What We Did since Last Time

The last few weeks have been . . . interesting.

It looks like we had a pretty normal week the week ending November 13. At least, I took a lot of notes. The end of the week, though, I was pretty distracted helping DOB prepare for and present a mock trial. We arrived home from that late Saturday night and right before we were about to leave for church on Sunday morning D3 threw up.

That cycled through for most of the rest of the week. It seemed pretty mild, though, so we kept up with most of our normal stuff. We also had a windstorm and power outage, but they were at night so it didn’t matter.

The Monday before Thanksgiving we barely made it home from a trip to the zoo in a snowstorm, which turned into a windstorm which knocked us out of power for three days and trapped DOB at home and everything was topsy-turvy for the rest of the week.

Thanksgiving D1 had a relapse of the stomach flu, which seemed to settle back down, and then she got worse again on Monday. Tuesday she was so listless I took her to the doctor and they got her rehydrated and I kept nursing her round the clock until Wednesday she finally started feeling better. By that time I was so wiped out that Thursday and Friday were completely washed out.

But we’re all alive and I’m sure we accomplished many worthy things anyways.

So:

We’ve continued science lessons and demonstrations on states of matter and on gravity, including a discussion of planetary orbits, and some demonstrations of the ability of the particles in liquids to flow at various speeds. (D1 gave a fine summary on the topic when the pediatrician asked why she had color stains all over her hands and she explained how food coloring spread more quickly in hot than in cold water.) The book Experiments with Solids, Liquids and Gases has proven to be a great source for simple, real experiments and I will be looking for more in the series.

The older ducklings decorated their entire bedroom in models of the various planets–they still remembered an amazing amount from our study last winter.

We read some books about Columbus (a summary of his journals and the D’Aulaire biography) which tied into science because of the way gravity works, pulling evenly on everyone over the Earth’s surface. Then we finished that up and moved into various books about the Pilgrims, although we didn’t spend much time on that.

We’ve discovered the Spanish series Salsa online (I would link, but it’s complicated) and I am really excited about it. The ducklings love having a video to watch, and it’s really boosted their confidence in using key Spanish words while exposing them to more.

We did an art lesson from Drawing with Children on drawing lions–D2 freaked out at every stage and then insisted on continuing. D1 enjoyed it and would pick art lessons every day if she could. D4 earnestly tried to copy them later and I did recognize an eye and a tail squiggle in his drawing.

We’ve seen a lot of fallen trees over the past few weeks and noticed color changes, insect tunnels, etc. We also got to play in the leaves, making intricate trails, and then a bit in the snow.

Before things got totally crazy we read one Aesop’s fable. 😛 Narration has dropped off the scene totally, but I hope to have everyone feeling well enough for it on Monday! We also read another chapter from Seabird.

D1 found a wonderful picture-book Robin Hood with a spread of a brief tale and illustration on each page. We have been enjoying that slowly.

After we got carpets and they were playing magic carpet with them I decided we had to read The Phoenix and the Carpet by E. Nesbit. It’s heavy going for them but they are starting to enjoy it.

Plus miscellaneous fairy tales, poetry, nonfiction. We finished The Hundred Dresses. The twins still love the Angus books, one I found called The Tide (boats!), and one I hate but D4 adores about cars. (I need to find and reserve more car books I am willing to read, because otherwise he’s going to hunt up ones I’m not.)

D1 is reading Betsy-Tacy and Tib. D2 and I are working slowly through The Bears on Hemlock Mountain–he seems to enjoy it, but often would rather read something else. On the other hand, D1 found him a book of short Oz stories and he has been devouring that, insisting on “reading it to me” whether I’m actually listening or not. While D1 was sick we read some Oz books together, too. They really have some amazing vocabulary and we are lucky that our library has the whole series in large-print illustrated editions.

D1 went to a craft show with Her Majesty. We also did a Christmas gift craft together while the power was out. I am glad that is over with.

While D1 was at the craft show, D2 and I had a quiet afternoon together and I read him Galileo’s Leaning Tower Experiment, which he really enjoyed. We duplicated the experiments that didn’t require a leaning tower.

We made a quick and simple timeline out of a diaper box–I’ll probably do a post just on it one of these days.

On the first day of the snowstorm, we went to the zoo and stuck with the aquarium, where we all enjoyed looking at the local fish. Then they closed the zoo and we had to go home. However, we got to spend a lot of time in the car with two of their aunts singing Thanksgiving songs. They really enjoyed their memory work last month. I’ll put this month’s up next week.

It’s been a hard few weeks, but certainly not wasted.

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