About Me

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Michigan, United States
a registered yoga teacher, and a Thai/Yoga Bodywork practitioner.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving, Madelyn-style

We're having a light schoolwork week due to the holiday. With all this spare time, Madelyn swung into Thanksgiving early, creating this interpretation inside her Barbie play tent:

Note the chess pieces in the middle--they are the salt and pepper. The poker chips are brussel sprouts and the limp balloons are potato skins.

For the meat, she has chosen from the endangered species menu: dolphin and tiger, as well as a pink Easter chick. (She said it was because a dolphin resembles a turkey leg).

Monday, November 21, 2011

Today is our anniversary.

Madelyn's last visit to school was a year ago, on the Monday before Thanksgiving.
Our first month was pretty much a free-for-all. In January, she began math one year back--1st grade-- and she is now five math assignments away from finishing 2nd grade. That's two years of math in eleven months. She will be starting 3rd grade and finished with that before her "4th grade year" begins next fall.

Monday, November 7, 2011

History was all hands-on this week.

There's a DVD/game rental store that offers exercise DVDs for free, so I picked up Tai Chi for Beginners. We did a twenty minute sequence, and the kids liked it. Nate tends to do everything with more effort than is required, so I reminded him every few minutes to "move like you're in warm honey, not like you're in drying cement. It's not supposed to hurt."

Despite his exaggerated effort, he pronounced Tai Chi "fun." Madelyn liked it a lot too, but she said her legs were "tired" and she sat down a few times. I don't understand how a girl who runs after the dog--at top speed--for 20 minutes in the park can feel tired after some gentle swaying. Perhaps a segment on physics or behavioral psychology will explain that mystery.

Two days later we did history again, revisiting a topic from last week: Chinese writing (pictograms). I have watercolor supplies--some tapered brushes and black watercolor paint. We used thick drawing paper (not construction paper). I printed out a tutorial and they went through several sheets of paper. Nate said, "This is the most fun history ever!" (He's enthusiastic, at least).

Science was partially interactive, too. We did a digestion experiment, using a glass jar as the "stomach." The directions called for rubber gloves and goggles. Each child gathered half the ingredients for the project. I told them to wear their glasses (the ones prescribed but never worn because they "don't need them."). Nate came out with an alternative:

Ready for the lab in swim goggles and cleaning gloves

The experiment was underwhelming. It was written for a classroom, so the directions took two pages (every move described) and it was condescending. The conversation was prescribed. There's one bit about asking the class what they ate for lunch and instructions to praise the kids who name vegetables. Ew. Come on. My kids just know--by now--that we eat that way.

The experiment is just putting milk in a jar, adding some vinegar (as if one would eat salad dressing), then adding baking soda (were one to eat a biscuit with the salad).

Ooooo. Bubbles.

Then we were to add liquid antacid, which we didn't have. I used a mortar and pestle to grind up some tablets, then added water. THAT was something the kids hadn't seen before. Once we added the antacid, the fizzing gradually subsided (as it would anyway with that tiny amount of vinegar and baking soda).

We wore glasses and gloves for this? Absurd. Oh well. It made for easy science. Now I know to read ahead before getting excited about wearing safety gear.