Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Another random day

I always have a plan for the school day, but it almost always takes a different direction than my plan.  I'm all about following the students' interests, but it is a little chaotic and random sometimes.  Today it all started with looking out the window.  We saw Marty walking to her meditation tree (an apple tree by the creek where she spends many hours looking like she's contemplating life).
Noah wasn't out of bed yet, and Sarah suggested we go meditate with Marty.  That led to some interesting conversation and watching apples fall.  I don't know why I never thought of this before, but I finally realized we could be using these apples instead of watching them rot on the ground.   So Sarah climbed into the tree to pick some.
We brought back seven apples to make applesauce, and some branches for the chinchillas to chew. 
By the time Noah got up, there was warm cinnamon applesauce for breakfast. They ate that while I read our current read-aloud, which is a book about a missionary to the Philippines.  We wondered why people from the Philippines (with a Ph and two p's) are called Filipino (with an F and one p).

Then we started on math, and Noah asked a question.  This is usually where the train goes off the tracks.  Noah asks a question that appears simple until I realize I can't answer it, and then we're off searching for the answer.  The question he was supposed to write in his math book was, "1 cup = ______ fluid ounces."  His question to me was, "One cup of what?  One cup of feathers weighs more than one cup of lead." I said it was a fluid ounce, so one cup of fluid weighs how much?  He said, "One cup of water or one cup of molten lava?"  I stared blankly for a few seconds before I said, "Well, it's measuring volume, not weight."  He said, "Isn't 'ounce' a measure of weight?" and I was stumped.  He knows he's supposed to write 8 in the blank, and he's not trying to be a smart-aleck; he's just curious. 

I searched in the internet and finally asked the principal, who is smart but was also stumped. He searched the internet better than I did and found that a "fluid ounce" is a measure of volume, and a plain old "ounce" is a measure of weight.  First of all, how did I never know this?  And second, why don't we have a better term than "fluid ounce" for measuring the volume of something other than fluid? Perhaps something less similar to the word for measuring weight?

Then Marty pinned a cicada under her paws on the driveway and caused it to make a horrible screeching noise (the cicada, not the driveway).  We went out to investigate.  And then Noah asked a question.  "How do they make that sound? Do they make it with their wings like crickets?"  I said vaguely, "No, they vibrate some part of their body..." and he said, "Their balls?"  I said, "No. Cicadas don't have balls."  Sarah piped up then with, "Well then how do they mate?"  Back to the internet to research cicada sound-making technique and reproductive organs. How on earth did people ever homeschool before the internet???  We learned some VERY interesting things about cicada mating and had some good conversation about it.  Noah ended up chasing Sarah around the house with a screaming, gyrating cicada in his hand, making her absolutely freak out.  I made him throw the bug outside and sit down for a lecture about "when a woman says no, that means stop." I refuse to raise a rapist.

By this point in the day, according to my plan, we should be locating Slovakia on the map, but somehow it's well past noon and we haven't even had lunch. 

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