Such crazy weather, but we've been having fun!
Hands-on school is always the most fun, and this week it was tasty too. The girls worked together to make a catapult (that would be for medieval history class) out of bamboo skewers, marshmallows, a plastic spoon, tape & a rubber band. It was rather . . . rickety . . . and the marshmallows holding it together had to be replaced rather frequently (but that may have been a plot . . . since the smooshed ones HAD to be eaten, so as not to be "wasteful"). But they had great fun shooting mini marshmallows across the room at each other (and, of course, eating the ammunition that was shot at them). Even Little Bit, who has, up to this point, been not so sure about all this history stuff that we are obsessed with, decided that history is fun, and yummy! To add to her change of heart, we've been listening to Jim Weiss's fairy tale CDs in the car (because, fairy tales are set in the middle ages, so it all ties together nicely . . . and we need every excuse we can find to listen to Jim Weiss stories!) and she's been enjoying those too.
Much as we all love our planned school stuff, my favorites are always the things the kids come up with completely on their own. I have a big plastic drawer in the school room that is just random odds & ends that can be used for crafts. When I clean the school room bits of yarn, random (unused) stickers, etc get tossed in that drawer. If we make an art project and have some specific thing left over, I toss those in that drawer too. At some point I needed a kitchen sponge for some project, and tossed the rest of the package into that drawer. One day this week, Little Bit noticed them, and, completely on her own created a pretend "lollypop"!!! She stuck stickers to the sponge and then taped it onto a popsicle stick and ta-da! It's a "lollypop" (or perhaps an ice cream bar, but she can call it whatever she likes, she created it, hee hee!). An added benefit of this kind of completely independent creativity, is seeing how proud of herself she is when she creates something that everyone is genuinely impressed with.
As is typical of many, if not most, homeschool families, we tend to make lots of trips to the local library. I love that our county has it set up so that I can go onto the website, and search the entire county, and have the books I need delivered to our local library where I just have to go to the desk and pick them up. While I am doing that, Little Bit loves to play in the children's area. Often she plays a Dora game on the computer there, but this week when I went to find her and Lexie, they weren't by the computers, instead, I found them at the puppet theater, where they put on a "play" in which 2 girls fought over . . . whatever that little blue thing was supposed to be, and finally the 3rd girl suggested they share it, which they did, and then everyone was happy again. It was pretty cute, though at some point someone needs to work with Little Bit on the concept of having the puppets face forward, not down LOL. But it was pretty cute. And anything, especially something spontaneous and not Mommy-prompted, that encourages/re-emphasizes sharing and getting along is great in my book!
Lexie's excitement this week was moving up a size in her violin. Her teacher had mentioned a few weeks ago that she was ready to move from a half size to a 3/4 size violin, and I'd called the rental place to arrange to trade them out. I finally heard back from them this week and Thursday afternoon we went to pick up her new (rental) violin. She's super excited, but was abit sad to be saying goodbye to "Vinnie" her first violin, so, at her request, I took a picture of her having her last lesson with "Vinnie". I didn't think to take a picture of her testing out her new violin later that day. The man who owns the shop where we rent from is talkative and interested in ancient instruments so we ended up spending about an hour with him answering their questions, which raised more questions which he also happily answered.
We wrapped up our week with a Christmas parade . . . walking in it, that is! Our church had a float in the city's Christmas parade (you may remember I mentioned a couple weeks ago, that we got candy canes ready for a parade, this was that parade). The float was a simple live nativity, and the younger kids had the option to dress as farm animals and walk along with the float (and the rest of us) passing out candycanes. Doesn't Little Bit make a perfect curly haired sheep? The big girls and I walked in it too, passing out candy canes (we didn't dress up though, just wore our red, t-shirts and jeans). I wasn't sure how Little Bit would do walking so far, she's never been as interested in walking (she LIKED her stroller, the twins hated being in a stroller, so that prompted them to learn to walk long distances pretty young. She'd still happily ride in the stroller if I let her, and often coerces her sisters into pushing her around the yard in it just for fun). But we talked about it ahead of time and she really wanted to do it, and she did great. No complaining at all until we were walking the last couple blocks from the end of the parade route to where Daddy was waiting with the car to pick us up. She also did excellent with our long wait for our turn to actually walk in the parade. We had to be lined up, ready to go (relatively speaking) by 9am, but, being approximately in the middle of the parade, didn't actually start moving until around 10am.
Lexie and Ashlyn did great too, but I would expect no less from them :) And they had a blast doing it! They're already talking about doing it again next year!