Wednesday, October 22, 2008

India's First Rocket Launch!

Today was an exciting day at our house even though we have not left the house all day! India launched their first moon-bound rocket today and Ezra found pix of it on the internet and drew it all day long. I must say it is one of the more attractive rockets, and the launchpad towers look really nice in a drawing.

Now Ezra has just discovered sticking Halloween paraphrenalia in windows. First he drew a ghost, a witch, a pumpkin, and a V2 bomber to give to Tammy, who works in the apartment's office downstairs. She wants help decorating for Halloween on Friday. Then he realized he could draw things that I cut out and then we will tape them to the windows. He is very inspired, and suddenly drawing some things besides rockets!

Oh, and he's also making us Obama signs to hang in the window.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Exciting New Developments

Today Ezra made a new friend named Shelly. She is the librarian at the St. Paul Central Library, and she was so excited about him. She asked all about him and his family and wants him to come back and visit her whenever he can. She was so glad he was so fascinated with rockets and space shuttles, and she said her son, who is an undergraduate, is working on something having to do with space shuttle sealants. She helped Ezra get a pile of books all about things he already knows, I think!

To balance this madness, I got him a couple of books on CD - right now he is listening to a long chapter book about a pig. I also got 2 new DVDs for movie night. We've watched Pippi every week, and now we'll move on to a funny short movie about Johnny Appleseed and another one about Clementine.

I also got some Jewish holiday books because I have been feeling terrible that for the fifth year in a row I have ignored the Jewish harvest holiday of Sukkot. Next year I'll be prepared!

We had a nice urban walk to the library. Ezra especially loves the Don't Walk signs that have a countdown on them.

Ottar got an Elmo board book about manners, that he picked out all by himself. He was also VERY excited.

Yesterday we went to our second apple orchard this season, but this time we didn't pick apples. We had a hay ride and played in the sun, and the kids got to jump off a haystack. They drank real apple cider, too. There were monsters and ghosts and spiders in the woods for a Halloween theme, and when we got home Ottar said "Monsters under a bed." !!! I have no idea where he came up with that concept, because it has never occurred to Ezra all these years. Kenny assured him monsters only live in apple orchards (except Elmo) and then Ottar said "Angels coming." What?

In less than an hour we're off to Ezra's NASA Future Space Explorers class! While he's there, Ottar and I can play with balls in the gym (Ottar loves balls and we hardly ever think to play it with him).

The End.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

First time blogging about unschooling

Well, Ezra has been officially an unschooler for about exactly one month. He "should" have started kindergarten after Labor Day. We've been moving into our new place all that time, and we still have a lot to do, so it's been hard to keep up with thinking about him being an unschooler. But this fall he is in a class at the Art Academy, which he started today, which is an art program where they follow the apprenticeship model. He takes drawing this term and painting next term. So far he loves it! He is illustrating a children's book. Today he got to work on a drawing of a tornado and a rocket. All month he's been talking about rockets and space shuttles, of course, and watching launches on YouTube. He found a slideshow of the Columbia disaster and developed a love of the song "On Eagle's Wings".

He has been dabbling in piano though he quit Suzuki last spring after a year of it. He had been really enthusiastic and suddenly lost interest. But yesterday Kenny played background music while Ezra made up words about space shuttles to songs, and did countdowns to music. It was actually pretty cool!

This summer he discovered that what he wants to be when he grows up is called an aerospace engineer. He heard from someone that this requires knowledge of math, so in the past week he's been quizzing me in the car about addition and multiplication. He is also always wondering how many seconds are in a million years and things like that. It drives me nuts and I tell him to call Uncle Mike and ask him.

His space shuttle drawings have become more and more elaborate. He probably drew an average of 50 a day this summer on his Doodle Pro, but lately he's switched over to mostly markers and he's filled up 2 of *my* sketchbooks completely with them. His command of markers has improved amazingly. He even draws little astronauts and he will put the fin of one shuttle in front of something in the background. I think this is very advanced.

Yesterday he re-discovered watercolors and was doing space shuttles in watercolors.

He knows quite a bit about weather because of Kenny.

What other subjects are there? I just think he is already really well-rounded. The two things I want to make sure are available to him this year are any kinds of sports/recreation and also any kind of nature observation/study/play. I also may start brining him to the Zen center, or possibly to a church. We do celebrate the generic Christian and Jewish holidays, and every year I say I am going to celebrate Sukkot and then I don't. . .

Oh, yesterday we went to an orchard and he discovered he loved picking apples, playing tetherball, and holding baby chicks. He asked 3 times to return to hold the chicks and he had a favorite which he kept kissing. I was surprised because he hasn't shown much interest in animals in a long time. He said he is excited to have chickens someday. I told him it will be his job to collect the eggs.

Oh! He has written a few books but lately he wrote one called something like "Why Rockets and Space Shuttles Are Powerful". It is quite long and very scientific. He plans to illustrate it as soon as I write it or type it all out for him.

That's all I can manage to write for today!