Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Fun School


Friday Fun School is not so much fun when some of the kids are sick, but if you try, you can find some fun in every situation (or at least try).

We found our fun in the idea of having a Family Film Festival. Poor Boo is so miserable with bronchitis, that doing much more than that was out of the picture (and Mom is not feeling so hot, either). So, after getting dressed and having breakfast, we settled in for our first movie. We watched a fairy tale called The Polar Bear King on Netflix. It was good. Long, though. But it held the kids' interest (I only had the Four Amigos, since Tex spent the night with my folks following his birthday ice cream trip to Short Lane, our local homemade ice cream parlor, and went bowling with Bubba and my dad this morning) and taught a good lesson about good and evil, perseverance, and the importance of heeding advice and keeping promises. 

Here's a quick synopsis of the movie: A young princess from a land that where it is always winter, longs to see flowers and feel the warmth of the sun. A prince in a land far south inherits his kingdom when his father dies. He is virtuous and kind, and that really ticks off the evil sorceress. She wants to marry him and combine their powers to rule the world. He passes on the offer and she turns him into a polar bear who must wander in that form for seven years, except at midnight, when he turns back into a human until sunrise. He can break the enchantment at the end of seven years IF he finds someone who will love him.

You'd think the turning back into a prince thing would be handy,  except for the fact that if any human sees his face, he will be stuck marrying the sorceress anyway. Sigh. So you can imagine, he manages to get the princess to marry him, without seeing him, and by visiting her in the dark at night they have three kids...BUT since the bad lady is still out there, the king's mother must hide the children without their knowledge. It's complicated. And long...but just what the kids liked on a sick day. If you want to learn the rest of the story, watch it on Netflix. I warn you, there is one scene at the end where the bad folks from all over the kingdom get together and act...bad. But since I was sitting there and we were talking about how sad evil is, the show worked for us.

After that, the kids drew a little, then it was time for lunch. The kids ate their usual PBJs and while Boo napped, we watched Building Pharaoh's Ship (Nova) on Netflix (it is available free on hulu, if you click the link). It is a very interesting documentary about the boat Hatshepsut might have used to send her people to the faraway land of Punt, to gather many amazing things to impress the people, to show them how powerful she was (since she was a female who claimed to be Pharaoh, I guess she needed to do it better and go farther.) It was a pretty fascinating look into Egyptian boatmaking, and went along well with our reading of the book Pharoah's Boat by David Weitzman. The kids really enjoyed that story, and it brought Egypt alive for them. A few more links to check out later are: an article about one of the boats found at Giza and pictures of some of the boats excavated.

We also watched The Riddles of the Sphynx on Netflix, and other than a brief section (about five minutes) early on when they talked about the first pharaoh's tomb (where they found the skeletons of 35 healthy males who had been buried with him and showed them...I made the kids close their eyes and turn away), it was fascinating, too, and really brought the Sphynx to life for us. We read a book called Archaeologists Dig for Clues by Kate Duke to go with it, which reinforced the idea of what archaeology is, and we discussed that we also find clues to our past in the Bible.

Once Boo woke up, we took a movie break, and went outside to do the afternoon feedings, since Tex was not home (he, his dad, Bubba, Poppy, and his uncle had headed east to watch a football game) to do them. Yes, that was me and four little kids, ages 2-7, doing the "barn chores": feeding the horses, cleaning the pony stall (since Hubby left too early to do it in the morning), putting the pony up for the night, putting the chickens back in their house after feeding them, feeding the dogs and the bunny, and watering all the animals. So, we went out and spent about an hour grooming the pony and her baby, Rosie. It was really cute since the bigger kids brushed Merry, and the two little ones brushed Rosie. Rosie loves grooming time already, but she does NOT love it when it is time for her lesson on how to be led. Ladybug had to walk to the back and give her a push whenever she dug in her heels!

Then I needed to clean the stall, so I let the kids play on the hay, which was fine as long as they did not climb too high, which, of course, they did. They found several eggs and watched two chickens lay two more, contemplating what the hens might be saying as they layed the egg ("Hey rooster, the egg is it is...bak bak...that hurt!). Kids are so funny. It took forever to clean the stall as the pitchfork was AWOL, so I had to use our broken hay fork to do the job. But, the end result was a stall filled with fresh straw, fresh water, and food, all ready for Ladybug to let the pony in to eat later in the evening. I fed the horses early, so I wouldn't have to come back out and leave the kids alone inside, figuring Ladybug could let the ponies in later so they could enjoy the rest of the day. We also went ahead and fed the chickens, so the kids could have the fun of watching them eat.

After that, Boo was ready to go back in and rest, so we headed back in to watch another movie, Second Chances. This movie was about horses, a little girl who was injured in an accident and was able to get better thanks to her love for a horse, and the nice gentleman who helped her out. I recommend it. It was very nicely done and taught a valuable lesson about friendship, perseverance, and helping others. If you like western riding, barrel racing, or just horses in general, it will be a winner for you! I prepared the kids ahead of time for the fact that the little girl lost her daddy in a car wreck, and was hurt besides, so it was not upsetting to them. If you like English riding, you might want to try Moondance Alexander. It has show jumping in it, and a good story line with an excellent lesson taught (and Moondance is very polite, to my recollection, which we liked). There is one brief scene where the trainer considers taking a drink, but winds up throwing it away. Other than that (and the rude girls who learn a lesson), I think it was okay for all viewers, but it has been a while since we watched it.

We got a call from the doctor after that that they were going to call in Boo's usual meds without us going in for a visit, so we set off for the pharmacy and to pick up pizzas for the kids' dinner. When we got back, I sent Ladybug out to put up the pony, Cowboy went and fed both of the dogs (they got a bit more than we usually give them, but I am sure they did not mind!), and Firefly tempted the chickens into their house with the remains of an old loaf of french bread. Wow! Don't ever let anyone tell you your kids are too young to do chores! My Three Amigos rose to the occasion and did very well. I am proud of them.

Once they were in, we doled out sniffle meds, dished out pizza, poured drinks, and headed back up for one last film ( was almost 8 when we got home, but it was a Friday Movie Night, right?!). We watched  Joseph: King of Dreams on Netflix. I had seen this movie when it first came out and remembered liking it, but the little kids had never seen it. Since we are studying Egypt, it seemed like a good choice for our movie night. We all loved the music, the animation, and we had some great discussions about the characters and their interactions with each other. It is an amazing story about God's providence...and of course, the folks who wrote it speculated on some things, and added to it, but they retained the essential message that God has a plan, and we should trust in him. What Joseph's brothers meant for evil, God used for good.

So that's our Fun Friday. It was fun, if a bit long (like this post!). But that's okay. Sometimes it is all right to do things a bit differently than you usually do. That's one of the blessings of homeschooling, isn't it? The ability to roll with the punches and adjust to the children's needs (and yours). What a blessing.

I think the kids appreciated the novelty of the day, Boo and I got some rest, everything got done that needed to be done, and we can even say we learned something. Yay!

I hope you had a fun Friday, too.



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