Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pushing Spring

Our little Tuesday co-op group took a field trip to our local history museum.


Along with the regular artifacts of the county, they currently have a Civil War display, which is just perfect for us, since that's what we've been learning about in history.




Miah's favorite exhibit was the catfish which was the largest fish ever caught in Tennessee. As soon as we got home, she measured out 5' 4" on newsprint and drew a big fish for everyone to color together.


The weather was sunny and warm, so Jeremiah tilled and Miah helped plant lettuce, radishes, carrots, and peas.




Barefoot weather!


The other kids were more interested in building a fire.




And finally. . .

What you've all been waiting for . . .

My belly!

I'm 29 weeks. That's about 6 months. I'm doing great, definitely the best pregnancy I've had. And this little girl is a kicker! There's no doubt that she's a strong one.
But she remains nameless. Despite the hours and hours I've put into to finding the perfect name for her. I thought I had the perfect one yesterday. Until I told Jeremiah. We are just on opposite ends of the naming spectrum, and it's so hard to agree.
So. Got any ideas?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Fun Resumes


Today we started back to our Monday co-op after a long winter break. I snuck a picture through the window of Rohan in his Virtues preschool class. Zahana is in there too. (That's not her in the picture though.) They are also in my class and have a pk math class together. Miah is taking Color Theory, Drawing, Art, and Girls Craft Club. (Yes, there were plenty of other options, but that's what the girl likes!) Larkin has Around the World (geography), my class, Chess, and Boys Game Club (a rough-and-tumble outside class.) Miah and Larkin pick their own classes. I pick for Zahana and Rohan. The class I'm teaching with a friend is called Thinking Games. Basically, I gathered up all our math, language, geography, and strategy games and brought them for the kids to play. There are 21 kids in the class (including 3 of mine), and I thought it went really well. It's a nice group of kids. Despite this co-op being really great for the kids, I usually dread going. It's a long day, and I never feel comfortable teaching kids who aren't mine. But today seemed different. Miah and Larkin pretty much took care of themselves. Zahana and Rohan were in 2 classes. And I didn't really have to teach (and especially I didn't really have to plan either.) Plus I've been there long enough to get to know people, so I didn't feel awkward but actually had some good conversations while the kids were in class or playing on the playground. So it looks like it's going to be a good semester at co-op, not just for the kids, but for me too.


“Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes along.”

~Samuel Butler

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Chess and Ducks



Larkin had his second chess tournament today. Jeremiah took him to his first one, so this was my first time to take him. Unlike the first tournament, we didn't know anyone there, so it was kind of confusing for me at first, but everyone there was very nice and helpful, so it ended up going smoothly. There were a lot of kids there and 28 in Larkin's division.


First game was over in about ten minutes. Larkin lost.


Second game was fun to watch. I couldn't see the board very well or the pieces being taken by either of the boys, but I could see Larkin's face, and that was plenty. He started out so confident, as you can see in the picture below, but then his opponent captured his queen and his whole body language took on a completely different demeanor. But after a while, he suddenly perked up, moved two pawns across the board to gain two queens. I didn't even know you could have two queens. Neither did his opponent, but the moderator okayed the move and Larkin went on to win the game.


I was glad for the sunny weather and sent the kids out to play in between games.


He ended up winning 3 games, losing 2.


Admiring the trophies with the other boys.


Accepting his trophy for 2nd Unrated.




Larkin really had a great time and was thrilled that he earned a trophy.


Afterward, we had a picnic at a little park.
















Thursday, January 26, 2012

Madagascar

This week, we learned all about Madagascar, the Vanilla Island.


Lots of books, of course.


We shared some of our fun with our Tuesday co-op friends, starting with a video from the library and a snack of banana fritters. Then we watched leaping lemurs and tried some leaping ourselves.
The kids made drawings based on descriptive imagery by Maya Angelou.

Baobabs and the tsingy.


Imagining what's in the egg.


Making landforms with playdough.


Coloring pages of the Madagascar flag and animals.


Madagascar dot-to-dot.


World map and Africa puzzles.


We finished up with a Malagasy meal: varenga with rice, greens and tomato, fruit salad with plenty of vanilla, and burned rice drink.


Additional activities from our Madagascar week:
Reading a map
Videos about aye ayes, the fossa, lemurs, sifakas, more lemurs, plants (at about 2:40)
Pictures of the Malagasy people and money
And just for fun - Song of the Zebu
Join us on our geography adventures around the world.
Algeria
Australia 
Belize
Canada
Egypt
Egypt - a cooking party
El Salvador
Ethiopia
Ghana
Greece
Guatemala
Honduras
Iceland
India, Ancient Rome, Mayans
Ireland 
Lebanon
Liberia
Madagascar
Mexico -Cinco de Mayo celebration
Mexico
Morocco
Norway
South Africa 
Syria
Turkey

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Some Loveliness

Guess what we've had.

Sun! And temps in the 50's.
The kids enjoyed some barefoot time, building an outdoor kitchen.


Jeremiah gave the kids a lesson in changing brake pads and rotating tires.










It was even warm enough for a car wash.








Jeremiah and Miah started some seeds.


Larkin lost a tooth, and the one next to it looks like it's about to go too.


I had some time alone with Larkin today. We played chess. He beat me.


Then we went for a walk, and Larkin took some pictures.


He brought home a tiny flower to examine under the microscope.


Then he played and read while I purged the school room and the girls' room.

Jeremiah wanted to know if I was nesting. I guess so. This is the first pregnancy that I've had the energy and the stomach to do it. Next up, the bathrooms and my room. And I would love to do the garage too. But that's kind of scary. We'll see.