Monday, May 28, 2007

What We're Learning

In June we are working on:

Classification - Sorting all kinds of materials like buttons, M&M's, Cars we pass, types of plants. Reading Arnold Lobel's "A Lost Button" from Frog and Toad are Friends.

Trees - Looking at different types of trees, learning about what trees do for the environment, learning about how trees grow. Making bark and leaf rubbings. We are anxiously awaiting the opening of the Springs Preserve, where we'll be able to see all kinds of native trees. We are starting nature journals. We are also trying an experiment in which we tie paper bags over some of the peaches on our tree while they are still growing. Each week we check the existing bags and add one more bag. I read about this technique in the Gourmet magazine. There's nothing of interest to report yet, but I have high hopes!

Reading all types of books.

Taking classes: Ballet and Music Together

Meeting weekly with Chinese tutor, and occasionally watching Muzzy or playing Hooked on Chinese

Big Craft Project - Shibori. After a good browse at Home Depot for shape makers, we are going to dye all kinds of clothing and fabrics. I'm still seeking a picture book on Japanese textiles.

The Lonely Road

We made the decision to homeschool pretty early on. I didn't have the seemingly usual doubts about how to get started or what to do every day. The problem started when Lucy turned 3, and her friends all went off to preschool. In New York, this was a minor inconvenience, as most of her friends lived right in our building, so it was easy to pop up for a few minutes in the evening. She also took a number of classes, and basically got to play with kids her own age every day. Here it's excruciating. We are frantically joining groups and seeking activities to get enough friends to make up for school schedules. We play with her a lot, and she has a babysitter once a week to play, but it just isn't the same. I know as she gets older, she'll be able to participate in after school activities and clubs, and she'll make some homeschool friends too, but for now it is getting really hard to hear about what she wants to do when her friends come to visit.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mushroom Lasagna

This got rave reviews last night:
Make regular lasagna, but instead of ricotta, spread Winder Farms artichoke lemon sauce on the noodles, and use portobello mushrooms instead of meat. Not a speck left. No one complained about lack of meat either.

We're learning Chinese!

After about 6 weeks of searching, we have found a wonderful Mandarin tutor. He is well educated in both English and Mandarin, and quite adept at providing lessons that are useful for both parent and child. It will be interesting to see what happens when we add other families to the group, as we plan to do over the next few weeks. i am hoping that it will provide more conversational opportunity rather than chaos!