Thursday, July 25, 2019

Gemma’s First Written Narration

This is Gemma’s first written narration. It’s also the first time she’s ever written in cursive on notebook paper! The chapter I read aloud to her was from M.B. Synge’s Discovery of New Worlds, about Hernan Cortes. Gemma asked if she could write “diary style.” I wasn’t quite sure what she meant. Turns out it meant she was creating a To Do List for Cortes. Note: I read that Hernan was known as Hernando and Fernando. Here is Gemma’s narration: “Ferdinand is not king. Fernando sails to island. Find Indians. Find gold. Find pearls.”

Saturday, July 20, 2019

This Week in 3rd Grade

We finished reading Beware Princess Elizabeth, and started Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.

We finished reading The Princess and the Goblin (Gemma requested The Princess and Curdie), and started Children of the New Forest.

We went to Benihana...

Gemma completed her summer reading log and turned it in at the library, so she got a Benihana kid’s meal coupon and a new book of her choice from a special cart. (Yes, Gemma did wear her kimono to Benihana.)

..the Cayton Children’s Museum...

...the Getty Villa...

The Villa has a new audio tour for kids, based on the Percy Jackson books (which we haven’t read, and you don’t have to have read the books to enjoy the tour). The tour is Greek mythology meets Choose Your Own Adventure. At the beginning of the tour you’re told that you’re a half-blood and that you are on the search for your mythological parent. Gemma’s mother ended up being Aphrodite...the first time we did the tour. But it was so fun that we went back and changed our choices to see what other possibilities we could end up with. 

We also went to diving class, water polo class, and a birthday party at Rediscover Center, and did our usual schoolwork.

Finally, a panoramic shot of the library books Gemma has checked out right now...

Saturday, July 13, 2019

This Week in 3rd Grade

In addition to reading some of:
  • The Princess and the Goblin
  • Beware, Princess Elizabeth 
  • Life of Fred: Algebra
  • Hexapod Stories (The chapter about Swallowtail butterflies, followed by a couple of short YouTube videos of Swallowtail caterpillars)
  • The World By the Fireside (The chapter about flycatcher birds, followed by a couple of short YouTube videos of flycatchers)
  • Exodus and Matthew
  • Walter De La Mare’s poetry
  • Discovery of New Worlds & This Country of Ours (about Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci)
  • Tales of Troy and Greece (about Perseus)
  • Pilgrim’s Progress
  • Lamb’s Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing)
  • ...and A LOT of free reading of books Gemma checked out from the library (she currently has 23 checked out, and a handful on hold)
  • went bowling several days this week (and by “we” I mean “she”)
  • saw the play in which big sis Krystyna is the lead

  • went to the reptile show at the library

  • went to water polo class
(Gemma’s turn as goalkeeper.)
  • started diving class (and taught herself how to do a somersault off the edge of the pool😳)

  • grew mushrooms 

(Our mushroom harvest - sautéed 😋)

  • saw the youth production of “Mercy Watson to the Rescue” at the Morgan Wixson Theatre

Thursday, July 4, 2019

We Made Cheese

Today we made cheese. 

It took hours. And it was expensive. But now that it’s over, and it turned out to be edible, and the dishes (so many dishes) are washed, I’m glad we did it. Even if Gemma tasted it and said she didn’t like it.

Because sometimes our children don’t react the way we wish they would. Sometimes we spend 3 hours and $35 making one ball of cheese, and while our children enjoy the process, they might not enjoy the product.

Curds and whey.

I tried the water bath method of heating the curds so we could, as per the kit’s instructions, stretch the cheese “like taffy.” FYI: stretching cheese is not at all like stretching taffy. According to the instructions, the cheese needs to be 135 degrees to stretch, but I found that our cheese needed to be 140 degrees. I recommend microwaving your curds in intervals of 30 seconds until they look like they’re going to cooperate.

While the kit’s instructions made stretching cheese with one’s bare hands look like good times (rubber gloves optional), I’m going to say it’s actually not all that fun to hold a pound of 140-degree cheese. I recommend using two spoons instead. 

At 3 p.m., after washing the pots, lids, cups, spoons, colander, thermometer, and the long knife used for cutting my hot curds, and wiping down the stove, it was time to make a pizza...with frozen dough and store-bought sauce.