A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
We take part in the most amazing co-op! This semester, I'm going to be teaching the kids a cooking class! So, I decided that since cooking is very much a hands-on/contact sport and if it doesn't work, I KNOW the tears that ensue--so we're doing some advance prep. We had a mini cooking class where the kids tried out all the recipes I had prepared just to be sure that the ingredients and combinations worked well. We made Lemon Poppyseed, Apple Cinnamon, and Chocolate Chocolate Chip! Mmmmm...
The kids had a great time (especially eating the muffins afterwards!) and I feel much more prepared for my class...I hope!!
No, she did NOT get a haircut! She slept in curlers and this is what happened! Ha! She looked at herself in the mirror after the curlers came out and said, "Huh. So now I know what it's like to have short hair! I like long hair, though. But now I can have short hair whenever I want without getting a haircut!" Smart kid. :) What a cutie!
When I was growing up, there was a commercial about legos that sang a song about Zach the Lego Maniac (those of you who remember this are singing this song in your heads right now...sorry). In our house, Andrew is the Lego Maniac! He only builds one thing, though: A storm chaser car (also known as the 'TIV'--but this vehicle he's holding is the 'TIV 2'). He builds a super heavy-duty vehicle complete with satellites and drivers and he plays with it for hours, chasing tornadoes. I think he's watched too many documentaries...he's on a first name basis with all the guys who do storm chasing! He's decided that for his 6th grade trip, he wants to go to Texas and see a tornado. He's planning to save his allowance for the rest of his life so that he (and Josh) can buy a motorhome and a storm chaser car and become storm chasers. Oh boy. At least he's dedicated.
So, homeschooling isn't a piece of cake. It really isn't. It sure takes a lot of work. And even when you put in a whole lot of work, it still may not even seem to work. Such is the way of everything, really, I suppose...
However, today, we had what seemed to me as the epitome of homeschooling days, so I just had to share, because who KNOWS when and if this will ever happen again! (I really am trying to think positively and hoping that it will happen again someday, but if it doesn't, at least I have one shining day to look back upon...)
First, we started out our day with our usual fun: Calendar, Pledge, Life of Fred (the BEST math book series in the ENTIRE WORLD, by the way!!!) Then we went on to some other fun subjects...
For History, we're doing The Ancients this year, and right now we're looking at the Indus Valley. I read a little snippet from Story of the World (a great history book, by the way!), then we put on 'sari's (wrapped sheets around ourselves in a decorative fashion, as seen in the picture), and I read them 'Once A Mouse' which is an Indian legend. (Peter put the Viking hat on his head and ran around the house yelling, "I'm Burger King!" I have no idea why he was doing that, but it was sure funny!)
We learned that the people of the Indus Valley used elephants to help them farm, so that let right into our Unit study this month, which is animals. So, we did a focus on elephants. We read from a National Geographic book about elephants and talked about how funny it would be to farm with elephants.
Then, off we went for snack time. We ate hummus and veggies, I threw a one hour loaf of bread into the bread maker (my best friend, by the way) then we had a half an hour (yes, a FULL half an hour) of quiet reading time! Andrew lays on my bed, Peter sits in the reading corner in the play room, Josh bundles up on the couch in the family room, and Claire curls up on the couch in the living room (I sit in the hallway on the floor so I can supervise...)! And they all read books (even Peter!!!!) for the entire half hour! WOW!!!
At the end of our half hour, the bread was ready, so we popped in a Planet Earth documentary (BBC just rocks. You can't beat their documentaries narrated by David Attenburough Seriously. If you haven't watched any, you should.) about Deserts to see if we could see any elephants (we did--and it was pretty awesome), while we ate our hot bread (well, the KIDS ate the hot bread anyway...I ate some peanuts...) and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! :)
Cutest thing EVER!
After our documentary time, we had our individual time: Andrew and I did some reading lessons together and read some books and did some fun math lessons; Claire and I did some fun math and read some stories together and drew some pictures; Josh and I read a funny math book, did some reviews on square roots and multiplication of large numbers and read "Island of the Blue Dolphins" together...and while I was in with the kids individually, all the others took care of Peter! They played with him outside, and showed him their typing games on the computer, and did puzzles with him, and Claire and Peter played with stuffed animals on my bed for well over an hour. Wow.
After our individual time, Claire and Josh decided they wanted to make cookies. By themselves. So they did. I was not allowed to even enter the room (well, except to take pictures)! They also planned a side dish for dinner, and made mashed potato ghosts--which turned out REALLY well--and were very yummy!
After dinner, to wind up our best day ever, we had an art class with grandma via Skype and did potato prints.
