Saturday, April 28, 2012

This Week in Homeschooling

This week we went to the zoo. Highlights: Baby giraffe, chimpanzees, elephants, frogs, alligator, otters, millipedes. And the slide:

For Earth Day, Pixar screened the new Disney documentary, Chimpanzee. Trailer here. Margaret and Isaac loved it, though there were some scary parts and they took turns sitting in both our laps in the theater.

Afterwards, Margaret decided she was a chimpanzee:

Because of Margaret's interest in chimpanzees, I thought we could get some books about chimps at the library. "Library skills" is another state standard for elementary school students, so I thought it would be good for Margaret to learn that librarians are there to help you find what you're looking for. So Margaret asked the librarian if there were any chimpanzee books and the librarian helped us find 3: a general chimpanzee book, Jane Goodall's The Chimpanzee Family Book, and Me... Jane.

Also, at the library, I check out books that we don't own but are classics. This week I got Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, Anatole, Amelia Bedelia, The Courage of Sarah Noble, and a book of poems: And the Green Grass Grew All Around. I'll do some reviews in Goodreads if you're interested. The children picked out ABC Pop!, The big Adventures of Majoko, Vol 5, The Perfect Pinata La Pinata Perfecta, and There's a Bird on Your Head. I also checked out The Well-Trained Mind because some friends use it, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to return it right back next week. I flipped through it and I just kept thinking, "Education doesn't need to be this involved!"

Margaret came to me asking to write the other day, but we've done this before: she asks to write and then after 2 seconds gives up because she doesn't want to do anything other than M and H. So this time I used a cookie sheet of salt and she got to draw on it. She did "write" some letters on it, but also did a lot of drawing. This is a good quiet time activity.

The day after the salt pan, she drew in a notebook and wrote the letters "A" and "I" along with M and H. So, progress!

We had some illness this week. I had food poisoning last Saturday night. Margaret came down with hand, foot, and mouth and Isaac looks like he's in the early stages of that as well. It's highly contagious, but is pretty mild, so we've been able to keep up most of our regular activities like park days.


  1. I was wondering about how scary Chimpanzee is. Mikko kinda sorta wants to see it (and I want to find a movie to once again try to introduce him to the joy of movie theaters; we've had several bad experiences…), but I worry about the mom's death and the villain Scar or whatever the deal is with the mean chimps. How come Disney has to … I dunno … Disney-fy everything?

    Sorry about your illnesses! We've had various yuckies here the past couple weeks. Bleh. I'm done with it.

    1. There is scary music warning you about the scary parts and of course, that makes it scarier. The main baby chimp's mother dies also, so sensitive children might have issues with that. I know Margaret was asking, "What happened to his mommy?" And as far as the villain goes, I kept thinking, "What if there was another team making a documentary about Scar's group- would they make out this chimp group to be the big bad evil? It kind of bothered me.

  2. I love your salt letters/ drawing idea. I'm stealing it!

  3. Wait--your kids have a "highly contagious" illness, but you're still taking them to the park?! From all the rest of us with kids, thanks a lot...grumble, grumble. It might seem like a "mild" illness to you, but to a parent with a kid with a chronic illness (ie diabetes like my own child), something "mild" can be very serious. Do us all a favor and KEEP YOUR KIDS HOME WHEN THEY ARE SICK.

    1. I didn't go in to all the details of the illness, but I guess I'll have to now.

      I had food poisoning Saturday night, so when Margaret threw up on Monday, I thought it was something she ate, or some car sickness as the ride to the zoo is very twisty. She had a slight fever later that day, but it was fully gone before we went to the park and so I just figured it was food poisoning since fever is a symptom of food poisoning. Food poisoning is not contagious at all.

      Park happened Tuesday and it was Wednesday when we saw the tell tale hand, foot and mouth rash on her feet and hands. So I didn't take her to the park knowing she was contagious at all. I did look up to see if hand, foot, and mouth was something that you needed to keep kids inside for and everything I read was all, "By the time they show symptoms, the people they are usually around have already been exposed, don't worry about keeping them home unless they have diahrea or a fever or something like that. I did not go to any other playgroups all week after knowing she had HFM and when Isaac got his fever Friday, we did not go to playgroup. Sure, we went to the grocery store on Thursday, but by that time everyone was acting well, just a rash. And a lot fo childhood illnesses have rashes that linger and the grocery store is not full of children in the middle of the day (and she's 4 and isn't at the age where she touches everything in the store either). So please calm down. I did not take my kids to playgroups or the park while I knew they were contagious. I only realized what Margaret had AFTER we went to the park.



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