Friday, October 01, 2004

Yesterday was a pretty great day. We started out with some dry cheerios while Em and Sam did some projects. Emily pulled out some card stock paper and scissors and began making a model of the solar system that she cut out and taped on the paper. I offered to grab her some glue, but she really wanted to use the tape, and it ended up having this cool lift-the-flap quality. Once again, a lesson in staying out of things unless asked! Sam got into the groove, too, and started cutting shapes out of the paper, something he loves to do.

Sam then decided he wanted some of the Envirokids Gorilla Munch cereal he picked out the other day, so we pulled that out. I started reading the back of the box, which is all about gorillas as an endagered species and the work of Dianne Fossey in Rwanda. On the front of the box, there's a picture of a bowl of cereal with some strawberries in it, so Em asks whether strawberries grow in the forest.

Hmmmm... I don't know. So we googled the history of strawberries and end up reading about their history in Rome and Northern Europe and Native America. Then we come across a wonderful Cherokee origin story about strawberries. First Man and First Woman were bickering and First Woman decided to leave and began walking East. First Man was so mad he let her leave. After some time, First Man decided he was lonely and missed First Woman, and the Sun took pity on him. First Man began to follow First Woman, and the Sun tried to distract First Woman. First, the Sun caused a beautiful field of blueberries to spring up under her feet, but she kept walking. Then, the sun grew beautiful, full blackberries, but First Woman kept walking. At last, the Sun made appear a beautiful, red berry First Woman had never seen or smelled before and she stopped walking. As she bent down to pick the strawberries, her anger disappeared and she thought only of sharing the wondeful berries with First Man. She began walking West and met First Man. Together they shared the strawberries and forgot all but their love for eachother. Or, something along those lines.

After reading the strawberry myth, Em comes up with this amazing story behind her solar system project. The moon and the asteroid were jealous of the Earth, who always made good decisions and did good things, so they were coming after it. They were trying to destroy just a part of the Earth--a country cottage high up on a mountain top where there lived a person who helped the Earth do all the good things. By destroying this cottage, the moon and the asteroid would destroy the good part of the Earth. The myth ends there--she's still working on the rest of the story. She may come back to it; she may not. Pretty cool as it is, imo.

Later, I played chess with Emily and Sam. Emily is getting pretty good; it won't be long before she'll be able to beat me. Sam is beginning to learn the names of the pieces and the way they move, but I don't push it. He moves however he wants to, while I move by the rules and verbalize it, "I'll move my knight: up one and over two." This keeps it fun, and he gets to take my pieces at random. *lol* Makes it very hard to win!

The kids had fun playing with their gameboys on and off throughout the day. At one point, they were all sitting outside in a cherry tree, playing. What a happy sight!

In the afternoon, they played with the neighborhood kids after school--running around the yard, swinging, riding scooters, playing hopscotch. Sam helped me light the grill and begin dinner and then helped dh grill the chicken. We had a minor trauma at one point when Sam pinched his finger in the grill tongs, but we focused on all the good things that happened before it and got over it pretty well.

At dinner, we had a cool discussion about classical rhetoric and Ancient Greece. We talked about different rhetorical appeals used to persuade an audience--ethos, pathos and logos. We remembered different commercials and how they used the different rhetorical appeals and talked about how Kerry and Bush would be choosing their words very carefully in order to get people to vote for them. We also talked about our own word choices and how they affect those around us, what might be the most effective way to get what we want and how tone plays into that. Emily and Julia both asked about trying to persuade people to believe something that wasn't true, so we had a really cool discussion about ethics and discernment.

After dinner, dh and the kids played some more gameboy before the debates--hard to say who likes them more! During the debates, the kids and I all snuggled in bed to watch the debates. Emily and Julia watched nearly all of the debates with me, though Em paid closer attention. She's quite intriqued by politics and loves watching the different speeches with me. She noticed how much Bush paused and stumbled compared to John Kerry--a pretty astute observation for a 7 year old, huh?

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