Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Peace Day with Dr. Jane Goodall

Dr. Jane Goodall runs an amazing organization called Roots & Shoots. It is sort of like scouting, but focused on service projects to help humans, animals and the earth. Every year they celebrate the United Nations' Day of Peace by flying giant peace doves at events worldwide. NYCHEA, one of our homeschool groups, has a Roots & Shoots club, though it is geared towards older kids. (One of my mama friends and I will be working on starting something up for the younger kids soon.) So Kev, Mikro and I attended the NYC event, which Dr. Goodall participated in. She gave a lovely speech and was warm and wonderful, with the kids especially. After the proceedings at Bowling Green, including making peace doves, recording pledges for peace, singing the Peace Dove song and marching in a parade around the park, we all boarded a ferry for Liberty Island and had a peace rally around the flagpole. Dr. Jane posed for pictures with the clubs, and Mikro was lucky enough to have Dr. Jane sign one of his books, Girls Who Looked Under Rocks, which profiles her. Roots & Shoots is a perfect fit for Mikro, who takes very seriously the idea of kids saving the earth. I have to get him involved in it.

I am just amazed that in the span of a couple of months, my kid has met and learned from E.O. Wilson and Jane Goodall, two of the premier naturalists in the world. Life can be full of amazing blessings and inspiring heroes. And the world would be a better place if more of us tried to emulate them. I am very proud to say, I think Mikro will. Whether in big ways or small, the boy will try to make a difference. He cares too much not to.

Parks Day

I'm trying to figure out how to cope with the fact that someone has deliberately attempted to hurt our family, and finally remembered what brings me peace. I am always happiest near the water. So we made a pilgrimage to the Hudson, and spent time at Sennasqua and the new riverside trail at Croton Landing. A lovely respite, but all too brief.

Friday is Library Day

This was supposed to be a once a week journal entry... Unfortunately, we are coping with a malicious act taken against our family, and I am way behind on my blogging, so I'm just going to throw up some photos of our September reads. We go to the library on Fridays and read a bunch of books. Favorite topics lately have been dinosaurs (of course), Native American legends, and animals/nature. We've also done a lot of poetry and some Dr. Seuss. Mikro often reads entire picture books to me, and on longer books, we generally alternate pages. Really dense stuff intended for much older kids serves nicely for read alouds.

Some of our books for September:

Homeschool Nature Class and Some Math

Homeschool Nature Class kicked off for the season with a splash. The kids first learned about fish anatomy, then went seining. It was cold and rainy, but that didn't dampen their enthusiasm.

Afterwards, Mikro collected acorns, which became math manipulatives for doing basic addition and subtraction, and which sparked a discussion of sets and venn diagrams (acorns, acorn caps, acorns with caps). He had huge fun with this. His usual found math manipulative is sugar packets at a restaurant. This week I gave him a little shaker with two number dice and a "+ or -" operations die, which, if I remember correctly, I got from Rainbow Resource.

He thinks it's a fun toy.