A local mosque invited non-Muslims to fast any day of Ramadan and join them that night to eat with them. For each person doing this, they would donate $100 to the Center for Refugee Services.
We fasted on Friday and headed to the mosque Friday night. They answered all of our questions, let us observe their prayers twice, took us on a tour of the mosque, and fed us a delicious dinner.
It was a great experience and hopefully will make things more clear in the boys’ minds when we study Islam and the Arabian peninsula the fifth week of school next year.
Getting to know others who are “different” is what will change the future. So often those who look different on the surface are really more like us than we ever imagined.
Cameron tested for his second degree black belt in taekwondo on Saturday.
On Monday he received his new belt at the Black Belt Candlelight Ceremony.
They sat and thought about the journey that has gotten them this far on the path to black belt and beyond.
Then they punched toward their candle flame to put it out (Cameron’s the second in the row).
They each got to come up and receive their new belt from their instructor.
He was most excited to get his new belt because it means that after a year and a half he finally gets to start learning a new form.
The amount of time and effort behind a new belt is huge.
His old belt was pretty much gray now from so much use.
Because of some changes in chief instructors, Mr. Meza is no longer at the location where we go, but he has been our instructor for the last 3 1/2 years (and he’s still close by so we’ll still see him a lot).
The little bit has reached his last year of single digits! He’s 4’3″ and 64 pounds.
A month ago I got the flu. And then I got an ear, sinus, and throat infection and bronchitis. And then I got mild pneumonia. Fun times, I tell you.
But I’ve been very productive during my mostly sitting in my chair coughing state. I’ve been lesson planning and organizing school for next year like crazy. I even got a filing cabinet and hanging file folders (purple because it’s my favorite) and colored manila folders (orange for Cameron, blue for Fritz, yellow for Adrian, green for all of them together).
I’ve got the first four weeks of school almost 100% planned. Only 31 more weeks to go (those are all about 75% planned already so it’s not as bad as it sounds).
Fritz worked really hard and earned both his Webelos rank and Arrow of Light in 10 months. This allowed him to receive his Arrow of Light at the last pack meeting of the year before we break for summer.
He actually did more than necessary and completed all of the required and optional adventures in the book plus the conservation patch (and will complete the requirements for the Texas patch before he actually turns 11).
He was so excited to be able to finally cross the bridge from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and get his new neckerchief and slide.
Yesterday was the last day of school for our 2016-17 school year. This means Ani is now a high school graduate. The year really seemed to go by fast, but we are still all very happy to have the next 13 weeks off. Usually, we do some work over the summer (math and language arts), but other than reading (for pleasure), we’re not doing anything but relaxing this year!
In science, we learned about the kingdoms. We filled in cladograms. We played with a dichotomous key. We learned about what happens to plants when they are exposed to acid rain. In history, we learned about ancient Greece, ancient China, ancient Japan, first North Americans, ancient South America, the Celts, and ancient Rome. We did some very interesting art projects. We continued doing taekwondo.
Cameron did math using Khan Academy. He wrote more essays (he’s happy to be moving on to creative writing next year). He read (listened to) The Odes of Horace, The Aeneid, and The Metamorphoses. He’ll be testing for his second degree black belt in a few weeks.
Fritz completed Math-U-See Zeta through lesson 13. He read the final 6 Artemis Fowl books. He’s gotten very good at writing in cursive and can form his own words properly now (no longer has to copy). He learned even more Latin words. He found out he earned a silver medal on the National Mythology Exam and summa cum laude on the Exploratory Latin Exam.
Adrian completed Math-U-See Gamma and then started working on 4th grade math using Khan Academy. It’s amazing watching him figure out the math for himself. He completed book 7 of Explode the Code. He’s gotten very good at marking spelling passages on his own. He finished Traditional Irish Fairy Tales and read Tales From Japan and Theras and His Town.
Off: The boys had to turn off a screen and then take a picture of it. Cameron picked the TV with a reflection of part of our living room. Fritz picked Adrian’s Fire with a reflection of a drawing he made. Adrian picked Cameron’s old phone with a reflection of part of my Harry Potter phone case.
Proposals: The boys each had to respond to one of three proposals. Cameron assisted in discrediting Bishop Berkeley’s theory of the non-existance of matter. Fritz imagined his feet in a mountain stream. Adrian dressed like his father.
The Art of Complaining: The boys had to think of something they wanted to complain about and represent that somehow. Cameron was sick that day so he chose to complain about being sick. Fritz really, really hates cliffhangers (at the end of a chapter) so that’s what he decided to complain about. Adrian couldn’t think of anything to complain about so his complaint was having nothing to complain about.
Emotional Furniture: The boys had to arrange furniture to portray confidence, envy, and melancholy. Fritz chose confidence, Cameron did envy, and Adrian picked melancholy.