Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Project Fair and Observations

Last night was our homeschooling group's project fair. Taliesin did his project on knights, and Nathanael (with our help) did a project on pirates. Taliesin put A LOT of work into his. He surprised me in that he wrote everything out by himself. He would say what he wanted it to say and ask me how to spell it. Do you know how long it's been since we've even had a chance to work on his writing? The last time he wrote anything more than his name was probably three or four months ago, and then it was a lot of tracing letters that I dotted for him. It's like he was ready, so he started writing. He loves making recycled art. So he made a castle out of boxes, cans, cups, and yogurt cups. He also made a shield using cardboard, paint, and pieces of unpopped popcorn. We also had some books on knights and the medieval period for people to look at - one that had a plastic castle model that comes apart to see in the inside of the castle. Nathanael also had one of those for his pirate project, but it was a pirate ship, of course. He also helped make a pirate flag out of felt and t-shirt paint. I helped him list the different colors of pirate flags that pirates actually hoisted and wrote what each of them meant. He helped color the flags. And he did help make some pirate biscuits. The original recipe was disgusting enough that only a starving pirate would have eaten them. So Kelsey tweaked it to make them a little more tastey. We didn't want people throwing up with one bite. :^) Taliesin helped a lot on Nathanael's project, too.
I was a little disappointed that there were only fifteen kids who participated in it. This is a big homeschooling group, so fifteen is probably a fourth of the member families. It was really interesting, though, for me. This is the third year I've seen the project fair, the second year our family has participated (last year, Taliesin did a project on airplanes); but this year I guess I've been so immersed in unschooling that I paid closer attention to the styles of projects the kids chose. There was one who did ceramics. There was one who did a bug collection. There was family whose was all out of a textbook with computer images and worksheets (two kids - subjects insects and vertebrate animals). There was another family who has two kids - one did a project on different facts about insects and one who did one on the differences between the moth and the butterfly. There was one little boy who had a marble game. His sister made a hanger and airplanes out of cardboard (very creative). One entered a 4-H project on livestock.
Now I'm thinking we might have a project fair for the unschooling group. There are members of the unschooling group that do not go to the other group. And Taliesin's thinking he might want to do some more recycled art for his 4-H project for the fair this year.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bus ride, beliefs, and more

I still have a few things to get done for college before work tonight, but I wanted to post a quick update. :^)
Taliesin and Nathanael LOVED their bus ride yesterday. They want to do it again. I'm glad they enjoyed it. And the edible book contest was lots of fun! I'm not sure who won, but there were some great entries! Looks like all of the kids really worked hard on their projects! Now we're finishing up Taliesin's and Nathanael's projects (knights and pirates) for the SVHE project fair on Monday.

Aside from that, I've had a stressful past couple of days at work. Most, actually probably all, know I've vegetarian. I have been for nineteen years. Two days ago at work, while on break, I ordered a sandwich. Right now, they have what they call a loaded steakhouse burger. It comes with a steak, bacon, sauce, mashed potatoes, and French fried onions. Well, the day before, I had ordered one with no meat and the girl making it put pickles and onions an mayonaise and everything on it. So I was joking with the kitchen people a couple of nights ago, and told them, just for the record, no meat means just no meat. LOL. Well, I was about half-way through the sandwich when I realized that the sandwich had bacon on it. I was not happy, asked for a refund of the money I spent on it, and spent much of the rest of the evening feeling perturbed. I admit I did feel as though the girl did it on purpose, but then I realized my silliness and apologized if I had an attitude with her. But I still felt as though they should have been more careful, since they knew my personal belief is being vegetarian. I especially felt this way because the one doing the cooking is goes to a strict apostolistic church - so she does not wear pants, wear make-up or jewelry, does not cut her hair, etc. I've never had a problem with her beliefs, even though mine are different. I just felt that someone with such strict beliefs of her own would have paid careful attention to someone else's beliefs. Well, last night, this subject came up with my manager. He was not upset over it or disciplining me. He said he felt I over-reacted. When I explained my viewpoint, he pretty much passed it off. That was very upsetting to me that a company would downplay someone's beliefs that way. Yes, I realize it was mistake. And I apologized for getting an attitude. But I do not feel I am wrong in my opinion that they should have been more careful, knowing that I do not eat anything that kills an animal to make it.
As you can tell, this is still upsetting me.

Well, back to college work. :^)


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bus ride and more...

