Monday, October 25, 2010

The USA Science & Engineering Festival

After a busier than usual Sunday morning, and kissing the grandma's good-bye, the kids and I were off to the Science & Engineering Festival in DC. Me being a total science geek, I was tense with anticipation during the ride there- and in fear of my life and safety due to my husband's video-game-like driving- because I just wanted to GET THERE and enjoy whatever they had to offer in whatever time we had left of the day's event.

This same Festival was apparently hugely successful in California, so they decided to try the East Coast crowd. Let me say, it didn't disappoint! The kids loved it and I was in science heaven with all the information, hands-on demonstrations and science-based swag coming at us. I was so glad I brought the small Graco along because the crowds were unbelievably huge and at times it was hard to get at the individual booths due to crowding around the favorites.

We just waited patiently and were greatly rewarded when the crowds suddenly thinned out and we not only got to do the hands-on crafts/demos, but got a TON of free stuff to take home- yay Graco! Anyone who's hosted or frequented events where promotional materials are distributed knows that those employees don't want to take that stuff home, so when they see there's a danger of having to lug anything back with them, they graciously shower it upon you.

We stopped at the Seismology booth to create an earthquake, which my 2yo slept through but my 5yo LOVED, and of course, I thought it was sooo cool. We made ships and sailed them across a huge kiddie pool with the help of a very nice man in uniform with a little green (but official!) fan. We marveled at a Geiger counter noisiliy ticking away as it sat atop a Uranium-colored (I know-orange) dinner plate that was made and commonly used in the '20's. We watched the miracle of super-absorbent polymer expand and turn in to fake snow with just a little H2O. And we topped it all off with a much too short trip to Barnes & Noble at Metro Center before heading home. My only regret is that we didn't get to make use of the time to see the museums, but hey....there's always next week;-)

A Special Thanks to my husband and best friend for planning the day and braving the DC streets to deliver us directly there instead of us losing time to riding Metro. Love ya babe!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Circle Time: The Spice of Life!

I finally came to the realization the other day that my Homeschool is kinda, well...boring. I think my natural creativity and desire to mix unschooling with traditional schooling  has been temporarily impaired by all the book learnin' and research I've been doing into how to do this all, exactly. So, I prayed and prayed and finally the answer came-  to liven things up a bit and really make it feel like "school", I need to incorporate Circle Time!

Here's my thoughts on what I'll do; for those who are not religious, or follow a religion other than Islam, please feel free to edit and incorporate what's most fitting to you and your family if you find this info generally helpful and would like to use it:

Qur'an recitation (alternate 3 Kuls & Ayat ul Kursi)
Dua'a (prayer) for the appropriate time of day
Allow the kids to pray or express gratitude for something of their choosing (I'd like to do leaves to write on everyday and hang them on a large 1-D tree on the wall, but that's later *laughing*)

Alhamdullilah Song (If you're interested, let me know and I'll post on this later)
Ring Around the Rosie (2-3x's)
London Bridge
I'm a Little Teapot

Read a few poems or nursery rhymes from "What Your First Grader Needs To Know"

Do some stretching, then get to work!

I'm trying this out for the first time today so stand by to find out how it went. I'll also edit if I think of anything else worthy enough to become part of our routine. Here goes...