Thursday, April 30, 2009

New books at the Treehouse

These books all came in a box from a family out west who are finishing their homeschool years and have decided to part with some treasures. Some of these books are part of the Ambleside Online curriculum (mostly for the upper years), and some are just for fun.

Walking the Bible by Bruce Feiler (a junior version--I'd still like to get the real thing)

"But perhaps the most amazing thing about the Dead Sea was something I didn't discover until we began to walk into the desert hills on its southern shore. Because the atmosphere is so dense in the area, the air pushes down on the water and the water pushes down on several miles of salt deposits underneath the Dead Sea. These salt deposits are pushed down toward the core of the earth and then out toward the shore, where they sprout up in two- or three-story asparagus-like formations. They look like salt lighthouses." (p. 47)

Makers of the English Bible: The Story of the Bible in English by Cyril Davey

"But, in spite of Alfred's schoolboys learning the Lord's Prayer in their everyday language, there were few men who troubled to turn any more of the Bible into English. Books and parchments were too expensive for ordinary people to buy. The young men of Alfred's kingdom had little use for reading unless they became monks or 'clerks"--'clerk' is only a later way of spelling 'cleric', or churchman. Monks and 'clerks' could read Latin well enough, so why should they bother to turn Latin into English for people who, in any case, could not read?" (p. 21)

Long Ago in Florence: the Story of the Della Robbia Sculpture by Marion Downer

"The younger della Robbias kept the workshop open for many years. But no one in the family ever inherited the genius of Luca. No one ever sculptured children with quite as much accuracy and feeling as he did--as if each child was his own beloved friend." (p. 30)

Heroes of the City of Man by Peter Leithart

"Like father, like son: Telemachus must go, if not to hell and back, at least from a deadly threat to assured life. All the way home from Sparta and Pylos, he wonders, 'would he sweep clear of death or be cut down?'" (p. 197)

Brightest Heaven of Invention by Peter Leithart

"Biblically, the belief that one can remake the world through terror and bloodshed is a heresy. Its most fundamental error is the belief that there is someone other than the Messiah whose death inaugurates a new age. The most penetrating answer to the religion of revolution is the insistence that there is only one sacrificial Victim whose blood revives and whose unleased Spirit brings not strife but peace. Only those who trust this sacrifice can have confidence that, whatever their mistakes and errors, they will not, in the end, misconstrue everything." (p. 106, on Julius Caesar)

Linnea's Windowsill Garden by Christina Björk

"Now I'll tell you about my nicest plant. Her name is Busy Lizzie. That's a good name for her because Lizzie definitely is busy: she never stops growing and blooming. This is how I got my first Busy Lizzie: Mr. Bloom had a large plant and he let me take a cutting from it. That means cutting off a little branch, so that it can later take root and grow up to be a new plant." (p. 20)

Kon Tiki for Young People by Thor Heyerdahl

"When tormented by thirst in a hot climate, one generally assumes that the body needs water, and this may often lead to immoderate inroads on the water ration without any benefit whatever. On really hot days in the tropics you can pour tepid water down your throat till you taste it at the back of your mouth, and you are just as thirsty. It is not liquid the body needs then, but, curiously enough, salt. The special rations we had on board included salt tablets to be taken regularly on particularly hot days, because perspiration drains the body of salt. We experienced days like this when the wind had died away and the sun blazed down on the rafts without mercy....On such days we added from 20 to 40 per cent of bitter, salt sea water to our fresh-water ration and found, to our surprise, that this water quenched our thirst." (p. 72)

Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe

She Wanted to Read: the Story of Mary McLeod Bethune by Ella Kaiser Carruth

"On cold days in the winter her eyes smarted from the smoke of the pot-bellied stove. The stove couldn't quite burn up the pine cones that were stuffed into it. When she got to school on frosty mornings, she was glad to stretch her hands out to it. Sometimes, even though she had run and jumped all the way to school, she was cold clear through her gingham dress. Miss Wilson would take her hands between her own warm hands and say, 'I can't let my most faithful pupil freeze.'" (p. 20)

If all the Swords in England: a story of Thomas Becket by Barbara Willard

"As they came within sight of the city, of the sturdy walls, the pile of the great church, the palace, the monastery, a huge throng rushed from the gates to meet them. They sang and shouted and wept, they called for the Archbishop's blessing. They urged him forward among them, bringing him home to his church that had lacked him too long....At every window hung silks and carpets in joyous decoration. The bells of Christchurch clashed and clamored on the clear air of the winter's day." (p. 116)

