Saturday, June 13, 2009

Home schooling refreshment

I'm not gonna lie, home school has been rough the last couple of weeks. We've got so much going on in the background of our lives that my creative juices are being sucked away. So last weekend, I took the kids out for some outdoor school time. Another wonderful benefit (for kids and mom) of schooling at home. I hate when I get into 'survival' schooling. I don't want to just get by. I want to be creative and enjoy the time I have in school with the kids. But unfortunately, lately it's been survival mode. So I brought my camera along last weekend as therapy, to remind myself that I love home schooling and so do the kids. Sometimes you've gotta have a little self pep-rally.

Each of the kids got 2 kuai to spend on whatever they wanted in the store. They had to add up the prices of the items they selected and make sure they didn't excede their limits. It was mostly ice cream and candy. We skipped the food pyramid part of class today.

Then, each kid took some time to observe what was around them. After they found something interesting, they found me and they took a picture of it. When we came home, they described what they found, using interesting words and alliterations.
This was Malachi's picture.

Then it was off to the lake. We fished for little minnows and watched them camoflauge into the lake bottom. The kids got frustrated at not being able to find them (hence a great lesson on God's protection through giving animals defence mechanisms). And thanks to careless people and their trash that was in the lake, we also got into a little lesson about protecting the environment. Probably the only time I have been appreciative of their selfish act of littering.

Then the kids drew pictures of the lake. When asked what color lakes are, Charis responded "black, brown, and gray." I explained that in some places, water is pretty blue and green. I don't know if she believed me. After they drew, and we collected our 1 kuai/person for watching us, we sprayed the pictures with water to make it look even more like water. We didn't really collect money, but don't think I didn't want to.

Next, we took the water bottles and each kid sprayed ten red tiles in a row. Then, they went back and hopped the squares, while counting. Charis counted by ones and the older two did their skip counting of 6, 7, 8, 9. Kesed just ran around squirting innocent passers-by.

We found a nice corner and ran over there to finish the water bottle activities. We started out doing subject and prediates and then spraying your partner with water. After a few though, it turned into a full blown water war. It was great. And no time is complete without some potty humor. As you can see, Malachi fullfulled his duty and sprayed the statues rear end and invoked much laughter.

As we headed to do one last lake activity, we spotted the saturday morning-outdoor-we-don't-really-practice-ever-cute-retired-people-band. They really are cute. Not at all good, but cute none the less. Our kids love to dance with them. And if you look at the picture, when we say dance, we mean DANCE.

Alas, it was one more go at catching minnows. There were some "accidental" slips, so all the kids were soaked to the core. We never succeeded in catching any minnows, but that lead to a good discussion of the disciples and Jesus' in John 21. The disciples were frustrated (and so were the kids) at not being able to catch fish. But it was magnified for the disciples, because this was their livelihood. They were frustrated, tired and hungry....until Jesus. He took care of the abundance. And He does that for His children too. It was a great discussion and a wonderful day.
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