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Monday, January 21, 2008

We're Rollin' in Dough!

Before long lost cousins and relatives come out of the woodwork, it's not that kind of dough. It's play-doh, homemade play-doh. Jackson is at his Uncle Jason and Aunt Cassie's house, hopefully behaving himself like a little gentleman. So, Lillie and I had a full day of "school" today. Hadn't had one of those in a while. One of the American history topics I want to cover with Lillie is the Indians of North America. Talk about a culture clash. She couldn't believe they didn't have stoves and cooked over an open fire. I found a couple of nice (free) books and began one today. It's called "Stories of Indian Children". You can get the entire text with all the illustrations at Google Book Search! Yipeee! I skipped chapter one because it was all about teepees and wigwams and I didn't have the materials to do the project I wanted to. So, we went to chapter two and learned that
1. An Indian baby was called a papoose and they spent 98% of their time strapped into a cradle and being carried on the backs of their mothers. What was even more interesting is that they actually hung them from trees while they worked in fields or gathering. I doubt I could get away with that in this day. I have , however, threatened to hang my kids up by their ears (oh, dust off your know you've made unrealistic disciplinary threats to your kids before.)
2. They did not have stoves or ovens and cooked either over an open fire or by pulling hot stones out of the fire and throwing it into the pot they were using. They cooked in kettles made of clay, used carved wooden utensils and hauled water in a birch bark pail.
3. Indians were hospitable to one another. If one family didn't have a good hunt, the other families would pitch in and all would eat. They ate when they were hungry, if they had anything to eat at all.
And we learned all this from a "living" book.
So, we made homemade clay, fashioned some indian pottery and a papoose and painted them. Here's the pics. Lillie Anna's looks a bit gruesome, like it was burned, but that's just because she hasn't learned the fine art of painting. She's four and only cares about seeing how much paint and how many colors she can slap onto something.

And here is the picture Lillie took of me... nice. I think she really captured the essence of my double chin. Thanks, honey.
For science, we will work our way through Clara Dillingham Pierson's Among the Farmyard People. A story each day and then discussion over the animals mentioned in the stories. I like Pierson's books because they are packed with simple straightforward information in a storybook format that won't bore your kids to tears. And an extra added bonus is she never fails to incorporate some bit of character or manners education. Todays reading was about swallows. We learned that...
1.They migrate in the winter to the South, but that mourning doves do not.
2. They live in barns, old sheds...secluded places and build their nests out of mud and straw. They eat in flight meals (hee, hee, a little airline humor)catching insects as they fly and dive through the air.
3. Behavior principle...children ought to be respectful when others are talking, especially their elders, not interrupting, but giving full attention. She also threw in that the parents are the ones that have to teach the kids. So, Lillie and I both got a dose of moral in todays lesson. I had her do a storypage on the swallow for some writing practice. You can find them here to print.
After about two weeks of practice sounding out short "a" blends and words,Lillie read her first book from Starfall and will move onto the next tommorrow. She practiced some addition and did a worksheet where she had to tell the time to the hour. We got alot done and I really enjoyed the dough makin' together. Just for laughs, here's Chloe taking health matters into her own hands... We're gonna have to start callin' her Scarface. Jackson accidentally gashed her with his nail yesterday. I emphasize the word "accidentally". You could tell he didn't do it on purpose. When he does something wrong and doesn't mean to...he'll tell the truth. When he's been mean on purpose, he lies like a dog.
I gave Chloe a few little bits of country ham this morning and she screamed bloody murder when I took it away. The kid has two teeth and thinks she can whoop the world and eat whatever she wants. I pacified her with a peace offering of gravy and bisquit.

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