Friday, January 23, 2015

Five on Friday - Homeschool Edition

I'm kind of wiped out right now. I went on a bread and water fast for March for Life yesterday and the lack of caffeine is taking its toll. Sad, really, how dependent I've become on that substance. I digress...I've been thinking about all the blessings we have in choosing to homeschool (there are plenty of trials but I'm being positive are in luck!) Here are five of our favorites this month.

1. Music

Our city is amazing in the number of family-friendly cultural opportunities available ...many of which are free! First up, a local concert featuring the advanced students at #1's music school. What a great way to spend part of a Sunday afternoon!

This young woman was incredibly gifted on the violin. 

A few days later we headed down to a School Time concert. We have been doing these for many years and I still can't get over it. Watching a symphony performance, learning about the pieces and instruments (this one dealt with a lot of Eastern interesting!) and visiting this beautiful landmark. Win, win, win! 

2. Engineering

If you guessed this was a DH project, you are right! A bit too messy for my taste but it came out wonderfully. The boys got this building kit for Christmas and it is really neat. You mix up mortar and use it with real (albeit tiny) bricks. When you are finished, soak it in water and the mortar dissolves! Each of the older 4 took turns with the placement after they figured out how it all went together. I'm fairly certain #4 turned it into a castle for her princesses ;0)

3. Art and Public Service

I'm sure I've already gone on and on about her but the DRE at our parish is exceptional. This year she is offering the homeschooled CCD kids a monthly opportunity to live out a corporal work of mercy; from visiting the sick to giving drink to the thirsty. This month they made blankets for the little ones at a local shelter (shelter the homeless). A wonderful lesson and fun too!

4. Science
This, by far, is the best part of having the kids all in one class. Sure, they may not all "get it" at the same level but I'm amazed at the discussions that follow. Sometimes it's fun to learn!

 They were using iodine to test the starch level in different types of food.
White bread and potatoes!

5. Geography

#1 has a keen interest in this subject. I would probably even call it an obsession. We love games like Scrambled States (the book is hysterical as well), Geo Bingo and DestiNation USA. Knowing that, when an offer came to join in a homeschool section of the National Geographic GeoBee we were in! It was a really great experience for both of us. I love to see her in action. Like her father, performing in front of a group is never an issue. I was so much more stressed than she. What a great group, as well. Kids in grades 4-8 with smiles, support and kind words for one another. 

 The group of 15 and the host
 Down to 5

She finished second overall, and the winner was in 4th grade as well. It was especially nice to see so many kids who were interested in geography. Judging from the questions in the first round, our nation could use some brushing up on that subject!

I suppose some of this isn't unique to homeschool but I'm still glad for the opportunity to gather together as a family to learn, play, and support one another. The atmosphere of the other families is so helpful to me - healthy cooperation and support with a heavy dose of faith front-and-center. I will miss these days when they are gone. It's a unique situation in which we are blessed to participate. 

Happy weekend, everyone. If you continue your prayers for my extended family, it would be appreciated. Thank you!

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