Friday, March 02, 2007

A Day in the Life

I keep waiting for a typical day to come along so that I can write a post about a typical day. Two months and a few days I've been waiting and we still haven't had a typical day. That's one of the beautiful things about homeschooling for us. Each day seems to have its own flavor. We go with the flow of the day so that one day never really looks like the next. So what the heck, I'll just write about them as they come.


Look at that face. The gents woke feverish. All three of them, hot to the touch.

Six-year-old gent woke me last night rasping and gasping for breath, another croupy night. The key for this guy is calming him down. So we hung out in a steamy bathroom and talked for a while, had a midnight adventure on the front porch-- standing on the front porch in the middle of the night in your pj's is an adventure when you're six!, played cards and drank tea before he was breathing easy.

His brothers were just hot and miserable. Normally the guys would be getting out their school boxes and hauling them to the table to color, cut and draw right along with the rest of us. Instead I declared a pajama and no-school day for all boys, which the younger of the lovely ladies declared to be colossally unfair, turned on cartoons and let the gents veg out for most of the day.

Restless nights with sick kiddos left me feel wrung out by this morning, especially after last night's steam bath and card party. I declared a light and easy day for all other students.

Lovely lady the younger was coughing-- was it real or fake? I reminded her that anyone to sick to do school at home was certainly too sick to spend time with a friend, especially if she and the friend had planned on swimming. The coughing stopped. We whipped through her schoolwork and chores, just the basics, please. She's starting on a long-term project, something difficult for this lovely lady because she has a fuzzy conception of how long things last. I went over the timeline for the project again, but I don't think she got it.

Thirteen-year-old lovely lady's group project. Group of one. Browsing at the teacher supply store last year I found a history activity book, Mysteries in History: Ancient History from Teacher Created Resources that looked right up her alley. These are real historical mysteries, puzzles that still baffle real historians. Teachers are given a lesson plan to use along with each mystery, along with reproducible pages for each mystery. These are no regurgitate-what-I-just-told-you, worksheet-based projects, though. Students are given fact sheets and often excerpts from original sources, and are encouraged to draw their own conclusions based on the information given. Last year lovely lady created, among other things, a travel brochure and trading card depicting the clay soldiers in China, wrote a play about the Trojan horse, and argued a court case defending Marco Polo. The projects really appeal to my dramatic artistic learner. The Mysteries are written for classroom use, but most group activities are easily adaptable. I just tell her to figure out who in her group will do what part of the project, which never fails to crack her up, or participate myself (fun), or modify the activity so that she can do it on her own. This week, as a break from our usual history routine, lovely lady did a history mystery out of the next book in the series, Mysteries in History: World History. She also gave a campaign speech to accompany the poster and bumper sticker. Can you guess the mystery she's trying to solve?

Once she'd finished her history I sent her outside for nature studies. Something blooming, watercolor. Poor thing, she watercolored in the rain. Well, she very dramatically declared to her brother, her sister and her dad that she'd painted in the rain. I was out there too, and it was barely sprinkling. But painting in the rain sounds so much more interesting, doesn't it? And technically she was correct. There was rain. Like, two or three drops of it.

Her painting (pictured above) is absolutely lovely.

I forget what she did the rest of the day. Journal, check her science lab, work on her geography paper, I think. Her directions for getting the day done are usually very specific, but today it was something along the lines of, "We have to do math. After that let's just do stuff until the day is over. What gets done is fine."

Then the day was done. Just like that. It's like magic some days, the way things ebb and flow, and we're at the end of the day all of a sudden. Other days....well, that post for another time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm just glad she's not pulling for Bacon - because his tone is ALL WRONG.

And now I have a BURNING DESIRE for those mystery books - ALL of them.