, the iPod. Mary's learning both Greek and Spanish this year, so there's plenty to memorize, along with poetry and math facts. I've created a playlist called Schoolwork, and I update it every night for the following day's memory work. Tomorrow's list includes the Greek alphabet, her first Greek memory verse, a Spanish song, a few songs for Audrey's enjoyment, and Mary's piano pieces and ear-training exercises. We sometimes include songs we want to learn. The first week of school we learned Lord of the Dance and Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. We're all classics, all the time, here at the Learn-O-Rama.

The poems and math facts aren't on the iPod, they're just printed out and filed in our Memory Folder. I'm thinking of having Mary record them in Garage Band so we can put them in our playlist and she can recite along with herself. Last weekend she went to an Apple Youth Workshop and created three songs in Garage Band, so she's our resident Garage Band expert.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Audrey Math

Scott and Audrey were playing Three Billy Goats Gruff in the bathtub. They had four fish, and Scott said they needed three fish to be the billy goats, and asked Audrey how they could make four into three. She thought about it, then split the four into two groups of two. Scott had her count the fish, then asked again how she could make four into three. She said, "You do it." So Scott took one fish away and asked, "Now how many fish are there?" Audrey knocked the rest of the fish into the tub and announced, "Zero!"

Soup of the Day

We're studying alliteration this month. Today we read a funny poem by Jack Prelutsky, "Gloppe's Soup Shoppe". Gladiola Gloppe's menu includes soups such as Salamander Salmon Slug, Bat Begonia Barley Bug, and Rutabaga Bacon Barracuda Bran. Mary was pretty grossed out by some of Gloppe's offerings, so she made up her own soups. Here's the menu at Marvelous Mary's Soup Shop:
Monday: Marvelous Mango
Tuesday: Tasty Turkey Tomato
Wednesday: Weight Watchers' Special
Thursday: We're closed on Thursdays (because we couldn't think of any foods that start with TH)
Friday: Fantastick Fish Fins (she spelled it that way because it's sticky soup)
Saturday: Sweet and Savory Soup
Sunday: Sour and Savory Soup
If you come on a day off from your work, you get Day Off Devour

Can anybody help us with a soup for Thursday?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Bum Song

I don't know the title of this song, but Grandma used to sing it, and Mom and I are trying to remember all the words. Also, I'm trying to see if there's any actual written version. I've found parts of it on a camp song website, but so far nothing that points me toward learning who wrote it or when. Here are the lyrics as Mom remembers them:

Bum Song

Oh, I just can remember, when I was a bum
Come strolling into Bridgeport to meet my dear old chum
We used to rob the fruit stands and holler up the street
And guarantee a female to everyone we meet

A hot day in the summer, when Officer Murphy come
He grabbed us by the collar, and this is what he sum
Come bums to the station house, and there you’ll find a home
With plenty of bums to treat you, and treat you like a bum.

Oh half past six in the morning, …..?
The coffee was tobacco juice, the bread was hard and stale
And that’s the way they treat you in the Fairfield County Jail.

Oh, Mrs. will you be kind enough to give me a bite to eat
A piece of bread and butter, a tempting slice of meat
A piece of pie and custard to tickle me appetite
For really I’m so hungry I don’t know where to sleep tonight

Oh, sleeping in the coal bin, nestling on the floor
Chewing swipes, smoking pipes, I never done before
I woke up in the morning and there upon the wall,
The cooties and the bedbugs were having a game of ball

The score was 6 to 20, the bedbugs were ahead
I got so darned excited, I rolled right out of bed.

Oh the bedbugs they were cute, they were dressed in union suits
The landlord guaranteed they’d do no harm, do no harm
They played ping-pong on your head, and played checkers on the bed
On the old Kentucky home on the farm.

I remember a few lines differently:
Oh, I can remember when I was just a bum

A hot day in the summer, a copper he did come

The beetles and the bedbugs

The beetles hit a home run and knocked me out of bed

It hasn't been easy finding information on this song. Maybe I should check that Carl Sandburg folk songs book out of the library and see if he knows anything about it.

