Saturday, December 03, 2011

Christmastime!

It's December in the city again and I love it.  W and I "did" Manhattan yesterday with some friends.  We decided to follow a direct route and see all of the big store holiday display windows.  We started at Bloomingdales, then headed to Barney's, then Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks 5th Avenue.  Gorgeous and unique windows this year.  We made a couple of pit stops on our journey.  First was FAO Schwarz - the big toy store.  There were 4 19th-century carolers outside and the big toy soldiers greeted us as we entered.  Our next stop was the tree at Rockefeller Center.  We took some more pictures and watched the ice skaters for a bit.  We were on the way to Lord & Taylor and then Macy's, but we stopped in a Barnes & Noble for a rest and a snack.  W and I had $3 bowls of this incredible creamy chicken soup, which was perfect for the cold day.  He wandered off with his friend after that, telling me he felt like reading (?!?!!!).  I got some mom chat time, so that was great.  We spent so much time there, that I couldn't finished the route.  W and I hopped onto the subway, got home, returned our rental car, picked up my car from the collision place (don't ask, lol), got W to karate, picked up J, brought her to the orthodontist, then drove J to a friend's house.  I was ready to pass out when I got home.

Underground RR lantern
Union & Confederate caps
Last week we went to an awesome class all about the Civil War.  All of the kids were so knowledgeable and so eager to participate.  The instructor has a bunch of artifact replicas to show us - the real thing on display at the NY Historical Society.  NY played a pretty big role in the Civil War and the Underground Railroad.  A cool part was when the kids worked in groups and did short presentations.  We saw an old map of New York City (which only comprised of the very downtown area) and discussed how far we've come since then. I have to say, I was really impressed with the level of understanding, participation, excitement, and comraderie I saw that day.  Even the instructor was amazed by these kids.  W remembers so much about the Civil War even 2 weeks later - just from this class.  This is part of the reason I love homeschooling so much - we get to be a part of so many wonderful  and varied learning resources.

Academics have been focused mainly around spelling, reading, and math.  In the last 2 weeks we've gone from equivalent fractions to angles to dividing with decimals.   W is soaking it all in and now that the academics are more relaxed, he's having a lot more fun with everything - which undeniably means he is learning faster and easier.  Spelling Skills and the bridge workbook are going very well.  I think that bridge book is my favorite.  It was my favorite when J was home as well.  The book has these reading comprehension pages - read a passage then answer the questions.  It's the same kind that you'd find on a standardized test.  W did a couple of them.  Wow.  He definitely excels at reading comprehension.  He can pick out the main idea of the story (I always got those wrong in school) and is so confident he knows the answers that he'd rather make up something in his own words rather than go back and copy from the passage.  I'd hate to discourage that beautiful creativity, but he won't be able to do that on a real test.  Sigh.  No wonder schoolkids lose their enthusiasm.

W is also reading a mystery novel, a book about the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock, and will start a book about Thomas Edison next week.  He is spending more time on the independent reading and I don't want to rock that boat.  What he reads is pretty educational, so I don't really care that Captain Underpants is part of his stash, too.  As long as he's reading.

Here are some shots from our walk around Manhattan yesterday:

Bloomingdale's
Bergdorf Goodman

Bergdorf Goodman

Barney's - Lady Gaga display

Along 5th Avenue

Sak's 5th Avenue



Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

6 comments:

MissMOE said...

Awesome post! I miss all the resources that come with living in a big city. Sounds like you take full advangte of all the city has to offer. And the window pictures are amazing--I think I would love being a window dresser.

NYCitymomx3 said...

Thanks! We try and get in as much as we can - probably since I didn't do anything like this as a child, lol.

Flower Veil said...

I love the tree and animal stuff. Pretty! Looks like fun.

NYCitymomx3 said...

I wish I'd posted all the window displays (each store has 7 or 8). There were some really weird ones this year.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've read your blog for years even though I haven't HS'ld yet. I was reading stories on the HSLDA and some make me scared. I'm in NYC so I can relate to your blog. It seems like you never have come across any of these problems?
If I take my child out I can just tell the current school I'm HS'ing so I don't have unexcused absents.

NYCitymomx3 said...

We have no problems whatsoever. Don't let the NY regulations scare you. Once you take your child out of school, send a letter of intent to the Central Office of Homeschooling (you have up to 2 weeks from when you take your child out). As a courtesy I would let the school know as well (just so they don't continue to mark her absent.