We had company coming in the evening, so I needed to get the house ready, and the distraction of the news out of Japan, has been making normal studies seem trivial, not to mention the time change throwing us off. Even so, the day was not lost - just different.
7:30 a.m. - D (age 8) is the first of the children to get up. He emerges from his room full of observations about a new set of "Wild Republic", toy sharks, he's received recently. The set contains 12 different sharks, each with its name on the bottom, and has really sparked his imagination.
Trying to capture some of that interest, and direct toward writing skills, which so far he hasn't been to interested in pursuing, I picked up The Everything Kids' Sharks Book by Kathi and Obe Wagner.
While I have a few minutes alone with him, I pull out the book, and after skipping over the first few, heavily evolutionary laden pages, he settles very happily, into a puzzle page dealing with Megalodons, writing out words without complaint.
Then, he drags the book off to his room, where I know he is looking through it, by the number of very corny shark jokes I'm treated to for the rest of the day.
8:00 a.m. - T gets up, and reads his Bible while waiting for D to finish his puzzle, and the rest of the children to get up, too.
9ish - The rest of the children are up, breakfast is served, while we all listen to a few chapters of Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer, and look through Vermeer, The Complete Works by Arthur K. Wheelock, for a visual of the paintings mentioned in Balliett's book.
9:30 The older children, and I watch Ken Ham's Why is There Death & Suffering, in response to C (age 4) asking, "Why is God killing everyone?" A question prompted by the news out of Japan.
I did my best to explain the nature of a fallen world to her, in simple terms for a four year old, but wanted something more in depth for the older children. The Answers In Genesis video, is directed at Christians, and spends about as much time refuting old earth theology, as it does explaining suffering in the world - but it was perfect for our day.
10ish The younger girls demand a craft. So, while the older girls oversee bath time, I set out tissue paper scraps, and cut a paper plate in half...
...for the girls to squish, and glue together...
Then, we read Eric Carle's Let's Paint a Rainbow. It's a board book, and too simple for the girls (ages 4 and 6), but it is the only rainbow themed book within easy reach, and the illustrations in typical Carle fashion, are interesting enough to hold the girls' interest.
At the same time, A (age 10) has pulled out the craft sticks, and set to work on what she tells me, will be a pencil holder.
While everyone is crafting, I clean the kitchen, and field more shark, and ocean related questions from D, such as, "How big is a plankton?" It's, about half a centimeter, if you're curious. We check the size on a ruler.
T (age 13), reads about multiplying polynomials in Algebra Unplugged by Kenn Amdahl.
G (age 11), works on a list of spelling words, she'd like to master.
By 11:30 when the Man of the House arrives home for lunch:
- Everyone has bathed.
- The crafts are cleaned up, and cleared away.
- The three younger children have settled in to watch "The Magic School Bus Takes a Dive" (click the link to watch it on Gamequarium), mainly to determine the name of the fish, that attaches itself in a symbiotic manner, to sharks (the remora fish).
- The older children are playing Roblox.
We have lunch, with cherry pie for dessert, and reread How to Make a Cherry Pie and see the U.S.A. by Marjorie Peiceman. The younger children look at the map in the back of the book, and ask whether Alaska, and Hawaii are part of the United States. We discuss the terms "continental United States" and "contiguous United States".
The Man of the House, and I watch more coverage on Japan, while the children eavesdrop. This leads to a number of discussions about Japan, and its history, and culture, WWII, earthquakes, the tilt of the earth, our responsibility to help, and so on.
After lunch - I have to run out to deliver a youth retreat form to our church for the older children, and stop by the library, to return one pile of books, and pick up another. I leave T in charge, and D reading from Betsy Maestro's A See Full of Sharks, to his younger sisters.
When I get back, I find T and D discussing whether the bald eagle is large enough to take on a great white shark. T has Googled bald eagles, and pulled out a yard stick to demonstrate height, and wing span. I find myself on my knees, modeling the height of an eagle, holding a yard stick, along an outstretched arm, representing wing span.
I pass out the library books, and ask T if he'd be willing to read Dr. Stanley F Schmidt's Life of Fred, Advanced Algebra. The math will be too advanced for him, but I'm curious about the story, and format. He asks me if I'll pay him for a review. We negotiate, and agree on back allowance due, in exchange for reading.
The older girls ask to make cookies, since we have company coming in the evening. I give them a cake mix cookie recipe, orally (1 chocolate cake mix minus 3 tablespoons, 1/3 cup of oil, and two eggs, mixed together, and added to 1 cup of white chocolate chips, rolled into balls, and baked for 9 minutes, on a greased cookie sheet, at 375 degrees Fahrenheit), from memory, and leave them alone, to see if they will follow the instructions.
The younger girls have gone off to play "library", D has returned to his sharks, and T is off reading.
I straighten up in preparation for our evening company, and return to the kitchen, to find the girls have made the cookies, and written the recipe into their own recipe book. The kitchen is a disaster, but the cookies look great.
2ish - The children go down for a "nap". The older children read, except for G, who writes a long overdue, thank you letter to her aunt. And, the girls clean their room.
I read a couple of chapters in my own book, start dinner, and work on a Jell-O rainbow snack for later - just one of those layered Jell-O things...
...but with a larger layer of blue, so I can stick in a few gummy sharks.
They eat it after the company leaves, while watching "The Magic School Bus Makes a Rainbow".
This is not a complete day, of course, other things happened, that I simply missed, or can't remember to include, such as random piano playing (mainly Christmas songs), spelling (often directed into Roblox), checking of strange, miscellaneous facts (to solve arguments), younger children playing learning games on NickJr.com, a lot of time, though not enough, spent in prayer for the people of Japan, and so on.
Oh, and by 10 p.m., while I was working on the beginning of this post, T emerged from his room, having finished The Life of Fred book. He skipped over most of the math problems, but was interested enough in the story, and the idea, that I will be searching out Life of Fred, Beginning Algebra, as soon as I can. And that one, I won't pay him to read.
It's great to be a homeschooler.