The Ocean of Truth: The Story of Sir Isaac Newton by Joyce McPherson

"Isaac found a table that spilled over with heavy books, bound in dark green and brown. For a while he enjoyed simply picking up the books one at a time, reading the titles, and stacking the books neatly on a pile. They smelled of printer's ink and leather. One volume interested him. It was by Theodore Beza, the theologian who succeeded John Calvin in the Geneva Church. He was a famous reformer of the last century. The bookseller saw Isaac hesitate with the book in his hand....He held out a book called The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin....'I'll give you both of them for a deal,' pressed the bookseller." (p. 75)

An Introduction to Shakespeare by Marchette Chute

"An actors' inventory of the period is a riot of color: a scarlet cloak with gold laces and buttons, a crimson velvet jerkin with blue satin sleeves, purple hose embroidered with silver. Every company had piles of old costumes stored away to be remodeled for the minor parts and for group scenes, but the actors who took the main roles evidently had their costumes designed for them at considerable expense. Gold lace was lavishly applied to their costumes, with copper lace for the lesser actors, and one London company ran up enormous bills with 'the copper lace man.'" (p. 58)

The Happy Orpheline by Natalie Savage Carlson

"It was difficult for Genevieve to round them all up when it was time to leave. She made them hold hands. She counted them five times and would not trust Josine to do it. She told them that if they did not stay together, she would never bring them back and that she would leave the orphanage forever and that they would never again be treated to chocolate buns." (p. 44)

Schoolroom in the Parlor by Rebecca Caudill

"'Well,' sighed Chris, 'have a good time, Emmy, Debby, and Bonnie in your extra recesses. I'll be sitting right here in the parlor studying how to spell alligator and crocodile and hippopotamus.'" (p. 74)

The Happy Little Family by Rebecca Caudill

"The week before Mother had knitted the cap. It was long and red, like Debby's, with a white tassel at the end. It was soft as a kitten and warm as feathers. It was hanging on Bonnie's nail behind the kitchen stove, waiting for the first frosty day. To see it hanging beside Debby's made Bonnie feel that, at last, she was surely growing big." (p. 71)

Premlata and the Festival of Lights by Rumer Godden

"Then, once again, Prem seemed to see further, to those long ago golden and silver bangles that had been on Mamoni's wrists when they lived with Bapi and, "I'll buy her a silver bangle now," vowed Prem. She knew gold would be too expensive. She forgot everything else and took a windmill....The shopman charged her a rupee more than the peddler, but she could not stop to argue, and pushed her way back through the crowd to where she had passed the bangle stall." (p. 51)

Little Plum by Rumer Godden

"Miss Happiness and Miss Flower were beginning to understand that Little Plum was in the middle of some sort of quarrel, and they did not know what to wish for: that Belinda would stop climbing the ilex tree; that Gem could learn to play; 'That we should all be peaceful and happy together,' said Miss Happiness. The two little dolls were still talking it over that late afternoon when there came a sudden and determined shaking in the ilex tree." (p. 97)

Dr. Dolittle's Circus by Hugh Lofting

Slowly the Doctor opened his eyes and raised himself on his elbow. "Where am I?" he said drowsily. "Oh, yes, of course, in jail."

Then he stared at the man who stood beside him. And at last a smile spread over his face.

"Heavens above! It's Sir William Peabody," said he. "Well, well, William! What on earth brings you here?"

"I might still more reasonably ask you how you come to be here," said the visitor...."What's it all about? They tell me you were seen throwing a woman into the sea."

"It wasn't a woman," said the Doctor.

"What was it then?"....

"It was a seal," he said at last, "a circus seal dressed up as a woman. She wasn't treated properly by her keepers. And she wanted to escape, to get back to Alaska and her own people. So I helped her. I had the very dickens of a time bringing her across country all the way from Ashby. I had to disguise her as a woman so we could travel without arousing suspicion. And the circus folk were out after me. Then just as I got her here to the coast and was throwing her into the sea, so she could swim back to her native waters, one of your coastguard men saw me and put me under arrest.--What are you laughing about?"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Book sale finds

This weekend was the big annual used book sale! We found:

Two volumes of Best in Children's Books that we didn't have

Maggie Rose: Her Birthday Christmas, by Ruth Sawyer, pictures by Maurice Sendak

The Illustrated Cider With Rosie, by Laurie Lee

Far to Go, by Noel Streatfeild (paperback in pretty rough shape)

