Friday, April 2, 2010

Week 27: Spring is here!

This was one of those weeks in which the weather was truly the star. Spring does not always last long here in Chicagoland, or it can be suddenly replaced by unexpected winter weather (as happened last Saturday--snow appeared after several days in the 60s!) so we tried to take advantage of it when we could! We spent tons of time outdoors, even eating meals outdoors, and just soaked in so much sunlight. I have read that due to parents' worries about exposure to UV light, kids are actually becoming deficient in Vitamin D and developing rickets in some cases. Well, at least for this week, we didn't have that problem!

Schoolwise, some of our highlights were...
  • Harry participated in an online class about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Homeschoolers from all over the country sign on and participate in a group discussion, facilitated by a teacher, and this was Harry's second time doing so. He is the youngest in the group but hasn't hesitated to "raise his hand" and make comments, which is great to see. I was always the kid in class who never wanted to raise my hand, and so I have tried to encourage our kids never to be afraid to participate. The result has been almost the opposite problem, that my kids will be the ones to raise their hands even if they don't know the answer! So we're still working on learning when to raise hands...but at least they're not afraid to speak up!
  • In science, we focused on solids, liquids and gases, and did a little experiment to determine what happens to substances when they are put in the freezer. Both boys were surprised to see how little oil changed after a few hours in the freezer and how milk and juice became something entirely different!
  • In the hopes that we find our digital camera soon, I won't go into great detail about this here, but we found out that whole peanuts are the way to lure blue jays into our backyard and we saw more of them this week than we had all year. The boys were thrilled by this large, colorful, and noisy bird, even if our smaller feathered friends flee at the first (loud!) sound of the blue jay. Hope to be able to capture them in a photo soon!
  • Speaking of birds, we are still enjoying watching the live feed of Molly the Barn Owl. It's been amazing to watch her transform from nesting owl to mother owl, with now four out of her five owlets out of the shells. The boys have been amazed at how carnivorous owls are and how they swallow their prey, fur, bones and all! I think the educational value has been unbelievable. You'd never get to see this in a zoo, the kind of live biology lesson we've been experiencing over the past couple of weeks. The owlets will be in the nest for a couple more weeks yet before Molly teaches her owlets to hunt and they leave the nest to make their own way into the world. Here is a photo with at least a couple of her owlets visible:
  • This Sunday, in addition to celebrating Easter, we will also celebrate Ron's 5th birthday! He is adamant that he wants to do school at home instead of going to kindergarten in the local school. So, this coming fall should be interesting, if I continue to use My Father's World's Exploring Countries and Cultures and also a separate kindergarten curriculum. It's already feels tough to fit everything in as is, so looking ahead, the coming fall will be quite the challenge! I marvel at veteran homeschoolers who manage way more kids than I do in their homeschool. Right now, I mostly hope that I'm not completely messing up my children's educational future. Thankfully, I know God is bigger than any of my mistakes. =)
Thanks for visiting, and have a happy Easter!


  1. Looks like a lovely week! We've finally been able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather too - enjoying that vitamin D!

  2. So glad you guys had a good week and were able to be outside! ;)

    We just learned that my brother-in-law's wedding plans have changed and we won't be going to Chicago in June after all. It would have been fun to meet ... maybe another time! ;)

  3. I'm glad you got out and enjoyed the sunshine. We did a lot of that this week too.