We started off with a lazy, rainy, lets-go-to-the-children’s-museum Monday. It was Firefly’s idea. He wanted to play in the apple orchard exhibit that they have. Kids can load apples into crates and use pulleys and hand-cranked or rope-pulled conveyor belts to move the apples from place to place, including into a truck. My kids could do this for hours. I swear, I’d have an exact replica of this exhibit built in my basement if only The Husband owned the right power tools and was the least bit handy in the woodworking department. He’s good at other stuff, like cooking, keeping us all provided for, making us laugh and stuff like that, so I keep him around.
Tuesday was one of those “Nothing is Easy” days. The baby had a fever. The Queen Bee fell, hurt her leg, was unable to walk. I drove her to the ER, only to watch her miraculously bound out of the stroller and towards the waiting room toys without so much as a limp. Back in the car we went. I’m sure they have a file on us somewhere now at the hospital. Or they flagged our file, like Elaine on Seinfeld.
The rest of the week was very productive, interspersed with chaos, a trip to the farm to pick up our produce and then, the highlight….a fossil dig.
Ah, yes, I promised last week that I would review what we’ve done for our two-week row of How To Make an Apple Pie and See The World, by Marjorie Priceman. Here’s what we did:
We attempted to go apple picking but it was either too rainy or too muddy so we went to the farm stand and bought apples instead. We joked about, “What if the farm stand was closed and the grocery store, too?” (In the book, the girl wants to make apple pie but the market is closed so she goes to Italy for semolina to make flour, France for “elegant” eggs in the form of a whole, live chicken, Sri Lanka for Kurundu bark to make cinnamon, England for a cow to get milk and thus, make butter, Jamaica for sugar cane, and Vermont for apples.)
We made an apple pie using my perfected apple pie recipe with my Nana’s famous no-roll pie dough. There were at least 47 interruptions while making this pie and amazingly it turned out really yummy anyway.
We made flags for all the countries represented in the book. I then had Firefly go through the book and tell us the order that the main character visits the countries. He and The Queen Bee then put their flags in order. We went through the wall map several times, moving our apple pie disc as we went along.
We had Jamaica Day. We checked out a couple of children’s books on Jamaica from the local library. We talked about the climate there, noticing lots of pictures of palm trees. We also talked about the heritage of Jamaicans, the languages spoken in Jamaica and learned about dreadlocks. We listened to reggae music on YouTube (screen carefully first, lots of marijuana photos in the videos). And, since the main character in the book takes a banana boat that is returning home from England, we listened to Day O (you know the one: Daylight come and me wanna go home. We had the Raffi version on c.d., but it’s on YouTube of course, too) and somewhere in the recesses deep in my brain, I remembered reading somewhere about the meaning of this song so we talked about how the bananas were loaded onto the boat at night, then the bunches were counted by the Tally Man to determine pay, etc.
In addition to our F.I.A.R. curriculum, we continued our pre-history unit. The highlight of Firefly’s week was digging for fossils. I had read of several ways to create your own area outside to do a “dig”, but I lacked the energy this week to carry out such a project. Instead I ordered this fossil kit from Amazon. I’m usually against buying stuff like this that can only be used once, but it was well worth the money.
You get a pressed brick of sand containing four fossils, some wooden tools and a magnifying glass.
You dig and you dig….
Firefly had great fun dissolving the sand. He experimented with hot and cold water. He stirred. He dripped gooey sand. He made a road by dripping it all over the deck while his brother and sister drove their toy cars over it and Mom sat out in the warm sun.
Had I rushed him on to the next activity or lesson, I would’ve missed hearing him tell The Queen Bee, “We’re doing a science experiment.” and coming up with the idea of the hot vs. cold water. I would’ve missed seeing him delight in the tactile joy of making a mess. I’m glad to have been relaxed and let this just be our activity for the day. Oh yeah, while he was digging, I read him a book about fossils. Sneaky Mommy. [wink]