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Saturday, March 20, 2004

Total homeschooling moment

S is serenading us this evening with her rendition of "God Save the Queen," played on a toy squeezebox she received for a Christmas present awhile ago. She dug up the complete lyrics from the Victorian Era issue of Learning Through History magazine.

I purchased the back orders and was impressed enough to try and sneak them into the girls' reading, but they found them on their own and begged to go ahead and read them, even though that's not what we're studying. No problem! They're plain, but loaded with good articles, projects, literature guides, questions and additional resources, and they're secular.


It was almost six years ago that S began piano lessons. It lasted just under two years, but her first year out she came in second place in a statewide competition. Her former instructor has produced champion pianists for the past 25+ years, but it was just too stressful for the both of us. S truly has a gift for music and I didn't want to kill the love she has for it, so after much debate we let her stop.

She has mentioned lately that she just might like to try piano again. Of course our pianos are on permanent loan with G's sister, a music teacher, in West Palm Beach. And I really don't want to imagine trying to barge them over to the island, not to mention the lack of space, and forget getting a tuner to come out for a house call...

Looks like we made a good decision to back off.


Another bizarre musical moment:

Last year S's hedgehog, Fred, died while she was over on the east coast with Dad. There was a tremendous thunderstorm brewing and I had maybe a five minute window to get the smelly little thing buried before being struck by lightning. She begged that we wait for her return. She didn't have to ask twice. I double wrapped him in newspaper (those damn prickles) and double bagged him in freezer-strength Ziplocks before placing him in cold storage.

My mother called to console the girls, telling L, "Oh, honey, it's all right, he's in heaven now." To which L replied, "Akchuwee Nana, he's in da fweeza."

Anyway, S and Dad came back around 11:30 PM the next night and we organized a quick funeral: a midnight candlelight vigil with S playing "Taps" on her toy accordian. What will the neighbors say?


S is planning to return to the east coast for the week with Dad on Monday, so she spent part of the day completing work she missed this week and getting a head start on some of next week's as well. We're only focusing on History, related Reading, and Math. Once I know we're through the History, we'll work some more in, at least until our field trip departure.

How's the field trip shaping up? Glad you asked...

St. Augustine (1 day) Tour Castillo de San Marco
Jamestown/Yorktown (1 day) See settlement and battlefield
Williamsburg (3 days) Take our time wandering around, see what we can see
My brother's in NJ (3 days) with day trips in to NYC, maybe to the Cloisters (we missed this during our Medieval studies) and Philadelphia
Boston (4 days) visiting family mostly, but one day for the Freedom Trail with lunch at Durgin Park to try the Indian Pudding
Cape Cod (2 days) visit family and Plimouth Plantation
Salem (1 day) Salem Wax Museum and House of the Seven Gables
Mystic (1 day) Tour the Seaport
Washington DC (5 days) Tourmobile tour to see monuments; waiting for final details on White House and Capitol tours; Smithsonian National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, and National Air and Space Museum; National Archives; Mount Vernon
Monticello (1 day) and a quick peek at Greenville, maybe

There's a few more days worked in here and there for relaxing, no touring, just taking it easy. That's plenty. The plan is to have the girls make scrapbooks of the trip, yes, even L. Must never let gluestick out of my sight...


Patrick Henry is now officially one of my favorite patriots. Not only was he a late bloomer, he was wary of creating a single governing body, preferring individual states' rights instead.

"I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

Go, Pat!


In the midst of an anti-war protest, my brother called this morning, fighting his way into work in NYC. It obviously brings out all kinds of wackos with their own agenda. His favorite sign, "Kill Babies, Not Iraqis."