Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekend fun! (and learning!)

Greetings All!

I hope your weekend was as lovely as ours was!  As a general rule, I do not travel on holiday weekends if I can at all help it.  Pre-kids it wasn't an issue, obviously.  But with kids - forget it.  I have to say that my older 2 are fantastic travelers (having a car with a DVD player definitely helps on the longer treks) but our 17 month old is only so tolerant.  Anyway, we remained close and did things mostly around the house.  I did more lesson planning, more organizing in our classroom, and prepared for upcoming art and science projects.  My husband and older kiddos did some much needed weeding in our front gardens in addition to transplanting a couple of sad azaleas that are now in a much happier spot.  I found our children in the classroom about 60% of the time this weekend!

I love that our kids naturally come into the classroom on their own accord to do art, read and hangout. It makes me so happy that we've created a space for them where they always want to be! (and one that involves learning and creativity!  I won't wax on, I'll just leave you with some pics. (and captions, of course ;)
morning walk find
happy and loving anything by Kevin Henkes
the tongue means he's really focusing!
using Copics with Saturated Canary...my girl has exceptional taste!
so sweet
family walk time!
naps DO rule
too cute
totally enthralled with the newest Usborne Books catalog...makes my heart want to burst!
he smells like cookies...always...#hesmellslikecookies
rosewood...yum
besties
walking at sunrise
exceptional gardening by hubby and older kids!  
creepy AND cool
Daisy - our cousin =)
snuggly
sunrise walk #beautifultimeofday
my walking buddy



We performed an experiment in combination with the discussions we've been having on Ancient Egypt.  We've been reading about how important make up was to the Egyptians in their everyday life and decided to find out how they made their makeup or face paint.  We ground up different flowers and berries to see what colors they would produce.  We did two different groups for each flower, plant or berry.  The Egyptians would mix their minerals or other items used for makeup with animal fat to enable it to stick to the skin.  The first group we did was simply the plant, berry or flower ground up.  We used a piece of slate and a rock and ground them by hand.  We then used a paintbrush to brush the smashed substance onto watercolor paper.  We drew the item we were using, wrote predictions and then our observations.  Both kids remarked a number of times how difficult it must have been to grind up enough to have the quantity needed to wear it every day.  Interesting...

The second group we did the same thing only this time we mixed the "smashings" (for lack of a better way of describing them) with a little butter (I don't regularly keep animal fat lying around;) to see the results.  They would put that on the watercolor paper next to the first sample and we'd discuss our findings.  It was beautiful to see them so interested and focused on what was going to happen next! The end result is a great exercise in observation!

We ended the day with a taco dinner followed by ice cream sundaes in our bed, a new Scooby-Doo movie and snuggles with our favorite puppy.  #thegoodlife
Until tomorrow friends!


Friday, August 29, 2014

Shine On My Friends!

Kendall has her best "thinking face" on
Here we are, Day 2 of our homeschool journey.  The excitement is still palpable around the house and I'm enjoying it while it's here as I know there will be days that it will be missing as the days roll on.  I know that we will find our groove and will figure out how to bust through those days.  But for today, I'm enjoying it.  Kendall and I started out the morning with some basic cooking, today we made tomatillo salsa.
We roasted all of the veggies.  Then threw it all in the blender with a little salt and some cumin.

Voila!  Who said cooking has to be complicated?

Once everyone was up and had had breakfast, gotten dressed and made beds we started our day with some gentle yoga.  Kendall lead us in a couple of sun salutations and tree pose.  She had yoga camp a week ago and was glad to share with us what she learned.
tree pose
growing branches!
namaste
Keeping with our theme of "shine and sparkle" we talked about how ancient people incorporated "sparkle" into their cave paintings and used different elements from nature to incorporate a sparkly appearance within their makeup and clothing. Today we focused on Ancient Egypt and why they created make-up, the uses of makeup, the processes of creating it and the chemistry behind it.  We learned that both men and women wore make-up on a daily basis.  We used this as a theme for our morning journaling.

We started with blank canvas panels and colors that were available and popular in Ancient Egypt; gold, green, black/slate/kohl and purple.
Kendall's tree at night
Tyler's River
Tyler's Weeping Willow
After that we moved to our paper journals to continue drawing and to incorporate some writing.
Kendall's page - the image in the center is an aerial view of a pyramid
Kendall chose to do her journaling in a separate book

Tyler decided to write another story about his character 'Robby Rabbit'
I absolutely love their creativity and how they interpret their visions onto the page.  From here we moved onto handwriting practice (print for T and cursive for K) and then spelling words.
For this weeks spelling words I am having both children use the same list.  It will not always be this way.  We've discussed the definition as well as context for these words.  They will study these through next week and have a quiz on spelling, definition and context next Friday!

Today is Friday which in our homeschooling land means PARK DAY!!  It's a wonderful opportunity to get out and see/meet other homeschoolers and to run around and enjoy the gorgeous day!
It was a beautiful day so after we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves outside we came home to finish our academics.  Grammar, math and D.E.A.R. (drop everything and read) time.
teepee reading
I'm finding that it's hard for him to focus when I'm working with Kendall so he keeps noise cancelling headphones in one of his drawers.  This enables him to cut out the ambient noise and focus on his own work.  
*always with a lovey (this makes me smile no matter how old he is)
Once we finished our academics the children burst from the classroom - their brains full and brimming over but still with smiles on their faces anxious to get back to their imaginary play in fairy land!
I adore that they will sit for hours and make up stories and act them out.  They create, act, resolve conflict and come up with some of the most creative story lines I've ever heard.  

That's all for us today!  Happy Friday and Happy Labor Day weekend!  See you all next week!

Crafty Hugs!
Meredith