09 January 2012

School Begins Again

So, for the sake of some sort of continuity, our homeschool began again today.

Which essentially meant that we had one lesson in the morning (on weather) and set up our little weather flannel board.

And then we went to play with our homeschool friends - a wonderful little family whose mama is in a similar boat as I am (i.e. just moved here, just started homeschooling, kind & courteous children, etc.).

A scene from an earlier last visit, involving Ancient Egyptians.
And a cat costume.
Olivia always hates to leave there, and today was no exception - after we erupted a volcano (a baking soda & vinegar one), it was time to get our things on to go out, and she snuck out back to the tree house and hid.  Oh, well.  I am glad that she likes to play with her homeschool friends, right?  I'm sure I felt the same way about leaving places, too, and I know that my homeschool mama friend didn't think that I was a bad parent.  Whew!

Elsie butterfly inspects her friends' toys.
This evening, I was out running a rare childless errand (Nathan had come home early from school today and was home with the girls) when I saw the rising full moon.  I saw another educational opportunity and so I called Nathan to let him know we were going on a full moon walk.  I swept home and picked up the fam-a-lam and then we drove out into somewhere to see if we couldn't find a place to walk around in the woods.  We found a big lake, which was closed (how can that be?  I didn't know lakes had "hours").  Also, the thought of walking around by a lake with two small children in the semi-darkness didn't bode well.  So essentially we drove around in the country looking at the moon.  Not to go home empty-handed, we stopped at our local Bryan Park (at which you could park until 11 PM!  Take that, lake!) and ran around in the open dark-ish area.  Olivia and I found Orion and Taurus and the Pleiades and Cassiopeia (there are a lot of "eia" constellations, aren't there?), but we couldn't see Ursa Major, maybe due to all that full moon light.  We decided that we would go out on the next New Moon and do some star-gazing.

So we went home and looked on the calendar to find that the next New Moon (i.e. No Moon) is in two weeks, and is ALSO Chinese New Year.  Which brought on a whole new discussion about calendars.

So we decided that this week, we would learn about all different types of calendars - Gregorian and Lunar and Baha'i and whatnot - and then next week, we'd work on stars and constellations, to prepare for the following Monday's No Moon Star Seeing.

And we wrote it on the calendar.

I love homeschooling.  Everything is a opportunity to teach and learn, and I think that's what I've learned most so far.  Learning can happen anywhere and at anytime.  Even in the dark.