Monday, September 7, 2009

Autumn is in the Air

Last week, the weather was crisp, cool and perfect. We turned off the air conditioner, opened up all the windows, and had long leisurely play days and picnics outside.

We spent a day at our favorite park, and lucked into a long, leisurely lunchtime hayride.

We made apple pie with the first tart apples of the season from the farmers' market. This may be the best apple pie I've ever made. The crust was perfect. I'm drooling just remembering that pie.
Mama's dreaming of planting fall bulbs and what beautiful blooms they will bring in the spring. She's also envisioning big bouquets of chrysanthemums in front of the house. She's planning Halloween parties and costumes, ordering corduroy jackets off the internet, and remembering cool weather treats like constant comment hot tea, and oatmeal with buttered toast. She dug out her slippers, and moved a quilt to the sofa downstairs for cuddling under.

All from a bit of a chill in the air.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Pre-History Week

We had another really laid back week this week. I feel extremely guilty because I didn't prepare workboxes, but we still did a lot of learnin' 'round here. I'm trying to get past that guilty feeling. It helps to blog because then I remember all the fun educational things we did all week!

We discussed more from Story of the World about nomads. We pretended to be nomads this week, and went around the neighborhood pretending to hunt for food. We also talked about how nomads would gather food. We gathered some figs off a neighbor's tree.

We made cave paintings.
This idea is from the Story of the World Activity Book. You crumple up a brown paper bag, then draw your painting in charcoal, then paint the image if desired with brown, beige and black paint.

Then we gathered some long sticks, and some "animal hide" (fabric out of mom's stash). We built a hut in the back yard.
We made clay pinch pots. We studied prehistoric mammals, like mastodons, mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. And a lot of other ones with names like platybeladon. Thing One reads this stuff for fun. That's my boy!

The boys "camped out" in the back yard. This was a private party, no parents allowed. Even daddy's storytime was rejected. Thing One took care of it and read to Thing Two instead.
You can imagine how long they actually lasted. There was no actual sleeping accomplished.
We read:
A Wooly Mammoth Journey by Miller
Choose Your Own Adventure: Indian Trail by Montgomery
Will's Mammoth by Putnam
Outside and Inside: Wooly Mammoths by Markle
The Mammoth Academy by Layton
The Legend of the Cranberry: A Paleo-Indian Tale by Greene
Wiley and Grampa #10: Jurassic Grampa by Scroggs

We watched:
Ice Age

We listened to:
Sunset of the Sabertooth by Mary Pope Osborne audiobook

Then, we did our usual, after-hours aimless learnin'. Thing One found a new pet, a tomato hornworm. He has cared for it very gently, feeding it fresh leaves at least twice per day.
Thing One loves to draw. Today, he tried to draw the United States from memory.

See you next week for Plants and Seeds!

18 Days and Counting

My sister and I are attending a yoga, art and hiking retreat in New Mexico in a few weeks. I'm getting SOOOO excited! I've never been to that part of the country. I've never been in a desert. Our agenda includes yoga every day, plus exciting day trips.

Places we’ll be visiting:
Downtown Santa Fe
Tent Rocks
Ojo Caliente
Georgia O’Keefe
Kakawa Chocolates

I'm a bit nervous about the elevation. Hopefully it won't affect me too much.

The trip organizer is my former yoga teacher who moved from Maryland to New Mexico last year. She still comes to Maryland regularly to teach various trainings. She is someone I try to emulate. She has such a profound aura of peace and joy about her that I envy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Obscene Mushrooms

We found this mushroom in our back yard today. I've never seen one before. I think it's a mutinus elegans.

These are from across the road.

Who knew you could find so many interesting fungi in a densely populated suburban neighborhood?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Home Sweet Homeschool

I'm making a little quilted wall hanging for our front door. Ever since I heard that some homeschooling families get turned into Child Protective Services occasionally by their neighbors because they think they kids are truant, I have been on a mission to tell all my neighbors we're homeschoolers. I want a sign so that even the mailman, UPS guys, etc know I'm not a neglectful parent even though my dirty kids are running around shoeless in the front yard on a school day.

I need some help, though. I need to decide exactly what words to put on my quilt.

Home Sweet Home School?

Home is Where the School Is?

Homeschoolers Live Here

Homeschooling Family

Cole Family Homeschool

What's your vote?