Thomasina, by Paul Gallico

Figgs & Phantoms, by Ellen Raskin

The Dolls' House, by Rumer Godden (we have a copy but I couldn't pass it up)

The Jungle Books Vol. 2, by Rudyard Kipling

The Street of the Flower Boxes, by Peggy Mann

Aunt Charlotte's Stories of Bible History, by Charlotte M. Yonge

Gateways to Bookland (a reader)

Life of Robert Louis Stevenson for Boys and Girls, by Jacqueline Overton, with a gift inscription from 1915

Cape Breton Harbour, by Edna Staebler

Kingfishers Catch Fire, by Rumer Godden (one of her adult novels)

A Severe Mercy, by Sheldon Vanauken (a nicer copy than the one we have)

The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey

The Oxford Book of English Verse 1250-1918, Chosen and Edited by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (1948 printing)

The Golden Treasury of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language, Selected and Arranged with Notes by Francis Turner Palgrave

Two older books of poetry that Crayons picked out

For the Scholastic shelf:

Ginnie and the Mystery Doll

Ginnie and the Mystery House

Kid Sister, by Margaret Embry

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WFMW: The advantage of limitations

"So, with my tongue somewhat in my cheek, here's the money-saving tip: shop, at least occasionally, somewhere where you can't eat at least half of what's on the shelf (too caloric or high-sodium or whatever)."

We've inadvertently discovered a way to save money on groceries.

We (in mid-size-urban southern Ontario) usually do a big weekly grocery shop at either a discount supermarket or one particular independent grocery store. Some weeks, though, we only manage to make it to Giant Tiger, a discount store that (if you haven't been up to this Treehouse before) specializes more in flip-flops and talking-singing-light-up Santas than it does in groceries. Saturdays are short, or we need flip-flops anyway, or we just don't seem to need a lot of food that week.

Which is where the WFMW comes in. You see, we also have some dietary limitations, in this case sodium and related things like MSG: the limits are no longer that severe, but I still check labels for any nasty surprises, and avoid certain kinds of convenience foods.

Which is, to a large extent, what you're going to find at Giant Tiger. It's the kind of place where the fruit section consists of apples, oranges and bananas (and things like canned pineapple and expensive frozen strawberries), and the vegetables are limited to iceberg lettuce, carrots, onions, potatoes and canned (not no-salt) and frozen veggies. Not quite as limited as the corner store, but not exactly loaded with choices either.

So, with my tongue somewhat in my cheek, here's the money-saving tip: shop, once a month or at least occasionally, somewhere where you can't eat at least half of what's on the shelf (too caloric or high-sodium or whatever). Even just a store that's way too expensive will work. Get your cart and cruise the aisles. Stick out your tongue and sigh in frustration at all the preservative-laden or overpriced, off-limits stuff. Grab whatever does work for you (in our case, that included turkey kielbasa, baby carrots, potato flakes, frozen juice, puffed wheat, bagels, milk, and ginger snaps). Then come home and combine that with whatever you have in the cupboards. You'll feel economical and virtuous. ;-)

A frozen spinach...thing

Is this a hot dip? A side dish? We're not sure, but it was quite tasty.

Hot Spinach with Cream Cheese

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, partially thawed if possible
One third to half a brick of cream cheese
Butter or margarine, a couple of spoonfuls or whatever you like
Some kind of crumbs--I used whole wheat soda crackers, about a cupful
Dash of nutmeg and any other seasonings you like
Milk as needed

This is what I did: In a small covered casserole I put the spinach, all by itself, and let it warm up in the oven while I was baking something else. If the spinach is already thawed, you can probably skip that step. I took it out about fifteen minutes later, mashed the spinach around, and added the cream cheese, cut in pieces--not beaten in, just added here and there. I topped it with the crumbs, butter and nutmeg, and let it heat until the cheese was getting melty and the crumbs were toasted. At that point it also seemed to be getting dry around the edges, so I added enough milk to keep it soft (burned spinach is not nice). We ate this as a side dish along with pineapple chicken-balls and orzo: not that I'm particularly recommending that flavour combination, but it suited what we had in the cupboard and the freezer. The Apprentice in particular thought it was good enough to ask for a repeat sometime.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I can't afford eco-chic

Funny how things go in cycles. In the spring of 2005, right after we started blogging, I posted about a newspaper article, describing young wealthy parents spending lots to buy things like natural-materials alphabet blocks. I reposted it two years later.

