Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up ~ Night at the Museum ...

From the Heart ~

I am thinking about fun ....  Can you have too much fun in your life?  What about too much joy or opportunities and events?  More than once, I have been told by some professional in the mental health field that our family is too fun. We have too much fun and do too many fun things.  They never have any other problems with our family.  They like our chore charts, our consistency, our devotion, our strong marriage, our child training techniques and family values -- but we are TOO MUCH FUN. One must remember that these are the same naysayers who predicted that our Goldilocks would never recover from severe RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) well enough to live in a family.  Now, they consider her to be pretty well attached to our family and the majority of difficulties she gives us can be blamed on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I am grateful for my fun family and all of the fun events we cram into our lives.  Frankly, we are an intense family with intense special issues.  We need a lot of comic relief to carry us through our days.  So, I seek out wholesome fun and try to fill our days with love and joy. I hope this is the right thing to do.

I am not speaking about material things here. I certainly do not think that all of the stuff that dribbles into our house is great.  I am still working on how to keep the tap closed more on that one.  But, that is a thought for another day.

On the Homefront ~

Wow, the month of September passed me by in a jiffy.  After weeks of unique schedules and travel, it is nice to be home. This last week was the first week that we got the feel for our Fall school schedule.  What it looks like on paper is sometimes different than how it feels in real life.  I am relieved that after getting through this week, it feels manageable.   I am even 90% unpacked from our travels.  I love October and am looking forward to a month with a more normal schedule.  We have two family birthdays and the joy of watching the changing of the leaves.  It should be a good month.

Learning Time ~

We just completed our 8th week of school.  I did a little review to see where we are and how the kids are retaining their subjects.  The good news is that they are doing great in retaining math, reading, literature, art, music, science, Latin, sign language and geography.  However, they are lost and confused when it comes to history. They gave me unimportant info about a topic, mixed up famous people and generally showed me that our history studies are not sticking in their minds. I have been concerned with SOTW (Story of the World) for a little while now.  I love it, but it is getting more and more complicated. There are so many details, and it just seems way above their heads at the moment.  Often in the past weeks, I have felt like I am filling a vessel instead of igniting a flame. So, for now, I am putting SOTW away and moving through history with picture books and hands-on activities. We are just finishing the Rennaisance, and I will be starting a unit study on Native American Indians before moving into American history, starting with Jamestown.  My priority is for my children to have a love of learning, not to be able to state every little detail about an event.  I think I lost my priorities a bit in the last few months.

Our pop up Globe theater has added loads of fun to our Shakespeare study of Macbeth.

Reinforcing blends through a phonics game in a doctor's waiting room

"Double, double, toil and trouble..." This is our witches brew to go with Macbeth.

Family Time ~

We went to the new exhibit at our hands-on science museum.  It was the Blue Man Group exhibit.  For those who don't know who the Blue Man group is, such as my Mom, they are comic, musical entertainers who paint themselves in shiny blue and use everyday materials to create music.  They perform in large venues such as at Las Vegas, but this was not a live show -- it was an exhibit exploring sound and light with lots of videos of the Blue Man Group.  The kids loved it and dh really got into it, too.  We went on members-only opening night and were delighted with the spread of food they provided.  Yummy ...

Considering how messy the crowd is supposed to get at the Blue Man performances, this movie is probably close enough for us.

Getting down with the Blue Man Group

Today, we spent time in our very first corn maze. It went better than I expected.  No one is terribly itchy but dh did have a huge allergy attack. The children also loved swinging on the rope swing and falling into the piles of hay. We picked a pumpkin out of the pumpkin patch and ate homemade ice cream, too.

Please join Canadagirl for more weekly wrap ups.




  1. Well, those experts must need to complain about something. Kudos on having a fun family! It is a blessing.


  2. Traci's Teaching TimesOctober 2, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    My daughter did not do well in history when we used text books. I come out of the text books and started following our own layout for history with library books, videos, coloring sheets, notebooking our own studies, etc. and now I have 2 history buffs, not just my son. I'm so glad that I had the courage to drop the text books and find where my child's learning style was. Now her education is broadening.

