Saturday, October 4, 2014

Year 3/Week 5: Homeschool performance reviews

As many homeschoolers know, one of the hardest parts of being a homeschool mom is the feeling of ...independence?...isolation?...alone at the top-ness?...well, the feeling that since your own homeschool is one-of-a-kind and happily unique, there really is no one to give you that daily feedback about how you are doing in your very important work. Motherhood is by design a thankless that, I mean we do all our mothering unconditionally without expectation of thanks..but homeschool parenting is motherhood on speed. So, once in a while, when we get that moment when the skies open up and God reaches down and shows us how we are is a beautiful thing. :)

Soooo..this is how it happened. We are studying Ancient Egypt at the moment, so the exhibit nearby at the Natural History Museum was our first family field trip (happily, with my hubby as well) and it went splendidly. We got to the mall around noon to a perfect 70 degree day and slightly cloudy, so no sunburn worries. We dropped by the Insect Zoo exhibit on our way to the mummies...

Danny was fascinated by the leaf bugs

..but once we got there, the boys did a great job of relating our current reading of   The Golden Goblet , Story of the World 1 and other readings we've had this month. Ben was proud of himself that he could identify the parts of the mummy on xray and took all the quizzes...

Of course, there was lots of cool stuff. A great 3000 year old inner sarcophagus...

..and even a visit to the Live Butterfly enclosure that Ben REALLY wanted to do and then wanted to leave in five minutes because REALLY BIG BUTTERFLIES were flying around his head! Hahaha

      Once we were done with our "planned visit", we made another attempt to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights at the National Archives. We had tried this on our last visit in the spring, but something major must have been going on at the Archives that day, because the line had been out the door and around the corner and we hadn't even bothered. But this line! We got in right away and as we were in line to view the documents, I was going over the meaning of the documents and why we had each one (one to declare our independence, one to define what our new country and what we stood for, and a third to further delineate rights of individuals in our country). I was trying to do this in a way both boys would understand simply and easily and they would remember from our last two year study of American History. All was going swimmingly and I was happy we all could remember so much of what we had learned, when a 30-something gentlemen behind us asked "Are you a teacher". Gratefully, I did not say "no", since I've finally learned that I AM, so I laughed and pointed to the boys and said "We are homeschoolers!". At this point, the man completely surprised me by saying, "That was the most simple and straightforward explanation of these documents that I've ever heard. I asked that because I teach college-age students and I haven't heard anything before that was that easy to understand." Wow. Just wow. I just got a pat on the back by the Great Teacher Review Board in the sky and I floated on Cloud Nine until I got home. Some days are just that good.
We get it, we really get it

Point and match. I'm done. Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are. 

Obligatory yearly Easter island Head