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The Busyness Begins Again

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by , 08-17-2012 at 08:24 AM (3530 Views)
Busyness is that the correct word? I'm not really sure. I typed it as business as first and knew that wasn't what I meant. So I'm gonna let this stand as it is.

Anyway, after a pretty laid back summer or mostly just a few pool dates, we are beginning to get busy again. A lot of the places that we visit are starting up their fall calendars. So I find myself spending a lot of time looking at activities and looking to see if we have room on the calendar. I am determined to not overload our calendar like I did last year. We spent so much time on outside activities that we did not finish fourth grade. Now we have to finish up fourth grade work before fifth grade can start. I am determined to be into fifth grade by the end of the year.

Even though we did not finish fourth grade last school year, we didi spend a lot of time on great learning activities. We had a lot of classes in history, social studies, environmental science, earth science, a bit of chemistry, some language arts, but not much math. So in addition to doing our regular math work, I am adding in a workbook to try to finally understand multiplication. This has been a huge challenge for my son. He loved math until he hit multiplication. He just does not understand why he has to learn this at all. We took him through the process of figuring out how much floor tile we needed to buy for our dining room, but he says he would just mark it off in squares and count the squares. He sees no use for multiplication in his life. Yes, we are going to have to work on this one a lot.
But back to our busy fall schedule. Today, the boy took a class in making corn muffins. Each child was able to make their own pan of muffins. Then while the muffins were cooking they took a tour of the grist mill where they grind the corn into cornmeal. There is nothing electric about this grist mill. They have huge grinding stones that are powered by a water wheel. It is so exciting to watch the faces of the children as they see how the actual corn that went into their muffins was turned into cornmeal. And the wheat was turned into flour. The kids got to see the corn and the wheat before it was ground and then what it looked like after it was ground. They watched the grinding stone crush the corn. They got to help get the water wheel started. Then they saw how the cornmeal was packaged. The best part is that you can actually buy bags of corn and wheat right there that has been ground within the last week instead of something from the store that was ground months ago.
We will be taking other classes at the grist mill this fall including simple machines and how they work, candle making, and the power of energy. I think this kind of hands on learning is a great way for kids to reinforce what they learn in their books.
Another class that my son will be taking this fall is a series on the election process. They will learn about the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the Electoral College.

What kinds of things will your children be learning hands on this fall? Do you have some fun classes lined up for them? Be careful though, don't overload your schedule like I tend to.