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Daily Learning Log
 I keep a daily log of our activities as one of a few ways of keeping records.  It also helps me to keep track of our plans, serves to  remind me to to look up info on a certain topic, check out a certain book, or begin a project my son wants to do.  Keeping a log is also a quick way for me to realize that we really do fill our days meaningfully, and to keep track of what the kids are learning.  To see how we incorporate self-directed learning at our house, take a peak:

Here are exerpts of a few weeks of our daily log.  To get a perspective, my son is called "A.", and he is 6 years old.  My daughter is "S", and is two. She is involved in all of our activities, but for the present time, most activities I describe are from A's pont of view.  S  will be noted more specfically as she grows and expresses her own unique way of making sense of the world..

Some weeks are busier that others.  What we do often revolves around what is happening in our community.  We have the great fortune of having another homeschooling family to do things with.  We moms are good friends, and we each come up with some ideas, as well as find interesting things in our community.  We share these with each other, and as a result, our families together do more varying and interesting things than we would do alone.

This first example is a recent week in which a very large wildfire raged in our local area.  We took the opportunity to learn about the firefighting crews .

Mon, 4-29-02
*Cleaned the inside of the car, washed the car.
*Weighed produce at the grocery store, A. weighs to the 1/2 pound accurately.
*Watched Dad get an award at a government ceremony
*Went swimming- A. put his face in the water, and is considering taking swimming lessons this summer.
*Afrer dinner, we went to the airport to watch the slurry planes load up, take off, land, and go to and from a brush fire about 20 miles away from here.
*A. constructed a 3-D stealth fighter from 2-D instruction book on how to draw military aircraft.  He made his plane from a paper towel tube and construction paper.

Tues., April 30, 2002
The fire is raging and getting very close to our area.
*Went with the S. Family to the airfield on post (the other side of the runway) to watch the Forest Service's slurry planes right where they are stationed.  We saw up close where they fuel the planes, and load them up with retardant to slow down  the fire.  We got to see, feel, and smell the planes take off and land.  While we were there, the planes were grounded because of high winds and low visability with the smoke.  So a pilot gave us a tour of one of the C 130's cargo area and cockpit! (We compensated the crew for this great opportunity by stocking their freezer with popsicles)
*Watched "Astronomy 101" video on backyard starwatching.
*After dinner, we went to a neighboring community to watch the fire at night.  It is heading straight for this community, and they are on alert for evacuation.
*Read part of a magic treehouse book on dolphins.

Wed, May 1, 2002
*A. drummed to his taiko drumming video performance.
*A. made lemonade and helped me make muffins. (He did all the measuring)  We plan to either take them to the firefighters or to a local shelter for evacuated residents if they have to leave their homes.
*A. made a paper airplane and thank-you heart for the firefighters.

Thurs, May 2, 2002
We took A's new bike to the park for a visit with friends M and K.  The bike made a funny noise, so he didn't want to ride it.  We ended up going over to the library instead.  Found Discovery Kids magazine on Sacagawea.
*Took or firefighter goodies (nobody was evacuated) to the firefighting staging area at the end of our street.  We got a tour of their set-up.  We saw their map and planning room, supply area, and their tent camp where they sleep.  The S. Family met us there.
*Watched the Boston Pops 2001 4th of July concert on video.
*Did some starwatching with bionoculars.  A. was looking for Jupiter.  Not sure we found it.

Fri, May 3, 2002
*Went for a bike ride.
*Read some library books, including "Dances With Wolves, a Story For Children".
*Read the Discovery Kids magazine on Sacagawea to continue our Native American studies. A.'s great-grandfather gave both kids Sacagawea gold dollar coins at a visit with him recently, so we got the coins out to help explain the story.   The mag shows how to make a model teepee-we plan to do that.  This also inspired A. to make civil war soldiers out of clothespins and place them in a battle scene with some soldiers holding muskets made out of construction paper.   He was disappointed that he couldn't make the soldier hats look just right.
*Went to the Cinco de Mayo carnival at the park and rode rides.

Sat., May 4, 2002
Went with B and W to the farmer's market in the next city.  We checked at the information booth on how to sell at the market...possibly we will do that this summer...perhaps a lemonade stand.
*Went fishing-A. and Daddy caught several bluegill.  The fish liked the cheese and bread, but not the peas.  A.'s cast is improving.

Sun, May 5, 2002
*Watched  a cowboy-mounted shooting event at the local horseback riding club.
*Went back to the carnival and ran in to the S. Family.  We went for pizza afterwards, and the boys collaberated on playing the arcade games and sharing tickets for prizes.

Mon, May 6, 2002
*Made/measured for a rainbow cake.  A also mixed food colors in the frosting.
*Went for a bike ride.
*Taiko drumming to the video.  A. is learning many of the drum routines accurately.
*A. expressed an interest in horseback riding lessons.

another exerpt is coming soon

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