Now the same kinds of stories are coming up again (of course, Earth Day is tomorrow), but with an extra edge of political correctness and eco-guilt, and a bit of slightly incongruous recession fever thrown in. A popular Canadian magazine recently ran a story about a family's attempt to buy nothing for a month, which was certainly a worthwhile idea; but the details of it made me a bit frustrated. Near the beginning of the challenge, the mother of the family was so into the no-spending idea that she refused to get needed school supplies for the children, preferring to mooch them from friends (somehow that was okay); but by the end of the month she had decided on a loophole: buying things used, including at consignment shops, doesn't count as "spending," since it's kind of recycling.


Not that we don't do a fair amount of that kind of "recycling" ourselves--I guess keeping a massive 1970's TV out of the landfill counts as a good deed for Earth Day, right? But things get so complicated--you know that sooner or later somebody's going to outlaw you even having older electronics, or selling them to somebody else, because of all the bad stuff that's in them. And that magazine article wasn't meant to be about what you buy or where you buy it anyway, it was supposed to be about making the best use of what you have without buying something else.

So now I'm catching up on last weekend's Toronto papers, and The Star is running a series on "Living Plastic Free." Again, both the pettiness and the stretch-the-rules-ness of these projects are baffling.

"I talk to my [4-year-old] about getting rid of his plastic toys. He looks up at me thoughtfully, his plastic soother bobbing up and down in his mouth.


Running errands, she buys the boy a cookie wrapped in plastic (before she thinks about it), and then he wants a drink.

"I didn't want to buy water in a plastic bottle and now he's thirsty. I ask the cashier for water in a foam cup, and when she obliges, I gratefully add 50 cents to her tip jar. But have I actually achieved anything here?"
But this is where she loses me completely:
"Machine-washable produce bags sell for $6 for small ones, $8 for large. Stainless-steel lunch tins are $25 each....The bill comes to $105 with taxes....[I also buy] stainless-steel [water] bottles with plastic tops, for $22 each."
Look, kids used to take their lunch to school in tin pails, with their food wrapped in cloth napkins. Non-plastic containers and washable sandwich wraps are really nothing new. But that's what people had handy then. They didn't go out and spend the hundred-years-ago equivalent of $25 for a lunch bucket. And that's what bugs me about all this.

Not that people shouldn't do whatever they like with whatever money they have, including spending it on eco-chic lunch tins. It's their business.

But if my version of living responsibly is continuing to use my almost-twenty-year-old plastic containers and almost everything else that we were given as wedding gifts (even the Crockpot still works); or replenishing the supply at yard sales; or even, yes, I ADMIT IT, buying Ziploc bags, which I do wash and re-use as many times as I can--

then give me the same freedom to do that.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rummage Sale Finds

On Saturday the Squirrels went to a church rummage sale.

Mama Squirrel found a boxful of half-used spools of ribbon; two large pieces of fabric; a slightly-used package of kids' birthday invitations; a heavier-duty tote bag than the one she's been toting; a Lawrence Block burglar mystery, a copy of The Moonstone, and a 1977 book of house plans.

Crayons bought a handful of scarves.

Mr. Fixit bought a 1978 ColorTrak RCA television. Much like the one in the photo. (The very nice man at the church sale arranged to deliver it when the sale was over.)

Sometimes Mama Squirrel is glad that we are still living in our 1959 raised-bungalow nest, because there's no way we would have gotten that baby down the basement stairs of the townhouse we were looking at a few months ago. (Our garage here is at ground level and there's an entrance through it to the basement.)

And what are we going to do with a 1978 works-great floor-model TV? For now, it's going to live in the workshop. It's on wheels, you see, and for that reason it can function as a sort of very-inexpensive-thing-on-wheels-to-move-other-things-around-on. But our 1980's TV in the living room is also starting to gag and sputter a bit, so sooner or later the RCA will move upstairs--somehow, yes, I know, at that point we'll have to tackle the stairs. But that's another squirrel story.

Photo found here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crayons' Grade Two: Post-Easter Week

Another four-day week--so we're just catching up. We may not get all this done, but we'll try.

