Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Odds and Ends of Homeschooling

The big medieval festival was here over the weekend. The boys collected all their old Schleich knight figurines, set up a blanket in a prime sidewalk location to sell them, and made a fortune. Afterward, Little Guy set out to scour the neighborhood sidewalk sales, and came home triumphant: he bought a microscope for $20. He had to go out to purchase batteries for it, and then spent hours (and hours) looking at various items. Then on Monday he was at it again.

One of the things I love about homeschooling is the irony of saying, "Stop looking at the microscope and come do your school work!"

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Years ago we borrowed a CD from the library of presidential campaign songs. The kids loved it, particularly the songs like, "Get on a Raft with Taft" and "Let's Put Barry in the White House". 

Last year for Snuggler's birthday she received the Library of Congress book of presidential campaign posters. This is prime material for what might be called Coffee Table Homeschooling: you leave it out, and they pore over it.

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Officially, we're learning British history this year. Nonetheless, things like the Keith and Rusty McNeil CDs reappear out of nowhere, and are listened-to in free time. Little Guy recently rediscovered the Civil War set, and he lies on the floor with the songbook, singing along. What I love about this series is that it's easy to listen to, and a fascinating look at the music from both sides of the Civil War. 

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I picked up the scripts for the musical Honk, Jr tonight. Snuggler will be the voracious cat, who tries to eat Ugly, the duckling. Little Guy is Ugly. It's his first lead. 

The kids are in the other room, already running lines. I don't know what curriculum category that falls in (I will probably tuck it into music), because New York regulations don't include requirements for education in the performing arts. 

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Snuggler has a regular job as a mother's helper two afternoons a week. With her first fistful of cash she bought a subscription to Creativity Express, an online art appreciation program. I think this is the third time we've bought this; the kids enjoy it, and it's surprisingly content-rich without being heavy. (If you are a homeschooler, you can purchase it at a substantial discount through the Homeschool Buyers Co-op.) 

The advantage of having this program is that it gives me another thing about which I can say, "Yes, you can do that... after your schoolwork is done." 

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