November 2007 Homeschool Adventures

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November started with the departure of Darren’s parents, who had come the last week of October to spend Halloween with the kids and visit for a few nights. We had a couple new activities this month. One of which was our first spelling bee group meeting. It was an informal group, which met at our house, and was organized by fellow homeschooling mom, Julie. She divided it into two age groups, and the kids got three “strikes” before they had to leave the circle. The remaining person won. Flo was not very inspired to study the spelling flash cards I’d lovingly made up for her last month. But, I think once she got in a semi-competitive setting, she started to see the value in studying. So, we’ve decided to make it a monthly thing starting in the New Year, and I think it will bring some interest to spelling.

And, in keeping with the “bee” theme, Flo and I went to see “The Bee Movie” this month. We had a “girls night out” one night, and took Zofia to the movies with us. It was an okay movie… kind of cheesy… but had a good message, I guess. Although, I could pick at all the undertones of animal exploitation, etc., but that’s a little too deep for the eight year old mind. Nonetheless, I enjoyed an evening out with Flo, without Joe pestering her and the general chaotic dynamic they share most of the time.

Next, both Flo and Joe started ice skating lessons again. Flo has really progressed, and Joe can skate on his own now, without the walker thing to hold him up. Getting them there on time, and all suited up in skates and coats, is somewhat of a challenge with the baby in tow, but they enjoy it, and it’s good for exercise, listening skills and coordination, so we’ll keep at it for awhile.

Flo finished up her last yoga class of the year, and we’re going to organize a new class starting again in February. The yoga instructor goes to India every year during the month of January. I’ve tried numerous times to get a bigger group of homeschoolers interested in this, and it always ends up with Flo and maybe one other kid, or sometimes she even has private lessons. It’s been a great experience for her, but I will work to get more people involved in this next session.

Around the middle of the month, I had my traffic court date. Rather than just paying the fee for my speeding ticket, I chose to have a hearing. I took Flo and the baby with me, while my mom took Joe to the library. I think the court experience was interesting for Flo. We’ll call it our civics lesson for the month. First on the docket were all the appeals from prisoners via satellite. Then, we sat through a bunch of appeals from traffic violators, such as myself, before it was my turn. I basically just explained the circumstances surrounding the situation when I got the ticket, which was that I was driving my daughter to Spanish class, and going with the Flo of traffic. The judge cut my fee in half ($45) and removed any points on my license. So, it was worth the trip, and I think it was an eye-opening experience for Flo.

On the 18th, we drove down to Poolesville, Marlyland to the Poplar Springs Animal Sanctuary for their annual “Thanksgiving with the Turkeys” potluck. It’s a huge event with an enormous spread of vegan food. It’s the one time a year where we can eat everything on the menu! Well, except Joe, who has to avoid nuts and legumes. But, we really enjoyed the afternoon of good food and romaing the farm visiting with the animals. The weather was great and since it was our third year going, it’s starting to feel like a little of a tradition.

I’ve been working to keep Flo busy in the mornings with some workbook activities. We been focusing on basic math, grammar and handwriting for the past few weeks. We go in cycles, where we focus on different things. Art is always something she enjoys, so she’s been doing the Draw Write Now handwriting program, and Joe’s been joining in, doing the drawings, too. He likes to sit with “sissy” and “do math,” too. He calls anything in a workbook “math.”

So, it’s been another busy month, and it looks like the holiday season will bring even more fun and activities. I will do my best to keep up!

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