Monday, April 29, 2013

Funny things happen when teaching multiple grades

I've been teaching literature to my students (grades PreK, 2,3,5,8,9) using Teaching the Classics:  A Socratic Method for Literary Education.  I highly recommend it!  The Socratic approach is useful for teaching any subject, and this program has helped me not only teach literature but to do a better job with our other subjects.

But back to Literature.  The beginning of the program uses short children's stories to discuss plot, character, theme, etc.  I simply start out asking the youngest kids questions and work my way up.  I  often ask my 5 year old about the characters.  He can name them and the older kids can add in some more information.

We have now moved on to something more substantial.  Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.  Today I introduced the book and read a synopsis from our accompanying study guide.

Now we get to the funny part....

Our 8th grader was flipping through the book and discovered this page near the beginning of the book

Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. (BOLD MY EMPHASIS)
                                      BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR
                                      PER G. G., CHIEF OF ORDANCE
I looked up to find a few kids staring with wide eyes.....oh no....we are supposed to find the plot!  "Maybe we just shouldn't tell anybody," whispered one of my younger students.
So, do I...
1.  Go with the sneakiness.....we'll find the plot, we can find a plot in each chapter if we want to...but we had better close the blinds and whisper. :)
2.  Let them know it's only a joke.
I just don't I want them thinking that it's OK to do something we are clearly told not to do, as long as we don't tell anyone?  That would be so much funnier (and more exciting) than telling them the truth.  Maybe it's just getting late, but I am finding this quite funny myself.
Maybe we'll just go with it for a bit and then read the story of the little girl whose father takes her out to the field at night so she can keep watch while he steals.  He tells her to let her know if anyone sees them.  She periodically tells him that someone sees him.  He looks up, sees no one, and continues to pillage.  Finally he gets annoyed and asks why she keeps saying that.  Her reply is that, "God sees us."  Then I'll tell them the truth.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Almost Wordless Wednesday

What a difference a week makes

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Lesson planning with an older child listening in

It's been a busy weekend and tiring day.  Last night we celebrated our 2nd graders First Communion and had a small party afterwards.  Today I was exhausted, but had to take our oldest to the acute injury clinic.  She broke her foot in December and it is still not healed. 

So...I'm up late tonight going over lesson plans.  Since our 9th grader was still up as well I pulled him over to get his ideas (does he want to do his History over 2 days or 4?, I don't really care as long as he is prepared for our discussion on Friday, but this will save him the time or reworking some things).

Anyway, he was to start reading a small book about the atomic bomb.  My oldest overheard and said, "MOM, you aren't going to make him read that are you?!  That was horrible, I couldn't even read it past the first day, remember?!  You won't be able to get those pictures out of your mind.  Remember how you called and the STAA advisor said we could switch to a different book?"

Yes, I do remember that now.  At first I was annoyed.  It's late.  I have this planned.  I have the book.  It's already divided up over 3 weeks, etc. etc. etc.   {I don't do so well on the fly}.  But, she had a good point.  We are always talking to our kids about guarding their eyes because what you see will stay with you.  This book is about Hiroshima and it also includes information about the Holocaust.  We will discuss both.  That I think is important.  Is it important that he read THIS book?  No.  I think

So, it's late.  I don't want to put this off.  I'm scouring through my mind trying to think of what we own that might be around the same time period (and thankful that I have 2 daughters that LOVE books...meaning....we have lots and lots of used books!)  Aha!  We have one.  I go grab it off the shelf.  Problem solved.  Now I have to read it too.

First Communion

A very Happy First Communion to our 2nd grader.  She is SO happy to finally be able to receive Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist!

Also Happy First Communion to her friend (AMT) who received today for the first time. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Christmas & Easter are part of the same story

After hearing that someone had wished their dad a Merry Christmas when leaving work today, Wyatt asked if we could surprise him by setting up the small Christmas tree.  They added some Easter eggs afterwards.   The colors didn't come out so well; there is a silver egg at the top.

Last week nearly all the snow was gone.  I had packed all the boots away; the kids were riding bikes and scooters.  Now the scooters and bikes are sitting in the garage alongside the sleds and snowshoes.  For recess one day last week some kids were having snowball fights and others were riding their bikes in the cul-de-sac.  I guess this will be a year to remember. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Media won’t cover Kermit Gosnell mass baby murder trial

Please read the following article if you have not already heard about the Gosnell case.  EVERYONE needs to know what happens to many babies born alive during an abortion.  This man is on trial for the killing of over 100 babies, yes, over 100 babies!  8 of his staff have already plead guilty.

We don't hear about this stuff in the mainstream media.  The word needs to get out somehow.  Please consider posting something on your blog, facebook page, or twitter page.

Media won’t cover Kermit Gosnell mass baby murder trial

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Getting kids ready in the morning

I'm often asked how we get the kids up and ready in the's my secret....sssshhhh...Wild Kratts :)

School starts here at 8:00.

Kids must be up and dressed (some showered), having already eaten, AND having already done their morning chores.  If they are then they can watch Wild Kratts from 7:30 - 8:00.  If most kids aren't ready I will allow those that are to watch it on the small TV in our room. 

Do I care that my kids start the day this way?  Nope.  Unless we get a movie night in during the week that's most likely the only time it gets turned on in our house.

Though I do have one small complain.  My kids LOVED Zaboomafoo!  When the cartoon version came out (Wild Kratts) they still preferred Zaboomafoo....not anymore.  Not sure why creators of children's shows feel the need to make everything so hyped.  My kids enjoyed Zaboomafoo with all the REAL animals.  Maybe they changed it because the Kratt brothers are getting a bit older....

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Something only a 5 year old would do

One should never lay on ones stomach on a chair, push oneself under the counter, then pull the lever to raise the chair as high as possible.  And, if mom neglects to take a picture, siblings should NOT entice the original victim to do it again simply for the sake of a picture.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to push down with enough force to lower it?  Thankfully his 15 year old brother came to the rescue.  That was a month ago, it hasn't been done since.

Monday, April 8, 2013

First Fire of the Season

The guys (and one gal) cleaning up after our first fire of the season

Friday, April 5, 2013

Some of my favorite blogs

I've been wanting to add a sidebar of the blogs I follow but my cohort lost the password!  Haha, crunchmomma has moved 6-7 times in the last 9 years (is that right?)  so I can hardly blame her!  We've moved 3 times in the last 20 years of marriage, I don't know how she does it....

My blog reading goes with the flow of my life.  I find that when I have an infant, I have more time to read while nursing (easier to click than hold a book).  My "infant" is now 16 mo. old, I don't read blogs as much as I used to.  But these are a few of my favorites, for a variety of reasons, I find these edifying.

I actually follow these blogs on my private blog.  Some are updated frequently, others rarely.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mary AND Martha

I've found a way to satisfy my inner Martha AND my inner Mary.

1.  Start the washing machine
2.  Start the dryer
3.  Start the dishwasher
4.  Pray in solitude for 20 minutes

I can focus without feeling like I have a million things to do.  Well, I still do, but at least this way I feel like some of my "tasks" are being accomplished.

Wordless Wednesday

 This one can't go wordless.....I asked my 5 year old to put all our shoes in the closet to make room for the shoes of the kids coming for science classes.  I guess I needed to be a little more specific.  I guess he needs a partner for awhile.