Bible: Events after Absalom's death
Miss Bianca in the Orient
Tanglewood Tales: "The Dragon's Teeth"
French lesson on Tous les tutus
Collins Maths Mazes book: "Get to the Cheese"
Language lesson from Tanglewood Tales
Poems from Come Hither
Handwriting page
Games from Chalk Around the Block: Hopscotch

To Far Cathay (Marco Polo) chapter 5
Italian Peepshow
Math: review square numbers
Maths Mazes: "Cross the Swamp"
Language lesson
Picture study: Giotto
Poems from Come Hither
Games from Chalk Around the Block: Nine Mens' Morris

Bible: continue stories
Miss Bianca in the Orient
Pagoo (the hermit crab)
Maths Mazes: "Fraction Mansion"
Language lesson
Picture study
Poems from Come Hither
Handwriting page
Chalk Around the Block: Hopscotch

Marco Polo chapter 6
Catechism test
Italian Peepshow
Finish "Dragon's Teeth" if needed
Math: review square numbers
Math: Family Math p. 134, "Bean Salads"
Language: dictation
Composer study
Chalk Around the Block: African Tic Tac Toe

Friday, April 10, 2009

Coconut chicks

Have you ever had strawberry candies made from sweetened condensed milk, strawberry gelatin powder, and coconut? They were a staple of fancy cookie plates when I was growing up--I guess that dates me, huh? Maybe they're still popular in some places.

We make Easter candy chicks in the same way--not every year, but maybe every few. The recipe was clipped from a 1994 newspaper article, and it says that they "adapted" it from Alison Boteler's book What Should I Bring? I haven't been able to find it posted online--the strawberry recipe is all over the place, but no chicks.

Here's the basic recipe--I don't think I'm violating any copyrights by posting the parts that are pretty much like the strawberries. You need: one package lemon-flavoured gelatin powder, 1 can sweetened condensed milk (we make our own, it's much cheaper), and 4 1/2 cups flaked coconut. Also whatever you want for eyes and beaks: some combination of chocolate chips, raisins, bits of nut, bits of cereal, broken pretzels, or whatever. Chocolate chips, pointy side in, make good eyes.

Combine the gelatin powder and condensed milk; add coconut and mix well. Cover and chill for about an hour. The rest is up to your creative powers: basically make small balls (teaspoon size) for heads and slightly bigger balls (tablespoon size) for bodies. Stick together and decorate as desired. Warning: this is a messy business! Keep a bowl of water nearby both to clean off your hands and wet them (it helps keep the mixture from sticking to them).

Store in the refrigerator until wanted. You can arrange them in an Easter-grass-stuffed (and plastic-wrap-covered) egg carton, or add them to a cookie plate or table decoration.
Chicks made by The Apprentice.

Date-Walnut Bars

Everybody in the Treehouse except Mama Squirrel hates dates, and Mr. Fixit can't tolerate walnuts (some squirrel he is). But Grandpa Squirrel likes dates, and Mama Squirrel had part of a package left as well as a bag of walnut pieces, and Hermits sounded good for an Easter treat. Unfortunately Mama Squirrel's cookbooks and clippings surrendered only three Hermit recipes to choose from, and the computer was undergoing the equivalent of a Cat-scan. One of those would have made way more than even Mama Squirrel and Grandpa Squirrel could eat; one used black coffee for flavouring, and while Mama Squirrel does like coffee, it just didn't sound like what she wanted. This one, from Canadian Living May 2002, was the default choice. Mama Squirrel was a bit suprised that it didn't call for molasses--don't Hermits usually need molasses?--but no matter.

When we got to the "drop on cookie sheets and THEN refrigerate" part, Mama Squirrel balked. How big do these people think a squirrel's refrigerator is, anyway? We could have chilled the dough and then dropped the cookies. We could have skipped the chilling altogether. But Mama Squirrel decided to do something else: pat the dough into a 9 x 13 inch pan, bake the whole thing at 350 degrees, and then cut the cookies into bars.

It worked. These "hermits" may have lost their ragged-hermity look, but they taste really good.

If you like dates and don't break out from eating walnuts, of course.

Here's the recipe, with my notes.

Hermits OR Date-Walnut Bars, from Canadian Living Magazine

1/2 cup brown sugar -- packed
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter -- softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/2 cup dates or dried apricots -- chopped
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans -- chopped (but not too small--"pieces" work fine)

In large bowl, beat together brown sugar, shortening, butter and granulated sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla.

In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture. Stir in raisins, dates and walnuts.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 in apart, onto parchment paper-lined or greased rimless baking sheets. Refrigerate for 15 mins. [Treehouse variation: Don't bother chilling the dough. Pat the dough into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan.]

Bake in top and bottom thirds of 350 F oven, rotating and switching pans halfway through, until bottoms are golden, about 15 mins. (Make-ahead: Layer between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container and store for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.) [Treehouse variation: Bake until it looks and smells done but not overdone, probably somewhere between 25 and 35 minutes. Cool slightly and cut in bars while still warm. Cut gently and use a fairly sharp knife because of the dates and nuts.]

