an outside day

Today was the kind of homeschooling day we have when Tyler is around.  It was a mix of lessons and learning and yard work.  A good day, an exhausting day, but the best part was that it was an outside day.

Mademoiselle, S.A.M., Benefactor, and James all helped Tyler throughout the day.  We're putting up some fencing along the north side of our yard.  There were measurements to make, holes to dig, cement to mix, posts to level.

I read some of the USKids History book (from my last homeschool post) to M. and S.  It's history written in the form of personal accounts.  We read about the lost colony of Roanoke, and about an Algonquin tribe and their interactions with the white people.

After we read, M. and I made a loom out of cardboard.  She spent quite a bit of time this morning, and again this evening weaving.  She decided she's making a blanket for her dolls.  We got directions about how to make the loom from the Colonies craft book we used last week to make M. a quill and berry ink.  As she weaved, we talked about what Native American Indians used their homes for - that they were primarily used to sleep in, and that most work was done outdoors, just as she was doing.

M. and I played some soccer, kicking the ball back and forth and still practicing her 3 times tables.  She has to work hard to remember math facts.  It's something I struggled with at her age, but I didn't have the chance to work and work at one thing before moving on to the next.  She has that chance, and I hope it means that math is more meaningful and enjoyable to her as she grows older. (Something I want to mention here is that we take times tables as high as we can, with no arbitrary limit, such as 3 X 12.  My hope is that this increased her feelings of competence and decreases her impression of being limited in her thinking and problem solving.)

S. and I also played soccer, reviewing his counting by twos.  He does math fairly easily mentally, but when we add in the extra physical element, it increased the challenge of it for him.  We added B. in, and tried to help him remember not to grab the ball with his hands.

M. received her spelling words for the week.  It's a little late, but such is our life - we have to be flexible in order to spend time with Tyler.  Our family relationships are a high priority, and when he travels and works the hours he does, we jump on the chance to be with him!  This week she is working on words that contain -ough, and the different sounds -ough can make (oh, oo, uf).  She wrote sentences for each word.

This afternoon we took a trip to the library.  M. and S. road their bikes, and I drove some worn out little boys.  Those kids were fast!  We barely beat them there, and it's a 6 block distance.  I was impressed!  We renewed a few books, and checked out some more for the next couple of weeks.  M. and S. spent a little time on the computers playing Oregon Trail - am I the only one that remembers playing that on huge computers in the school's computer lab in 4th grade?  Let me tell you, that game has come a looooong way since then.

When we got home, S. read a book he got from the library with me.  For longer books we often take turns reading, him a page, me a page.  B. climbed up on the chair with us and enjoyed the story.

I realized when I was getting dinner served that S. missed his other required subject of the day, but I blame that on the distraction of juggling the schooling with the outdoor enjoyment, and a healthy dose of work thrown in there.  Sometimes that happens.  But there is value in learning to work, and work hard.

hard at work, hanging out in post holes


Janalee said...

I love this post - all the info you provide as if anticipating my questions about the details.

A couple posts down, the one about the colorado river. I love the pictures and have some questions:

1) Do you do any photoshop whatsoever to them? If not, cool! they look so natural. If so, what do you do?

2) How do you line them up that way - does blogger do that?

3) can't remember. but I love your pictures and how you compose them. and your exposure is so great. Do you shoot in M or Auto?

Katie Richins said...

Jana - I didn't edit those pictures at all for color or quality or anything, but I did use the free collage functions at to format them. It's really fun! I've used it for a variety of things recently - lots to do there.

I'm still shooting mostly in Auto, no flash, and occasionally in Manual. I'm not sure what I'm doing there yet!