A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
We've been learning about cells and DNA these first 2 weeks of science. The kids are so cool--they've now built their own edible cells, know all the parts of the cell, built DNA models, AND they know what DNA stands for! They keep saying it over and over as they're building things or writing things: "Deoxyribonucleic Acid" Proud mom, right here!
Did you know that Wednesday comes from the Nordic god Woden? It used to be Wodensday. That's why there's a 'd' in the spelling. Just thought I'd throw that out there. I thought it was pretty cool.
Wednesdays have to be my new favorite day of the week. Our days are BUSY BUSY BUSY, as most people around me know. It's only going to get busier, but that's ok. We do really well with full schedules. However, Wednesday is the best.
On Wednesday early afternoon, I get to go to scripture class with some very lovely ladies where I'm always uplifted! I love this class! It is my weekly highlight!!!
The other thing I love about Wednesday is the afternoon classes I have scheduled for my kids. Josh is an electronics/engineering/robotics fanatic. Andrew looks up to his brother in all things. I don't have the first clue how to do any of that stuff, but Andrew needs/wants a working knowledge. Solution? Josh is teaching Andrew a class on electronics! I got a student/teacher manual to go with all the snap circuits we have, and Josh is taking his role as teacher, and Andrew as student, very seriously! They're having a marvelous time! Josh gave Andrew his first test today, and Andrew aced it! I love it!
While Josh is teaching Andrew, I had to think up something for Claire and Peter to do. So, I'm having Claire do 'babysitting 101'. :) She has to come up with ideas of activities/games/crafts, etc., for Peter and herself to enjoy for 1 hour WITHOUT my help or assistance whatsoever! Peter gets his Kindergarten play time (they've been playing kindergarten math games all afternoon), and Claire is learning how to be more of an independent thinker, which she REALLY needs. It's a win-win situation!
Soon, we'll be off to music classes, where Josh is taking violin, Claire is taking flute, and I'm teaching saxophone (of all the things to teach...)! After music, Josh is going to his very first Boy Scouts meeting, and the kids and I will hang out here and have art with grandma over Skype. Then, around 10pm, I'll pass out.
Then, at 5:30am, my alarm will ring and I'll do it all again. It may sound exhausting, but you know what? I LOVE IT!!! I'm SUPER excited to get out of bed every day! I feel fulfilled and joyful when I see the strides these kiddos are making! It's not always perfect and full of flowers and rainbows and butterflies, but I'm more than willing to take those cloudy/stormy days along with the ones full of sunshine.
As part of our Medieval Studies this year in history, we plan to celebrate each monthly feast from Medieval times. What better day to celebrate than the first day of school? We are using a book called 'Medieval Feasts and Festivals' and it gives detail on how feasts were run, what sorts of foods they ate, and many details on each of the monthly feasts of the year. It so happens that August is the feast of Lammas Day. I took a picture of the kids (and Devin) enjoying our lovely feast, printed it off, and used it as a journal entry for each of the kids. So, I will use their words to explain what the Lammas Day feast is all about:
Peter: St. (sit) Sm. Bkn. (bacon) TD. (teddy) Bn (Mr. Bean). (Plus many pictures of the bread creations they made to eat.)
Andrew: It was really fun and very filling! It was so cool! I learned the feast is about celebration. We celebrated Lammas Day, which is the feast of the bread. We ate pottage, roast chicken wings, pineapple and cherries. We 'brought home the bacon'! It was fun! We entertained people by dancing.
Claire: The courses in order: 1 Fruit, 2 Bacon, 3 soup (pottage), 4 chicken, 5 bread, bread, bread, bread, bread. It was really fun! After I got into my pajamas, we did a peasant dance with me, Andrew and Dad. The festival Lammas Day, is in honor of bread, bacon, and harvest.
Josh: I loved preparing for this feast! Making all the different flavours of bread was so fun! We lit candles on the table and turned off the lights for the best effect. We had five different courses and each of them were so good!
And there you have it! It was a fantastic feast and good times were had by all. Here's to hoping all our feastly celebrations are as successful as this one! :)
We finished it off with celebratory 'peasant' dancing.
I absolutely love watching my kids create. They're pretty amazing young people and can be so passionate! Here are some of our creations lately:
Mini Lego City!! Andrew and Peter spent 2 entire days working on this Lego mini city. They have a book that gives ideas of things to do with Legos, so they thought, "hey, let's make a miniature city!", and off they went! They were so proud of their creation!
Space Challenge!! Josh is doing Lego Robotics right now, and he's working on a space challenge that has him creating a mock mission to Mars. It's pretty complicated and impressive! I love the concentration and dedication he puts into this! He spends every waking minute (that I let him) over at the computer and the Legos putting this together and programming it all in!
Rainbow Loom and Beading!! Claire is always hard at work creating beautiful works of art that you can wear. She makes necklaces and bracelets and is always giving them away to friends. Many times, I will pass her room and she'll have Andrew and Peter at work with her, stringing beads together and talking about whom they're going to give them to! :)
We're studying the Romans right now, so I found an 'excavation' kit where you dig through the clay and find the 'ancient' artifacts. This one has Roman coins! They're hard at work using shishkabob skewers to painstakingly scratch away the clay to find the hidden objects. The screams of "I think I found something!!" is met with, "Cool! Let's find out which one it is!" and it makes my heart happy.
What is that dark spot in the pool??
