Homeschool Days

SillyBilly’s school was closed today, yesterday he was off of school for a dentist’s appointment, and he will have the entire next week off too (teacher conferences and inservices). So, I’ve been thinking of this as a temporary homeschooling opportunity.

We’ve been taking walks:

Today was very cold and cloudy. There is a dusting of snow on the mountains to the south. SillyBilly was prospecting for rocks; he’s holding a rock, his toilet-paper-tube binoculars, and a construction paper pouch he made to hold treasures. We brought home several large rocks, which he scrubbed clean in the sink and then investigated thoroughly. I think the boy needs a book about minerals for Christmas!

We’ve been playing with masks:

This one was a cutout from the latest issue of Ladybug magazine, to go with a seasonal story about a snowshoe hare. For some reason, our cats totally freaked out over the kids wearing this mask. Puffy tails, arched backs, even hissing. We think they thought the kids were turning into some sort of large animal, yet still smelled the same, and the cats’ tiny brains just couldn’t handle it.

We’ve been making a new nature table:

SillyBilly did this one all by himself. We found a cool arch of bark on a walk, and he made it into a gnome’s cave, complete with hanging doorbell, mushroom garden, and a mossy bed.

We’ve been cooking:

SillyBilly made lunch for us today. And he did it all: choosing and preparing the food, the beautiful presentation, and setting the table. I especially liked the celery leaf garnish atop the sandwiches. He also helped make apple cranberry crisp for dessert tonight.

We’ve been sewing:

He wanted to make the cats a treat, so we hand sewed  a little square and filled it with catnip. Above you see the cat playing with his new lovey, the catnip pouch. Here’s the cat in his normal state:

And here’s the cat in post-drug use torpor (note the glazed look in his eyes. Of course the cat’s 14 years old, so he often looks like this anyway). SillyBilly also made this little “house” for the cats from a box and some play cloths:

And we’ve been taking pictures (obviously):

I let SillyBilly use my camera as he’s shown that he can be careful with it, and remember how to use it, and because he pesters me often enough. He ran around the house taking shots of random things. I praised him for this one’s nice composition (my nightstand — pardon the mess!) He also took a picture of me knitting, but I can’t share it as I was making a super-secret Christmas present.

We’ve also been reading a lot. Both SillyBilly and Napoleona are on the cusp of reading — sounding out lots of words, figuring out how words are spelled all on their own, and recognizing short words on the page. They’ve also been enjoying spouting math facts: I heard Napoleona say quite loudly “Five and five and one are ELEVEN!” while using the toilet tonight. She’s four years old. I’m scared!

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Filed under Crafting, Family, Food, Kid Talk, Napoleona, Nature tables, Parenting, play, School, Silliness and Mayhem, SillyBilly

10 responses to “Homeschool Days

  1. It looks like you’ve been making some good use out of the time off school and having fun with the kids. I love your nature table, especially the gnome cave!

  2. Alida

    What fun you get to enjoy them for a whole week!
    I love to see what the kids are into and how creative they are when given the chance to explore.

  3. That’s a great-looking lunch, and the celery-leaf garnish is inspired. I never know what to do with those leaves … they’re so pretty, like little green feathers, but that thought is as far as I ever go.

  4. Nana

    I always enjoy your blog entries featuring my brilliant beautiful grandchildren. The lunch picture was especially appealing. The next time you visit, the kids can prepare lunch every day! Regarding Napoleona: have no fear, you were just like her in the brains department! I also recognized the ceramic mushroom and the nightstand lamp as FRTs – Families Recycling Together.

  5. David: I think some people put them in stews and such as flavoring.

    Nana: Yes, those are some heirlooms 🙂

  6. thegoodwitch

    wow, you are such a homeschooler in the making! ( peer pressure, peer pressure). It was wonderful to sit down tonight and actually read your blog. The pumpkin was outstanding, btw. All the best…

  7. You do so many great activities with your children. I’m going to have to get copying in the hopes Kiko will stop driving me mad (I have a theory that a large part of the misbehaviour is down to boredom).

    Napoleona is so clever, counting on the toilet! The other day Kiko was “spelling” in the supermarket: “H-I-T! H-I-T!” I was praying: “Please don’t put an S on the front of that!” (NB I’m sure had no clue what he was spelling!)

  8. What incredible views you have there. Sounds like you have been having fun with the extra time!

  9. Helen: Boredom is usually at the root of my son’s “misbehavior”. You might consult Kids Craft Weekly for some easy little-kid crafts to do. Or just let him “help” with the housework. Water play is also really nice — you could set him up with a little water in a plastic container, some unbreakable dishes, and a dishcloth on the kitchen floor while you wash dishes, for example. My kids loved that!

  10. Goodwitch: Sorry, you got caught in the spam filter, which I always forget to check! The last few days have been less crafty and wonderful, with a certain young man getting cabin fever with the cold, wet weather. But yes, I could theoretically do this — with a lot of preplanning, mind you! I’m glad you had a chance to sit down 🙂

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