Day 123: If You Lived With the Hopi

So, I’m not really sure what was wrong with all of us yesterday, but today was much better. It was surprisingly cold, though, so we stayed inside.

Last night after the kids went to bed I got out some things for the American West discovery table, which the kids were happy to see this morning. I was tickled that they immediately recognized the black-footed ferret after reading our prairie book yesterday.

The kids wanted to add more animals to the table, so they went through the bin of Schleich animals picking out appropriate ones: deer, horses, cattle, sheep, tortoises. Girl got out the meercats and said we should pretend they were prairie dogs. Boy remembered the book we read called prairie holes (wetlands) the “duck factories of North America,” so he put out ducks.

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We had breakfast and I sat with Boy on the couch and read him some more about Ben Franklin. We read about lightning, and electricity. Girl made this drawing of herself laying on the “smooth grass” in a thunderstorm.

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I wanted us to do math and violin next, but Boy and Girl greatly preferred to build with Legos. So that’s what they did.

And I was still terribly tired, as I was yesterday, so I fixed them a nice snacky lunch, and then I took a nap for an hour or so. I heard them playing very nicely a couple of times during my nap, but I probably stayed lying down five minutes too long, and overheard Boy complaining that Girl had taken all of the Lego plates, Girl telling him not to touch her thing, and then she said, “I’ll be watching you!” Boy started crying saying that Girl was threatening to watch him even when he only had underwear on. Clearly, that does not follow, but I just figured they’d been alone together for too long and needed a break. So I got up and asked Girl to go in her area, asked Boy to stay in his room, and he was fine within five minutes, and they started playing together again.

So I took a shower and then gave Boy a bath, and snuggled him up on the big chair with a book about cowboys from the discovery table while I bathed Girl.  They were both hungry, so I suggested that I make popcorn and hot chocolate and coffee, and I’d read to both of them. Both kids got dressed while I talked on the phone with a friend for a minute, making a Saturday playdate for Girl. First Girl wanted me to read one of our books, so I picked out a cute one about hugs, and then I made the snacks and sat down with them to read If You Lived with the Hopi.

I don’t think I can overstate how excited Girl is about the Hopi now.

Things she likes: That the Hopi lived with all of their relatives. That women owned the houses. That everyone built the houses together. That women and girls hung out together making food and singing songs. That they made beautiful pottery. That they believed all things have a spirit. That they always helped each other, all the time. Girl said she would like to be Hopi. “It’s perfect for me,” she said. She likes being with her relatives, and building, and working together, and singing songs, and she also thinks all things have a spirit. Boy was quieter, but also very interested.

After that I asked them if they were interested in looking at pictures of designs from some Southwestern pottery, and drawing some of them. They were.

Girl's drawing of a pottery figure of a woman and child.
Girl’s drawing of a pottery figure of a woman and child.
Boy's drawing (unfinished) of a prehistoric design of woman collecting clay by a river. I think he is going to add other figures.
Boy’s drawing (unfinished) of a prehistoric design of woman collecting clay by a river. I think he is going to add other figures.

Then I went to go make dinner. Normally, Friday is our movie night. Tonight we decided to watch an old documentary about Hopi pottery and history, also talking about the Anasazi.  I was asking Boy some questions about the Hopi, and he remembered a remarkable amount from the book, as he did from yesterday’s prairie book. We finished the book about the Hopi in bed, and I read them the book about prehistoric pottery designs in the Southwest.

I genuinely love this part about homeschooling, when my kids go to bed knowing a whole lot about something they woke up not even knowing existed, and that I didn’t even necessarily plan on them learning. And that I get to do it with them, that we are building this whole imaginative structure of things that we learn together, and love together.

Like Inuksuit! We learned about them two weeks ago when we studied Canada and the Inuit with our Geography Club, and tonight Girl built some more.

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Girl’s Inuksuit

Learning this way can be kind of….thrilling.

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