Orange Chocolate Hermits: Add 2 tsp grated orange rind to the dough. Replace the raisins and dates with 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips.

Bread and Jam for Easter

For our Kiffle buns this year, we're trying something new: making sweet roll dough in the bread machine using this recipe, and then shaping them and adding jam "pokes" as we usually do(More on Kiffle here.)

"I could eat a hundred grilled cheese sandwiches. And a hundred macaroni and cheese. And a hundred kiffle. And a hundred of my favourite beans."--Crayons, April 2006

(That's an old photo--this year's are still in the dough-rising stage.)

Linked from Four Moms Bake Bread (March 2011)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Time to bake

The computer's been unavailable (still ailing) most of the day, so I'm just checking in now (late afternoon). Mr. Fixit took Crayons to her craft club (usually I go too, but today I didn't have to), and Ponytails was at school...boy, it was quiet here. I got some baking done for the weekend: whole wheat bread in the machine, date-walnut bars, cranberry-orange loaf (which didn't turn out quite as well as it usually does--I think I got it a bit damp), and Rigglevake Cookies, as a nod to our Waterloo County roots. That one kept me busy for awhile, but we do have a great big container full of chewy-crispy spirals (see the photo at Jasmine's post).

Monday, April 06, 2009

Crayons' Grade Two: Plans for this week

Hymn, memory work
Mr. Pipes: William Williams
Math drills
Miquon Math page P8, and play "Square Number Concentration" (homemade matchup game)
Family Pastimes' Brainy Puzzle Pack (scroll down for descriptions of the games included)
Tanglewood Tales: continue "The Dragon's Teeth"
Composer study
Miss Bianca in the Orient

O Canada, memory work
Bible: 2 Samuel 19, first half
Math drills
Math page P9
Brainy Puzzle Pack
History: Edward VI, Wars of the Roses
Handwriting page
Italian Peepshow, by Eleanor Farjeon

Hymn, memory work
Mr. Pipes (continue chapter)
Math drills
Math page P10
Computer math game
Robin Hood: finish Will Stutely Rescued
Poems, singing
Miss Bianca

O Canada, memory work
Giotto: Paintings of Jesus
Math drills
Math page P11
Tanglewood Tales (continue story)
Handwriting page
Afternoon: craft club with friends

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Homeschooling on April Fool's Day

For fun, we are interspersing regular lessons today with stunts from STOP THE WATCH, a Klutz book we found at the thrift shop. (I adapted some of them.) Lunch is in there somewhere too, it just depends on how far we get in the morning.

Here's the schedule:

STOP p. 12 (adapted for Canadians): Touch your toes five times, do six jumping jacks, and turn around four times while singing O Canada.

Hymn: Hark the Herald Angels Sing.


Make your bed

STOP p. 34: Standing-on-one-foot-with-both-eyes-closed contest

Finish the chapter of Mr. Pipes and the British Hymn Makers

Look at online photos of the Wesley Chapel in London (where the characters in Mr. Pipes went)

STOP p. 37: "Holler the word "Eeeeeeeelllllskin" continuously, without taking a breath, for 17 seconds. Exactly."

Read funny poems

STOP p. 38: "Start the clock. Read an entire page from a grown-up book out loud. Stop the clock."

Find something messy and clean it up for 5 minutes

Snack and break time

Math pages

STOP p. 39: "Touch the palms of your hands to the floor for 11 seconds. You have to be standing up, and bend the knees as much as you have to."

STOP p. 55: "Throw something weird back and forth ten times with no drops."


STOP p. 40: "Sit in a chair, don't move, don't say a thing, don't even think for exactly 60 secondss."

Cursive worksheet

STOP p. 44: "Fold a paper airplane and successfully launch it. Pick it up. Flatten it out and do an addition problem. Both numbers have to be over one thousand. Tear the sheet into 11 pieces exactly. Stop the clock."

Practice times tables

STOP p. 21: "Find a magazine. Sit down with it. Start the clock. Open the magazine and find the word "run.""

Continue "The Dragon's Teeth" in Tanglewood Tales

Walk down the street and get the mail

STOP p. 45: "Flip a coin until you get four somethings in a row. Switch your socks. Crawl over to the phone. Call the phone number I will give you. Stop the clock when the voice says, "person you wish to speak to."

Keyboard lesson

STOP p. 16: "Name five countries and your second-grade teacher."