Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekly Accomplishments

This week saw us get back on track in many ways.
Our kitchen is coming together.  Three weeks without a stove is a loooong time.  A hot plate is okay, but I missed my oven.  Tuesday night our electrician hooked it up for us.  The major demolition/rebuilding is done.  The crown molding is up, the paint is fresh and the appliances are where they should be.  We are waiting on counter tops, some cabinet doors and lighting.  We need to decide if we are doing a tile backspash or not.  We still have some electrical work to do, a window to replace and siding that needs to be matched and patched.  All in due time.  For now we can get back on track with healthy eating and lots of learning.
Grace published her essay on internet safety.  Now it is up to her father and I to decide if we will allow her to have an email account or what age we feel is acceptable.  Many of her friends have email.  I have spoke to the moms, my friends, about how they use it.  For the most part it is to communicate with family and is rarely used.  I know that Grace enjoys IMing with her cousins.  She occasionally uses my email to write to her Grandmother at work or to send out a notice about her planned beach clean up.  I worry about stupid chain emails.  I know that she will receive them.  Some are harmless but some can be scary.  Should we allow her to have an email I will screen them randomly and teach her to delete any that are not for a specific purpose.  Part of learning how to navigate the internet is knowing why chain mail should not be opened. Is it better to walk through this process with her, while she will still let me guide her, than to have her open an email secretly, that I will not have access to.  While I do not think she would do this, she knows a few people her age who have.  She is not-so-patiently awaiting a decision.  It will come in due time.

Grace and Lilah are working on Aleks.  This week Grace was introduced to decimals.  We used a great youtube video that helped with the basics and then she successfully completed the work on Aleks.  Lilah opened her pie piece for geometry.  We started with lines; parallel, intersecting, perpendicular and right angles.  Lilah also did some fact practice in her “fun” math workbook.  
In history we learned about Alexander the Great.  It was a very cool lesson.  We read about his history, becoming a child King and his legacy of Alexandria, Egypt.  I did not know that when he died, three of his generals battled over land control.  The descendants of one of those generals, Seleucus, became known as the Seleucids, or Syrians.  Tuesday we were running around from the orthodontist, to pottery to piano and we stopped in for a quick lunch on Main Street.  On the television was an update on Libya.  The map they showed was identical to the one we reviewed in Story of the World that very morning!  We talked about what was happening in the middle east and how the events in Egypt and Libya are similar but also very different.  This led to a talk about the protests in Wisconsin and my girls thought this was the same type of protest.  I explained that no, our political process is very different.  We have the ability to vote out our leaders peacefully.  I did share my concern that what is happening in WI and now in other states is that lawmakers are impeding the political process and win or lose the issue at hand, they should show up and do their jobs.  I hope this happens soon.
We read two more chapters of Percy Jackson.  I am desperate to finish this book.  I am tired of reading it. What I thought would take a mere month has turned into more than two.....  I have decided that I do not love doing read aloud with my girls.  I enjoy reading to them, but one on one.  Grace loves reading to me at night and I love listening to her.  Lilah reads all the time so plopping down next to her for some quality reading time is easy.  But for some reason making the time for the three of us to sit is hard.  I am giving myself permission to let my car do the reading.  We usually listen to many audiobooks.  I need to find a new one asap.  This is our read aloud.  It sure is quicker than my read aloud!
Botany is just awesome.  This week we read about monocots and dicots.  We made collages from a flower catalog.  We looked at pictures by Georgia O’Keefe.  At our group “class” we dissected flowers and labeled the pieces. I watched my girls taste the nectar off the petals and filaments.  During our reading about the anatomy of a flower we had an awesome conversation about how our anatomy differs from a flower.  Without going into details....we will be watching the National Geographic video Womb, which will visually show them the fertilization process and the growth of a child in-utero.  I love it when learning comes full circle.  We will end our week with a field trip to the Connecticut Flower Show.  It is a perfect tie-in to our flower studies.  The second part of chapter 3 pertains to carnivorous plants.  My friend MamaK over at Frog Creek loves carnivorous plants.  In fact, she keeps them in a tank while they hibernate in the winter and cares for them while they come to life in the summer.  She has taken treks through bogs to find them in their natural habitats.  We hope to join her on one of her hikes.   I am hoping that she will talk to us about her plants, how they grow, their unique needs, and diet!  Cool, cool, cool!
We were missing one family this week....

Did you notice the bilingual journal?  

The sweet taste of nectar....

On a personal note, Grace has organized a beach clean up for this weekend.  She sent the email to all her friends and asked anyone who is willing to meet her at our beach in town for a quick-clean.  I told her in February, an hour is about right for a beach clean.  Some of the beach will be under snow, but most will not. We will supply the bags and hopefully there will not be enough trash there to fill them.  I am proud of her.
Lilah is making an Earth Day polymer clay necklace using the techniques she learned in her class this month.  It is beautiful and creative.  I need to dig out the old toaster oven and bake them for her. this life.

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