October 5, 2006

Castles, Camping and Catch

Yes it is C week here at our household. Today we learned about castles. The kids dressed up as princesses and knights and we looked at pictures of a variety of castles, learned the different parts of the castle and what they were used for and a bit about the different people who lived and worked in the castle. The internet was our main resources for these lessons and there was so much available - from full tours of castles, to photos of castles in different countries, to detailed description of the time period, proper roles and lifestyles of the people who lived in them. This site was particularly helpful, as was this one. We found printable coloring sheets and even instructions on how to make our own cardboard castle. Tomorrow we will make a candy castle cake and yes we have the pan.

We also set up the tent in the backyard so the kids could go "camping" - they spent a good part of the afternoon in the tent and had a grand time doing it. While this may sound like a lot of work for me, it was worth the little time I invested in setting it up as they were content to play it for the rest of the day. They brought out sleeping bags, their sleeping mats and some toys. I spent some time in the tent with them as well but for the most part it became the big toy of the day.

We also had a baseball catch and as we threw the ball back and forth we said different words that began with the letter C. At this point Ciaran is not yet too strong at this game but he gets very excited when he gets one right. He is also content to listen to Rhia and I play this and he is learning as we do it.

They wanted to make candy today (melting down chocolate) but it was just too beautiful of a day to do much but be outside. We started our more formal school time at 9am and were finished before 11am today as everyone was motivated to get outside and spend the remainder of the day outside. We will not have too many of these wonderful days left.

Days like today when I reflect back on them I realize how much we got accomplished and I wonder how we did it. We did all our usual school (minus some read alouds that we had already finished for the week), these fun activities, cleaned most of the house and did nearly all the laundry in the house. Plus we spent a good part of the day outside and ate a homemade dinner. These days are rare by the way, most days I am struggling to make it all work, before you think this is what everyday in my home looks like. I did lose my temper at moments and I was struggling with the issues of being three for a good portion of the day and I still have some clothes to hang up and a lesson plan for our homeschool coop class tomorrow to finish now but all in all it was a great day!


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