It's my newest Fishy!! :) Peter started swim lessons for the first time last week, and he is LOVING it!! I've been pleasantly surprised how quickly he's catching on, and I finally don't feel super mega adrenaline rushes and mini heart attacks every time he gets into the pool! Hooray! :)
Claire and Andrew are also taking lessons, and it's so fun to watch them learning all the strokes! Hooray for summer swimming...and the fact that this counts as PE!!! Bwahahaha! See? The learning never ends! :D
This week has been a busy one. I had the opportunity to help out with the summer camp at the embassy. We did lots of crafty things and science experiments (tornadoes in a jar, volcanoes, sensory activities, etc.), and we wore ourselves out swimming. It was fun, and I definitely have MUCH more respect for Jessica--my friend who's running the thing this year! Kudos to you, my friend! What an undertaking! I only did part of the day, and I wasn't even in charge--and I was WORN OUT! Maybe I'm just getting lazy, since I only watch 4 kids all day long.
Anyway, an interesting side note to this, was the fact that my boys suffered. They were totally worn out. They became aggressive and grumpy and totally uncooperative. Yes, all of them. Poor Josh. He was down in the dumps and angry at everyone. I didn't know what to do!! THEN, Thursday came. That afternoon, right after the afternoon craft for summer camp, Josh and I ran over to the first Lego Robotics class. Wow. THIS is what the kid needed. He smiled the whole time. He was kind, helpful, thoughtful, and polite. He was focused (and it wasn't on the book he was listening to on his ipod)! He was transformed! Look at his happy face! :)
So, his new addiction is his little Lego robot. He's been playing with the software, finding problems, trying to fix them, and generally enjoying himself doing something that seems just second nature to him. Anything robotic, electronic or computer related he is taking to like it's a second skin. I love watching it! I don't understand anything he talks about, but he does. He's doing robotics, plus I'm having him do these workbooks on electronic circuit boards. It's fascinating to watch, since I give him reading assignments before he puts stuff together. I quiz him on all of his reading, and he knows it backwards and forwards...and I STILL have no idea what he's talking about! Oh well. I am not mechanically minded. I don't know much about electronics, robotics, computers, etc., but that's ok. I'm happy that he's found a niche, and I love to watch him delve in and learn about it. This is my joy.
For those of you wondering what the heck we've been doing with our time here in America, I'm pleased to present a quick-view of our trip! I will eventually elaborate and add some better photos than just what's on my phone, but this is better than nothing at all! :-)
And that brings us to the present...where the rest of my family are outside roasting marshmallows and making s'mores while I'm in hiding... Life is good.
Meet 'LDS Panda'.
My boys are SO silly! Today is the Sabbath--and this is what they did in their room. They dressed up their stuffed animals as if they were going to church, and took pictures.
And in other silly news--the kids are getting ready for bed. That's not silly in and of itself, but as I'm sitting here typing, Devin is 'helping' them brush their teeth: He's humming "If I Were a Rich Man" (Fiddler on the Roof) and chasing the kids around the back room. These things do a mom's heart good.
"It's lovely Bobbing Along! Bobbing along at the bottom of the Beautiful Briny Sea!"
For the past few weeks, Devin, Josh and I have been taking our classes for scuba certification. This weekend, we DID IT! Woohoo! We went down to Aqaba (the Red Sea) and completed our open water certification and even got to do a couple of 'fun dives'. What an amazing experience! I was flying! I flew over the top of corals and fishes, a shipwreck and a tank! I saw Nemo and Dory--the whole cast of Finding Nemo, actually--angel fish, flute fish, puffer fish, stone fish, LOTS of lion fish, glass fish, sea horses, scorpion fish, moray eels, ETC... Plus all the different kinds and colors of corals. Wow. It was so pretty! We saw about 10 lion fish living inside of an old abandoned tank under the water (along with everything else that lived on that thing)! We explored an old shipwreck of 'The Cedar Pride'. By the mast there were lion fish hanging around and a huge school of glass fish--and I swam right through the middle of the glass fish! It made me laugh! They were so cute--they just sat there in front of my mask and looked at me! (It's a weird sensation to giggle underwater. Just thought I'd throw that in.)
Josh is currently working on his KidVid (basically it's a documentary of Jordan from his perspective for an FS competition next year), so we bought an underwater video camera! He took lots of very short videos. Maybe I'll be able to post a couple. It's pretty amazing! Even with a video documenting the fact that we were all there UNDER the water, it's still hard to believe! :) I LOVED it and can't wait to go back and do it again! The hardest part: Walking into the water with 4 million pounds of stuff strapped to your back, and walking back out of the water with 4 million pounds of stuff strapped onto your back--especially after being weightless for 30+ minutes. Amazing. How cool is it that we went scuba diving in the Red Sea? Yah, we're pretty blessed.
Continuing with our preschool journey through phonics for Peter, we did the letter 'O' this week. I couldn't think of a whole lot of treats with the letter 'O' (we're out of oatmeal, so no oatmeal cookies or anything). So, we walked on up to the local donut place in the circle by our house and got donuts, because they LOOK like 'O's!! Then, to wash it all down and keep with the letter, we got Orange Juice.
Doesn't he look happy?
This post was brought to you by the Jordanian Donuts Factory and the H Mart in the Abdoun Circle. Oh, and the letter 'O'.
Well, here we go! Our first confined water dive in our scuba certification class! And I thought it was appropriate to put in this picture that shows that, yes, Josh is officially taller than me. Crazy, eh? Isn't he only 11? Yes. Yes, he is.
Our first dive was pretty amazing! I have to admit that I was super nervous before we started. I did study, and I have all the logistics in my head, but it's never cemented in until you do it! :) But it was like second nature--and the COOLEST THING EVER to just swim around the bottom of a 3 meter deep pool and pretend I was a barracuda while singing that song from Bedknobs and Broomsticks..."It's lovely bobbing along; bobbing along on the bottom of the beautiful briny sea!" Ha! One of the interesting things that I've realized about scuba is that I can't chat with people while I'm looking at this super cool stuff in the water--so I'll be talking to myself. Huh. This will be interesting!
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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