Thursday, August 29, 2013

Someone's In The Kitchen

... and it's not me.


Lu made dinner the other night:
grilled zucchini and eggplant, and a beautiful cucumber salad.

I've mentioned Lu's cyclical passions in the past, and cooking is one of them. Others are playing the guitar and the piano, hula-hooping, choreographing, drawing, blogging, gardening, and other more one-off ventures. They come in waves, and usually last a few weeks. But cooking has been a constant for a while now, lasting longer than usual, and Lu even talks about going to the States to take cooking classes at a community college when he's older.

This past week, Abu (short for Abuela, a.k.a. my mom) was here and teaching Lu a whole bunch of dessert recipes. She says I was never interested in learning to cook - which is why this ability has skipped a generation. But Lu is VERY interested and showed tremendous focus, so I let all other homeschool plans go for the week, and let them at it.

Abu's Vanilla Pudding recipe:

Spanish Flan:

This is one of my all-time favorite desserts. 
Pure gooey sweetness.
It's basically baked condensed milk and eggs. 

Lu made a complete breakfast for his Abu, 
in appreciation for everything she taught him in the kitchen this week.

Their favorite breakfast: 
tortillas and cheesy eggs with fresh tomato sauce.

 Of all the things Lu made in the kitchen, 
this one was my personal favorite, because he made it just for me -

My very, very favorite.

He found the recipe online and made it all by himself.

At some point in the week I realized that we hadn't done much math, or history, or writing of any kind. But really, what could be more important than giving the time and the space for following a passion? He learned SOOOO much this week, and I am more convinced than ever that learning is better off without a schedule.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bits and Bobs, Here and There

With the second and strongest half of our rainy season here (also hurricane season), our little river is back. Well, it was for a couple of days anyway. So, as we do each year, we went out with rubber boots, machetes, and a shovel. We cleared out our sitting spot and got to rebuilding our swim hole.

The base of last year's dam is still standing!

Lu loves swinging the machete.

Despite the impression that my last few posts might have made, 
we HAVE been doing some academics.

In history, we've been all over China.

We watched The Last Emperor and Empire of the Sun,
and we had an awesome discussion about communism.

We also studied Confucianism,
and Lu made this poster:

We have three months left of this school year
and are almost done with our math workbook.

This is because math freaks me out, and I'm so afraid that we'll fall behind. So I rush it. I've done this three years in a row now. When will I learn?

Anyway, since I can relax about it now, Lu is pretty much working through these last pages on his own, at his own pace. He's also working with Khan.

In science, we've been watching our favorite science videos and learning about molecules in solids and liquids, evaporation and condensation, expansion and contraction, measuring temperature, and heat. We watch a video together, and then Lu watches it again while taking graphic notes.

He really enjoys these mini-classes.

I've recently upped the number of dance classes I'm teaching, which is good for the family budget, but puts some strain on my participation in our homeschool schedule. This isn't a bad thing though. Lu needs to work on his focus and self-discipline.

This week, I asked him to pick a subject to research and write about. He picked The Beatles. Which I could have guessed. But I had hoped he might choose something more... 

No. I won't judge. 

I like Beatles music sometimes, some songs. But Lu LOVES them since a gazillion years ago, since he's been playing them in the kitchen while washing dishes, in the bathroom while showering, in the bedroom always... every day.

And I'm proud of myself because I didn't show any sign of disappointment when he told me about his chosen topic of research. I smiled and said "Okay. Great. Get to it." Because no matter what he chose, he'll be learning to look stuff up, he'll be reading, he'll be organizing information, and he'll be writing.

Lu has also decided to learn French. He found an app to learn with, and practices every chance he gets. Again, French wouldn't have been my choice, but hey, he's learning a fourth language completely of his own accord. And he wants to be a chef. So maybe he'll go to cooking school in Paris some day, and... French it is.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bday Mama

 I turned 38 this week.

I've been a mother for over 1/4 of it,

and the same again running an art school.

I've danced for most of it,

have lived here for almost 1/3 of it,

and went to school for longer than I like to remember.

I've been homeschooling my son for almost 3 years.

When I turned 37 last year, I had recently gained 20 pounds after quitting smoking and dancing (from bad knees). Today, with a head-full of grays, I have my knees back, I lost the 20lbs, feel great, and am dancing again. But I'll talk more about all of that in a soon-to-come post about how life is changing, I'm teaching more classes, and Lu will be in charge of most of his learning.

Now, back to my birthday!

Lu made me a lovely sweater/purse hanger.

 He spent an hour squeezing oranges to make me juice,
and then another making crepes.

We took a picnic and Cha to the lake.
This was a great thing as he can rarely take a day off.
Here are his feet -

A lakefront restaurant serves my favorite -
key lime pie and cappuccino.

Brownie a la mode for the boys.

And there was a ping-pong table!
(phys. ed)

And, even after drinking half a bottle of champagne in the morning, 
I taught a dance class in the afternoon.

Lu's in the back there somewhere too.

We're such a productive family :winkwink:
You see, even on a birthday/day-off
we managed carpentry, cooking, phys. ed., and dance!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Oceanographers

Almost two weeks since my last post, but as you can see -
we've been very busy with... um... oceanography!

Oh yes! And there was much socialization! Very important indeed. 
We make great efforts to ensure that socialization happens.

It was a most educational experience.