Jan 11, 2013

Bird's-Eye View of the Week: Masterly Inactivity. Doctor's Orders!

If it weren't for the pain, I could get used to this house-bound thing.
   Our school week has been so relaxed. So easy. With my foot in a soft boot, and doctor's orders to stay off it, I am completely excused from spending valuable hours running us from activity to activity. This must be the ultimate Masterly Inactivity that Charlotte Mason advises.
   School takes place entirely from a big easy chair in the living room with sun pouring in from three sides. Hot tea in a Thermos, laptop on the ottoman, stacks of books on the floor and we are ready to go.The only thing to ice the cake would be if I could successfully build a fire.
Project Gutenberg QR code
Master Skylark. Scan for
 download to your device
  Our main focus this week has been making steady progress in the book, Master Skylark,  the tale of a country boy in Shakespeare's time, who runs away from home to London, not to join the circus, but the theater. He discovers, Dorothy-like, that there's no place like Stratford and his dear mother's arms. Along the way he is essentially abducted by Gaston Carew, a "master player" who makes many empty promises to let him go "tomorrow." Except, that day never comes because, in classic Shakespearean double-speak,  it never is Tomorrow, always Today! In fact the book is full of word-play, most of which goes right over Mei's head but nonetheless demonstrates, along with the thickly-spread descriptions of scenery, clothing, and action, the author's intelligent writing. It is another selection by Simply Charlotte Mason for Module 5 that Mei at first protested about because of its high literary style that includes heavy use of the Elizabethan tongue, but now begs to be read from. Fits in nicely with our affinity for Shakespeare and the theater too. (see our theater field trips!)       Available as a download to your device such as a Kindle or smart-phone with reader and appropriate for late-elementary through middle school.
Science, homeschool, notebooking
Sample pages from the Atmosphere and Rock Lessons.
    The other subject that is commanding our attention is Science. I just am so pleased with Considering God's Creation .This publication, which has been around since the 90's, uses two books, one for me and one for thee (oops, can't lose that 16th century lingo!). It covers general science from a--Surprise!--creationist point of view following the seven days as laid out in Genesis. There are others that do that too, most notably Apologia's Exploring Creation and 106 Days of Creation. We tried Apologia last year with Day Six, Land Animals, but got so bogged down. There was just TOO MUCH of a good thing as far as we were concerned.
    Considering God's Creation is broken up into lots of short lessons with lots of hands-on stuff.Very easy to adapt to a multi-age setting or a co-op. There are extension ideas given with every lesson for deeper research for older students. The heart of it is the notebook that the student will create from the pages in the Student Book. It's all bound there with the mini-books ready to be filled in. I especially loved the solar system that hangs from a pop-up page! It also brings in other subjects from across the curriculum including Bible, music on a CD, vocabulary, and history lessons. A clever notebook page is entitled Science Detective, a fill-in-the blank form for researching those who have contributed to science in a notable way. Oral review questions and a crossword puzzle complete the units. For under $30, it has got to be the best science deal out there.

But the best part about our week of sofa rest has been seeing Mei involve herself in self-directed projects. She is currently making a 3-story dollhouse out of a large cardboard box. Today she is working out how to build staircases. I am totally uninvolved and she is totally loving it. Never would have happened if I was able to drive us to all the "important" stuff. Maybe I can keep on mastering masterly inactivity when I am more...active!
Cardboard townhouse.
Staircases ready to be installed.
   Have you ever taught more by NOT teaching? I need more ideas! Tell Mother all about it below and then head over to Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers and see if anyone else mastered inactivity this week!


Eagle's Wing's Publications, science, homeschool, notebooking
Considering God's Creation
by Eagle's Wings Ed

Rise and Hobble

Another day, another prop-up

Week 3 of Peg-leg Leslie and the Broken Foot
So my new morning routine is this. cautiously lean out of bed to reach my cane (or crop as Mei, the equestrian calls it), come slowly--and painfully--to my feet. Hobble into the bathroom for a few minutes of wake-up duty. Thump-da-thump to the closet for some old jeans, and a sweatshirt. Got to be comfortable sitting in a chair all day! Re-wrap the injury with a stretched-out Ace bandage given to me at the ER (love, love the edging of sewn-in Velcro for grip!) and strap on the stylish also-Velcroed bootie. Match up the heel height with the most similar thing I have: a navy L.L.Bean felt clog from around 1992 that has the toe area chewed out by the dog. Skip the make-up. Who's gonna see me?
   Take on the most challenging part of the day: descending the stairs. Ours are long and CURVE adding to the excitement. Good foot down, bad foot brought along-side while stepping perpendicular to the riser.This keeps the useless one from flexing, the most agonizing position the appendage can assume. Phone in pocket. Water glasses and yesterday's newspapers left behind. Need the hands for bracing myself! Father R will collect those on the weekend, hopefully before we run out of clean ones.
   Thump-da-thump-da-thump to the kitchen wishing we had a two-bedroom rambler. Nuke tea water, pour into Thermos mug ( saves getting up for the re-heat later), and plop in the easy chair for the rest of the morning, my laptop waiting to take me out into the virtual world, a place I have only been chauffeured to twice in as many weeks.
   The poor dog, whose own morning routine for five years has been to find a toy and be chased around the house in a catch-and-fetch version of Keep-away tries again to engage me, but gives up and lays at my feet again for another long day wondering what he did to deserve my rejection. If only he could read the blog.



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