Saturday, February 09, 2008

homeschool happenings and highlights...and public school highlights too

When asked for this week's highlights, Annie had a hard time narrowing it down, but finally went with these...

*The Ensemble East concert, a Japanese chamber ensemble. (Her #1 favorite for the week!)

*The Giver. Annie loved this book as much as I did, maybe even more. And it has set us off exploring. We had a really interesting conversation about euthanasia. And we have also begun investigating genetic engineering. Rich was kind enough to give a short talk about the nuts and bolts of how genetic engineering is done. And we discussed different ways genetic engineering is used today, and may possibly be used in the future. We discussed not only scientific aspects, but ethical ones as well.

*Geometry. That Annie mentioned anything to do with math as a favorite for the week shocked the crap out of me. Though the language arts is where Annie really excels, she manages to do well in math as well...she's just never liked it much. Maybe this is the start of a whole new day :)

*Reptiles. She seems to love everything in the science realm, but she definitely has a special affinity for all things animal. Pretty common kid trait, I think. Anyway, this week, among other things, she watched three Nature episodes (one about snakes, one about turtles, and one about lizards), did some research to find three examples of snakes featured in mythology, and did a dichotomous key exercise to identify, from pictures, several species of turtles.

Each week when I ask Annie about her favorite things from her "schooling", I always ask the boys as well. The answer I usually get from them:


Gray answers in this manner, because that is who Gray is. With the exception of bears and dogs and gems and drawing, it's hard to get Gray to admit he likes anything. He provides plenty of evidence to the contrary, of course. For example, there was no hiding how much he's enjoyed the weaving they've been doing the past couple weeks at school. But ask him straight out, and he'll deny he likes it down to his last breath.

Max answers in this manner simply because Gray does.

Anyway, imagine my delight when I asked them about their favorites from this week of school, and Gray piped right up with "Measuring!" His face lit up and his voice was filled with pure joy as he went about explaining the wonders of inches and centimeters. Totally priceless to this mama, I tell you.

And as Gray wasn't holding back this week, Max apparently decided it was okay to be excited about school as well. So what did he enjoy most...(1) swinging on the ropes in the gym, (2) building a boat from clay, and working on it until it would float, and (3) building a boat from aluminum foil and testing whose design would hold the most pennies before sinking.

Yep, three kids giving school a big thumbs up for the week...can't beat that!


Anonymous said...

Awww, it's so nice to hear when children do enjoy school. :o) I loved The Giver. i read it a few years ago and just loved it. Y'all enjoy your weekend and hope next week is just as wonderful!

cj said...

I'd say it's a reflection on their teacher...

And I love the fact that Annie added Math. Girls usually hate it!


Nymeth said...

You are a wonderful teacher, Debi. I just finished reading Annie's essay on genetic engineering, and wow...most people in their 20's don't have that maturity and understanding! And of course it helps that she's so intelligent, but intelligence alone wouldn't be enough if she didn't have such a great teacher.

I really really want to read The Giver!

Lis Garrett said...

AWESOME!! I can't tell you how impressed I am by what you and Annie work on each week. Wonderful!!

Eva said...

I love The Giver as well! Sounds like you had a great week-go kids! lol (And can I have a slice of that key lime pie y'all made?)

Chris said...

You have such cool kids! This post made me want to go back to elementary school and do all these cool things that your boys did with boats and clay...maybe I'll start regressing and doing that stuff for my own enjoyments :p

Annie has been doing some awesome stuff lately! And you've been doing some awesome teaching lately! I agree with Nymeth...I was blown away by her essay! Awesome that she can pick apart issues like that at her age.

kreed said...

Sounds like a good school week for everyone!

I never loved math, but really liked geometry - I think it seemd more like a puzzle than math to me and much more fun than equations!

Kim L said...

Sounds like you guys have been doing some awesome things this week! That is so cool that you can use the books that Annie is reading as an opportunity to learn about genetic engineering and euthanasia. I'm sure I was quite a bit older before I learned about those topics at all.

Did the key lime pie disappear right away? ;-)

gail@more than a song said...

I bet that is nice for the boys to tell you something specific when their answer is usually nothing nothing! My youngest never did like anything much to do with school, a boy, so maybe typical for some boys or what they think they are supposed to say. I'm like Annie, never liked math much or science either...oooh I'm bad! But they still don't appeal to me much, and putting numbers in little boxes just make me shudder!

Dewey said...

Hmph! Your blog yelled at me and deleted my comment! ;)

Anyway, I said that geometry was always the favorite class of the English majors I knew, so maybe Annie's just going to be an English major! And I said something about loving The Giver, too.