Friday, April 23, 2010

A Pottery Field Trip

We did take a couple of "educational" trips shortly after James arrived home from Afghanistan. Homeschooling makes it quite nice by being able to call any family vacation a "field trip". We ventured up to Philadelphia for a couple of days and also hit our local aquarium.

Today, however, was our first official field trip since James returned back to work. Its been a while and I have a few more trips I would like to get done before school is over in May. So, we hit two places today because they sort of walk hand in hand with each other. (That, and they were about a mile apart from each other.)

Our first stop was a local clayworks museum.

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They have about 13 resident artists and a couple others who they showcase from time to time. According to their website, the big gallery opened at the end of March, but when I showed up, they informed me that tomorrow night is opening night. Oh well, we walked through the resident artists gallery for a few minutes instead. We saw some very beautiful pieces, but Chloe got bored rather quickly. That could be due, in part, to what came next on the agenda.

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Oh yes. This was definitely a hit. Chloe couldn't quite decide which piece she wanted to paint and so I narrowed down the options for her by directing her to pieces which didn't require a lot of detail painting. She finally settled on the ballet slipper.

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I showed her the art on the walls in their various stages of completion. She seemed quite fascinated with the fact that before they are glazed and fired they are quite dull but when we pick them up next week they will be bright and shiny. She can hardly wait to go pick them up. (I say "them" because we also painted a plate for Grandma while we were there."

Now I am trying to decide where to take her next week for a field trip. I have a few more places in mind for the rest of the year.

- Music store
- Zoo (she hasn't been since she was 18 months)
- Aviation Park (to watch the planes taking off and landing)
- Plant nursery (we are going to make a fairy garden that she will be responsible for)
- children theater
- Opera

Have a blessed day all day long. I will try to keep posting regularly on this blog. I am sorry for the lack of posts lately but we've been adjusting to having James home again. Its been wonderful having him back.

Week 28 Review

You would be hard pressed for an answer if asked whether or not we homeschool, wouldn't you? I mean, from the lack of posting on this here blog regarding our homeschooling journey you could surmise that we don't. Well, I am happy to inform you that while I have not posted on our homeschooling blog in quite some time, we are still plugging away each day with school.

A couple of updates for you since I have no clue when I last updated you all. Let's see here. We gave up with the Math curriculum I purchased. I did not like it at all. I chose Singapore Math but little did I know it didn't come with a teacher's guide. Each day I would be halfway through the lesson and realize I needed things in order to be able to finish the lesson. About half, if not more, of the lessons required a room full of students. Or at least a few more than one. It was hard trying to teach one child some of their concepts without the rest of the students. I decided to quit math for preschool and to try out Horizons Math for kindergarten next year. I am planning on giving her a test to see exactly where she is at for math. She might be higher than the kindergarten level too. Wanna know what makes me think so?

Apparently, the girl can read. Yup. We were driving to Walmart the other day and she read the sign "Walmart" out loud. (maybe she recognized the store?) Then she informed me that "Walmart has mart in it. Mart is sort of like smart."

Huh, WHAT? Where on earth did she learn this??? Okay. Here's the true test.

I asked her, "What do you have to do to make mart into smart?" She promptly replied, "You just put an S in front of it and then its smart."

Okay. When did my child learn how to read? I have never taught her. I went onto the Sonlight website and took the reading placement test. So, Chloe reads enough words that she can start with Readers 1. Wow! She read the words eggs, naps, lid, pet and mix. She refused to read any more for me, so I am unsure whether she can read them and won't, or if she can't read them at all. Interesting that she knew these words and I have never taught her to read. It makes me wonder with the math too. Maybe she is further along than I know her to be or give her credit for. Both the math and the handwriting that we picked for preschool were beneath her abilities that she got bored with them quickly.

So, week 28 has been completed and we will be working on weeks 29 and 30 next week. We doubled up a couple of weeks since we did miss quite a bit of school with our two blizzards and James return home from Afghanistan. My goal is to finish school by the end of May. We will take a month off for summer break and then start kindergarten in July. We will most likely be moving to England this fall and so I would like to get a head start on the school year before we move. That way, we can take time off of school during the move and not worry about getting behind.

We took a field trip today so I will post that next. Have a blessed day.