Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Wee Irish Lass

I LOVE interesting questions. For instance, someone asked me why I updated my blog in celebration of St. Patrick's day after writing an anti-Valentine's post (as if I am anti- all non major Holidays.) Interesting observation. You see, I LIKE St. Patrick's Day. In all honesty, I really like all things Irish, but that's neither here nor there. Growing up with red hair, I always loved throwing on some green for St. Patrick's Day and feeling sorta leprechaunish (except for that one year when I decided to skip the green since I thought getting pinched sounded fun. Hindsight is 20/20.) My love grew a few years ago when I was homeschooling Lane.

Homeschooling was a big adventure. I wasn't sure if I was capable, but even his teacher suggested I try it since conventional schooling wasn't working for him whatsoever. Going into it, I knew that if I depended on workbooks and pencil and paper learning it was going to be a wash. I had to make it more interesting for him. So, I got really into themes & tried to make learning a big game. Towards the end of February, we began our unit on Ireland. For a month, I printed out what worksheets we did use on green paper. I sent away for posters and maps from Ireland's tourism industry. We researched how kids in Ireland did school and we pretended like we were a schoolhouse in Ireland when we were doing our work. Required reading was any book that took place in Ireland (you can ALWAYS count on Magic Treehouse to have something geared towards the elementary school set that fits in with your theme thank goodness!) All of our story problems were about Irish things like: If the O'Malley's have 4 lbs. of potatoes and...

The Grand Summit of our theme was when we made a traditional St. Patrick's day dinner & invited his grandparents over for it. All week leading up to the dinner, we worked on our menu. Math was doing cost comparisons to see which grocery store was the best place to get our supplies and then figuring out how much we needed to buy & how much it was all going to cost to make an Irish dinner for 8 people (answer: super cheap!) Then, we mixed & measured & poured. We had fun sampling a variety of cheeses and herb butters that are traditional in Ireland with our corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes (and green kool-aid, of course, however nontraditional that may be.) Then, Lane presented his report on the history and geography of Ireland. It was a lot of fun.

We're not homeschooling anymore and I have to say, when something like St. Patty's day rolls around and reminds me of how much fun we had I sort of miss it. I guess I could try to incorporate more of those semi-educational experiences in our day to day life, but public school already takes up so much time & energy. There really is something magical about homeschooling.


  1. My mom used to always make corn beef and cabbage. Blech! I hate it!!

  2. I LOVE all things Irish too! Sure I AM 1/4 Irish so I may be biased, but Celtic jewelery, knicknacks...I got it. Even Celtic crosses, they are just so gorgeous!! And t-shirts of course. I SO want to visit Ireland someday!