All together this week was relatively peaceful. We had a few drama-blessed days , for the most part I'm keeping in mind that life will not stop being chaotic simply because I chose to homeschool. Life happens in between, during and after "school". Riley's had a few days where he's just told me to get bent, but for the most part I feel that this week was really great overall. Monday for science we read a few books about the solar system and to "act it out" we created a paper model solar system. (Take that pottery barn, I've got a solar system in my dining room. How not trendy we are!) He really seemed to take an honest interest in it and we had fun with it.
For groundhog day we made little dirt cakes, kind of looks like monkeys, or just dirty little somethings? Not overly educational, I was hoping for a bit more of an ohhhh, I get it! Instead Riley barely showed interest. "You mean a beaver predicts the weather? I thought that's what satellites do?" No, Riley its a groundhog and its just superstition. Super what? I guess honestly it was just a clever way to find an excuse to make sweets, all in all I thought it was cute. I got to make cupcakes which always makes me happy.
A few of the other days were less than informative but we did cover our mandatory Language Arts and Math. We've been reading about the pilgrims for a while now, its something I truly find important. I was able to visit Plymouth Plantation multiple times as a kid and its memories that have stuck with me. The basis that these people left their homeland, risked their lives and sacrificed creature comforts so they could be themselves is a great foundation for what he will be learning as we go. We started reading about George Washington and how he led our country to be free. The declaration of independence, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln and President's day are things we're doing. The freedom to be an individual is very important to me. I don't want to traumatize him, but in time I want him to learn that the worlds always been at war with itself. The American Revolutionary war I approached in a way that it was about freedom, not necessarily power. At some point the details will come into play but for right now I just want him to understand that freedom is important.
Sometimes war is a result of the desire to be free, sometimes war is simply political and un-necessary. However it plays out I want him to appreciate that we have freedoms today because of people from the past that left the bread crumbs along the way. Also he's remembering men and women sacrifice their own lives today. I grew up in a military family and policy aside, I've always stood by our forces. Human beings as a whole seem to have this inner desire to make everything the same. Religious wars, wars of race and now days even teenagers seem to be at war with one another based on hair cuts and sneakers. This desire to force others to be the same is just not my thing. I've been ostracized for one reason or another for as long as I can remember. My boys need to learn that they are different just like everyone else. Differences should be respected and many of life's troubles simply may not exist if people learned to shut up and live and let live.
Next week we will probably start our Geography lessons and Pennsylvania History. We stared out the window and admired the winter weather a lot of this week. I planned on going for a winter walk, two days went by and it just never happened. Wishful thinking I guess. There's always next week.
“Your rights end where my nose begins... The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."
Solar System Project-
Read books and discuss the solar system. Use construction paper to cut and design planets or paint spheres to make a mobile solar system. Hands on projects brings the subject to life and although its slightly "un-cool" to have a solar system in your living space there's a great deal of progress when a child can visualize and re-live a subject.
Groundhog's Day Cupcakes-
Discuss groundhog's day and then make dirt cakes. You can use any brownie or chocolate cake recipe with a buttercream frosting. Mix cookie crumbs into the frosting and decorate little "groundhog critter" faces with cookies for ears and candies for facial features.
The Recipe I used is Here.