Monday, January 24, 2011

Bacteria and Other Living Things

We initiated a little Circle Time this morning, a moment to center ourselves before going about our usually busy day.  It's not as cheesy as it sounds.

First, we had a drum circle, with each person taking turns leading.  Next, we did a short, simple meditation.  Following that, I read from a section called "Radiant Stars" in the magazine Brilliant Star.  Brilliant Star is a magazine out of the Bahá'í tradition.  Not to name drop or anything, but my friend Annie writes for the magazine (And I know her.  And she's practically famous.  And she's MY friend.  But I don't want to brag.).

Anywaaaaay, the "Radiant Stars" section highlights kids from all over the world and focusses on their positive attributes.  After reading it, I asked my kids to think about the gifts they bring to the world.  We then each wrote in our journals a reflection on our gifts.  We closed by reading our journals aloud and listening to a Native American meditation on peace.

Then we gathered in a circle, clasped hands to sing "Kum-bah-yah", took a shot of wheat grass, and compared our astrological forecasts for the day.

The same aforementioned Annie has been doing her own version of a Circle Time with her kids and it has really helped to anchor their day.  I have to say that Day 1 has yielded a lovely effect here as well. Eggplant and Rhubarb went right to their daily activity lists from our Circle Time. Blueberry and I worked on her reading and then science.

Which brings me to bacteria!  Ah bacteria.  Besides all the bacteria I DON'T want to see in our house, we have been intentionally growing bacteria (that I, personally, also am not all that fond of seeing...but I digress) in petri dishes. Blueberry and Margaret, PMS (pre-med student) collected the samples last week and tucked them in all nice and toasty-like under the heater vent.  So today, we studied her bacteria samples under the microscope.  They have been growing for 6 days now and are quite fecund with activity.  Next week, she and Margaret, PMS, will make slides of the bacteria and do some comparisons.  I believe they are also going to compare hand bacteria to see whose hands are the filthiest in our family.  I vote Eggplant.

After our time together, Blueberry moved on to her own art project while Rhubarb and Eggplant finished up their work.

Eggplant, incidentally, is reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Rhubarb is reading Diary of a Young Girl (part of her studies on Judaism).  They are both working on automaticity of math facts and improving spelling.  They, of course, have many other things they are learning, but those are the most prominent regarding their goals for this semester.

I will pack a lunch now so that we can head out to my physical therapy appointment, followed by  Blueberry's class on Leonardo DaVinci, then a short break before  Rhubarb and Eggplant have choir. Whew!

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