Sunday, January 03, 2010

Reaching the Children

I have a tossed salad of thoughts to write about today. However, I shall group my thoughts and subtitle each section, cause you all know I'm an organizational goddess.

Interview with Toa of Boy

(Disclaimer: Toa of Boy loves church. Always. Well, disclaimer to the disclaimer, he always loves children's church. He groans about having to sit with Mommy and Daddy once a month on family Sunday. But children's church you can't keep him home from. Combine his eagerness to go to church with lessons that he really understands and talks about later AND many memorized scripture verses and you get a picture of an extremely effective children's program. So, the disclaimer is that the amusing antedote I'm about to share is an exception to the norm.)

"Mommy," says Toa of Boy, "We started a new program at church today."

"Oh," says Mommy, quickly remembering that they had wrapped up the previous curriculum just before Christmas. "What's the new program?"

Toa of Boy shrugs.

"What did you do?" asked the Mommy who knew he just needed a little help clarifying his thoughts.

Toa of Boy grins and declares, "We yelled a lot of things loudly!"

"What sorts of things did you yell?" was the perfect, teacher-type follow-up question. So the Mommy asked it.

"One team, the home team yelled, 'We want to win!' And the other people yelled, 'We are superstars!"

This wasn't the Biblical truths the Mommy was expecting, and she must have looked confused, becasue Toa of Boy went on to explain, "Some people were the home team and the other people were the visiting team and Miss Bethann was the coach and when she said 'visitors' then the visitors had to yell and you had to yell the loudest and the home team was the loudest by a little bit I think."

At least, I think that's what he said. Sometimes following Toa of Boy's explanations can be a bit challenging. I do know what that Mommy said next. Not to be detered from having a beautiful and meaningful teachable moment to follow up and reinforce the deep spiritual insight he had surely experienced at church, the Mommy asked, "So, what was the lesson?"

"I don't know," says an unphased Toa. "She talked a lot of words so I don't remember them."

School Attendance
I haven't logged my school attendance hours since November 30th. Now, for the actuall school days, we have spiral-bound notebooks that we write down start and end times for each subect. (In theory.  That lovely record keeping theoretically happens every school day.)

However, the last month being the month of December and a little busy, our record keeping left a little to be desired. Plus, on many days we were doing educational activities, but just not our regular curriculum. For those of you unfamilar with how attendance works in a virtual school, each day (ha ha) the parent or primary instructor is to log into the on-line system and log the amount of time each student spent in each separate subject. I, being the unschooler that I am at heart, often have difficulty figuring out under which subject to log our extra-curricular activities. Building fairy houses? I take the total time and divide it evenly among art, language arts (for the story-telling), and science (for the nature hike portion of the expedition.)

So, I'm an old hand at deciding how to log worth-while, educational, enriching activites that just don't fit in the regular mold. However, I struggled with a few of our Christmas activities. I was going to post these on Facebook for opinions, but there were too many.

Three hours of work at the food pantry at church? Health, since it builds character.
Helping to make 90 some Ojos de Dios and hand-colored envelopes to hold them? Art, of course.
Zombies card game? Technology (for strategy decisions) and language arts (for the cleverly written carrds).
What about, really really wanting to pet the cow on Uncle Tommy's farm but accidentally spooking the cow multiple times, cause we were too excited to approach it carefully? Science, for animal behavior.
Attempting to ride an old tractor hubcab down a steep hill in the pasture? Um, physical education.
Making a small folding chair out of cardstock to stick on our Christmas tree after watch Curious George's A Very Monkey Christmas? Art.
Making a snowball to put in the freezer because someone else we know has a snowball named Frederickson living in their freezer? Science, annoying science, but science.
Building a 14 inch tall Lego Ogre Warrior who lived only long enough to get his picture taken and then do battle against the Bionicles, whereupon the Legos were gathered up and reassembled over the course of several days, with several rebuilds, to make a red dragon with moveable limbs, a multijointed tail, and a nearly two foot wingspan? Technology.
Backgammon at Mrs Ria's? Algebra.
Mythbuster marathon? Science.
Man Vs Food? History. That's pure American culture right there.


To Nora, ttptptptptptptptp. You are such a bad influence. How many questions are there? Way the heck too many. That's work is what that is. What, do you think I like to write or something?

Prayer Request

Last, but far from least, please keep the Jedi's father in your prayers. He's back in the hospital, in ICU, in critical condition. Things are not looking good for him. We are traveling back up to Canton, likely tomorrow.

I'll update later with more specifics.

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