  3. Hi Dawn! I could only shake my head and smile at the "you're too fun" comment. Yeesh. ;-)

    good idea to put away the complicated history curriculum...I'd just enjoy good historical fiction novels and save the chronological romp thru time for Jr. high and thru Sr. high, your kids look so young yet! Glad you were able to "step back" and re-assess, and I pray that you'll find just the right things to fill in!


  4. Hi Dawn. What fun I had catching up with you!!!!! You had a fabulous trip to DC! We are 4 hours from there and have yet to do what you did. Its on my to do list!!!!
    One of my dear children was terrified of heights. Bridges, elevators, anything really. Even the slides at the play ground. Through much patients and understanding I can honestly say that at 19 he is no longer fobic. Cautious maybe but we no longer have him screaming, falling to the floor in the fetal postion, or just flat out frozen in place. I can relate to the having to carry him down and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. At least he tried. It took three navy personal to carry him across the bridge from dock to boat ( forgot what its called) He got to the middle and just froze. And screamed. I had an infant in my arms....He was three. He would become amazingly strong when afraid. He still has fear but seems to be able to do mind over matter. When he learned to drive going over bridges was a challege. His frist trip by himself to his brothers ( in the mountians) was a challenge on the downhill side.
    Too much fun!? Honestly? Oh my. Well as you stated you need the comic relief. We all do. Fun is part of the glue that binds the family. I think these dear professionals do not see many sucess stories like yours. Your family is amazing and clearly a sucess.

  5. I can't imagine anyone complaining about too much fun, even a mental health professional! When I look at all my kids' friends, it's the "fun families" that have teenagers & young adults that still like to spend time with their families.

    Janet W

  6. Dawn, I'm just visiting your blog now that I have time (wait, time--what's that??). :)

    We, too, have a special needs son, Joseph, 21 with autism. He is a blessing and the reason we started our homeschool journey. Life is richer and sweeter because of Joe. :)

    My husband makes fun for our family. I'm the serious one! Fun is part of the glue that holds us together. Phooey on the "experts."

    Thanks for sharing your week!

    Love in Christ,

  7. How can you have too much fun?!!! You can't! I love all that you do with your family to make learning and life fun! You are an encouragement and example to me! I love reading about all that y'all are doing. I know I can get caught up in my lists and you encourage me to step back and focus on what is important.


  8. we are on our 8th week of school this week also! we are taking a 2 week break and then at it again! loved seeing what you guys have been up to! first corn maze looked really fun!!! we have 2 of those around here!! about history, we had the same problem for the last 2 years until we started using mystery of history this year and wow we are loving it!! maybe check it out? xoxo

  9. I can't believe that you were told you were TOO fun! That's incredible. But, I must say you are always having fun and it's inspiring to me.

    BTW, I tagged you on my blog.

  10. If someone is going to find something to complain about you. What a wonderful thing to be complained about. I wished I could even be 1/10th as fun as you are. You make their world so alive and fun to be apart of. Don't let those lies seep into you at all ! Keep up the AMAZING work you are doing. You are even creative in banking learning times for when you need them. You are sooooo SMART. *grin*

    Sending you blessings and ((HUGS))
    In Him<

  11. Hi Dawn,
    Thanks so much for your visit and nice note about my C.M. article in the carnival today! We have VERY similar " teaching "styles... I tried to go the classical way for a year in the late elementary grades and reverted back to our natural and more FUN approach to learning as well...It was just too serious... Now that the kids are teens we are using Oak Meadow.. and it's a perfect fit for us!
    I'll be back again... Keep having FUN!

  12. I love your pop-up theatre. That looks really neat.
    And you sure don't waste time, do you? In the doctors waiting room - working on phonics blends!
    I love the witches brew - another clever learning technique of Dawns. Are you getting your book ready?
    Your children are blessed with a mom that knows how to make learning fun!