Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

Monday evening we attended a play called, Penn's Pals put on by the Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble. It was a free production given at our local library. The boys and I learned a great deal about the life of William Penn, our state's founder. At the end of the performance, I spoke with one of the actors about opportunities for children to participate in their plays. He let me know that there would be auditions this coming Saturday for a summer production, Revenge of the Space Pandas. JT was very interested in trying out, until we found out that the performances would be starting the same week he will be attending Kids' College. Because this will be his last year participating in Kids' College, we decided to skip the auditions, but might try again next year. We did discover that there are theater camps offered throughout the summer. We might have him, or EM, or both, sign up for a week.

Next week, JT and I are going to attend a program called The Hidden World of Moths at the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art. The speaker will be Seabrooke Leckie, co-author of the Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America. I have never been to the nature center and am looking forward to hearing Ms. Leckie speak. Even though our school year is ending this Friday, we'll continue looking for educational opportunities!

This year, we made it through the first 25 chapters of Story of the World, Volume 2. After the success of last year's time-line project, we went ahead and made another one for this year. It covers 70AD, when the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by Rome (chapter 20) to 1347AD, the plague in Europe (chapter 25). Although we enjoy the SOTW series, I must say the way she scrambles the events out of their sequential order to make the story of the book flow makes it VERY difficult to decide the order for the time-line. The back of the book does list the major events in consecutive order, but the chapters don't follow it. Notice our first event happens in 70AD, but isn't covered until chapter 20. We covered twenty events on our time-line. The boys each had to come up with ten notable events to draw. I especially like the picture of the Aborigines in Australia squeezing frogs to get water to drink. It isn't necessarily an 'event', but it does make an entertaining drawing!

Last week, JT and I both started our first online class offered by Stanford University. The class is Computer Science 101 and is hosted by Coursera. I had always planned on moving towards a virtual class experience for some of the boys' classes. This is the first one we have tried. JT is really enjoying it. I signed up so I could see what the classes were like. I didn't expect there to be quite as much programming involved as there seems to be so far. It's not difficult work, just something I am not especially interested in learning right now. I asked JT if he likes the format of the class. He told me that he would like to take more classes like this one and that he assumes he will be doing more and more of his classes this way as he moves into high school level work. I am glad that he sees this as a good method of learning. He seems to be self-motivated to do the work for the class. I haven't had to push him at all to get the assignments done. Maybe he is starting to take some responsibility for his own education.

As I said, Friday is our last official day of schooling. Next week I will be putting the portfolios together for our visit with the evaluator. Hopefully by the time I sit down to blog at the end of the week, things will be wrapped up and ready to go. I must admit, I am looking forward to a little more free time soon. Our house desperately needs a thorough cleaning; the kind of cleaning where I make large piles of things to give away, throw away, and sell. My office has kept its cleaned-up status through a whole school year! If you saw it now, you'd never believe it looked like THIS just last summer. I figure if I can conquer one room per week, things will be in excellent shape by the time we are ready to roll in mid-July.

But my plans don't always go as we shall see.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Sounds like a wonderful end to your year.

We are in our final stretch. An appointment with our teacher next week and a final one on the 31st. We are polishing off workbooks while attending a lot of fun lessons outside of the house: piano, art, swimming, and horseback riding.

I, too, am looking forward to the break. However, I think, because of distractions beyond our control, the year didn't go as well as I had hoped. So, for the first time, I think we may lightly review over the summer to make me feel better. :)