Thursday, September 9, 2010


Rhubarb wants to study World Religions this year, beginning with Islam.  Yesterday we read a basic explanation of Islam from theweb.  Today, we went to the library and checked out a trilogy that consists of The Breadwinner, Parvana’s Journey, and  Mud City by DeborahEllis.   According to Amazon’s review, “Ellis based The Breadwinner on the true-life stories of women in Afghan refugee camps.”

Rhubarb has already read through half of The Breadwinner this afternoon (the girl devours books!).

As such, Rhubarb learns best by reading novels, biographies, and memoirs.  This study of World Religions will rely heavily upon literature.  We also picked up Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah, about an American teenage Moslem girl.   We are going to try and find worship opportunities for each religion we study.  This should not be too difficult given the ecumenical relationships we have formed through our church and my role as Interfaith Coordinator there.

We are continuing with Saxon Math,  which Rhubarb, LOVES!  She looks forward to it each day.  Math does not come as naturally as reading for Rhubarb, but she LOVES her Saxon Math.  I think it’s the worksheets.  She’s a worksheet fiend.  Nerd.

Rhubarb is taking a class called "Pennies for Peace” in which they are reading the 2 books by Greg Mortenson about his experience and work in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  She started 3 Cups of Tea late last week and is nearly done (the class doesn't start for 2 weeks).  Needless to say, she is captivated.  She recounted for me all she had read during one of our walks last week.  I am always so impressed by her immersion into stories.  She really lives with the characters while reading.  It’s an interesting thing, really, because this is not necessarily valued in schools.  The tests don’t cater to children who really jump into books.  They cater to those who can memorize facts. Rhubarb does not memorize facts, but she knows relationships and their signifiance inside and out.

Rhubarb is currently playing La Folia in Suzuki Book 6.  She took the entire month of August off from lessons after her 2 weeks violin camp (which was a wonderful experience for her).  She has continued to practice a few times a week throughout her break and is looking forward to resuming lessons this week.

In language news, everyone will start taking Spanish next week from yours truly. I am teaching homeschooling Spanish classes this year (and will thankfully earn some money for it).  We will also be resuming Haitian Kreyol lessons at home with hopes that we can find a class nearby.

My workbook-loving daughter has also taken to the idea of dictation  for improving her writing skills.  This is another one of those activities she begs me for each morning, hoping to do it as soon as I am awake (without my coffee even!!).

Rhubarb continues to take karate, a staple.  It is a meaningful class for her, challenging, and uplifting.  The Senseis at our Dojo are really quite incredible.  They are firm, but kind in their method of teaching.  They focus on character as well as form (plus they’re very very pretty, making spectating all the more interesting for parents).  HotNerd and Rhubarb take the class together and enjoy their weekly “date”.

Rhubarb will perform in our local homeschool theatre group’s production ofCharlotte’s Web this year, her first full-length play (last year, she did an original monologue that she wrote and one from Romeo and Juliet -- where she was Juliet).

Finally, at a local homeschool co-op, besides “Pennies for Peace”, Rhubarb will be taking a hip-hop dance class and a hands-on algebra class.

I’ll write about Eggplant tomorrow (and try to make it sound less like a biography for a theatre program).

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