Thursday, December 18, 2008

Back to the blog

Oops! I didn't totally forget to blog. There were some things I wanted to share but I decided that I should wait before the "stories" were complete. Yes, I've been busy. And not just with the kids! I have been very active at Maylin's school. So far, I've taught music, art, and science to her class (depending on what was missing from the curriculum at a given point in time). Now that there is no longer a science teacher at her school for first through third grade, I decided to volunteer to teach. And yes, I have no previous science teaching experience, but with my creative brain and the internet hand in hand, I've put together some fun lessons. Last week, the kids made ooblek, a substance made of corn starch and water which can demonstrate characteristics of both liquids and solids (more on that in a future posting). This week, I taught the kids how to fold paper airplanes, fly them, measure their distances, and plot the distances on a number line (we were trying to figure out if planes with big or small wings would fly farther). I think the kids had a lot of fun with both activities -- a few things I would change in the future (ooblek is really messy, and flying and measuring 2 planes for each of twenty students takes a LONG time). Next science class? Who knows? I'll probably figure it out the day of like I did today. We were going to do a bubble experiment today, but I couldn't find any liquid glycerin. Where oh where has my glycerin gone?

Aside from teaching kids (something I love to do), I have been dabbling in graphic design! I have a small history in t-shirt design from college (did three for my dorm) and jumped at the chance to volunteer myself to design a t-shirt for the dance department at our local YMCA. I am usually not so forward, but when I heard that there was a possibility to do the work, I immediately introduced myself and said I'd be willing to do the job. Two designs and many management miscommunications later I have one of my designs printed! I am happy I got to do it, but really wished that my original design went through instead. More on that later as well, plus photos.

I also designed a logo for an offshoot organization within the PTA at Maylin's school. It's pretty clever, I think. Photo to post later.

I've also been on a crusade to improve Maylin's school. It has not been an easy task, and I probably shouldn't go into too many details so I don't hurt anyone's feelings, but people have been very helpful along the way, and it seems that making my voice heard does actually make a difference! I requested better communication (and more of it) from the principal and she has delivered after each request.

I am still addicted to knitting! In the nearly six weeks of continued knitting by this beginner, I have produced over eight scarves! My first scarves are pretty funny. Each time I made a mistake, I would plow right through and keep knitting. Lots of irregularity there. Now when I make a mistake, I'm actually able to fix them or just take out the whole row withe the mistake and redo it. I still can only do one stitch (the basic knit stitch), but am looking forward to learning how to purl.

On top of all this, I have been able to do quite a bit of reading (while I nurse Stefan on the bed, I pull out a book). Titles have included, "The Homeschooling Handbook," "Homeschooling: The Early Years," "The First Year of Homeschooling," and "Homeschooling: A Family's Journey." You might have an idea of what I'm up to, and I know what you're going to say first to me because many people have said it already and the books have already warned me --"but what about socialization?" If we do end up homeschooling (just an option at this point), Maylin will continue getting plenty of opportunities to socialize. She will probably still take her ballet and Chinese classes, I'll probably sign her up for other activities as well, she will likely be accompanying me to all my activities, and I will continue organizing playdates with all her friends (including her present school-going friends). I don't think there's a danger of my just holing up in the house with the kids for years and years. That's certainly unnatural, and pretty darn boring! There's so much more to talk about regarding homeschooling...I'll have to save it for another time.

Oh, I forgot. Not many people know this, but a week and a half ago, I performed in a concert at a local university (not Cal). I helped out my choral directing friend who needed a soloist for her choir concert. It was fun...I miss singing...

Okay, last thing. Last week, I danced my heart out at my first dance performance in over twenty-six years! I take two hip-hop classes a week at the local YMCA. I started in September, which is about when the teachers started preparing us for the December show. I hardly missed any classes -- I was so dedicated! I even practiced at home a little! Great exercise and so much fun!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Bay Area has amazing homeschool networks, and they are also not all necessarily based on what I interpret as "keep my child away from sinful thoughts, ideas and people" reasons. I'm sure you'll make the decision that is best for your children and your family!

Marianna