A nice day homeschooling
I gave Isabelle the option of staying home from school today. She wasn't sick, but she was snotty (which can be unpleasant for all in a classroom environment!). She chose to stay home.
The children started the day with the art curriculum, drawing at the table while I did the breakfast dishes. Isabelle then drew some columns into a notebook and did some literacy work, practicing individual letters. (Both activities were fully child-initiated).
Then it was into the garden for some dramatic play (the photo shows my three little gardeners at work) and exploration of the science curriculum. The children called me out from my fascinating job cleaning the shower as they had found an interesting something that they couldn't identify. We looked at it together and classified it on the basis of what they knew (how many legs? Where was it found? Describe what it looks like in detail). After a detailed examination I said that my theory was that it was a baby cicada. I suggested that we have a look on the internet to confirm.
Big sister read a library book to little brother while the computer fired up (literacy/technology curriculum). The usually extremely helpful Landcare Research bug identification site wasn't as user-friendly as it normally is, so after we found cicadas on it I went to google for some extra information. Then the children were convinced that they had indeed found a cicada nymph. We learnt about the New Zealand species and their life cycles, what they fed on, and what adults sounded like. We remembered all the cicadas last summer and wondered if their nymph would come out this January or so when the weather was warmer. Finally, youtube provided us with a little documentary (just 6 minutes) about cicadas in North America.
Over lunch we did the biology curriculum, discussing exactly how the baby got fed when I ate cheese on toast.
After lunch I read to big sister while the younger two slept. Isabelle read to Orla when she woke up.
As the afternoon wore on, the physical education curriculum came to the fore as the children raced around outside with motorbikes, hula hoops and balls, up trees and round and round the house.
As we folded the washing, Isabelle asked some questions about the earth's rotation around the sun and why the days were getting longer. Once again, I didn't regret the purchase of a globe last year! She told me that it was just the morning now on the other side of the world. She was right.
On a slightly different topic, dramatic play over the last couple of days has meant that I have overheard some interesting conversations! Here's one:
I: ....and we live in apartments next to each other. We used to live with our mother, but not now.
I: And we are teenagers.
A: I am 20.
I: No, you can't be 20, you have to be something-teen.
A: OK. Then I am 12.
I: And I am 16.
A: No, I am 14.
I: Yes. My name is Starlight. Your name can be Cloud fluff.
A: [pause] I don't want that name.
I: Then you can be......Cloud rocket.
A: Ummmm....Star rocket.
I: Yes, Star rocket. You can cook me dinner now.
A: Well you have to come to my apartment to get it.