Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Starting up is hard to do....

Did anyone else find it difficult to jump back into homeschooling this week? *grin*

Actually, it wasn't all that bad. Yeah, there were a few moans and groans -- mostly from me -- but for the most part we got back into the "spirit of learning" faster than I had anticipated (thank God!)

One thing that made everything easier is that I FINALLY, after 3 years of slogging through American history, decided enough was enough and made the jump back to the beginning. I tried... I really tried... but it is just difficult to try to teach American history to 5 different kids from 1st to 6th grade. Sure, you've got fun resources about colonial times and pioneer days, but -- shocking as this may be -- there really isn't a big call in those "early reader" type books for, say, reconstruction of the South after the Civil War. I saw that I was losing what precious little interest my other kids had in history (with the exception being Sean, who finds it all fascinating) by slogging through this stuff, so I quieted that over-organized part of me that insisted we go all the way through to modern times and decided to "go back to Egypt."

Or Sumer, actually.

There is no better way to capture a little kid's attention than focusing on ancient times -- you've got mummies, buried treasure, pyramids, cool costumes, more mummies, and tragedies like Pompeii. That last one, for instance -- Pompeii -- fascinated my three oldest kids for well over a year. They wanted me to tell them the story of Vesuvius erupting every day at lunch (go figure). It was a 45-minute long story, and they never got tired of hearing it. (I got awfully tired of telling it, however.)

I got my first taste of how this whole thing would go over when I made the announcement yesterday morning.  I told them that we were just going to wrap up American history and go back to studying ancient times. Reilly's eyes sparkled and she said, "really? We can learn about mummies again?" Christopher and Thomas begged to start that very moment, and Kathryn ran to the back and grabbed all the Egypt books she could find.

Oh yeah. I think they're happy.


As a side note, we had a BLAST going through our Latin/Greek flash cards yesterday. The cards are just for the youngest two, and they really enjoy racing to see who can get the right answer first. As we were going through them, I started goofing off and asking them to show me their "manus" (hand) or "digitus" (finger) and so on. As most moms know, sometimes you just find yourself breaking out into silly songs, and I turned it into the hokey pokey. Now, I realize that we've got the word forms all wrong, but for my 2-yr old, my 4-yr old, and my 2 little guys, it was the perfect way to ensure they will NEVER forget these words!

"You put your capitus (head) in, you put your capitus out
You put your capitus in and you kinesis (moving) all about
You do the hokey pokey and you tropos (turning) all around
That's what it's all about!

We could do capitus, manus (hand), digitus (finger), pedis (foot), dentis (teeth... that was fun) and corpus (body). Even Grace was learning the words quickly, and was able to join right in!

Anyway, it was pretty goofy, but we had loads of fun!

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