March 30, 2011

Bridgetender school break

After working pretty hard for many weeks, Bridgetender school is taking a spring break in between units. The curriculum I have tried this year is Tapestry of Grace, and so far, I am fairly pleased with it. I was looking for something that was sequential, had a list of books for history, history questions and suggestions for literature and arts and crafts. Plus it helps me in organization and in getting the kids to take control of their schedule a bit. It took me a while getting used to the format and to find everything, but now that almost a year is under my belt, I think I will be staying with it. The only problem I have is that they are a believer of having the kids read dumbed down versions of the classics. I would rather have them listen to an audio version of the book or have me read it to them, though I have tried some of the books. Incredibly, the book they recommended that was a kid's version of Le Miserables was actually pretty good. Who knew that the behomoth of a story could be succinctly and coherently reduced to 20 pages or less ;-)?

For spring break, we had some big plans, some of which will not happen. Monday was a day to relax after SportskidzAZ and music lessons. Our plans involved fishing, a day trip to Old Tuscon Studios just south of Tuscon, a day-long hike around Pass Mountain and two days of mostly relaxation. The kids lost the privilege of going to Old Tuscon Studios due to mulitiple instances of poor behavior from nearly all of them. The day-long hike, involving 7 miles around a cute little mountain became a little daunting because it is reaching the 90's in the afternoon and when the longest we have hiked has been 3 miles. I think it will be something we will do as a family maybe sometime in the fall or winter.

Tuesday night, we went fishing and had a picnic dinner at Riverview park in Mesa. Elizabeth, for the first time, caught six fish with her fishing pole, after two or three disappointing ventures. Kyle also caught four fish. Everyone except the youngest learned to bait a hook with a live worm. We initially brought Jacques with us, but it proved to add to our frustration in helping the kids and getting everything set up. He was distracted by all the scents and dogs. So, eventually, Eric brought him back home, which is just a few minutes away from Riverview Park

Yesterday, instead of traveling for 5 hours round trip to Tuscon, we went to Shadow Mountain in Phoenix about thirty minutes away. In the morning, when I started searching the internet for places to hike, I stumbled upon an article at Arizona Central about a hiking series called "Seven Summits around Phoenix." I thought it would be a great goal to climb all seven summits by the end of the year, even though the hiking season will soon be coming to a close due to heat. I decided to start with Shadow Mountain because it was short and listed as the least strenuous. Like many of the cute mountains, Shadow mountain is surrounded by homes and we parked in a neighborhood to get to the trail. The hike is about 1.6 miles, though the trails are more or less "use" trails rather than groomed trail. Whoever was in the lead got to pick the route, though I did over-ride a couple of decisions. We ended up climbing up two little summits and across two saddles to get to the highest peak. I put together a "movie" of the event from the pictures that we took. Don't expand it to full screen. I tried it and everything is fuzzy.

The rest of the week will be relaxing and doing little things, like going to the library to get books for next week, finishing up our shoe and sandal shopping for the girls. We are currently searching for stores that cater to girls who do no like pink and bling on their schoes, which is the current taste of our girls. Jessi has accepted a shoe with minimal pink, but Elizabeth refuses. Friday is also Park Day with our homeschool group, which is an event everyone looks forward to attending.

Next week, we will be returning to the grindstone. ;-).


AquaJane said...

Funny how a week "off" can be a full week "on." Your spring break sounds like a lot of family fun.

Mama J said...

Thanks for emailing me the link! I enjoyed the video with all the kids (and you!) in it. :) Miss you!