"The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round..." Today, we're taking Taliesin and Nathanael on a bus ride, then it off to the library for their edible book contest. The book they picked to make an edible rendition of was a children's book about the John J. Harvey fire boat. It's an interesting story. I definitely recommend it! I'll be sure to post a picture of this afternoon's events!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The past few days

The past few days have been busy ones. Tuesday was our unschooling group - an Earth Day celebration at Sunset Park. It was so much fun. We were there almost four hours. I have some pictures that my neighbor across the street took. I'll post them as soon as I get my college work caught up for the week. Wednesday, the boys had a relax day. We played and played and played some more and read books. Today was our food day. We made pizza this morning and then created an edible book for an edible book contest at the library on Saturday. Taliesin and Nathanael are so creative. I sometimes cannot believe the ieas that they come up with.

Tonight I'm finishing up one of my history assignments. I just finished a critique for my theology class over the role of women in the church. It's definitely creating some discussions! And I'm really enjoying studying the medieval time period in history. I was just telling people at work tonight that if I could go back in time to visit any era, I would definitely want to visit the Middle Ages for a few days and then on to the Italian Rennaissance - to watch Michelangelo paint the Cistine Chapel and Leonardo DaVinci paint the Mona Lisa.

Trying to keep up with everything for the past few days has been a challenge in itself. My e-mail has over three hundred e-mails that I have not read yet. But at least Taliesin, Nathanael, and I are all enjoying our education. :^)


Monday, April 21, 2008

child-directed learning

A few days ago, there was a posting on the Homefires discussion forum from Diane Flynn Keith. It talked about how sometimes we, as parents, feel as though we have to push our kids into learning based on what others are learning in public schools. I know I am guilty of that sometimes. Sometimes it takes days like the past few days to snap me back to where I should be. Taliesin is learning the mandolin and has been practicing for a talent contest coming up next month. You should have seen him beam today when he played the song "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round" with minimal help. He was so proud of himself. Right now, both boys are in the back yard helping their dad with planting a garden. Nathanael is mesmorized with the earthworms and grubs Kelsey has been unearthing with each dig with the shovel. Taliesin takes each earthwom and puts it beside our newly planted grape vine because they will help it grow. I just need to remember these moments the next time I think I need to press more school subjects on them. :^)

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Today was a nice, relaxed day. My sons needed it after such a busy day yesterday. :^) I spend much of the late morning watching theology lessons on DVD, then finished reading my theology lesson for the week. It's really very interesting. This week's lesson was the second half of a chapter on ecclesiology - the doctrine of the church. Today, the neatest thing happened - another proof that unschooling works! Taliesin and Nathanael were watching a video on trucks, tractors, and trains. One part of the video has some farmers in South America. I was upstairs studying, when Taliesin came upstairs from the basement where he was watching the video. He searched his bookshelf in the kitchen full of "school things" for his floor puzzle of the United States. He opened it up and brought it to me, asking, "Mom, where is South America? I can't find it." I explained to him that the United States is part of the continent North America. So I took him downstairs again and showed him a map of South America that hangs on his school room wall. I told him that the farmers on the video were probably somewhere around Brazil. Then we went through the maps of each of the continents. He's definitely becoming quite interested in geography. Looks like we'll have to check out some more books about cultures found in other countries. We started that before, and both Taliesin and Nathanael really enjoyed it. Then we just started getting into other things; but I think Taliesin will be ready to get back into it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's Been Forever!!!

It has been forever since I've had time to really get back to the blog. LOL. First the holidays; then birthdays; then Easter; and always school with Taliesin and Nathanael, college and work. But I decided today I really need to get back into blogging. Taliesin and Nathanael attended their first cirucus today. Each year, the Shriner's put on a circus to fund their hospitals. Recently, Taliesin read in one of his Dora the Explorer phonics books about a circus. He asked what a circus is. So we promised him that next time one came to town, we would go. So our school day today was going to the circus (and an open house the art center and McDonald's and the park). But they both really enjoyed it! Taliesin said his favorite part was the dog tricks. Nathanael said his favorites were the tigers and elephants. I do think they were both intrigued by the motorcycle stunts. I, myself, really enjoyed the acrobats. They've always been my favorite part of a circus. Kelsey said he just enjoyed the whole thing. It's been a nice, relaxing day.
Next week, I've told Taliesin and Nathanael we really need to focus on their projects for the upcoming homeschooler's project fair. Their topics are pirates and knights, so it should definitely be fun. Taliesin is also working hard on his mandolin. He has a talent contest coming up at church next month; so he's pretty excited.

Until next time, which should not be as long as it was this time. :^)