I went to and looked at the table of contents of Carl Sandburg's book The American Songbag. He lists a song called Portland County Jail that's similar. He's got a song called We Are Four Bums listed but I can't find it on Google yet. There's another one called When I Was Young and Foolish, but there are too many songs with those lyrics out there, so I haven't found one that's similar yet.

Mom thinks she's remembered that missing line. The stanza goes:
Oh, half past six in the morning
Officer Murphy come
A piece of bread and coffee
The bread it weighed a ton
The coffee was tobacco juice
The bread was hard and stale
And that's the way they treat you
In the Fairfield County Jail.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What will we do for the rest of the year?

Mary finished watching this year's Spanish DVDs today. Then, tonight, she found an eency weency spider in the bathroom and she and Scott wanted to look at it more closely, but couldn't find a magnifying glass. (There were three of them in the pantry just a few days ago, but they've all disappeared.) So, of course, I announced, "I've got a great magnifier!" and pulled out the science box. We popped batteries into the two pocket microscopes, and they looked at the spider, my hair, the gold sparkles in our vintage-1962 kitchen counter, a chocolate milk spot on the floor, dots in a printed travel brochure, yarn, and the couch fabric. That kit was supposed to last fourteen weeks, and just about all we have left to look at is crystals and sea monkeys!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

They're Here!

Four of my curriculum orders have arrived in the past two days. La clase divertida, Brave Writer, and Elementary Greek came yesterday. BW and EG came the hard way: the postal employee who delivered them (NOT Randy, our friendly neighborhood mailman) walked partway up the driveway and threw the two boxes at the front door. Mary's already watched nearly all of this year's Spanish lessons, just since yesterday afternoon. The science kit came today. I'll be busy for a while, reading through everything and preparing for the school year.

Monday, July 9, 2007

What I ordered

Here's what I ordered for Mary for the upcoming school year:
The Writer's Jungle from Bravewriter. Mary's writing really took off last year, and we want to keep up the good work.

Right Start Mathematics Level C

Elementary Greek, Year One. She's been wanting to learn Greek. The different alphabet makes it look like a secret code.

Story of the World, Vol. 2. The updated edition of the Activity Guide won't be ready until 2008, so I bought the old edition of the book and activity guide at a discount.

The Microscopic Explorations unit from Stratton House Home Science Adventures. It's got instructions and all the equipment for 14 hands-on lessons related to teeny-tiny things. We'll add in library books and The Usborne Internet-Linked First Encyclopedia of Science.

La clase divertida Level 2. We haven't done level 1, but Mary's had some Spanish before. The crafts and activities look like fun.

Discovering the Great Artists by MaryAnn Kohl and Masterpieces Up Close by Claire d'Harcourt

We'll also continue in Music Moves for Piano and Brownies, and she's signed up for homeschool P.E. and will also take a drama class.

That ought to keep everyone busy!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I couldn't have said it better myself

In fact, I didn't. Here's inspiration from other homeschool blogs.
The Rule of Six from Melissa at The Lilting House
Six Things to Include
in Your Child's Day:
• meaningful work
• imaginative play
• good books
• beauty (art, music, nature)
• ideas to ponder and discuss
• prayer

Goals from Mama Squirrel at Dewey's Treehouse
Our long-term goals in education are to "produce" (unfortunate word) capable, educated adults who can think logically, act responsibly, read intelligently, write clearly, show compassion, and have a working relationship with the world and its Creator. I don't think there is a standardized test that can measure those things.

From Cyndi at Mater Magistra: We homeschool because of what homeschooling is, not because of what public school isn't. That the current state of our country's public schools is the best in history and in all of the world is certainly debatable. But, for us, that's not at the heart of our decision whether or not to utilize them. I think it speaks more highly of homeschooling as an educational choice for the public schools to be strong and for people to choose to homeschool anyway. For what homeschooling is.