We had such a fun day learning and playing together. But I have to admit, that even on the days when I feel like we don't get ANYTHING accomplished, I'm still SO thankful that I have my kids home with me. I sure love them! I wouldn't have it any other way.
Peter drew his first car today! He loves to draw on the white board while we're having school. :) What a cutie!
Does anyone else ever get that Blah feeling? Where you just don't have any energy nor desire to do ANYTHING? And that everything that you ARE doing just isn't good enough?? (which, of course, leads to more blahs because since what you're working so hard to do just isn't cutting it, you may as well just give it all up??) Blah.
I was really surprised the first day we had snow. Imagine my surprise when we had a SECOND day of snow!! We even ended up with a good 6 inches on the ground! The kids loved it--and even though we are definitely NOT equipped for it anymore, they insisted on playing in it as much as possible. It was so pretty, but made driving not so fun. They closed the embassy and pretty much every store in the city (sort of like Washington D.C. in the snow), which made our planned outings impossible. Sad. But, we enjoyed some quiet family time at home.
Most of these pictures were taken last night. It was so quiet and peaceful with a light blanket of snow!
What do we do during a snow day stuck inside? Play basketball, of course! :) Love these guys!!!
Happy Birthday To You!!
Or lack thereof... We had all sorts of plans for the day, but they sort of revolved around good weather and clear roads. It poured all day Monday, all night Monday night, all day yesterday, all night last night...talk about some SERIOUS flooding!!!! And well, I'll get to the weather in a minute...
We didn't get the clear roads, so we stayed home all day. Peter didn't seem to mind too much, though. We made a YUMMY coconut cake with cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries! (yes, I ate it--I made it with coconut flour and maple syrup and instead of wheat and sugar, and it was FABULOUS!!!!! Have I ever mentioned I have celiacs?) Our lunch consisted of fresh bread, salami, cheese and vegetarian cherry jello (Devin said it tasted just like asparagus), steak and onions and cabbage (that part was for me...)! Peter requested pasta for dinner (surprise, surprise) so we had pasta, hamburger, sliced cheese and chocolate milk. He's a minimalist. :)
Heavy, Heavy Hang Over Your Poor Head!
His favorite gift of the birthday? A box of 5 matchbox cars from grandma!!! They were a HUGE hit and the boys spent the next few HOURS driving them around the living room! :) It even trumped the remote controlled Lightning McQueen car that Claire and I found at a local toy shop (so not really McQueen--a knock-off--but still, it LOOKS like him....but I suppose it's not surprising since I totally forgot to get batteries, so it really wasn't overly useful since it wouldn't 'go')! He was so excited to be the star for the day! He watched 'The League of Incredible Vegetables' (Veggie Tales), played legos and cars with Andrew and Josh, played outside in the 'snow', took a really long bubble bath, ate LOTS of food, watched 'Despicable Me' on the big screen, and generally had an all-around great day. Hopefully it won't be snowing on Saturday so we can go to a fun place to play with a few of his little buddies and celebrate his birthday with some friends.
Nasty Slushy Mess!
Oh, did I mention that it was snowing? Yes. ALL DAY!!! It's super slushy nasty stuff, and we have this seriously heavy icy accumulation on our back 'yard' (about 2-3 inches!) that the kids have been playing in all day. Sadly, we don't have the equipment to really enjoy it anymore--so the kids didn't last long enough for me to find the camera. Claire built a snowman and the boys had a snowball fight and they all came back inside sopping wet, freezing cold, and happy as clams. Whatever.
The weirdest part about it, apart from the fact that it's snowing, is that there's been thunder and lightning all day, too!! What? I HAVE heard lightning once during a snow (it was in Finland, and it surprised me then, too), but it went on ALL day! As a matter of fact, it's still going on! I was reading to the kids (tangent alert: we're reading the Trumpet of the Swan--how come I've never read this book before?? It's so cute!!!) and had lightning flash through the window with a very close clap of thunder a couple of times--I even had to stop reading because it was too loud and the kids couldn't hear me! So weird... I wonder why it does that? I need to find out. No. Wait. I should get the KIDS to find out!! :D
Devin went to work this morning, and by noon the embassy was closed and he 'had' to come home. The kids were ecstatic and said it was because of Peter's birthday! So, we were blessed to have Devin with us today. It's always nice to have some surprise time with him. :)
I think it's funny that they close things all down when there are a few snow flurries, but I can understand it. It rarely snows here. People drive crazy even in the RAIN here--they just don't know how to do it! There is no drainage, so there are floods everywhere. Add to that some ice, and it's seriously dangerous--plus this place is one steep hill after another. I don't think are ANY flat roads at all. Claire and I went to the store this morning at about 8:30 because I was out of eggs and olive oil and thought it would be fun to get a few little treats for the birthday. On our way out, a big truck rushed past us and hit his brakes as he got to the intersection...but he didn't stop!! SKID!! That's when I knew we weren't going to go out today. And that was before the majority of the snow fell. And they don't have plows here. It's sort of like Rexburg... :D So take some crazy drivers who only know how to go really fast and then slam on their brakes, add some steep hills, then add an inch or two of slushy snow, and you have the makings of some problems. I feel so lame staying home when I know I can drive in this, but I don't trust other people, so I will follow the suggestions of others around the area and just hibernate a little. It's supposed to continue tomorrow, but then we have a few weeks of sunshine heading our way again. That will be nice!
