July 2007 Homeschool Adventures

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This month has been fairly unstructured and leisurely. Flo has continued piano and Spanish lessons, but aside from that, we don't have any other weekly commitments for the rest of the summer. This is good, because pregnancy has definitely begun to slow me down, and my energy level has been waning.

On the fourth of July, our neighborhood has an annual "Mile Long Yard Sale," so we took advantage of that to declutter our garage a bit. And, as seems to have become tradition, the kids had a lemonade stand. Of course, I think they drank more than they sold, and after an hour or two, they lost interest in sitting there waiting for customers, but it was a well-intentioned venture.

We opted not to attend any grand fireworks display on the 4th this year. We got a few sparklers, and watched the fairgrounds display from a distance. On the 7th, Flo went with my mom to see the annual fireworks and concert at Antietam Battlefield, in Sharpsburg, Maryland.

Towards the middle of the month, we went to a program at the library in Williamsport, Maryland called "Wildlife Adventures. The guy who led the program was great, and really engaged the kids. I was shocked to find that Joseph actually sat still and paid attention throughout the whole thing. I was expecting him to be his usual pesty and disruptive self, but I guess he's maturing a bit.

Flo and Darren attended a drum circle with our church's earth-based spirituality group on the 21st. It's a great group of people, and Flo always enjoys the activities and rituals in which we've participated. I opted to sit this one out this month, so Flo and Darren could relax without worry about Joe running around, and also because I'm just big and uncomfortable right now, as pregnancy will do.

Flo has also been tending to a sad looking tomato plant that our neighbor gave us. But, this month, it finally started producing little cherry tomatoes! It's amazing what a sense of accomplishment that brings. Maybe next year, we'll clear a little more space in our weed garden for some actual vegetables.

This month's obsession seems to be Webkins. I don't personally see what's so wonderful about them, but apparently, they're a lot of fun. They are stuffed animals that come with a computer code to register them on-line. Flo has spend hours creating her own Webkins world for her "pets." I've decided that as long as she's done the things she needs to do each day, then I'll just let her overdo the computer time for awhile and hope the interest fades a bit as we head into the Fall, so we can actually focus on some academics a bit more. Nonetheless, it has helped her reading skills. I'm always impressed when she reads to me at how much progress she's made over the past year.

Joe is becoming much more inquisitive and curious these days. He asks a ton of questions, and is an attentive listener when he's interested in something. He's definitely starting to branch out a little more socially, too, and I'm starting to see the need to find him some friends his own age, rather than make him the tag-along for Flo's social contacts. So, as we go into the new "school year," I'll work to take him to a few more playgroups and activities focused just on him.

So, that's about it for this month. As we move into August, Flo will be turning eight, and we'll just be waiting for the arrival of baby #3. We'll continue with our relaxed summer schedule, as I'm sure a new baby will require some tweaking of our routine.

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