This week we visited the Sacramento Zoo and Fairytale Town.
Once my younger kids figured out that every fun thing in Fairytale town was based on a nursery rhyme, they had a blast figuring out what nursery rhyme they were in.
There was a crooked man who walked a crooked mile...
Three blind mice...
At the zoo, the big cats were the stars of the day. The lions, tigers, jaguar, and snow leopard were out and active.
I don't like this tiger. Last year we walked up to the glass to look at him and he jumped down and paced back and forth right in front of us, never taking his eyes off of my then two year old son.
We call my oldest son the Flamingo Whisperer. Last year, he would speak and all of the flamingos in the zoo would stop their squacking. This year they were fast asleep ? until my son made a joke, then they all pulled their heads out of their wings and looked at him and started up theirs chatter.
Just what any 12 year old boy needs, to be beloved by flamingos.
In our homeschool, we are stills studying ancient Greece as a family and filling notebooks with what we are learning about the birds in our neighborhood. This week I demonstrated to my daughter the concept of 1/2 and 1/4 by tearing a post-it in half and then by tearing the halves in half again. After showing her how to write 1/2 and 1/4, I looked up and she and my 3-year-old son were grinning ear to ear. I love how much joy kids get in learning something new!
This week I wrote about how we do nature journaling in our homeschool and I also wrote a book review on Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids.
I started reading A Man Called Ove. Ove is a grumpy old man with a tender heart who reminds me of my late grandpa.
I enjoyed the articles How to Raise Radical Children and Long Hours and Laziness.
I'm slightly obsessed with Finland's school system. These pictures of their schools are gorgeous. This article summarizes why their schools are so radically awesome.
The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum popped up in Atlas Obscura's blog feed and I said, "Hey, I've been there!" It's a great place to watch the waves and gasp at the bravery of surfers.
Mrs. Kennett wasn't to blame, though--she taught what the Language Arts Department at Lasswell High School told her to teach. And the Language Art Department wasn't to blame either--filling out analysis sheets about The Things They Carried was standard operating procedure at American high schools. The people to blame were educational theorists who thought that it was necessary for all students to do literary criticism. If you want unskilled readers to read, I thought, make them copy out an interesting sentence every day, and make them read aloud an interesting paragraph a day. Twenty minutes, tops. If you want them to take pleasure in longer works, fiction or nonfiction, let them read along with an audiobook. Don't fiddle with deadly lit-crit words like tone and mood. And don't force them to read war books about shaking hands with corpses. --Nicholson Baker, Substitute p 471-2
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