June 2008 Homeschool Adventures

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Summer is in full gear, and the kids are keeping us busy. We’ve continued a little “school stuff” into the summer, but mostly reading a lot, some penmanship practice and math.

We started out the month with Zofia’s 9 month check-up. Flo came along, and enjoyed watching Zofia get weighed. She weighed in at just a little over 13 pounds! She’s doing great and is a very agreeable baby.

Our Earth Scouts group is meeting in a low key fashion this summer, with a few projects and some park dates. We made solar ovens at our last meeting. The kids and I are yet to try to “cook” anything in it, as the most popular option is smores, and we haven’t found any vegetarian marshmallows locally yet.

Flo is continuing her music lessons through the summer. She getting used to her new teachers and their teaching styles. Her piano teach is Asian and has an accent, so it’s taken Flo a few lessons to understand her, but it seems to be going well. I still don’t push her to practice a lot, but gently suggest it daily. I told her she’s going whether she practices or not, so it’s up to her whether she wants to be prepared or not. Sometimes this approach is effective… sometimes not.

On the 7th, my mom’s neighborhood had a yard sale, so Flo went up to help out for the morning. She made a few bucks and was please with herself. Our neighborhood has a large “mile long” yard sale every July 4th, so we’ll have to start cleaning house for that and see if we can’t take the opportunity to declutter a bit and get organized!

On the 9th we went to our friend, Jessica’s, house for a playdate with her kids, Jayme and Alicia. Jayme is 9, but Joe really idolizes him and they play well together. Alicia is six, but she and Flo generally gravitate towards playing “girly” things together. Jessica also had a baby this year, so we have a new little buddy, Lincoln, who is four months younger than Zofia, and quite the cutie, as well. It’s fun watching them grow together.

On the 11th, one of the mom’s in our group facilitated a field trip to the local NBC station here. Flo was quite entranced with Ian, the meteorologist, and has ambitions to be a weather girl herself someday. She loves to check the weather and report to me every morning whether it’s going to rain or not. I told her if that is her true ambition, she’d better start loving math! I don’t think she sees the connection yet.

The county library’s summer reading program kicked off on the 13th, so we headed downtown to sign the kids up. They get a little game board and reading list chart to keep track of the books they read, and they get little prizes for reaching certain markers on the board. It’s been quite the motivator for Flo to read. She started the Spiderwick Chronicles books this month, and is looking forward to watching the movie when she finishes reading all five!

That same day, while we were downtown, we headed to the post office to apply for Zofia’s first passport. It arrived less than two weeks later. So, she’s now officially cleared for international travel. Unfortunately, we have to adventurous travel plans at the moment.

On the 14th, the local hospital sponsored a health fair. The kids enjoyed see the “colossal colon” display, which consisted of a couple giant tubes to run through, one of which was the healthy side, and one the not-so-healthy side. They also got fitted for free bike helmets and rode on the bicycle obstacle course.

The next day was Father’s Day. Darren had been mentioning having a craving for pizza, and being that there’s no place locally to get good vegan pizza, the kids and I endeavored to make our own. The dough turned out great, but unfortunately, I was abandoned with the pizza-making efforts while the kids found more entertaining things to do. Actually, our friend Jessica stopped by with her kids, because Eric, her husband, ended up throwing out his back and having to go to the ER. Not a fun thing to do on Father’s Day! Nonetheless, we enjoyed a brief visit with them while he waited in the ER.

Flo continued yoga this month with Lata, a very nice instructor. Joe even did a “trial” class at the end of the month and managed to pay attention and not be too disruptive. I think I will sign him up for July, too, and see how it goes. I guess these are the markers of maturity, as just six months ago he would never have been able to participate without being a total pest. We’ll see how it goes!

On Saturday, the 21st, Flo and I got up unusually early to go check out a big “Kids Stuff” yard sale held in the packing lot of the Citicorp building nearby. It was all just kids clothes, toys and baby items. We got a few outfits, and Flo found a Cabbage Patch doll for a buck, but otherwise, we refrained from bringing home anymore unneeded clutter.

That night, Flo and Darren went to the Queen of Heaven Circle group at our church to celebrate the Summer Solstice. They had a nice time, but I opted out, as Joe is not quite attentive enough yet. We had been in Frederick all day shopping and having lunch, so Zofia was cranky and tired, and Joe had a lot of pent up energy from sitting in the car. Nonetheless, it was a nice day.

The proceeding Monday, our monthly geography group met for our “India Geo Luncheon.” Flo wrote a little blurb on the Taj Mahal, which she shared with the group, and we made a dish we called “Kind of a Curry,” using stuff we already had around the house. It turned out really yummy!

The last Sunday of the month, Darren and I had volunteered to teach the RE (religious education) class at our church. I planned to do nature journals with the kids, where we would spend the first half of class making them, then the second half going outside to find things to put in them. However, I sorely underestimated the work involved in punching a multitude of holes into cardstock paper for eight kids with only two hole punches, one of which broke after the first journal was done. Thus, we spent the whole class making the journals, then talking about things we see in nature and drawing a picture of that. Oh well… everything is a learning experience!

So, another fun month educating the Petite kids!

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