Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WFMW: Burn Out Remedy

This school year (ha!  All three weeks of it!) I have tried to keep things more hands-on and less book work.  The end result is a happier kid, but a mom that is a bit stretched outside her comfort level.

It's hard work to not have a pile of papers at the end of the day.  Seriously.  It's much easier on my check-off-the-list kind of mind to have tangible evidence of "work."

Documenting throwing marbles in flour and eating Oreos for science is WAY outside my realm of comfort.  But I trudge on.  Until I don't.

In the midst of this gigantic (to me, of course) shift in philosophy, we are trying to add on to the house.  I had no clue how much had to be done before the plans are even submitted to the city.  Every day there seems to be something that requires my immediate attention.  Every day?  Every couple of hours.

Oh yeah...and my husband is working out of state .... again (thanks, California for your awesome tax incentives to businesses!).

So all of this whininess to say I had it last week.  Had it.  Done.

Then...some wonderful friends invited us to Crystal Cove.  We ditched school and had ourselves some R & R.

For those of you not in SoCal, Crystal Cove is a state park with a bunch of cottages from the 40's.  People leased these cottages for years and years and years until the Irvine Company sold the land (and the cottages and the leases) to the State of California.  The State kicked everybody out when their leases were up and turned it into the park that it is now.  On the first of every month, you can try to reserve one of the cottages.  Most people book 6 months out.  After going, I believe it may be worth it.

We parked across PCH (busy highway) and walked down this little trail.  It felt like what I remember California being when I was growing up.  Well, except for the pavement.  That seems a bit TOO SoCal, but it was convenient.
Then we walked through a tunnel decorated by all kinds of fun things (including a dolphin birthing circle with blood and everything -- interesting) to get under PCH.
Then to the beach.  The lovely beach.  The perfect beach with the amazing tide pools.  My camera ran out of batteries, but we saw a bunch of starfish, rock fish, a bazillion hermit crabs, sea anemones, and other tiny fish that darted away from our shadows.
T fell on the slippery rocks and got algae all over her...she was not pleased.
Thank you starfish for making it all better! 

So when it gets too much, put down the list, take a deep breath, and get outside.  See what's bigger than yourself.  It's guaranteed to put things in perspective.  Guar-an-darn-teed!

Check out We Are That Family and find out what works for everyone else on  Works-For-Me Wednesdays!  And check out what she's doing with the Mercy House.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up: Mission Moon

This week we've been working on all things Moon.  I must say my goal to be more project oriented has worked so far.
Don't those sort of/kind of look like the phases of the moon?  Maybe?
This week has been a lot of fun with science moving to the end of the day because it is so happily anticipated.  Well....that and the fact that it tends to last a long, long time (by T's choice).

Last week we started a moon journal.  The cloud cover has cooperated and T has been able to record each night's moon.

While we were on the phases of the moon, T made some Oreo moons.  Needless to say this project didn't last long.   I had lots of teens wishing they were studying moon phases on that day.
We talked about the surface of the moon and created our own craters with a pie tin, some flour with a fine mist of cocoa sifted over the top, and a marble (meteoroid).
T's meteoroid marble tossing.
That would be a "crater!"
We will be working on our Moon poster next week.  T is cutting out cardboard Oreos and using a glass to make her circles on white paper before cutting into the different moon phase shapes.

Of course, we did other fun things like learning how to round in math by going to Starbucks and adding the order for mental math (rounding was a big help then!).

After our recent trip to Alaska, T decided to not just gather state facts, but to write a paragraph about the beauty she witnessed.  I love how self motivated she was for that....I came home from the post office and she had taped it to the garage door for me to see!  It made me happy to my toes!

I'm still trying to figure out how to make grammar fun and exciting for both of us.  We are enjoying the Daily Grams (a big hat tip to Kris for putting that on our radar!)....but....well....a piece of paper kind of pales in comparison to the other hands-on learning we've been doing this week.  Any ideas?

How was your week?  Check out what everyone has been doing at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler's Weekly Wrap-Up.

Happy Labor Day!