Thursday, August 27, 2009

Finding our Place

Ok, so we are new to this homeschooling and routine is what we are trying for here but there is not always going to be a set curriculum exactly. When I taught in Wilmington for several homeschool families, what I loved most was finding that special something that really peaked a kids interest. You can tell the difference when you find what they are really diggin at the time. Teaching for me is a lot like going down a river...sometimes the flow is slow and smooth and sometimes it's like class 4 rapids. I must be a closet adrenalin junkie because sometimes I like the rapids more. Things are flowing smoothly in the Muddy Schoolhouse for now which is fine by me because my rapids are in the pottery studio right now trying to get ready for my fall show season and making enough to keep my galleries stocked for the end of the year....whew! I could use a few more people to row the boat with me right now.
So over the course of this week...we have been taking it one day at a time and really talking about how we want to have each particular day flow. To make the routine thing stick we have kinda themed each day with a fun name like "Muffins, Music and Math Monday" or "Wacky Word Game Wednesday". We have made Tuesday and Thursday "TV Free" that means no one can watch any television on these days. Thursday is slotted to be the day with an emphasis on science and nature so today we talked about butterflies. Cammy has been nuts about the butterflies in the yard lately....and this is where I am going with the flow ...I didn't plan on studying butterflies yet but it's what Cammy has a spark for right now. This week she has been screaming for me to get the camera everytime she sees a new butterfly. She is convinced that she has seen "that really rare one that flies to the mountains in Mexico every year" so we delved into the world of butterflies today. We greeted the day with a new poem on the chalkboard. I found this beautiful poem and wrote it down in one of my journals but do not remember where or when I found it, but it fit the day perfectly.It reads:

Come bright butterfly close to me
Your beautiful wings I should like to see
You fly like a bird, You sip like a bee
But you're really a flower the wind set free

After breakfast and reciting the poem I had Cammy rewrite the poem in her journal. We practiced folding paper in half and cutting and then painted these beautiful butterflies Rorschach ink blot style. We only painted wings on one side of the paper and then folded it in half so it would copy itself and print onto the other half. Cammy loved was so magical the way they copied themselves.
Karma could only watch for so long before she had to get her hands into the paint as well.
They came out so beautiful didn't they!
I told you she really got into it ....there were more than this...I didn't have enough clothespins to hang them all.

This one is one of my favorites. Cammy thought it looked like a praying mantis and insisted on teaching me how to paint this special design.
While we were busy painting butterflies Karma got into the bag of pipe cleaners that were intended to be antennas. Cammy offered to clean them up but she had ulterior motives ....
She was so proud of this butterfly that she constructed from the pipe cleaner spill.
Cammy fancies herself as an author and loves to write chapter books. Her current book in progress is called Karma Kong and features her baby sister as the main character. Today just for fun and a break from writing in her story journal we got out the clay she was to create a line of Karma Kong toy figurines. Great fun was had by all upon seeing Karma Kong change forms.
The work in clay inspired even more Karma Kong forms to reveal themselves. Here she has made Bouncy Karma Kong and Bluehair. We had a lot of fun learning today balanced with some old school style book work as well. Cammy wrote her spelling word sentences. We did some fun math with a timer seeing what kinds of things could be done in a minute ie. put on your coat? tie your shoes? write your name 10 times? say your abc's? count to 100? You get the picture. Maps are frustrating her right now because she wants to be able to draw a really complex map but just doesn't have all the skills she needs yet. I am going slow on this one and introducing one or two very basic concepts at a time.
Cammy has been begging to do a science experiment from a slime chemistry set that I found at the thrift store. Today was science day so we got down the set and made our own version of silly putty.

Here is a little glimpse of what Muddy Mama is up to in the afternoons. Most of our intense schooling is done in the morning by lunch time and then after I get Karma down for her nap promptly after lunch I get "Muddy Muse Time". This has been working out great for us. We are homeschooling and I'm getting more mud time. Mark does his work in the mornings...shipping and computer work or any sales calls we need to make and then he takes over on kid duty in the afternoon.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are really getting into this! Welcome to the world of insanity...I like the class 4 rapids, too :)

    I love the paintings. They are lovely!!


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