It's POURING...Silly Kids...
Why is it that when it's a beautiful day, the kids just want to stay inside and do nothing...but when it's raining cats and dogs and hailing all over the place, they have to bundle up and run outside as fast as they can? Just wondering...
This morning, I whipped out the new 'weather station' that I got for school--so now we have a classroom weather station! It's a barometer, hydrometer, and thermometer--and we are so excited to be able to predict the weather every day! :)
It's been raining cats and dogs all day. Wow. This is reminiscent of our time in Africa! Wow. Again. Yes, it needs to be repeated. In a country that is the 4th poorest in water in the WORLD, that was a LOT of rain. And due to the fact that it hardly ever rains here, the drainage is BAD, so when it rains, it floods like mad everywhere! We made an appointment to go to an Animal Hospital today to go see some of the animals and just getting there and around town was a supreme adventure in and of itself! Ha! The boys in the back (who are storm-aholics) kept yelling out that it was a class one hurricane and any moment there was going to be a tornado and look at the flood and the hail! A multipurpose field trip, if you ask me! The kids LOVED zooming through the huge 'puddles' and battling the winds and rains that pounded us! So fun to have some weather! (And I'm SO glad it doesn't last long
Doing a rain dance!
The Animal hospital was interesting--we saw lots of dogs and cats (of course), bunnies, hamsters, chickens, horses, a donkey, a cow, a vulture, some falcons and eagles, an owl--they had a little of everything! It was sort of like a miniature zoo! The smell was pretty terrible, and the kids walked around with their jackets on over their noses--Claire would put hand sanitizer on her hands then hold them up to her face until the scent wore off and do it again. Not sure that was the smartest thing to do, but she didn't appear to be getting drunk off of the fumes or anything, so I let her. :D
After the Animals Hospital, we went on a long explore! (Did I mention it took us an hour to get to the place in the first place because I got lost and couldn't figure out how to put the name into the GPS so I could find it? I had to call and ask for directions twice--and their directions took me about 10km off-course! Doh!! When we got near to the airport, I stopped and did some experimenting with the GPS to see if I could find it and finally found the right combination! I NEVER would have found the place without the GPS. That was money well-spent. Why can't I get that reimbursed as homeschool fieldtrip fodder? Seriously people!) We found a really cool BIG park by the Animal Hospital that is all trees and big boulders! The kids can't wait to go back when it's dry and climb all the boulders! We wanted to find a library, too. So, I put in Library on the GPS and found one semi-close to home. We followed the directions to where it was supposed to be and could not find it. We drove up and down between 1st and 2nd circle a few times, then we just parked so we could get out and walk to see if walking slowly down the road could help us find it. It was SUPER windy and really cold, but the rain was only down to a slight drizzle as we walked down the sidewalk (and sometimes the road...), but we couldn't find it!! As we were walking back to the car, the rain started to POUR again! Yikes! So the wind was blowing our hoods off and the rain was pouring down--by the time we got back to the car we were all soaked and frozen! ha! Luckily, we weren't far from home. On our way home, we FINALLY saw the library--but didn't notice it because the signs are only in Arabic. I wonder if that means that it's only an Arabic library? I still want to find out. But we didn't then, because we were soaking wet. As we drove home, we were close to 4th circle where we turn off to go home, and about 4 cars ahead of us, and HUGE tree was blown down by the wind and blocked the ENTIRE road!!!! Yikes!!! Luckily, I knew right where we were, so I made a quick U-Turn before everyone else did, too, and headed back one block to a back way that runs by the church. Whew! So, we made it home without any other incident! Hooray!
We came home to a clean house (LOVE the days Devika is there!!) and so I made dough and for Family Home Evening, we made pizzas! (I made this creamy shrimp bisque for myself--and it was divine!!) Overall, a good day for finding new things!
Who Am I?
As a Stay At Home Mom of 4 wonderful children, I have the amazing opportunity not only to home school them, but to do so in many different places! I am married to the most amazingly wonderful (and handsome) man in the whole world! Together, we seek out, every day, that Joy in the Journey that makes life exciting!
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