Saturday, November 22, 2014

This week in immersive learning: family flight

We've kept busy this week!

This is currently Calliope's favorite thing...An ostrich, in a boat.
Our good friend Ian came down for a visit last weekend, and he and James ended up jumping in and taking my silks class.  The kids thought this was great, and enjoyed assisting, and helping them out.  I think it is great for them to get practice with thinking through and verbalizing what they already know - as the old adage says; the best way to learn is to teach...thinking through and getting a deeper understanding of what the essential parts of a skill are, and then communicating how to execute them are actually very complicated skills. It is fascinating to see how the kids are processing their own knowledge, and then watching their progression with being able to express that self awareness...anyway, everyone did well both on the ground and in the air!
Baba, just chilling'...
Ian flies!
Monday we had our monthly meeting for 4H, and the kids began work in earnest to prep for their upcoming visit to a alzheimer's home.  They have a two-fold visit planned:  Some of them will be performing a little skit, and anyone who doesn't feel comfortable performing will be hand making and distributing ornaments to each resident.

I had the great pleasure of working with the performance group.  It was a really nice reminder of how much I love this stuff, and that I do, in fact, know a thing or two about it.  But the credit for that goes to these kids, who were so game, and so enthusiastic, and had so much energy...Hazel and Calliope were not interested in being part of it, but Cadence was.  We did some great work, and after an hour or so we had gone from a chaotic mess of overexcited kids running in circles to a pretty cool skit full of specificity, characters, mini-stories, and a decent energetical flow and nice variation.  I was incredibly proud of all of them, and think we have something really exciting to share!

Calliope and Hazel enjoying a treat while waiting for Cadence to finish up in her computer class
We have been pretty consistently working through the Life of Fred books with Cadence (or rather, she is working through it on her own and checking in with me after each chapter - I think this works best for her, and gives her practice with both reading comprehension and math, among other things.  I do think Cadence is a bit of an autodidact; I have found that the best way to keep her momentum going is to strew her life with access to interesting materials, then sit back and wait until she engages with something and then answer her questions and suggest ways to delve deeper into her studies or a related subject to investigate.  but I digress:).  She seems to really enjoy the stories, and the math is consistently on the "just barely challenging" level, which I  think  means that she is at a decent place, since it consistently gets a teeny bit harder the deeper into the story you get...she'll end up meeting a harder challenge, but it doesn't feel insurmountable.

In addition to our usual violin practice, and our aerial, parkour, and computer classes, Cadence also had a rank test at jiujitsu and now has another stripe to her name (and belt).

Congrats, all!
This week also saw Hazel figuring out technological advantages, when she had me schedule into the calendar a time later in the week to play go fish with her. She set an alarm and everything.  And yesterday was my mom's birthday, which of course brings up fresh heartache...but we used it as an opportunity to bake, and remember her, and honor her.

And of course, reading reading reading -always reading.  And legos and cooking.  These things seem to have become our lives lately, which I suppose is not a terrible thing.
Calliope hones her fine motor skills with legos
Hazel was ill for a spell, and Cadence made this thoughtful card for her:
Score one for empathy AND spelling!
They actually didn't even show this to me, I found it after Cadence gave it to Hazel.

Onward to thanksgiving!

Mom gets to have fun, too!
Circus pants FTW.