Week … Something

10 May

We moved. Everyone survived. Blogging requires too many words so I gave up on WordPress again and went to instagram.com/bloomprep. Find me 😁

Week 27, Day 1

7 Apr

Well, it’s Monday again.

I learned about interactive notebooks recently, lucky Abby. Below is her sensory figure for The Year of Miss Agnes.

We’re almost done with Minimus and very slowly getting into some actual translation.

Silas became very interested in tsunamis recently. Here is Abby reading a Kindle book on tsunamis, and next up is our attempt to make a tsunami in a large plastic box down at our Secret Spot. This is one of the only things I’ll miss about our apartment when we move in, universe willing, about 10 days.

In addition to reading about sensory notebooks, I’ve been reading about small-world play in a desperate attempt to help Silas learn to play by himself a little more. Below are a few of the scenes I set up recently.

A new week, a new Mystery Science unit. This one is on weather, and Silas drew this scene of the weather outside our window. It’s a big deal for him, since he typically refuses to draw. He’s got a bit of a perfectionism hangup and gets frustrated when he can’t realize his vision. It’s a highly realistic scene–I told him he could add more buildings, when he asked what else he could draw, but he refused since we can’t see buildings outside–except for the speedboat in the lower right. (He’d like you to observe the flame in the back.)

And I guess tomorrow is Tuesday.

Week 26, Days 3-6

5 Apr

The days are really starting to blur together. In somewhat chronological order:

  • Latin with Mono
  • Magic Treehouse, Legos, sandwich
  • Work, reading, laundry, homemade mask handsewing because my sewing machine is packed up 😭
  • Silas asked his teacher (via me) for a salmon lifecycle work and is thrilled
  • New bike!!!
  • I capitulated further and allowed Chris to try to teach Silas to play video games, but it hasn’t been v successful so far
  • Yeti in My Spaghetti, excellent family game
  • Dog, Life of Fred Liver
  • Peanut butter bird feeder to cap Mystery Science Plant and Animal Secrets
  • My parents got us this Gymboree parachute when Abby was about 2, and it’s still in use
  • Silas made a “machine”

Also, I just noticed that apparently Silas has been wearing the same shirt for three days. As I said, the days are starting to blur.

Week 26, Days 1 & 2

1 Apr

A random selection of photos from the past couple of days:

We painted rainbows and put them in our window, although we’re on the 5th floor of an apartment building without any other buildings around, so they’re not very visible. Also, they’re now on the floor.

Today, we went for nature walk to make use of Abby’s new rainboots. The goal of the nature walk was to find signs of animals, and we did pretty well: deer trails, prints, and scat; beaver cuts; some kind of honeycombed nest; and what I’m pretty sure is bobcat scat. I’ll spare the pictures.

I kept telling Silas to stay near the shore, not because I worried about his safety but because I knew that he was going to trip, get wet, start screaming, and then require me to carry him hope soaked with pond water.

I was right.

These are some pictures from the weekend. Silas enjoyed the marshmallow engineering but he enjoyed eating the marshmallows more. I stocked up on vegan marshmallows back when Trader Joe’s carried them in the holiday season; I should have been stocking up on toilet paper.

Below, a seed planting activity from the Mystery Science unit on Plant and Animal Secrets, but we can’t do it properly because it involves putting one set of seeds in the dark and Silas wants all of them to grow.

Abby read this graphic adaptation of the Harlow experiments for her choice reading the other day, continuing her fascination with all things primate. Sidenote, these days she corrects me every time I say “animals” by shouting “NON-HUMAN ANIMALS”.

GoNoodle “recess”. Excuse the boxes; we are, of all things, about to close on our new house and move in the middle of a global pandemic.

I can’t get books from the library right now, so I’m reading Children of the Longhouse from Internet Archive. We’ve actually seen the longhouse from the image–it’s in the New York State Museum in Albany.

A pertinent passage from my nightly reading. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book this slowly.

And finally, the view from under our table, where we took cover from the first big earthquake Idaho has had in over 30 years. It appears to have been a 6.5 centered about 80 miles northeast of Boise. Here, it was strong enough to move a few pictures, knock a lamp off of Abby’s shelf, and rock our TV hard enough that Chris thought it was going to fall over. The shaking lasted about 30 seconds and about halfway through I started to consider that we might be in serious trouble. All this, about an hour after we got back from our nature walk to see paramedics in hazard gear outside our apartment building. End times, indeed.

Week 25, Day 5

28 Mar

Yesterday Abby finished her Idaho history project, a diary of Mary Hallock Foote’s time in Idaho from the perspective of her older daughter. It didn’t go into quite as much historical detail as I imagined it would (there were a few entries about how her mother loves her siblings more, but we read and talked enough that I feel confident she learned what she needed to learn. And I think it turned out great!

Silas washed his dinosaurs and did a Mystery Science project about using force to protect a town from being crushed by a boulder.

Today’s baking project was cookies. Abby’s role was cut short when she had to “go” to an Outschool class on Ella Fitzgerald, quickly followed by a FaceTime piano lesson.

Something else about yesterday: it was Chris’s and my 10th anniversary! It’s been an eventful 10 years, but we didn’t expect to be celebrating it in lockdown.

And finally, Silas learned to ride his bike yesterday! He got a Woom bike for his 3rd birthday and I thought he’d pick up pedaling really fast because he seemed like a natural on his push bike. The pedals threw him off, though, and for the last year and a half we’ve been putting them on and taking them off and putting them on and taking them off.

