It is so hard to write a blog post when I've been away for so long! I end up feeling like I should write something very profound or supremely lovely in some way. Yikes! Talk about giving myself writer's block!
Since my last post we have been immersed in the "official" beginnings" of our school year here. This year I have have nine children who are doing school "for real." (At least as far as our state is concerned) Our two oldest children are adults out on their own now, so that only leaves Timmy not in school. I can't believe he is now 4! He, of course, is *very* interested in all that we are doing and is actually doing a little bit of school work himself. It is amazing to me how quickly he is picking up phonics with just a few minutes/day of work and reviewing letters and their sounds.
After many years of using Alpha-Phonics to teach reading.... and I do mean *many* years~ like 19, I was ready to "splurge" and try something different. After reading many reviews, I decided to try The Reading Lesson.... and so far I am, or I should say, we are really enjoying it!
I will put together a post soon listing the curriculum that we are using this year for everyone, not because I think that what we are doing is somehow ideal or "best," but because I know that I *love* hearing about what other families are using. It can be a wonderful way to find out about resources that I wasn't aware of.
When our oldest children were little guys, Tom and I frequently took them on interesting "field trips." We loved attending Civil War reenactments and museums, nature centers, etc. Alas, that practice had really fallen by the wayside in the past 10 years or so. Now please understand: I am quite satisfied being at home and find so many projects here that interest and occupy my time. I do not feel compelled to entertain my children or to be constantly taking them from one event to the next. It is my desire that my children also enjoy the simple pleasures of home and creatively occupying their time. That being said, I do think that there are many interesting things to see and do nearby, and we are entering a season where it is more feasible to go and do, so I am going to try to go and do more!
The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was in town last week and we were able to take the children downtown to see the elephants eat their lunch! A trip downtown is always a bit of an adventure for us... and if you add elephants to the mix~ well! How can you go wrong?
Here was the crew... minus Miss Hannah, who was in class at the community college that morning.
Seven elephants eat a tremendous amount of food for lunch! There were loaves of bread, bananas, lettuce, carrots, apples and even watermelon for dessert! (The elephants knew just what to do with the watermelons... they stepped on them first to smash them, then greedily ate them, rind and all~ Yum!)
The boys had a bit of fun playing with clown noses....
And even Dad got in on the fun!
While we waited for the elephants to arrive, we enjoyed a display of lassoing skills.... yee-ha!
Here come the elephants! Yay!
There was also an informative Q&A time while the "girls" ate. (No male elephants over the age of 5 in the circus... they get too interested in impressing the girls!)
I love seeing my big guys enjoy the littler guys... *love* this about homeschooling!
And of course, what is a trip downtown without some cool reflective photography? The Sprint Center is a huge, fabulously reflective building~ I simply couldn't resist a few Kansas City skyline pics...
I'm not sure why, but for some reason I feel compelled to go eat a banana or something..... perhaps a watermelon would hit the spot....