September 20, 2013

magical thursdays

I don't know why, but Thursdays are always the smoothest day of the homeschool week for us (regardless of how I'm feeling. I had a crappy morning yesterday and still the hours of school were so nice). I don't know if it's because we're finally in our groove, that we have spent the prior afternoon at the park with other homeschoolers or if it's that we know it's the last formal day of the week for us. I'm guessing it's a combo.

Tuesdays on the other hand - awful.


Yesterday was one of the last days of our math unit, which Guthrie is more sad about than I expected, and I asked her to complete some addition combinations in her main lesson book - you know, how many ways can you add numbers in order to get say 10 - and she happily sat with her pile of rocks laughing when every time she would forget that x + 0 = x and it was just sweet to watch. I asked her to do 1 through 12 and I think she's got 8 through 12 left to do on Monday. Surprisingly, or maybe not, she's had a more difficult time with the smaller numbers.

When I set out to do this with her a couple of weeks ago we sat on the circle time quilt (it has squares on it which are really, really handy for math) and I really tried to limit my verbal explanations. It is hard to watch your kid struggle to make a connection, but holy cow so worth it. Knowing all the details that she figured out for herself I am so happy I kept my mouth shut.

Laithe happily worked on a few puzzles and I moved back and forth between the kids. Both would ask for help and by the time I got over there it was clear they just wanted an adult presence, not any real help.

Then both worked on more challenging puzzles until it was time for our art lesson. We were using the technique of making an oil pastel outline and then using watercolors to fill in or do background color. In hindsight I should have mixed up some diluted liquid watercolor paint. 
Instead they used their individual watercolors and they are bigger fans of the more, uh, opaque (thick) watercolor techniques. So, it wasn't like it was a bust of a lesson or anything, but I find I need to maintain the inner mantra of "process not product" during many of our art lessons.

I struggle with keeping my hands busy during art lessons partly because I'm so conscious of Guthrie being so conscious of what I am doing. She will frequently look at my work and then look at her own work and get frustrated and upset. Which is frustrating and upsetting. So, I doodle or I knit and think about how I need to start carving out my own art time.

Then Guthrie set out everything I needed to make lunch, after taking everyone's sandwich orders on her notepad and we read a couple chapters of Caddie Woodlawn before ending our week.

It is just always such a nice day.

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