Friday, October 19, 2007

Days off School

For three days this week it has been our Fall break so I'll take this opportunity to show you some of C's work this past quarter. Many times in lesson planning I find we don't move quite as fast as I think we will. I wonder if classroom teachers have that problem - I don't remember having it before. Maybe having one in a class makes a difference in that we have more distractions, stallings, chores and other things to do before, during and after class! Probably had more cooperation too!
In English Language we're working from two grade one books, using one of them just once a week for variation. We're learning to punctuate sentences, compose stories using words from a word bank, alphabetize words etc. She now says Language is her favourite subject and even did some today on an "off" day. Included is a recent spelling test.

Next is Maths. We've completed Right Start Level B as of a couple weeks ago (has been working on it for 9 months), and now I think we'll just "tread water" for a few weeks before jumping into Level C (2nd grade). We need to review some strategies/algorythms and help her learn to THINK. Overall she is doing very well in Maths but gets frustrated and mad quickly. When she has a good day, it's a GREAT day. One extreme to the next.

And here are just a few other examples of stuff we're in the middle of. I don't have photos yet of her Ancient History class work, or science - that'll be for another blog. Some of our other classes are mostly oral, or on the computer, so nothing to "show".

 In cello, we're on Theme from Witches' Dance by Paganini.

S took this whole week off work again. He began painting - but the rain and the threat of rain prevented him from painting more than just the well house at this point. On Thursday he and C went downtown and among other things, visited the Hunter Museum of Fine Art, which C enjoyed, I hear. I had other work to do so they had a nice "date day". C loved it.

We've had some rain the past few days and our "greens" are thriving. We picked spinach, Swiss chard and curly kale today, as well as ochra, carrots and some tomatoes. The carrots all look like multi-legged goblins - yes, the soil is not sandy enough. Next year I'll dig a trench and fill it with a sand mixture.

Heard the cataract ops went well! G and J are down in Florida for the weekend, visiting M's folk and family. S's parents will be up here next week for Alumni w/e. Maybe we'll have a photo or two of them for next time.

Happy Sabbath!

Friday, October 12, 2007

More Field Trips

We had two field trips this week which kept us busy. On Tuesday we went with friends to the Creative Discovery Museum for several fun hours. The 'travelling' exhibit was again on disabilities: "Kids like Me, Kids like You". The girls, C and A, enjoyed buzzing around on the wheelchairs and walking around wearing goggles to simulate blindness etc. Downstairs, we had an art class using colored chalk on black paper, making designs like Indian women do. The girls dug for dinosaurs and got really close to a large tarantula and corn snake. Unfortunately, C remembered the face painting table and this is the result:

The auditorium science show was about bubbles and the girls each got to be in one.

Our other field trip was on Thursday to the Ocoee River Farm where we did the usual hayride, petting farm (calves, goats, sheep), picking out a pumpkin, and 3 mazes - two large corn mazes and one shorter soybean one - bet you've never been in one of those! It was a chilly, breezy but sunny day and we were glad we brought long sleeved stuff.

Here is C enjoying the warm tire rim and some lovely sunshine.

The hayride took us over the hills and dales to a pumpkin patch.

The kids all picked out the "perfect" pumpkin and here it is!

After doing all the mazes, we were ready for a rest. And let's just say we were both ready for bed EARLY last night. Fresh air, sunshine and lots of exercise will do it every time.

S had most of the week off and seemed to accomplish quite a few maintenance jobs around the house which was nice. Right now he's outside finding more Messier objects in the clear night sky. Temps the past 2 nights have been in the mid to high 40's (around 5 - 7 for you Centigrade people) so we're finally getting cool. Tomorrow C plays cello for an assisted living center. Here she is a couple weeks ago on October 2 waiting to perform with her group.

 We hope the cataract surgeries went well, Dad. I'm sure we'll hear from you soon.
Have a blessed Sabbath and new week. Next week I plan to scan in some of C's school work. Totsiens for now.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Music news and more

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to sing some early music in the All Saint's Chapel at the University of the South at Sewanee, with our King's Quire group. The accoustics were amazing - such fun to listen to the long delay. S taped it from near the back and the sound mixed very well. Pretty soon you'll have to book us way in advance as our fame spreads....:-) Will let you know when, ha ha.

After a picnic supper outside in the beautiful moonlighted evening, we headed for home, with strains of Tallis and Byrd still in our ears.

On the way to Monteagle we hiked the Fiery Gizzard Trail nearby. This is one of the most lovely and well-kept secrets of east Tennessee. Most of the trail on the short 1 mile loop goes along the creek. Waterfalls and swimming holes abound.

On Tuesday night C got to play in her cello "choir" for the EDGE, (for educational excellence), award ceremony for AWSpalding. Three groups in total, played: the more advanced elementary orchestra, the beginner's orchestra and lastly, the little cello choir. They all sounded very good. The new string teacher, Rhonda Burnham, has done a wonderful job in the six weeks she's been teaching, building on the solid foundation laid by the previous teacher, Chris Chandler.

Tuesday we also had our bi-weekly history class. This week it was about Ancient Egypt. At the end of class they even got to make "mummies" with their dolls and toilet paper. Our Keepers club continued on the theme of Birds and we made bird seed cakes with a mixture of seed, corn syrup, gelatin, flour and water. So far the birds seem to be enjoying it - so do the squirrels. I've noticed the squirrels don't have the same smorgasbord of acorns and other goodies they usually have at this time of year. The acorns, for example, are very small. So I guess we shouldn't begrudge a few little sunflower seeds now and then. Caridee, our coon hound/beagle mix, thinks differently though - she loves to tree them.
Too bad they're such good tree hoppers - it's confounding to a hound!

Here is C in her Keepers of the Home uniform shirt.

Raewyn visited us again this week and we got to see the rest of her photos. She was planning on hanggliding that afternoon. Hope the weather was suitable.

C has had some croup this week and a wheeziness. We're hoping some Vicks Vapo rub and a humidifier will help ease the symptoms. Can't tell whether it's plain croup or larangitis, which some relatives had lately....her voice hasn't disappeared entirely though!
This photo is from our holiday to Florida 2 months ago. What?! Can't be that long!
Til later......