School's Out!

Hooray! Hoorah! Whee-haw! We’re done with school for the year!!!
(Don’t tell my kids, but we actually had in enough days early last week. Being the task master that I am, I made them keep slogging away.)

Today, to celebrate our last official school day of the year, we filled our morning with pioneer activities. What fun we had! Most of us wore costumes and we listened to pioneer music while we worked. We dipped candles and learned how to use the sun to determine an east-west line. We made butter and tried (unsuccessfully) to mold it in our antique butter mold. At recess (while I cleaned up the first round of wax) the kids played fox-and-geese outside. For our lunch they prepared a strawberry shrub to drink and spoonbread. The kids thought our fresh eggs and cornmeal ground at a water-powered stone mill, added extra authenticity.

All in all it was a great success, and worth a temporarily trashed kitchen. (You know you are in trouble when you walk into a room to hear your fourteen-year-old say, “Don’t scream, Mom. I’ll clean it up. I don’t know what happened -suddenly the wax just jumped out all over everything!”) Indeed, it had.

So, we are now done, and will move on to all those glorious summer projects! For me, that means attempting to get the house back under control, gardening and preserving produce, and – my major activity – planning and preparing for next school year! For the children, summer means more time to explore the farm, build forts, and work intensely on 4-H projects, plus a bit of summer school. Some will take swimming lessons, one (Kristen) will be volunteering at the hospital weekly, and the oldest have various paid jobs. All of us will enjoy summer reading and regular library trips, in addition to our routine visits to our wonderful bookmobile.

In honor of the end of school, here’s a poem my kids find hilarious. It’s one we memorized last year.


By Carl Sandburg

Arithmetic is where numbers fly
like pigeons in and out of your head.

Arithmetic tells you how many you lose
or win if you know how many
you had before you lost or won.

Arithmetic is numbers seven eleven
all good children go to heaven-
or five six bundle of sticks.

Arithmetic is numbers you squeeze from
your head to your hand to your pencil
to your paper till you get the answer.

Arithmetic is where the answer is right
and everything is nice and you can look
out of the window and see the blue sky –
or the answer is wrong and
you have to start all over and try again and
see how it comes out this time.

If you take a number and double it and
double it again and then double it a few more
times, the number gets bigger and bigger and
goes higher and higher and only arithmetic
can tell you what the number is when you
decide to quite doubling.

Arithmetic is where you have to multiply –
and you carry the multiplication table
in your head and hope you won’t lost it.

If you have two animal crackers, one goo and one bad,
and you eat one, and a striped zebra
with streaks all over him eats the other,
how many animal crackers will you have
if somebody offers your five six seven and
you say No no no and you say Nay nay nay and
you say Nix nix nix?

If you ask your mother for one fried egg for breakfast
and she give you two fried eggs and
you eat both of them, who is better in arithmetic,
you or your mother?


mrsd said…
Your mother is smarter in arithmetic because she got you to eat double protein. :D

Have a fun summer!

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