Friday, October 21, 2005

Family classics...well, at least for us.

The previous post about Phantom of the Opera got me thinking. What are the movies that our entire family enjoys-youngest to oldest and everyone in between? Those movies that we watch over and over-that have become part of our family culture-that we spontaneously quote from without having to identify for each other the context. There are a few.
1. Phantom of the Opera-our latest fave. The music is continuously echoing through our brains.
2. Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?- "Care for some gopher?" So much quotable material here, a veritable treasure trove.
3. The Princess Bride. Hands down winner for most watched movie in our home for the past 10 years or so. Classic for witty banter.
4. Muppet Treasure Island. Can't help it-we LOVE it.
5. Wild America. The ultimate road trip. We all wish we could go along.

There are some more that come close, but these five are a step above for us.

Shrek (I and II), Spiderman(I and II), Seabiscuit, Mulan ( just beautiful), A Knights Tale (the one with Heath Ledger-totally cheesy, but we love the character of Geoffry Chaucer enough to rank it in the top ten), The Incredibles (non-stop action), classic I Love Lucy TV shows, and anything by Abbot and Costello (for pure goofiness they are still the kings).

So now you have a glimpse into our little home entertainment library. Does it look anything like yours?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

twists and turns

One thing about being flexible-you sure do take some unusual and unexpected twists and turns.

We have lately been distracted from a normal routine by trying to get our barn and property ready for our horses. So, school has been allowed to happen naturally. Now this is not a huge stretch for us-we tend towards an unschoolish attitude anyway. But never to this extent.
Well...surprise! it works!
I did not have time to think of a prompt for our regular friday morning freewrite. On the way out to the barn I told Superboy to "write."
"About what?"
"Anything you want. Just write until I get back-about 15 minutes. Don't worry about spelling or grammar. Use the computer to type it if you want."
I slipped out the door, figuring I'd get the usual "I can't think of anything..." results when I came back.
Boy was I surprised! It took me more like 30 minutes, and Superboy had typed an entire page! He found a picture of an anime-style knight and it inspired him to begin a story. And he has been working on it voluntarily every day since! He says he wants to make it into a book. It has chapters and dialog and it is funny!
And it is entirely his! Hooray!
What else?
I rented "Phantom of the Opera," the new movie version, from Netflix (Netflix is the best idea since sliced bread, by the way). Not my usual fare, but I'm trying to branch out...I loved it. Loved it!
Thinking it might be a little halloweenish in spirit, I put it on for the kids. They are mad about it!!!!! Who would've thought? They go around humming tunes from the movie. They quote it! They watch it over and over! They begged me to order the soundtrack (I did, of course!). Superboy wants to take piano lessons! (wish I had a piano...).
We have not had an entire family hit like this since "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?"
I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Also... binary! Inspired by the book "G is for Googol," we figured it out last night and made a chart and now superboy can write any number (Ok, theoretically) in binary. It was fun, even at 8pm!
JBug is doing a wonderful job of learning her letters and their sounds. Wish I could take more credit, but it is largely due to a video by leapfrog-letter factory, or something like that.

Good stuff going on here!
I don't think I'd want to unschool all the time, but the experience of this week has made me less nervous about those times when I know there will be interruptions.
Gotta go... time for another round of "Phantom..."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

back home in NC

We finally settled into a routine in Florida when we decided that we were not happy there. Nothing against the Sunshine state, but for some reason it was not a good fit for us. That, along with some complicated personal stuff with family in North Carolina, prompted us to rethink our situation. So we have spent the past 2-3 weeks moving back to North Carolina. I have to say, it feels much more like home to all of us. The mountains are such a part of my heart, and the children's as well. Dad, in order to keep us in the "luxurious" style to which we have become accustomed (ie: Mom gets to stay home with the kids and homeschool), has taken a 10 week traveling nurse assignment in Alaska. He has done this before, and although we miss him, the pay is so much better than locally available and he gets to spend 4 weeks off between assignments-good quality time.
Modgirl has decided to go back to the public school that she attended before we moved to FL. She really likes the school, has awesome friends, and is doing quite well in honors classes. But I have to admit that I miss having my girl home with me all day.
School with Superboy and JBug goes on. It has been incredibly disruptive moving. The house we moved into is one we lived in a few years back, but the owner really let it get run down by the tennants after us. LOTS of work getting it into shape. But some good learning is happening in between. So I guess we will do some school into the summer a bit to make up for it. Or not. I'm not worried, as they are still learning so much more than they would in a classroom anyway- and having fun all the while.
Superboy is absolutely THRILLED with his new penpal, by the way. He eagerly checks the mail each day, hoping for a letter from Josh in Nevada! Has Josh gotten his letter yet?