Friday, May 1, 2015

31 Days of Wrapping Up the School Year

This month of posts begins with a trip to my local Homeschool Convention and that means I'll be inspired and oh so ready to wrap up the year, right? Well, that is my prayer. With our little Love (Ashanti) coming to us in September, it's been a rather unpredictably busy and distracting school year. Our biggest blessing also created a huge learning curve for how to homeschool with a toddler who took awhile to slide into our routines and us into hers. Thus, 31 Days is once again an accountability tool for me to help my children finish their present grades well.

In the fall, we dove into the continent of Africa together, trekking the vast Sahara desert and reading 52 Days By Camel by Lawrie Raskin. We suffered along with Olaudah when he was kidnapped and forced into slavery for eleven years (The Kidnapped Prince by Olaudah Equiano). We visited our Kenyan friend's lovely little shop which provides a place for artisans to sell their wares for financial support for their families. We memorized all the African country names. And, we prayed for and learned all about Ashanti's Ivorian momma's struggle with Canadian Immigration. With such an extensive subject matter, it is impossible for my children (or me, for that matter) to grasp the depths of Africa, however, if I can illicit emotion from them through historical biographies and lead them to Africans they encounter each day, to know their stories, that is half the battle. My desire is for them to love Africa and for them to be able to dialogue with others about it's rich and terrible history and it's spectacular hope for the future. With a couple more read-alouds and completing our project folders, this is where we stand on this first day of May concerning our Social Studies. 
My children, attempting to experience carrying water on their heads down our street just like Nya in A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park. They had a tiny idea of what it could be like... minus the burning heat, minus the severity of spilling the precious dirty water, minus the many hours of walking, minus the importance of the chore for a young child, add in the embarrassment one of my kids felt (I won't mention who) participating in this little exercise :)  And, to my dismay, after reading about well-digging and SODIS projects and the monumental problem of finding clean drinking water for many communities, my three kiddos each returned with their water jugs and one by one poured our pure, disease-free water all over the driveway. I think I may have done it too, without thinking. Lesson learned.
working on projects in the beautiful spring air
our very simple version of a Botswana marimba
this big kid joining us for very few adventures these days as she diligently completes her own highschool courses


And if we could just scoop up creation and tuck it into a book, this would be our favourite subject :)
 feeding mute swans
 mallard ducks eating out of his hand too
 This little guy came only about four feet from us but was more fearful than our other forest friends.
 This never happens--the petting zoo experience--but, we'll take it today!
 chipmunks too
 Now, this is a regular occurrence and a welcome one.
 But this? It's rare for a woodpecker to sit on your finger! She was beyond thrilled.
desperate to see what's in the hole

Expect more of the above Nature Study photos since it tends to be how we reward ourselves for a job well done in our other subjects.  :)

1 comment:

jeana said...

Oh how I love seeing this update of your year! What a beautiful year you've had. Those animals are amazing! What a special time:)