Thursday, March 1, 2007

Its all about Ireland

The month of March is an exciting Month for a teacher! Not only is it National Craft month it's also National Health Awareness Month, the birthday of Dr. Seuss, St Patricks day and the first day of spring. How can one possibly fit all this in! I've been waiting for this week to describe what we have been doing for St Patricks Day in our homeschool.

The Reading A-Z program that I use has a series of about 23 books in Level N that they call Tommy Tales. Tommy travels all around the world with his friends and robot and tells us all the things he learned. For this week I downloaded Tommy Goes to Ireland. Today Tink read the book and loved it.

We're taking a peek at Ireland this month and I'm as excited as Tink to find out all the stuff; okay, I'm more excited than Tink! But then what's new, hu? There is just so much I don't know about the country. Today we did fun things like study the background of the legendary leprechauns. We wove grammar into it by writing down all the verbs we could think of that pertained to leprechauns. We had the most fun with the adjectives; bearded, lively, quick, cunning, magical, etc. We did some work with a color wheel making different kinds of green by mixing crayons together.

Then we got down to the serious stuff of studying the map and really learning about the country. We took a virtual tour of many of Irelands castles on this website; Map of Irelands Castles. Tink was disappointed that so many of the castles were in ruins. She couldn't understand why someone wouldn't have kept them up and lived in them.

We also looked into Irish dancing. I was amazed when I mentioned to Tink that an Irish jig is done without moving the arms and she jumped up proclaiming she already knew that. She did an almost perfect jig across the floor of my office. With the help of the computer we played Irish dance music while we worked out the steps as laid out in a diagram. They were exactly the steps Tink had shown me. She didn't like the Irish dance music though. She said it was boring.

We barely got our feet wet in the study of the potato famine. We're going to go into that deeper in the days ahead. The library is getting me the award winning book; Nora Ryans Song, and we're going to read that. It's about a 12 year old girl growing up during the famine. We're also reading Under The Hawthorne Tree another story of an Irish girl whose must find a way to save her family during the drought. Her parents are dead and so she flees with her two siblings to avoid going to the workhouse. This is the first time Tink has ever heard about the potato famine so this is an exciting story!

This whole study has made me want to read Angelas Ashes again. That has got to be my all time favorite book!

Tomorrow we're reading, Colleen and the Leprechauns, another book from Reading A-Z. Peter is included in our leprechaun activities. I think the potato famine is a little much for him to take in right now so I let him go during that time.

Other things on the agenda this month are learning about the invaders to Ireland, studying some more about Ireland's geography, cuisine, music, currency, and language. Since it's spring we're also going to find out what birds are native to the country.

Other books that we will be reading are The King of Ireland's Son, and Clever Tom and The Leprechaun. I'm reading those books in our Children's Hour so again Peter will be with us. I hate that he misses so much while he's at school.

We struggled through a rough time in Math today. Tink fought it all the way. We finished some crafts because we most certainly cannot forget about it being National Craft Month. And oh my goodness, wait until you see the edible Dr. Seuss hats the kids are making!

In other news I've been up to my ears in redoing the church nursery schedule. We have 60 positions every week that need filled. Somebody has to direct and organize all that. That somebody is me. And so the work goes on.

Wendy and Jane came for dinner tonight. The day was balmy so I did a little outdoor weeding. Of course, the never ending laundry was done again today. Every day I try to do something that will stay done for awhile; something that makes me feel like I've accomplished something lasting. Today that meant that I went through every DVD and video in this house and returned all of them to the right cases and reorganized the shelves. I never knew we had so many movies! I ended up giving a bunch of them to Wendy. The kids had outgrown all the Barney and Spot movies so now Jane can enjoy them. I also reorganized and categorized all the books in the floor to ceiling book shelves in the upstairs family room.

Now it's evening and the days work is done. The kids are in bed, the washer and dryer are stilled, the dishwasher is humming and I am going to go soak in my Shea Butter bath soap and read my book.

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