Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grade 4, Lesson 1, Day 4 ~ The Weather Gets in the Way

I like to picture of all the people who write homeschool curricula, especially Waldorf or Waldorf-inspired curricula, sitting under the trees in their New England yards, enjoying the fall weather and having no frigging idea what August is like in California! Our leaves are still green and won't drop for several months. There is no chill in the air, no sense of crispness. Any smoke we smell is from the nearby forest fire, not from people burning wood in their fireplaces to stave off the cold. There is no cold.

When we used Enki none of the nature stories worked with our climate. Today Oak Meadow suggests that we head out for a field adventure ~ only it's already 88 degrees (before 10 am) and the mercury is rising swiftly. We aren't about to risk heatstroke, and honestly, the boys are already cranky from playing outside earlier. I've decided we'll do an early morning topography study after it cools down somewhat. Plus various Waldorf and Enki curricula expect that we can go to a park or natural place and collect samples. Excuse me, it doesn't work that way here! We leave rocks so that the next person can see them; heck, at some beaches we aren't allowed to collect shells. There are just too many people living here to let everyone take something home. We have to content ourselves with pine cones from the city parks (we can pick those up, as they just go over them with huge riding mowers anyway) and maple leaves and acorns from the sidewalk. We had to steal mulberry leaves from the local school when we raised silkworms.

As you may have guessed, I'm blogging live today. Currently the boys are on their second box (we started late so that they could get in a little outdoor play before it gets unbearable hot), which is math. They are playing math war with dominoes; it works just like war with cards except they have to add together both sides of the domino.

Truthfully, we are all a little cranky today. Papa most definitely has the flu, although he refuses to entertain the idea that it might be H1N1. T-Guy started coughing this morning and is really grumpy, which is usually a sign that he is sick. I already experienced fatigue and sore throat and now I have the headache that won't quick. J-Baby? Well, he's always a little cranky ~ it's in his nature.

Today is also our wedding anniversary. 21 years ~ our marriage is of legal drinking age. Most of the time I am really glad that we waited to have children, but when the anniversary numbers started getting pretty large I realized that if we had gotten started right away we could have had 2 young adult children by now, off to college. Which means I could be eating bon-bons right now instead of stopping every fifth word to help the boys (they've moved on to writing their spelling words in sentences). Don't get me wrong ~ I really love being with my boys everyday. The desire to have the boys grown and gone to college, or even off to public school, is only the headache typing.

(Ooh, I have a hummingbird flitting around my hummingbird wind chime. How cool is that?)

Today's art lesson is taking a lot longer than planned; they are enjoying their work. I need to do a better job of calculating how long each lesson will take for any given day. Yesterday the boys were done with everything in under two hours, today they've been at it for more than two hours and we haven't even started social studies.

Part of the social studies lesson for today is drawing a big, old tree. The boys really got into it; J-Baby's is gnarled and completely leafless (he said it is a winter tree). We definitely ran out of time this morning so we'll finish today's lesson tomorrow during "catch-up" time.

Oh, the final temperature check before I post this ~ 105 degrees.

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