Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Library Finds

Somewhere, Can You Feel the Force by Richard Hammond was recommended to me. I no longer remember where, but when I first heard about it, I knew it was exactly the kind of book my son Antonio would enjoy browsing. Recently I picked up a copy at the Liverpool Library, and I was not disappointed. It is one of the DK books, chock full of info presented in an interesting as well as informative manner. The subtitle is Putting the Fizz Back into Physics, and although physics already fizzes in our house, this book was great!

When I got home from the library, I strew the book on the yellow table where the kids share the laptop along with the manga books that Antonio had chosen for himself. Later I saw Ant eating a snack in the yellow chair reading the book with interest. Ant is more a "get info from the internet" sort of person than "read a book sort of person." Any book that grabs his interest must be a winner.

Later that evening, the girls were all fighting over the book. The back cover of the book has questions that the book will answer, and they had read them and all wanted to be the first to search the book and find the answers. I let one of them take the book and helped the others find the answers online so no one would have to wait. All four of the kids have browsed this book at some time or another though.

If your kids are interesting in physics, engineering, or just how things work, they will love this book! If you don't think they are, they might just surprise you if this book is available for them to explore.

Another library winner was Three Minute Tales by Margaret Read MacDonald. Diana picked up this book because she thought the short stories might be good for filling time during her substitute teaching jobs. She hasn't had a chance to try it out yet because everyone here is so interested in it. The first day it was here the girls argued over this one too...and then Diana wanted it...and was fighting for it too! Unlike some other similar books I have seen, this one has really interesting stories. My daughters love them and talk about them after they read them asking each other if they have read it yet wanting to discuss and share. I would highly recommend this book too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What We Did Today

Today Antonio got his legos out. He made a gun, and he made a pole thingie that could pivot 360 degree and with a little modification, could be turned into a free turning turret. He also climbed a tree so high that I could hardly find him! Right now, he is playing Kingdom Hearts 2. He has been talkative and social. Everyday he wakes up and says, "I am not going to Devon's today." Then he ends up going! He knows he doesn't have to, but he gets bored and feels sorry for him.

Esme had the entire day on the computer except for her shower. She played Audition and is proud to have leveled up. She blogged a bit, and she went to all her forums. (American Girl and Care Bear forums.)

JoAnn has been having a bit of preteen moodiness. She played with Lia a lot though, and there were very few conflicts. They played Bratz this morning and shared their lunch with the dolls. This afternoon they spent outside playing animals and also went for a long walk. She helped me make dinner, and did some dishes and other chores.

Lia spent most of her day with JoAnn or me except for a little bit of rollerskating.

This evening, all of the kids celebrated Molly's birthday. (Molly is Antonio's American Girl doll.) They plan these celebrations complete with presents all the time. They are so creative! They also spent some time with Allie the Guinea pig, and Esme tidied up her cage.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Antonio continues designing things with Rigid Chip. He has lots of good thoughts and thinks a lot about how he could improve products that already exist. Today has also spent some time working on a new turret game on gamemaker, and he played Audition A LOT! This afternoon he challenged Emma to an audition, and he held his own although he didn't win.

The laundry challenge just might be finishing up. I am seeing that there is an end! I sent JoAnn into her bedroom to get clothes, and she had trouble filling the basket. She says that that doesn't mean that there isn't any, just that it is harder to find.

The girls are enjoying having so much to choose from when they get dressed each day. I so want to pare down the clothing stash, but I don't want to diminish their joy.

Our new Guinea pig, Allie, seems to be adjusting well. Today I cleaned her cage with a little help from Es and Lia. I enjoy giving her plenty of tasty food. She is so vocal everytime she hears a plastic bag rattle. She knows it just might mean a treat is coming her way!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Unschooling

I have been giving a lot of thought to the direction that I see this blog going, and I think it is going in an unschooling direction.

Today I did a lot of chores. I did not require my kids to help with them. Sometimes this bothers Diana. I don't require her to help with them either. My reward is that when someone does happen it is with a bounce of positive energy that makes us all feel great.

When I was first hanging out the laundry last week, Lia and Josie helped me a lot, especially Lia! It was so much fun! Lately they have been busy with other things, and I started guilting them into helping. Today I made a commitment to myself to not go in that direction, to just suck up and do it myself. *I* am the one who wants to do so much laundry and catch it all up! Well, boy was I rewarded! Lia volunteered to help me a lot today. Sometimes when asked and sometimes just out of the blue! It was a lot more fun than yesterday.

I am tired now though so it is off to bed for me!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Unschooling Today

There was much laundry done today including hanging out on the line and folding and putting away.

Lia and JoAnn spent a lot of time in the woods.

Esme went off on an adventure in the city with Diana.

Antonio has done a variety of things on the computer. He wants to belong to a Maplestory guild that has other teens/young adults/older-more mature preteens on it who will be home during the day. They would either have to be homeschoolers or live in other time zones. I suggested that he ask at the unschooling_gamers list, and he said he had never joined it. So he is going to join it and ask if someone who plays Maplestory knows of an appropriate guild or would like to get together with him and start one. He also made a foray into the woods but claimed it was too cold to spend much time outside!

Lia finished reading Amber Brown Is Not a Crayon today. It is the first longer book that she has read, and she really liked it. I will have to get her the next one in the series.

JoAnn finished reading No Castles Here. She said that it was a very good book. I haven't read it yet, but after I do, I'll see how I liked it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Future of Traipsing about Granby

I started this blog thinking I might want a less personal online journal, a place where I can share my views and news. Since then I have started writing for associated content and have been sharing a lot of my views there. I have had a need though to write some things that I don't want to argue with people about on livejournal. It isn't that any of the people that might argue couldn't read here, (and I don't mind at all if they do!) It is just that I see this more as a forum where it is ok to express differing views instead of my more personal space.

I have also been thinking about how I don't really have an "unschooling blog," and I am somewhat jealous of people who do. At the same time, I don't really think that unschooling is something that needs a separate blog. It is just life. Unschooling is just a term to help people who don't can't imagine life without school to fit it into their paradigm.

I am going to be spending more time writing in the near (and hopefully far) future, and those are my thoughts as to where this blog might be heading.