Saturday, April 10, 2010

Week 24, days 4 and 5

We didn't do school on Wednesday. It was my birthday, and during school time Ari had scheduled a flight lesson for me! Hooray! Once I've filled out the "Alien Flight Student Program" paperwork (certifying that I don't have a terrorist's fingerprints) I can start taking regular lessons and hopefully get my private pilot's license. This is exciting! When I was a teenager in Jordan, I flew gliders but never got to solo. I was bitter at the chauvanism that was largely to blame for this, but always wanted to take it up again once I was in a place where I was likely to succeed. That's what the USA is known for, and here I am! Ari had to convince me that it was an okay thing to do with our money, but it'll basically cost our tax return, so I've quit arguing and I'm really happy I get to do it.

Thursday: Bible and music. We actually didn't get to doing P's piano lesson or other music, though we did review both our hymns (Holy, Holy, Holy and Up From the Grave He Arose). E has thoroughly memorized the words to Up From the Grave, and yells it with excitement repeatedly. I like this a good deal better than his dragon roaring. We introduced a new catechism question and memory verse. We read the Resurrection story and about Thomas' doubts. Since we didn't do our math day on Wednesday, I acquiesced to P's request and taught Roman numerals. She was interested in this because the grandfather clock downstairs has Roman numerals instead of regular ones, and P was unable to tell time on it. So I introduced the numerals from I to XII, and she grasped the pattern quickly. I explained IV as "one before five" and XII as "two after ten", etc, and she remembered the pattern the next day and told me. Once we'd gone over the numerals once or twice, we went downstairs, I pulled up a chair in front of the clock so she could get close enough to see, and she went around and told me what all the numbers were, twice. I really enjoyed teaching her a math concept that was already relevant to her daily life.

Friday: Geography. This week's country was Russia. We marked it on our Markable Map (P was able to write Russia inside the country, since it was big enough for her handwriting to fit, and I had E trace the borders). We read the story of Baba Yaga from Stories From Around the World after I reassured them that it would end happily. A year ago, I knew P was not ready for it, but now she enjoyed it. E got scared in the middle, so I reassured him that it would all end well for the main character. We also read the story of the persistent frog in The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book, in which a frog trapped in a pitcher of cream keeps kicking until it turns into butter and he can hop out. We looked at a library book about Russia, and ended up in an in-depth discussion of the Cold War. Ari, who was editing in the next room, found our discussion so riveting that he left his work and joined in. At first both P and E thought the Cold War referred to all Napoleon's troops dying of cold (there was a dramatic picture of that in the book), which I thought was a completely reasonable conclusion to come to. To clarify, I made the analogy of a fire, all set up and ready to blaze as soon as a match was lit, being a "cold fire". The kids have helped Ari make fires in the fireplace often enough that this was a helpful mental picture for them. We also talked about the space race - since this was my obsession throughout childhood, the fact that the book we used barely mentioned Sputnik didn't cramp my style any. P started making a book about Russia - she wrote the title, drew the flag, coloured a map I drew, and drew ballet dancers and a matreshka doll (the Russian nesting dolls). I meant for her to finish it today, but instead we all went on a 4.5 mile hike along the bayou, which was thoroughly worthwhile.

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