Well, if you live along the east-coast, or in the Midwest, you are aware of the heatwave we are experiencing. Which sucks, yes; however, it is just the middle of summer, and summer here has been pretty mild thus far.
I do feel so sorry for all the children getting ready to head back to school this week. They don’t really get to experience much of the thrills of summer at all.
I could mention, again how this is another wonderful benefit of homeschooling; being able to set our own schedule, that works best for our family. How educating year-round, allows us time to enjoy the best each season has to offer. However, I’m just not feeling it right now.
My brain instead, is thinking about how little of childhood future generations will actually get to experience, and how this might end for them later on down the road. Mental illness is already a big problem right now, how will taking away more and more of children’s play time add to this problem?
When Sky was of age to start Kindergarten, a bill was passed in our district for mandatory all-day Kindergarten. Now, I have been following the fight for mandatory all-day preschool. “If we can just start educating them earlier……., Early education……..” As any homeschooler could tell you, early education is not the problem. Earlier, does not automatically mean better.
Personally, all I am hearing is how I am not capable of helping my child learn their ABCs, numbers, and colors, so I need the government to step in to do it for me. Which I then question, why would I want to send my children to the same system, that I graduated from, that left me incapable of helping my child learn those things?!
This blog alone, proves otherwise. Not only am I capable of helping my children learn to read, I am capable of educating them through high-school. However for the sake of argument, let us pretend this blog doesn’t exist.
My grandmother didn’t finish 8th grade. She took care of me while my parents worked, until I graduated from 8th grade. How she raised me, pretty much resembles what a Waldorf Kindergarten looks like.
Our days revolved around a “rhythm”, or a schedule. Through everyday play (she had very few toys, forcing me to use my imagination), watching Sesame Street, and my grandma spending time with me playing games, working puzzles, and answering any questions I might have had (before Google), I learned to read before I started Kindergarten. I remember, how I was one of a few in my class, that already knew how to spell my whole name (and my maiden name is not an easy one to spell. I’m of Belgian descent ). My grandmother, was capable of helping me learn my ABCs, numbers, and colors. Of course I should mention, my dad always read to me a lot too. 🙂
Maybe, instead of making preschool mandatory, and pushing early education, we should put more of our focus toward building up the family. Maybe, we should take a deeper look at why parents don’t have the time to raise their children. Maybe, the problem is a lot more complicated, and has nothing at all to do with education. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty wrong with our school system, I just don’t think children needing to learn at an earlier age is going to be the solution.
Speaking of education,
We have kind of been in a reading slump lately. I have a list of what we need to read, but during summer I like to pick out fun reads. The girls haven’t been to enthusiastic with the fairy-tale adaptation stories I’ve been picking out lately. They sure are tough critics.
My personal opinion, is that life is too short, and there are way too many books to keep reading one you’re not enjoying. I don’t hesitate for a second when giving a book the ax.
All this to explain that we just finished the right book, at the right time. We read the graphic novel: Nimona by Noelle Stevenson. We loved it, and we highly recommend it.
As for myself, I didn’t read Mudwomen after all. Instead, I took advantage of Amazon Prime day and purchased on Kindle: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (that I am halfway through now), and A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin, which I have already finished.
A Kiss Before Dying is the perfect “summer read”. Of course, it is a bit dated, and I was a bit peeved at the typical 50’s female stereotype. Other than that, it was a fun thriller to read.
Rebecca though, fits in perfectly with my “haunted” reads. I’ve seen the Hitchcock movie, so I know the surprise twist ending. I am, still enjoying all the foreshadowing that the movie just doesn’t quite capture. It has been added to my favorites list (that just keeps growing). I can’t wait to read The Birds.
Science, Biology, Health and Nutrition, and Culinary Arts:
I think I will start with SciShow’s video:10 Things We Didn’t Know 100 Years Ago – YouTube. Which is a perfect example of how knowledge builds upon knowledge.
We read the summer issue: Glow-in-the-Dark Animals from Science A-Z – Multilevel Science News Articles for Kids. We tried the doodle art experiment, and was able to recall the whole list that we doodled, compared to the list we wrote out.
Of course, this opens up a whole new can of worms for me, on how our evolving brain registers images, and remembers best. Which makes me wonder if right brain, visual learners are the majority. Yet again, out-dating our current school system. This is an experiment, I would love to dip my hands into.
We also watched an exclusive video: First “Glowing” Sea Turtle Found, over at National Geographic.
While reading along with: The Way We Work, we watched TedEd Videos:
What does the liver do? – Emma Bryce,
What does the pancreas do? – Emma Bryce,
How do your kidneys work? – Emma Bryce,
and What would happen if you didn’t drink water? – Mia Nacamulli – YouTube.
We also watched: SciShow’s How Much Water Should You Drink video-YouTube.
Little Sis and I made Chia Pudding from her vegetarian book, using chocolate almond milk. It was delicious. We plan on making more, trying different flavors of milk.
Since on the subject of making, we harvested more of our broccoli and blanched it to store in our freezer.
We ended up with two and a half gallon freezer bags full.
We purchased our annual 60 ears of corn, to blanch and store in our freezer too.
Our grape tomatoes are beginning to ripen.
Salads have moved from side dish status, to the main course.
We have been harvesting a few jalapeno, and green peppers as well.
I made a big batch of tortillas, and scrambled eggs mixed with jalapeno, green peppers, and onions for quick breakfast burritos. With our days still being filled with lots of swimming (where Papa was able to join us this week, P.E.), quick, hardy breakfasts and dinners (salads topped with grilled chicken, boiled egg, or quinoa) have been required.
Theater Appreciation (Stage):
We saw the stage version of The Phantom Tollbooth. It was an amazing portrayal of the novel.
Little Sis, has been keeping herself busy combining a few of her interests,
and summer is the time to catch up on watching movies just for the fun of it. Which brings me to my next point, learning always happens (which fits in perfect if you celebrated Learn Nothing Day 😉 ).
So far we’ve watched: The Good Dinosaur (wonderful!),
Big Hero 6 (another hit),
Ant-Man (another movie to add to our Marvel movie collection favorites),
Inside Out (Oh Disney/ Pixar, you’re killing me),
and The Bad Seed.
The last two movies triggered wonderful psychological conversations, where we discussed environmental verses genetic mental illness, along with human emotions and core memories. Perfect to lead the way for Sky’s psychology course this fall. I think, I will use topics from both movies as ideas for her to write essays about.
Peace for the journey.
*Magic by The Cars