05 September 2007

Homeschooling When You're Too Tired to Think

Yesterday we were tired and dull. Well, often we are dull, and tired happens, too, but we were exceptionally tired and dull after a busy weekend.

But we still need to learn stuff, by golly! Or, at least be able to write something educational down in our log book.


Up in the morning, breakfast and a read aloud. Then head out to The Butterfly House. The Butterfly House has free admission for county residents on the morning of the first Tuesday of the month. They don't advertise this anywhere that I know of, and, frankly, I'm not sure of the exact hours it happens. But we take advantage of it whenever possible.

We looked over the various insects and arachnids on display in the entrance. My disaster-obsessed child has now turned her attention to brown recluse spiders, so we spent some time at that display; too bad the spider was being so, you know, reclusive.

Then on in to the actual butterfly house. It was a sunny day, and the butterflies were very active. We, on the other hand, were not active at all. I think the bromeliads were livelier than our group. As I saw the other moms busily engaging their children and doing stuff to make it educational, I felt that we were sort of zen in our calm acceptance of the butterflies flitting around us. Sometimes they landed on us. We were one with the scenery. We were ... tired.

On the way out, we stopped at the gift shop to pick up some chocolate covered ants. Scientific investigation at its finest! Comments from the back seat: "They just taste like chocolate, but the antennae prickle on your tongue," and "You can sort of feel the exoskeleton in your throat." We made it home without anyone barfing, including me (I chose not to indulge in this treat).

Lunch, and another read aloud. Then, yes, it's time for RETURN OF TUESDAY TEATIME.

Last spring we drifted away from Tuesday Teatimes, mostly because of Tuesday afternoon piano lessons. We have now moved piano lessons to another day. Why didn't we move Teatime to another day last spring? Well, for one thing, we liked the alliteration of Tuesday Teatime. Plus, we were busy pretty much every other afternoon, sigh.

The kids set up the teatime. This involved selecting a tablecloth and napkins, getting out plates and glasses, and decorating the table with a candle and fake insects:

Kid2 is decorating her cupcakes with frosting-in-a-tube, making ladybugs.

We had some mini cupcakes from Trader Joes, and some pink lemonade. Kid2 and I read out of Joyful Noise, Paul Fleischman's wonderful book of insect-themed poetry written to be read aloud by 2 people. She thought reading the poems aloud together was great fun; we'll probably continue to read these poems for the rest of the week.

Afterwards someone apparently thought it would be amusing to put doublestick tape on the insects and post them at various places throughout the house; last night I found a large roach crawling up the wall of the hallway (fairly startling, as the roach is the most lifelike of the batch) and this morning there was a gigantic unidentifiable something next to the light switch in the basement. Ahem. All you moms out there with all boys take note: having girls doesn't mean you get off scott-free from this sort of thing, although there's probably less of it going on in our house than in yours.

That night as we brushed teeth we found a few little black spots ... ants, perhaps, had stuck to the teeth all day? Who knows. All-in-all, it was an interesting day.


Writing and Living said...

Love the Butterfly House. Sounds like a great day!

Tara, Walkabout said...

I love the insects around the candle... too cute! Isn't Joyful Noise fun? We read from it each morning for weeks last year until the girls needed more poems to read in tandem so they began writing their own. Still take it down knock one or two out every now and then.
I'm sure another high-energy day is just around the corner, waiting to balance things out.