Hands on Education

Fun breakfast
Fun breakfast

When Allan has business trips, we do school a little differently. This morning, I treated the kids out to breakfast and then we went to look for some materials we needed for an art project we want to do. After roaming the library looking for books on China and good read out louds, we headed home. Mark worked on the leaves while Adrian sat in the swing drawing tigers. The girls played outside and then worked on some of their art work.

Then this evening, we enjoyed having our friend Miss Jili over. Miss Jili is from China and an intern where Allan works. She said she would teach us how to use chopsticks and teach us some recipes from home. It was a fun evening!

Jili taught us how to make eggs and tomatoes–which is similar to something that I make for breakfast–asparagus with chili peppers and garlic, and spicy chicken called Kong Poa. Everyone enjoyed the meal and ate a lot, even using chopsticks! Adrian asked how do they drink in China and Jili said, “with chopsticks”. Adrian just had to try it. After dinner the girls showed Miss Jili how to make beaded bobby pins. Adrian fixed us apple slices for dessert while Mark made us tea and we talked some more.

We enjoyed ourselves so much, that everyone stayed up very late! I hope that we have the chance to get together with Miss Jili again after Allan gets home so he can share with her some of his trip.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Homeschooling fun….

I learned two important lessons today at school.  First off, I learned never to call a friend to see how they are during history.  When I returned, I discovered that the kids had tied Adrian up.  When I asked why, Mark said it was because I let him read the Houdini biography a few weeks ago.  They wanted to see how long it would take for Adrian to escape. My second lesson…be very careful about what books I let the kids read!

Mark said to be sure to let you that I highly do not recommend Escape!: The Story of The Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman 🙂

And, in case you are wondering, each of the kids got tied up so they could practice escaping too!  I guess we had an “unschooling” morning!

Home School Field Trips

One of the nice thing about homeschooling is the ability to go on educational field trips!  This week we are in the Kalahari, a waterpark in Ohio.  Our family is at an “unschoolers waterpark gathering”.  We will meet other homeschoolers, most with different philosophies on life, play in the water until we are sick of it, and have the chance to play as a family.

The children will do school, but it won’t be paper and books.  We will interact with strangers, explore unknown places, have lots of gym time, learn to do new things and just enjoy life school.

Our first activity (art 🙂 ) was to decorate our door.  This week, as the kids color additional pictures of African animals, we will put their art work on our doors.



Vacation-Boonesborough Fort

I knew that I wanted to take the kids to Fort Boonesborough.  Mark really enjoys history and we thought being able to interact with interpreters and learn more about early American history would be great!Allan printed out directions to the fort for us, and Mark practiced being the navigator. He did an excellent job all week! The drive down was easy and we got there just as the fort opened. We watched a short introductory video that was mostly about Daniel Boone and then went exploring.

We were disappointed that there were only three or four interpreters, but they were kind and offered lots of information. One complimented the children for their good questions and how they listened quietly to the answers. She said she enjoys when homeschoolers come to visit.

Mark was very curious and asked many questions. His “winning question” though was about a stick he found in the weaver’s cabin.  We learned that it was an atlatl dart. People used it for hunting. We all learned how it worked and how to throw it. The arrow was too long for all of us, but Mark was able to throw it the furthest. We were told that boys Mark’s age would leave home for a week or two at a time and hunt with these darts to help feed the family while Dad was off on larger hunts.

We enjoyed walking around and then tasting maple candy and dried buffalo jerky from the store. We drove to the original site of the Fort and were surprised on how little it looked.

We decided to look for a Civil War field that was nearby. Even using the maps and the brown information signs on the road, we were not able to find it. After much searching, we gave up and headed home.

Somehow we got lost going around the circle near the hotel. We never did find our turn off. I finally stopped at a gas station and asked for directions. The gentlemen who showed me was very helpful. He took me the “short cut” so I “wouldn’t get lost”. The circle was full of “spokes” through the city, and the spoke we were on was the one we needed to go straight to where Allan was having class! We drove that road every day we were in Lexington.

We enjoyed walking to an Indian restaurant for dinner. We tried some new foods that everyone liked and had a little leftover for lunch another day.