Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Thursday November 13, 2003

I've started a new blog in regards to our seamonkeys. So, while I may refer to them now and then here, they will be discussed in more depth in our other blog.

We did school today! I brewed a pot of coffee first thing this morning, which was totally necessary. I'm not an everyday coffee drinker, but there was so much to be done today, and I didn't get more than 6 hours of sleep. So, with caffeine in the body I actually got a lot accomplished.

Reagan had his first religious ed. class at church last night. He had such a good time. He did tell his teacher that his mom was "pregnant, again!" as if I have some kind of chronic disease that he doesn't know how to manage. Hey, at least he likes sharing! Since he came in on the fourth lesson I decided to go through his textbook "Coming to God" and cover the previous chapters. Chapter number 1 was about Creation. As an activity, we cut out yellow stars and moons and hung them from a hanger as a mobile. We made a little sign that says "God made the moon and stars" so that we will be reminded of what God has created for us every time we look at it. It was a wonderful chance to talk about our ecological responsibility as well. If we see God in the trees and the grass and the earth, then it is our job to take care of these things. It's interesting to me that so many Christians see children, homes, even money as stewardships, but not the earth. Call me an ex-pagan if you will (it is an accurate statement), but I will never change my mind on the importance of caring for our habitat, and I plan to pass that on to the kids. On a completely different note, I'm so glad this text book has activities. I'm not a really crafty person, and Reagan loves it!

We cut out parts of sentences and put them in proper order, discussing the importance of word order in sentences. I tried making silly sentences out of the parts, but Reagan has a deep sense of order than is not to be messed with!

He made spelling words with his crayons, which he found highly amusing.

For Reading we did Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, and discussed rhyming words. He's memorizing one about a clock. It's very cute.

We went over ordinal numbers and matched them with cardinal numbers. On the backs of the cardinal number 3x5 cards, I wrote equations and then used them as flash cards. I really want to keep driving home the basic addition and subtraction. I want him to really get it. It's still a job for him and since everything else he'll ever do is based on his ability to add and subtract single digits, well, I'm pushing. Not too hard, but we're going to keep working on it until it comes naturally.

For Science we observed our growing seamonkeys, and discussed parts of plants again. I think our textbook was expecting us to live in a place with a warmer climate. It keeps asking us to go outside and find green and brown leaves. I haven't seen green leaves in days now. Heck it snowed again yesterday!

Reagan worked on his Spanish and is getting better every day. Soon he'll be putting the things he's learning together to make new sentences. It's really wonderful to see.

Reagan read Richard Scary's "Fun with Words" on his own. And we read another chapter of "The Magicians Nephew" together. He's really enjoying it, and so am I. I haven't read the Narnia books since I was 12.

I'm so grateful to be here for these things. I asked Reagan if he would want me to go to work so we could have a house. He said he wouldn't want me to be anywhere but at home. I know there are lots of things that children need, it just seems to me that too many parents are giving their children things and not enough of themselves. I sat on the floor for a long time today just playing with my children. Piper kept sitting on my growing tummy. She also gave me a lot of kisses. We chased after each other, tickled, played pat-a-cake, and smiled a lot. I guess there are moms that would really rather be working than doing those things, but not nearly as many as we women are led to believe.

I even managed to send out e-mails, work on my blogs, and CLEAN MY HOUSE! But it's writing it all down that makes it sound impressive.

Total School Time: 3 hours


Yesterday we fed our Seamonkeys for the first time. The little guys were finally grown enough to be able to eat their packaged food. Their egg packets are filled with the only food that the newborns can eat, and it is bad for their health to feed them less than five days after birth. Reagan is really enjoying the observation process and is proving to have a lot more patience than I had anticipated. I have joined a webgroup to get more information about the fascinating little creatures. I know. I'm crazy. They're seamonkeys. What can I say?

We received a package from the Minnesota K-12 Virtual Academy. It was full of enrollment forms and information. There are certainly things about the program that sound attractive to a mom who sometimes just doesn't feel like planning lessons. But in the end, I just don't think it's what our family wants.

Reagan's dad suggested it to me, and I think it would make him more comfortable to be provided material by the school district and have records of everything. In my view, however, it takes away some of the freedoms that attracted me to homeschooling in the first place. I don't want to public school at home. I want the freedom to add to or take away from published curriculum. I want the freedom to be able to pick activities that will best stimulate my children. And with the baby coming I definitely want the freedom to take a week off if necessary. Also, we're finding ways to bring religious study into all kinds of areas of study that wouldn't have occurred to me before. Since K-12 is tax supported through the school district, we couldn't do that anymore.

I hope J. understands that I'm making this decision based on what I think is going to be best for our son and my family. I know it's difficult for him that I really make all of the decisions for our son. That's just the way it is, I guess. This is the situation he and I created when we had a child, but didn't form a family. He does know that I'll always take care of Reagan, and I know that he appreciates all that Dominic does on a daily basis in his absence. I do know that not everyone is going to be comfortable with the idea of homeschooling. Our culture has been completely indoctrinated that education must be left in the hands of the professionals. But I have to make decisions based on what I think is best for Reagan and the family as a whole. I wonder if those who are so against homeschooling ever think about how people were educated 200 years ago.

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