On the eve of the convention…

OK, it’s not a total vacation, but it’s the closest we’ve ever got.

Tomorrow we attend the Florida Homeschool Convention in Orlando, FL. After much wrangling and soul searching, we’ve decided to take the kids along. Not because we didn’t want them, but because we really didn’t know when our next opportunity to be on a trip alone would be. I’m glad now, because we can share the discoveries with our kids immediately, instead of coming home with a load of stuff and throwing it at them willy nilly. I’ll try to keep a log of our activities to help someone see into what caught our attention and why.

Today’s homeschool stuff involved Marcus calling up his Virtual School teacher on his own – I’ve never seen him so focused. It almost makes me wonder if I should set up a website and teach him virtually from the other room… maybe he’d pay more attention to me (just kidding).
Naomi struggled through upside down multiplication, which reminded me that she has to keep reviewing old material. She just does better when she’s taking a slower pace, but I have to keep her moving to avoid her getting frustrated.

Our life lessons came from our high gas prices. I’ve been monitoring our gas usage closely, as my 1999 Mazda practically bleeds oil. The tank was on half, and I had the tripometer on, which showed 147 miles traveled since last fill-up. I took a quick look at the manual to see the fuel tank capacity, then asked Marcus and Naomi to figure out the miles per gallon. Both at first missed the operation needed – division- and I had to walk Marcus through dividing decimals, but he got the estimate pretty close. Naomi of course bemoaned the whole exercise. She did better on my other family learning project – changing the thermostat to a digital programmable one instead of the classic twist knob version that was originally in the house.

I took off the original casing so they could see the vacuum tube with the bead of mercury inside, then promised 5 bucks to the one that could identify the liquid. Marcus and Chris went ballistic into Wikipedia, but Naomi calmly looked into the tube and did some observation of the whole. She prefers the systematic approach rather than the home-run hits that the boys relate to educationally. She’ll make a great researcher or chemist one day because of her keen sense of putting pieces together to make a whole. (Marcus got the five dollars though.)

Time to rest up for the trip… see you in Von Trapp Disney….

Looking unto the hills,

acp

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