I wish I could say that this was a typical homeschooling day, but I wanted to write it down because I gotta say it was a good day.
First thing: Violet demands a cuddle. She was trying to prolong our time together last night, so I told her, more snuggles tomorrow. So we climb in my bed, both still in PJs. She curls up into a little ball and burrows into me, and says “I love you soooooooo much.” For Violet, this is affection beyond belief. We don’t typically get this from her, but lately she is more given to spontaneous shows of affection. To be the first to say “I love you,” though—that’s really new.
Piano practice: Learned a new section of a piece. We had a good talk about getting frustrated with mistakes—that when we make mistakes, even though we know the world isn’t going to explode or our heads aren’t going to fall off, it sure feels that way. I am very excited about moving to private lessons—she is so ready.
Math: I’m pleased with using 4th and 5th grade materials together thus far. We have been doing a lot with approximation, which I think is good for her very literal mind. Using the 4th to introduce and then the 5th to take it the next step—a surprisingly small step!—is a great way to practice and reinforce without feeling super-repetitive. So much of the “increased difficulty” from grade to grade in primary-level math seems to be about the number of place values (10s, 100s, 1000s, etc.), so I am glad that we will not be waiting til next year to do some of the same stuff, just with an extra zero! Violet whipped through her workbook pages without stalling or doodling for an extra 15 minutes (except for one problem that initially seemed to require long division, which freezes her up a bit). She was enthusiastic about the ease of the work, especially since we were doing the 5th grade book today.
Art Adventure: On our drive to the art museum, we listened to an interesting story on NPR about brain development, evolution, and the “Lucy” fossil, among other things. Led to a cool conversation about how in some sense we all have African heritage. Violet asked a question I couldn’t answer right off: What are qualities that make Cro-Magnons different from humans? Didn’t figure that out til bed time, when I scared her out of her interest by suggesting that we make a little science unit out of the subject—it’s just as easy for my curiosity and enthusiasm to overwhelm her as it is for her curiosity and enthusiasm to overwhelm most everyone else. But we do have a cool new exhibit at the Science Museum on the idea of race that will bring us back to it.
We had a great tour of the art museum. We only got to see a few things, things that the kids had seen before. The theme was “people and their environments,” so the kids were really supposed to think about how people are influenced by the things they see around them in creating art. Violet really engaged with the art and seemed genuinely excited by “visiting” the different countries in the museum, especially China and Africa. (More on the art museum in a later post.) She was so disappointed that we had to leave early, but leave we did because we had to race to ice skating.
Violet loves ice skating, and Victoria likes it OK. Victoria is usually ready to go after about 30-45 minutes, but Violet would skate forever. It is a homeschool skate session, with lessons at all levels, plus practice time, so there is a group of teenage girls there practicing spins and jumps and what not. Violet managed to get one of the girls to work with her on spinning in a circle, so she practiced and practiced and practiced until I thought she might get plowed over by the zamboni. She’s decided she’d like to be a professional figure skater or speed skater, but probably figure skater. Well, never say never.
Both girls were very well behaved, in marked contrast to last week (!), so we hit the local Caribou Coffee afterwards. We discovered that in the spring there will be an — Oh My Gosh — Ice Show! With Costumes! And Headpieces! And two performances! For All Levels! Oh the ecstasy!
As we started to leave the coffeeshop, Violet said to me for the 2nd or 3rd time, “This is a really good day.”
By the time we came home it was time for all to retreat to separate corners—Puzzle Pirates, PBS Kids, and blog—until dad got home. My legs hurt from skating, and I have hours of freelance work to do (still no nanny!), but I agree with Violet. This was a day that I was so happy to be a homeschooling mom.