Wednesday, December 29, 2010

School Break...Really?

We are supposed to be on winter break this week, and to some extent we have been.  You sure wouldn't have known it had you walked in our house today though!  Sometimes I can totally understand the logic of those who "unschool", letting their child lead in most ways with learning.  While I would never be able to feel totally comfortable with that style, I can sure see the value in encouraging it to a certain degree.  Here in photos is some of what was going on around our house today:

Yes, in the span of a few short hours we made soap, created balloon characters from our Balloonology book received for Christmas, used Joshua's special gift...a new microscope, and examined salt crystals, pollen and other items with it, stacked and loaded firewood and kindling, built a new Lego house for the first time (Angela), took apart and investigated what is inside a broken DVD player, learned how to play Khet (a sort of laser chess game), practiced guitar and piano, watched the remainder of the Roots miniseries and played a game show style team quiz challenge afterward with over 70 questions (Olesya rocked at explaining the Civil War!) and finally went to bed. 

And this is "winter break"??  It sure didn't feel like school but it sort of looked like it :-)

Here are a couple of pictures from Christmas this year.  Check out the sweatshirts the kids made themselves and wore to church on Christmas Eve!  Now, I know that most folks would find this unacceptable...sweatshirts on such a special occasion, but it was inexpensive and festive, and the kids really enjoyed making them. 

I am working this next couple of weeks on tweaking our school curricula a bit, printing out an enormous amount of items and cleaning things up a little.  The girls have come along so quickly that we are going to move toward more self-directed study with each moving more at their own pace on some subjects.  Kenny too is showing some gains in reading, and so will be working more on his own.  We are adding in a history component to try something new.  Just a few things changing here and there as we  need to be flexible as the kids are changing so rapidly.  I am more of a After Christmas Cleaner than a Spring Cleaner as well, so it is this time of year when cupboards get emptied and organized and clothes get weeded out.  Why is it that "weeded" sounds as if it ought to be "wed"?? Am I the only one who thinks so?  Also decided to change the blog a little, nothing fancy but added more updated photos of the kids on the sidebar.  Hard to believe they have changed that much in one short year since I last posted them....Matthew has changed the most, growing over 5 inches!  No wonder I can't keep that boy in pants!

I have yet to surprise the kids with all the great Usborne books we received from our sale (Thanks again to all who ordered!!) and will break those out on our first day back in school...I can hardly wait, they will be so excited!

I am happy as a clam to have a brand new coat rack up in my bedroom!  We usually have a couple of coats each laying around as weather changes and warmth needs change, so it is a treat to see them hanging up neatly rather than laying across the foot of our bed.  I's the little things in life that make us happy, isn't it?  At least no one can ever accuse me of being "high maintenance"!  A $15 coat rack from Wally World and I am thrilled!

What else is going on?  We have started a little club at church for kids and it is blossoming, and we are planning a trip to the Grand Mesa for ice fishing on Monday!  Looks like 19 kids going, and yes, it is totally crazy but should be fun as well.  I've never been ice fishing before, so this should be interesting...and cold.  No ice huts for us!

Other than that, life is wonderfully serene at the moment.  Don't laugh at me using the word "serene", for us it really IS serene!

Hope yours is as well as we get ready to welcome in the New Year!

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