August 31, 2004

Audobon and artists

Gradually bringing the kids back into a schoolish schedule - but trying to transition in a natural way. Yesterday we read a biography storybook on John Audubon and looked at some of his drawings. We also watched a movie about African Animals on safari and started to keep track of our A words by listing all the animals that started with A. We went to library and picked out more books about Africa at the kids request and they played with animal puppets while I browsed for their books.

We went for a walk and had the kids bring their Nature notebooks and draw some pictures of nature themselves. Rhiannon wanted to find some birds to draw like Audobon and we ended up drawing ducks and frogs. Rhiannon also spent some time drawing some berries on a leaf. We had some quiet time at the lake and then ran our two dogs in the big open field.

We returned home to explore our yard, the flowers, the droppings from the trees and all the other things we can discover. We talked about nature and that night both kids thanked God for the wonderful things in nature around them.

We made curry for dinner and doubled the recipe to share with friends. That acted as our math lesson for the day and while I was working on parts they could not help with Rhiannon practiced writing her letter A correctly. She has been writing for awhile but we are really trying to work on the proper way to write (look and feel wise) and it is frustrating to her - yet she enjoys when the finished product looks nicer than it started.

So we worked on life skills, art, history, physical education, math, handwriting and language arts today. Not to mention all the things they pick up in the course of the day and through the books we read.

And of course we read - we have moved back into that rhythm which the summer leads us out of (we typically read about 3-5 storybooks a day in the summer, and 10-12 a day during the school year - this usually translates from about 30 min a day to 1.5 to 2 hours a day). Our library trip found me with my big suitcase on wheels and the odd looks I get for checking out a suitcase full at a time - about 70 books or so. My online reserve account gets close to maxing itself out and I need to stay vigilant about checking our current check outs online so I don't pay so many late fees at the library.

A friend once criticized me for checking so many books out at a time until I assured her that we read them all and we read them over the course of one to two weeks and then return them. So while I may tie up quite a few books at a time we are using them and we return them quickly and that is what they are there for. I just hope the library never brings down their maximum allowed out at a time.


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