Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring Thaw

We've had more nice weather these past few days, and I'm making sure we get to spend lots of time outdoors. I'm really looking forward to going on nature walks and catching bugs and fun stuff like that, but for now, just being outside is enough.

We spent about three hours outside yesterday. In the morning we played mostly on the deck while I finished cleaning up out there (Doug had done a lot of it over the weekend while I was at work). The kids enjoyed playing in the sand and in the clubhouse, but they also spent a good half hour dropping chunks of ice and snow over the railing and watching them smash into smithereens on the steps below. Early experiments in gravity and the properties of ice? Hmm. We talked about how water freezes into ice, and then when the air gets warmer out, the ice melts back into water.

In the afternoon, we played out in the backyard. We're planning on growing a nice big veggie garden, so I was trying to figure out where I want to put it. We examined the grass and I showed the boys how it was starting to turn green again. I'm sure it went a bit over Colwyn's head, but I also explained how the spots in the yard that have green grass are the warmest, whereas the parts that are all brown are still too cold for the grass to grow. I opened up our compost bin to see what it was like, and explained how we put the food we don't eat in there, along with grass and leaves, and it all breaks down into dirt. I'm really looking forward to this garden.. I think it'll be a great learning experience for Colwyn. As he gets older, we'll be able to incorporate all sorts of subjects into our gardening (math, science, geography, climate, etc).

We also went on a walk around the block and ended up seeing our neighbors (the elementary school teacher). The kids had a good time running around and Caroline and I got to chat. Homeschooling came up, and she asked when we have to start reporting, and asked, "So, do you have to talk to someone, like, once a week or something?" It was all I could do not to laugh. I explained how the law works, how we'll be reporting our progress, and how should the school department get the crazy idea that I'm not doing a proper job, that it's up to them to prove it, not the other way around. It was a nice conversation, but I thought it was so strange that she thought I'd have to check in so often. Because obviously parents aren't capable of raising their own kids, you know.

Today we went to Cy Tenney with our homeschooling friends. We obviously hadn't been to the park in a while, because as we pulled up, Colwyn shouted gleefully, "Oh! The park! Oh! I love the park!" Poor kid. :) They had a great time running around, but there were a few rude families there, so we ended up leaving after an hour or so. We all went to Papa Gino's for lunch, which was quite an experience. Colwyn thought Miles was a riot running back and forth between the tables, and delighted in calling him a troublemaker (a term of endearment in our house, same as naughty devil).

We haven't been doing a whole lot of real homeschooly stuff. We do art projects every other day or so, and Colwyn constantly requests the eyedroppers. We've been talking about space a bit here and there, and dinosaurs, too, of course. We'll probably go to the library this weekend and get a bunch of new books.. I love our library trips. I'm such a dork, but I get a big kick out looking up books I think the kids will like.

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