Well, with the pandemic we’ve had lots of time for riding, and two days ago, something clicked. He figured out how to glide and balance without the pedals. Today, it was like he just knew he could do it. He asked for the pedals, told me I didn’t need to keep holding him, and off he went!

Week 25, Day 4

27 Mar

Today started a little earlier than I wanted, because Silas couldn’t wait to get up and work on his Falcon. Which he finished. We were really hoping it would last a few more days.

We had to help him once or twice per bag, but this is almost entirely his own work. The second picture is his (dictated) journal entry about it.

Our Girl Scout meetings are on hiatus for as long as this goes on, but councils all over the country are putting out fantastic online material. Here, she’s saying the Girl Scout Promise before watching the first video in a series some Midwest council put together for the new Space Science badges.

Then she played a few rounds of Cat Crimes, a single-player logic game.

Our baking project today was pretzels. It was a simple recipe with a short rising time, but they came out great & we gobbled them down. We set up an assembly line, with Silas starting the rolling & then handing off to me when he couldn’t make them any longer & then I handed off to Abby for the twisting.

We finally finished Morning Girl today. It ended on a bad note with the arrival of Columbus, but I was very amused and gratified to hear Silas spontaneously tell Abby that, if she drew Columbus, she’d have to draw him “as a bad guy”.

I totally caved today and downloaded a game that I told Silas was “Minecraft Jr” (really, Toca Blocks).

The first picture here is allegedly a casein polymer (casein polymers?). Silas said he wanted to do a science experiment, and this is what I found that we could do with what we had. We put vinegar into warm milk, strained out the curds, and then kneaded them together into a moldable substance, i.e. … milk plastic?

The next activity, which involved a glue gun, was much more my speed.

And finally, a moment of sibling harmony.

Other of today’s activities: a bike ride, a virtual Girl Scout meeting, a lot of FaceTiming with friends, some work, and … a viewing of BroadwayHD’s recording of CATS.

Week 25, Days 2 & 3

26 Mar

I think the reality of this situation is finally hitting us all. This morning we had to institute a rule that anyone who yelled (including me) would get a five minute time out. When I muttered that some people might consider a time out enjoyable, Chris revised it to five minutes in the bathroom with no phone or book 😱

Horseback riding yesterday, before today’s stay-at-home order.

Silas refuses to play Outfoxed properly, but it still passes the time.

We had a surprisingly peaceful hour or so, with everyone hard at work, but that Falcon is only going to last another day or two.

In between watching the classics, we did do a little schoolwork today–math, Latin, Idaho history, even some science–but none of it was particularly photogenic. Abby also did a one-time class on Rachel Carson with an Outschool teacher she really likes & she said the class was way more full than the other ones she’s taken. Wonder why? 🙃

Week 25, Day 1

24 Mar

As my sister said this morning: well, it’s Monday again.

We got a mostly full day of work done today, meaning math, reading, and some progress on a longer project–in this case, the Idaho diary. Abby’s reading a new book, this one about her favorite topic: disaster.

She spends about every free minute these days listening to audiobooks and drawing movie costumes.

Silas finished a phonics book he’s been working on for a while, very proud of himself!

Today’s page number: 81. Snack time reading: Morning Girl. Puzzle (unpictured): an impossible 1000 piece of Monet’s Water Lilies. It will probably outlast the school shutdown, now extended to April 20th. Not sure whose psyche will last longer, mine or Silas’s.

And finally, a pile of mammals.

Week 24, Day 7

23 Mar

We took our bike ride a little early today. This is a deceptive picture; there were tons of people out on the greenbelt and not a ton of social distancing in sight. Our playgrounds close on Monday.

Silas worked on a wolf book today. Notice his patient reminder that a group of wolves is called a pack.

Abby’s final Idaho history project is an imaginary diary of Betty Foote, the daughter of famous Idahoan (and Californian) Mary Hallock Foote, who was an accomplished an popular illustrator and author. Here she’s working on some illustrations to accompany the diary.

Abby was having trouble paying attention to the reading today, so I had her illustrate while I read. This is a picture of a hurricane, the subject of today’s chapter.

And finally, our post-dinner game today was a version of pictionary. Please admire how my memory of what scissors look like evolved over time 😂

Week 24, Day 6

22 Mar

In a pandemic, the school week has no meaning. Today we:

  • Watched both the cartoon Alice and Wonderland and the 2010 live-action
  • Worked on another big Lego project
  • Did another Mystery Science project involving bowling and force
  • Measured six feet before a walk with friends
  • Mostly failed to keep six feet away, but tried

Snack reading: Darwin’s Around-the-World Adventure. I usually read to the kids while they’re trapped at the table eating. We’re working through Morning Girl, which is a short work of historical fiction about the pre-Columbus Taino, but yesterday, Abby asked how a mallard duck chooses a drake to mate with. During a moderately age-appropriate explanation of secondary sex characteristics and reproductive fitness, I realized that Abby had only a foggy idea who Darwin was. How fortunate that I grabbed this book from the library right before they shut down. (The best part of the discussion was when I asked her to think about what teenage boys do when they’re around girls. She thought for a second and said “They run and jump a lot.” Learning goal achieved!)

Current page in The Mirror and the Light: 43.