A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
I'm feeling a little tired today. It's been a fun weekend full of, well, not much..and yet, everything. Yesterday was supposed to be nice and laid back. I suppose it was, compared to our norm. However, we spent the day at violin lessons, grocery shopping, and then sprucing up the house. The kids and I played some games. Mostly, though, I've been at the computer getting some school stuff done. I just finished writing the Mid-Term for my kids. Yes, my kids take tests, too. It's a 13 page comprehensive midterm. I have on it Poetry, Earth Science, Astronomy, Reading and Literature, History, Geography... And each one of my kids will have a page of spelling and math, too. Funny story, though: I told Josh that I was writing a midterm test, and he smiled and said, "Cool". Yes Josh, it is cool. And so are you.
I've also been writing Literature Units. I decided that the kids need to have a little more done with their reading. They read a LOT, but I'm not always involved in it. So, Josh and I are going to read The Hobbit together. Claire requested Alice in Wonderland. I've spent the past few days organizing materials to make them some pretty fantastic lit units. Each chapter will have vocabulary, comprehension questions, essay questions, quotations, extension activities, and other little things. Plus, they'll do a big final project at the end. THEN, after we've read it, we'll get to watch the movie(s) and write a paper comparing and contrasting the book vs the film. I'm pretty excited! One of Josh's friends is going to join Josh in his lit unit, so Josh will be having a class with a friend! I think it will be pretty neat!
I must say, I'm sort of tired of sitting in front of the computer. Luckily, the midterm test will be this Thursday (yes, my kids are taking a big test on Thanksgiving morning...but that way Devin will be here to help me out, since this is going to be a little intense and Peter won't have anything to do), which will lift a bit of stress off my shoulders. Maybe I should post my cute little test on here and you can see how you'd do! Ha! Are you smarter than a 5th grader? That was a good show. Maybe I should watch it. It could give me some good ideas.
I'm in denial. My oldest son is 11 years old. How can this be? I'm only 16! Regardless of how old he is or I am... He is one great kid! I'm so proud of the strides he's made in school and in his ability to be responsible and respectful. He thinks of others often before himself. He is intelligent and full of ideas! He makes every day fun and interesting. I love you, Joshua! Happy birthday! Next year, you'll be taller than me. *sigh*
You know, I was looking at Josh's picture and thinking that if I were his teacher, he wouldn't be slouching in his chair and he would hold his bow a little differently.... he he he...
Today has been one of those days. So far today we've managed a brunch at the embassy, violin lessons, and grocery shopping. Still on the menu is a visit to a family, a primary party, and a fireside. This is why I haven't posted much lately. Every day seems to be like this. I do need to sit down and post some things, though!!
Today, as I watched my little (ok, not so little) Joshua playing his violin, I realized that I had my phone with me, so I got a picture of our rising musician. He loves it, and I'm happy that he does. Music is an important part of life.
The kids and I went on a field trip to the Terra Rosa olive pressing factory! We brought along our little friend, Flat Stanley, so he cameos in many of the pictures here. :)
It was totally fascinating! We saw the entire process from start to finish--they pick the olives by hand, put them in these huge bins or bags, then they're all poured into a bin where they're sorted, washed, smashed, ETC until everything is separated and they end up with olive oil! They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'm going to put a few thousand words' worth of pictures up to show the process:
All of the kids (including Peter) said it was the best field trip EVER. Of course, my happy-go-lucky kids think pretty much every outing is the best ever, and it did help that they got food and juice and their very own bottle of fresh olive oil at the end of the tour! :) It was sure fun to learn about the olive oil making process, though. It went well with our Greek History unit, as the Greeks tell the story of their city, Athens, and how it was named after the goddess Athena because she gave the city the gift of the olive tree. Olives are pretty versatile!
(I also have to add here, don't you think Josh is creepily big? Not sure if I like this growing up thing...)
For the second half of our 'day off' of Veteran's Day, on our way back from Um Qais, we stopped by Ajloun Castle! Now this is a pretty cool castle. It's not a serious rubble pile like most of the castles here. the kids LOVED it (probably because it was MUCH cooler temperature wise than Um Qais, and because there was a roof overhead through most of the castle. Shade and cooler temperatures do wonders for the temperament and enjoyment...)! We didn't have much time to explore, so we made the most of it by looking into every nook and cranny! It's always so wonderful to be outside!!
It's Veteran's Day, which gives us an American holiday to roam around the country without worrying about crowds. ha! Plus, we could give Flat Stanley a real tour of Jordan!
So, our vacation day is in two parts. Part one, is Um Qais. Um Qais is the ruins of a city up on a hill in the northwest corner of Jordan. In this spot we could see Israel, Syria and Lebanon! A good safe spot to be standing... *cough* It overlooks the Sea of Galilee, so now we've been all around the Sea of Galilee (or Lake Tiberius as it is now known).
Um Qais has some pretty impressive ruins and a lovely view. We enjoyed exploring and finding pretty carved columns, and columns with REALLY cool patterns (made our of some pretty impressive stone--marble, probably), sparkly rocks, 'shops', and amphitheater... it was pretty cool!
We're currently doing a year-long study of Astronomy. Right now, we're studying the sun. We very luckily got to see a tiny partial eclipse...and now we're burning holes through leaves using magnifying glasses and the intense heat of the Middle Eastern sun! We all had a blast making holes in leaves and burning them in half! :) Honestly, I was skeptical, as I'd never done it before--but we had no problems watching our leaves burst into little flames! So COOOL!
Halloween was a marathon of parties that lasted from about the 30th of October until the 2nd of November. Good times with dressing up and getting LOTS of candy!!
We started off with the Embassy party on Halloween (actually, the parties started with Claire's birthday, but that's already been told).
The Embassy Party
We trick or treated through two of the embassy buildings, then ate cookies at the ambassador's house and chatted with friends. Good times!
The Primary Party
Our next party was put on by the youth in our church for the little primary kids! They did a great job!! They had games all set up, then all the kids went 'trick or treating' through the house to different rooms where moms were waiting with the candy. The kids didn't like my room, because I gave them stickers, pencils, erasers, and little toys instead of candy. Hurts to be healthy... Ha!
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!
by Dan Brown
I like that the plot twists and turns a lot...and it makes you think. However, I don't appreciate Dan Brown's endings in his books. I find the endings incongruent with the rest of his stories--why make it a romance for the last chapter...
I loved this book. I'm a sucker for fairy tales/fantasy. This was so well written! I can't wait to read all the rest of her books!
I'm reading this one again. I liked it the first time I read it. I'm still liking it for the second time around. I like all of Shannon Hales' books. **Still lots of fun the second time around! I do like this book for a comfortable...