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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Homeschool Day 3: Ahhhhh (good ahhh, not bad ahhh)

Today was perfect. We took it easy. I didn't rush the kids around from subject to subject and project to project. I said to *&$! with the 9am - noon goal that we had previously set and we settled right into a wonderfully relaxed rhythm that embraced the baby, nurtured the wiggly toddler, and delighted the kindergartner sponge. I would almost say we hit our stride, but then it's probably too early to tell and the weekend will probably slaughter any semblance of a groove. :D

We were able to finish the basics (reading, writing, and math) fairly quickly and move on to art because Friday is art/music day here at the Bagel Academy. But before we did, we got a bit sidetracked with pattern blocks. Which turned out to be SO fun. I loved being able to go with the flow and enjoy my children as they revved their imaginations and got creative with the blocks. After we cleaned up that inventive spread, we pulled out our Kefir bottles. There's a story behind these (there's always a story). After Pip was born, he really struggled with digestive issues. He would fuss a lot as food worked its way through his intestines. My sister suggested Kefir and it seemed to help, so The Chief kept me stocked with a steady supply. As the empty bottles piled up, I began to think about how we might be able to get creative with them. After I saw this post at one of my favorite blogs, I knew my bottles had a calling and I knew just what that calling was. So we pulled out the markers, copied Katie's faces (because I'm just not that creative) onto our bottles (Buddha copied a couple with AMAZING accuracy!), cleared away the furniture, and went bowling. It was a riot! And we even managed to make it somewhat educational by turning the bowling pins into letters before we knocked them down.

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Bugga [said with a distraught voice]: "Mmmmooooooommmmm! I want my snake to look this this!"

Mom [apologetically]: "Good luck with that, Kiddo."

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After bowling we settled down to read the rest of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory together. I promised the boys that if we finished today we would watch the original movie with Gene Wilder. We did and we did. And I realized that I'm not such a fan of that older version. They took liberties with the tale that affected the moral of the story. In the book, Charlie and Grandpa Joe don't EVER disobey Mr. Wonka. In the original movie, however, they gleefully disobey by consuming fizzy lifting drinks and floating around with the bubbles. As a result there is this really disturbing, angry scene with Mr. Wonka at the end of the movie where he's screaming accusations of theft at Charlie and his Grandfather. The whole point of the book was that in the end, Charlie won the secret "contest" because he and his grandfather were entirely respectful and obedient while the other children were dreadful, spoiled, and willfully disobedient. Anyway . . . getting off the soapbox now.

I did LOVE in the book when the Oompa-Loompas sing about Mike Teavee:
"The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never; NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set -
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink -
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK - HE ONLY SEES!
'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'
We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'
Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY . . . USED . . . TO . . . READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
...
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks -
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start - oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did."
We get to watch the Johnny Depp version just as soon as Netflix delivers it. Does anyone have any objections to this one that I should know about?

4 comments:

Courtney said...

I'm so glad you hit your groove! I had to get rid of the 9-12 too. I just spread it around throughout the day and it has made all of the difference in my stress level.

I wrote an article about this very subject if you are interested :)

http://www.latter-dayhomeschooling.com/2010/06/home-school-not-school-at-home.html

and

http://ordinaryhappilyeverafter.com/2010/07/14/homeschool-for-me-and-my-house-part-4-a-day-in-the-life/

By they way... I love love LOVE your photos! Are you self taught? What lens do you use?

Amber and The Boys said...

I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to my boys earlier this summer and then we too had a movie night-but I gotta say, I think the Johnny Depp version is every bit as weird and creepy as the old version. My boys loved it though and I guess that's what counts!

Laurie said...

I agree with the above comment. We watched both versions recently and both are totally weird. Johnny depp is creepier than Gene Wilder, but Charlie is adorable.

Sara said...

Oh good! So glad the kefir did something, and that the bottle were useful too! Nice ideas. I LOVE that oompa-loompa song! I've got to print it and put in on the fridge when I get home. I'm so glad you are going through and trying out all these homeschooling things before I have to- I'm just going to be a copy-cat on the things that work, and let you do all the trial and error stuff. hehe.