Saturday, January 18, 2014

First Dance Practice and Squirrel Follow-Up

On Thursday we got started right away with our formal school--except for the little ones.  It seemed to be one of those days when the littles simply wouldn't focus and I couldn't get anything done in a timely manner.  Ultimately they got to play while I did my best to get some chores done--including cleaning the kitchen twice!  One after breakfast and again after I2 got into the leftover apple cake.

We headed out to our first dance practice of the new year.  We were so excited to see friends again!

We were early.

Oops.

Time change.

So we ran over to a nearby thrift store and found a load of darling, sturdy shoes for A6 to choose from! 

Hurrah!

We also found a lamp for our too-dark living room, and a shirt to turn into a shrug for M11's dress for the homeschool dance.

E13 found a beautiful strapless dress that she wanted more than anything in the world. 

No strapless dresses.

Period.

She's quite disappointed, but is doing a very good job trying to find the bright side.

Dancing was fun!  And there are some new old  friends to love, too, now.

On Friday I was so very happy to just stay home.  We'd gone out Tuesday night for church activities, Wednesday for our science club and E13's planning meeting, and Thursday for dance rehearsals.  I was almost giddy with happiness at the prospect of a whole day at home.

The littles made toilet paper tube octopi for O is for Octopus day.  Then we read about octopi in an animal encyclopedia.  The kids loved hearing about tentacles and ink and beaky mouths hidden under their suckery legs.

The older kids did a solid day's independent work then gathered with me after lunch to study the New Testament and discuss squirrels. 

I found some squirrel fact sheets that I printed.  We talked about animal classification, matched squirrel body parts to their functions, discussed the time of day squirrels are usually active (giving my kids some much needed practice with analog clocks!), and tried some squirrel observations. 

But it was cold.

Cold enough that even with coats on we were really happy to retreat indoors.

Even though it was well within the time frame the fact sheets gave for usual squirrel activity, we didn't see any squirrels, so we we checked off observations we've made in the past.  Then I had the kids fill in the map space with a description of the most interesting squirrel activity they've ever seen.

It was quite low key, but I'm willing to be that the kids pay more attention to squirrels than they ever have before.

I've already been called by A6 and H4 to "Come see the funny squirrels, Mom!" on more than one occasion since our nature walk.  We're not suddenly fabulous naturalists, but I feel blessed by their increased observation.

Time for another nature walk and another focus.  I'd like to study blue jays or cardinals--they feed from our bird feeder almost daily and we watch them often!

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