Thursday, April 19, 2012

it's all connected, anyway

i have been working on my posts at night while everyone else is asleep, but i have a lucky moment when everyone is busy doing their own thing, so i can do mine, too.

in the story of the world (sotw), we read about marco polo and his adventures.  we found a few storybooks at the library that really fit the bill for diana: marco polo by preston, marco polo by riddle and ingpen, and  # 16 of the time warp trio series by jon scieszka.  she's now working on her art project: a drawing of herself at the lavish court of kubla khan enjoying ice cream for the first time.

we've developed this theme over the "school year" when studying history to create art based on what we've learned.  we read books and do google image searches to find ideas, then use those as a springboard to design our own interpretation.  and when i say "our" i really mean "her" because she's the one who comes up with the ideas.  i suggest things sometimes, but it's really diana taking the lead to come up with how she wants to represent that aspect of history.  i find it fascinating to see what details she incorporates and how she inserts herself into the art, making herself into a kind of time traveler in distant lands.

we also read xanadu - kubla khan, a poem by samuel taylor coleridge.  we've been studying a bit about the elements of poetry in music of the hemispheres, in particular about rhyming patterns, so we went through the poem and identified the end rhymes and near end rhymes.  we laughed at our mutual misunderstanding of the meaning of the word "pants" - i'm glad she pointed it out, because i had thought it was weird but glossed over it, while she attended to that detail.  it sure did make a difference in the interpretation!

history - poetry - art - zoology (she asked about whiskers on a fox she was drawing on a tapestry in kubla khan's "small" dining hall that could only seat 6,000 people).  it's all connected.  one of the things i love about homeschooling is the flexibility to follow those connections wherever they take us.

and an update for you fans; i DID in fact complete my potion successfully.  i have not yet taken up my wand to meet my husband duel challenge.  i'm going to try to follow diana's example and get my work done before i indulge in that creative play :)

why am i happyer at home today?  our neighbor brought over these beautiful roses from her backyard.  we can enjoy their vibrant color and heady, sweet scent all day.


  1. Another scrap of paper I won't need to lose. And find! and lose again : ( Thanks!

  2. It strikes me after reading this entry that in order to homeschool one must be a renaissance woman. You have such broad and deep knowledge of history, literature, art, the list goes on and on. Diana and Ander are so lucky and benefit so much from their renaissance mom.
    Johanna (why i'm still "mommy" here I don't know)

  3. johanna, i don't agree with the need to be a renaissance woman in order to be a homeschooling mom. i hope i did not give that impression. in fact, i don't think that i have great breadth of knowledge, though i do have depth in some areas.

    i spend a considerable amount of time learning right alongside my children. it's just enough to stay one step ahead on some things, but not necessary for all things.

    i do think that my innate curiosity and my developing openness to experience (which i have to mindfully cultivate) make homeschooling that much more fun, though. i call it "work" to prepare for some lessons, but it's enjoyable work.

    you could totally do this, you know. you wouldn't be alone. we homeschool as part of a a community.