Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I have practice the piano for 1-3 hours each day this week. I have gone 19 pages farther than my piano teacher told me to, and have even jazzed up one of the songs that was already fun to play. If I had a microphone I would record the before and after to show the difference. I added treble clef chords and syncopation. When I get to my 100 mile exercise mark I will have earned a microphone and can do things like that. I am at 52 miles right now with every 15 minutes of exercise adding another mile.
Today my 11 year old boy asked if he could go to the mountain behind our house and survive for the day on the plants that he finds. He knows about dandelion greens, but other than that he hasn't learned much. I gave him our edible and medicinal plants book, and told him he could go looking for the plants but to bring them home or just identify what is up there instead of eating them on his own. It turns out now that all of the boys except my youngest are going to the hills with my brother to play capture the flag, cook lunch over a fire, and look at plants. I wondered about this excursion and if it could be considered school time or not. I am unclear if we need to be in the same room for the morning hours and then go do outside activities, or if outside activities should be included in that precious learning time that has been set aside.
I have been reading the Home Companion to A Thomas Jefferson Companion. Some of the things I am reading are not exactly like what I have read before in other TJEd books. I realize that each family takes the principles and applies them in their own way. The lady in this book does her family reading at 8 pm and continues for 2 hours. My family does baths at 7 then scripture reading, and prayer followed by bed time at 8. I want my kids to get plenty of rest so they can be refreshed by 7 am when they got up. This lady is also very structured in her household skill teaching. She has checklists of things that must be learned before the kids become adults, and then has the kids enroll in her 'classes' to learn these skills. Perhaps that is a better way to teach the skills than the way I do it. I have each kid do a certain chore until they are adept at it, and then move on to another one. For example, Ben has been taking out the garbage and dusting for a few months and has now graduated to making breakfast and unloading the dishwasher. His younger brother has taken over his garbage duties. Maybe the way I do it is not as inspiring as the child choosing to do certain life skills because they know that those skills will be needed when they are adults, and they get a party when they have mastered the skills. I will look more into some of her suggestions and see if they will be a fit for our family. I am notorious for changing the way we do things to something that might be better. My older kids have begged me to just keep it the same. What we are doing is working, so I will study this other way and then present it to the kids and see what they think.

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