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Showing posts from November, 2013

Blessings

Our writing warm up turned into our sole writing activity for the day.  Nothing too fancy, just a tree.  A tree to symbolize life, growth and renewal, strength, protection and shelter.  While we drew, we contemplated the things we are thankful for, for we have each been given so much.  Family to love us, a home to protect us, food to nurture us, parents to educate us, friends to laugh with us, siblings to grow with us, pets to amuse us, books to satisfy us, and curiosity to sustain us.  Yes, we are blessed, for blessing are not found in things, they are found within us.
**Tree tutorial can be found on my Pinterest Page**













SoundWaters: Schooner Sail

Part of the SoundWaters class was an experience on their floating classroom, an 80 feet schooner, where the focus of the sail was a hands on exploration of life science.
The children rotated among stations on the deck which included: how the use of pulleys and other simple machines assist in making work easier, rope tying, ocean ecology, and marine life.  The children had the opportunity to raise the sails on the schooner and take a turn steering the ship’s wheel.  
To be completely honest, I felt the curriculum offered was too young for these children.  I wished they were presented with a more challenging offering of stations to work through.  However, what I took away from this day was not so much the educational value of the material offered, but the life experience they had of sailing aboard such a magnificent vessel.  

This day was truly picture perfect.  Manhattan’s skyline was just visible on the horizon and the fall sun gifted us with our last pinky glow of the year.  Since paren…

SoundWaters

The girls recently completed their fall science course, a 17 hour marine science program offered by SoundWaters of Stamford, whose mission is to protect Long Island Sound through education.  



I am glad that the girls loved this class so much.  Commuting 30 miles south on I95 in what is still technically rush hour is something we certainly are not used to.  What normally would take thirty minutes took an hour and since Metro North Railroad experienced a major transformer outage, shutting down trains and impacting rail travel for two weeks, this commute suddenly became 1.5 hours.   Yet, it was something the girls never grumbled about getting up early for and we took advantage of our car time to listen to audiobooks. 


The girls could not have been blessed with better weather for this class.  Every Monday (with the exception of one) was picture perfect.  While the girls were in class my friend and I would hit up Starbucks for a latte and stroll the grounds of this stunningly beautiful park.…

A Day in New Haven

Saturday the girls had another class at Yale, class #2 of 4 in a series of physics classes for girls interested in science.  The first class was physics of the invisible world.  This class was physics of the material world.  Normally I would run the girls to New Haven, drop them off, chat with my friends, come home, do a few errands and then run back to New Haven, pick them up, deliver them home and then finally drive back to my home around 3:00pm.

This time, I asked Greg to ignore the thick blanket of leaves on our lawn, to step over the piles of laundry accumulating and threatening to spill out of the laundry sorter and to put off food shopping for one more day.  It was a glorious day.  The kind of day that just begs to be celebrated.  5 hours alone with my husband, my best friend, is certainly celebration enough.





We sipped a latte at Blue State Coffee, which I have to admit was a bit hard for me to do.  We almost bought my parents a coffee mug as a Christmas gift, a joke gift.  As we…

Maurice Sendak

It happened again.  Four years into this experience and I still get chills when I realize how deep and layered and truly awesome the experience of learning is.

Last week’s Wednesday Adventure was a trip to New Britain’s Museum of American Art, a little gem tucked away in central Connecticut, where Connecticut resident Maurice Sendak’s original works of art are currently on display.  






For this trip the girls and I decided (well, I decided but they agreed) to make a project.  





We visited the library and pulled many books that were either written and illustrated or just illustrated by Maurice Sendak.  The girls made photocopies of the covers and using the cover like the background of an art journal page, wrote a connection they have to the book (text to text, text to life, text to self).   

I made some notebooking pages to take with us to the museum.  I wanted the girls to find favorite pieces of art, write a biography of Maurice Sendak, and be able to express why his artwork is relevant.  





A…

Gratitude

Teenage years are when children are supposed to pull away from family and establish their own identity - right?  This is the time when peers guide decision making and influence personal style. That is not happening for us.  We don’t quite fit into that generally accepted definition of adolescence.  
My girls’ peer group changes from day to day.  One day they are taking classes with a group of kids ranging in age from 10 to 14.  Another day they are with their music teachers all day.  A third day they have their closest group, their writing group, but... there is also their sign language group and the group of friends we don’t get to see as much as we’d like do to distance and scheduling conflicts but who are near and dear to our hearts.  I can't forget their shared bestie…our neighbor, who sadly does not homeschool but we see several times a week after school.  

My girls are not locked in to teenage cliques, they are not driven to emulate the latest Miley Cyrus antics, nor are they …

Yale Splash Fall 2013

Another Saturday, another day spent at Yale.  This time I drove a car full of girls to New Haven for the fall Splash program.  
“Splash at Yale is an event that brings local high school and middle school students to Yale University for one day of unlimited learning. Students who come take classes in a variety of both conventional and unconventional subjects taught by Yale undergraduate and graduate students. Our goal is to build excitement for teaching and learning from both sides. Students get to learn about things that they normally wouldn’t have access to, empowering them to find what they love to learn, discover new career opportunities, and become tomorrow’s leaders.” www.yalelearningu.org


Grace’s classes consisted of: sign language, the chemistry of water, Irish culture and history, a science class about oxygen, another science class about microbes and viruses, a music history class and a high school level piano seminar class.  I though the piano class was sure to be her favorite si…

A little bit of this….and that

It’s been a week since my last post.  I have been trying really hard to keep up with blogging, but I am having a hard squeezing it in between this: