Monday, September 29, 2008

Diving Beetles and Snails

We've had them inside for 3 weeks or so. August wanted to get the diving beetle to feed his mosquito larvae too. Not sure if he ate them or not, but our fish sure like the larvae. The snails were cool with long antenna compared to their bodies. And when I poured them all back into the ditch leading to the "frog" pond we had egg blobs in the bottom. Well at least that's what I think they were.....blobs of stuck on clear jello. Neat. the boys found nother wooly bear and the moth that goes with it so constructed 'habitats' for both. New additions to the bug zoo in our house. I got new leaves for the stick bugs and cleaned up their poop. They lay a lot of eggs. I burned them in the stove.

AUGUST is still sick so didn"t do much today> tired and not sure why my keyboard is wonky>

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Am I doing enough?

As an unschooler wanna be I constantly second guess myself. Am I doing enough? My oldest has been sick for 2 days so we've done nothing but try and recover from sleepless puke and cry and shivering and everyone awake nights.....I digress. 2 things happened today that have made me feel well both above that and below and nervous. Weird descriptions I know, never was great with words. First thing - I'm on a NING networking ring of homeschoolers who recommended for math tutoring. I went and did it with my two son's it was more a test of how the kids could answer multiple choiced questions properly than anything...but there are some holes in their knowledge. Important holes? Hmmmm lets see: great than less than, I explained to August it's just a way of explaining what number was bigger and he could immediately tell me which number is bigger. So does he need to know the sign? He understands the concept the first time I explain it to him. Ok and then the whole 3 tens and 4 ones thing, is that important? I've tried doing Miquon Math with him he doesn't like it much, it's too boring....he says....he gets numbers.....reading that I'm going to go and see if they have a placement test....
Sawyer's kindergarten placement test was pretty straightforward, but the worksheets I had to print out to work on his "weak" areas were silly. they wanted a match of the number sentence to the pictures and he kept giving me the was he wrong?

Then my sister called and said "Sage said she doesn't want to go to this baby school anymore, but she wants to go to school with 12 year olds and do some real learning" My kids are so not like this. Her daughter is very precocious and scarily intense, bright, I'm searching for a description that matches, her thought processes have always been miles ahead of what a "normal" child her age would be. Sage is 4.

So should I sit down and do more math? more printing? more everything?

Should I trust that they will want to at some point?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Where's my laptop?

After getting the kids fed this morning, August and Sawyer watching Magic School Bus and with Daddy and Holden still in bed, I started looking for my laptop. August said, I know where it is, it's in our bed, we were still tired this morning so we played Webkinz in bed.....and then they sorted all our poker chips into their cases after our big game last night. Both of us out early, bummer, huge pot to win last night. It's a beautiful sunny day so we'll be off to gymnastics and the playground.....and possibly we'll harvest our enormous garlic!!! I miss the piggies :(

Friday, September 26, 2008

Piggies and Pears

"Here piggy piggy, here piggy piggy!" Yup me and the pear, trying to get the reluctant piggies into the trailer on their way to D-Day.....picture the donkey and the carrot, 3 kids in the house, witching hour with kids who ran around outside for hours at a district homeschool meet and greet, exhausted ready for bed and dinner just finished, and 7 men showing up for a poker game at 8, and we HAVE to get 6 pigs to the butcher tonight.....and I realize my shirt has been inside out all day. Yup, must have made a good impression trying to sell my Usborne Books beside all the very polished and well dressed curriculum/teacher shop reps. Need I say more?
The kids playing in the newly irrigated newly planted strawberry plants. "It's suntan lotion mum!"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

cricketing crickets....

A photo from late spring, August found a water stick bug while we were planting our garden. It was very exciting! Now we have 5 Indian Stick bugs in a Terrarium in the living room.....

"Mommy, I don't like the free music anymore"
A couple of weeks ago August couldn't sleep and I was making Bread and Butter Pickles, so he was slicing as I was washing. The crickets were LOUD and he finally moved them into the living room. Later that night Don moved them outside, we couldn't have slept with their racket! Right now tonight their home, the 5 gallon bucket, is in front of the woodstove. Their song is a quieter peaceful sound. I guess full blown mating season is over. We're hoping for babies. I wonder what the crickets outside are doing.....
Today was pirate day in our house. An almost 3 year old running around the house swinging his home made cutlass yelling "shiver me timbers!" is pretty funny. The boys have decided they want to be pirates for halloween and they wanted to get their costumes together. So off we headed to the thrift store. (First picking up two totes of pears for the pigs and dropping off gatorade to a sick friend) Pirate costume success. 3 black striped shirts, big belts, red shirt that looks like a swashbuckling coat, scarves....they got all dressed up after dinner and then I had to make their cutlasses, and then they made gold (out of blue paper go figure) ...... hopefully they still want to be pirates 5 weeks from now! Sawyer is the captain as he has a pirate hat he got for xmas. I'm going to help them make hooks tomorrow.......

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Guppies and Night Crawlers....

Henry Huggins, Beverly Cleary.....need I say more? I read all her books as a kid who read voraciously. I am reading this wonderful book to my kids right now and I realize why I always thought getting fish tank meant massive reproduction and that if you went out at night you'd find night crawlers.....I remember being sooooooooo disappointed as a kid that we didn't have 10 inch worms in our lawn. When I moved to Ontario in the 90s I was REALLY excited to find big big worms!! My kids don't want me to put this book down, it's a winner! And I see from the back cover that there are a bazillion more.....

We made two bird feeders this morning a jar one and a milk carton one - and hung them from our tree so we could watch them from our living room.

It POURED rain all day today, fall is coming.....the kids made train tracks and acted out train stories. Drama. Check.

We also played with letters loosely using Handwriting Without Tears methods but not in a structured way. Sawyer thinks it's fun. He knows a lot but I'm not sure if it's us or SuperWhy! an awesome show. Then today they found the website where they can make their own SuperWhy stories.....the wackier the better, and then they emailed them to me to read. Sawyer played SuperWhy games and August gave him all the answers and Sawyer liked all the stars he got. Great. So much for "punished by rewards". I don't reward, conciously. I try and notice and describe.


I forgot the aquarium with the diver beetle and the three freshwater snails.

It is getting cooler now as it is fall (and rainy rainy rainy today), and apparently crickets like warmth. We have their bucket in front of our woodstove and they move to the warm side when we spin the bucket. We have at least 3 females. How do we know? Female crickets have 3 long spikes at their butt end - one lays the eggs in the dirt. Males have 2.

I hafta go, Sawyer (middle son, 5) is traumatized as I demonstrated in his printing book with a crayon and it can't be erased.....he wants me to buy him a new book. I better go empathize.

Crickets and Frogs and Stick bugs and and and

I have 3 boys and I homeschool. Sporadically. I really want to be labelled an unschooler or child directed facilitator of learning......What is currently in my home? A container with Indian Stick bugs, a 5 gallon bucket habitat with crickets (we're hoping to hatch babies) a huge fish tank with pregnant guppies and a fish that loves mosquito larvae. He ate 31 in a row. He's not that big. I don't know where they fit. Why use pesticides? A container with wooly bear cocoons. A container with a grasshopper. 2 dogs. 1 maybe 2 feral cats (long story) in the barn. 6 pigs, but D day is friday. We let Frog and Toad go yesterday. Are you getting to know us???? does anyone really care to read my late night ramblings? I'm just a mom wanting to do a better job than my mom and dad did. Doesn't every parent want that? I fail a lot, and try and do better next time. My kids are glorious. They are vibrant, excited, curious, involved.....I could go on forever about the fact that I have the greatest kids in the world. But doesn't every parent? How I wish that were true.
Today was a great day, we started with lego towers, then had grandma dip dip for breakfast (aka soldier's fingers dipped in soft boiled eggs), then piano lessons including a field trip to the beach with multiple crab catches, then library visit, then the greatest doughnuts in the world from Cumberland, then books books books, more lego, helping Daddy stack firewood, more bugs and stuff, dinner....stories and bed. And now I can't sleep, and it's all going to start again tomorrow! ACK!! I better try and sleep.