Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Last week our adventures in home schooling had us...

taking early morning walks,

 making mud birds in the woods at wildchild,

building "baby traps" at the beach, (for the record he loved the "baby traps" he spent quite a while climbing into and out of these holes.) 

Tidepooling with friends and learning about the creatures we found,

and visiting monarch butterflies in their 'winter' residence and learning about their migration patterns.

All the outdoor exploration covered our sciences for the week. We also worked on letters, reading and arithmetic.  We have started Oak Meadow because I like the Waldorf inspired curriculum.  But I've supplemented with Miquon Math because Lil seems to need more then O.M. has to offer in the math department.  

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Old sweater

My grandmother Jane sent this sweater, hat and tiny mittens to me when Nonie was wee.  Gran made them for my father when he was a little guy.  He is now sixty. Gotta love the lifespan of wool.    Somehow they never seemed quite to fit Nonie but they are perfect for Eoghan.  I wish I'd gotten a photo of the mittens for you, complete with little thumbs.  Also I am determined to figure out a pattern for that hat.  I know some baby friends who need just such a hat.  

Friday, October 26, 2012

Apple cider mills and bee stings

Just after this we were enjoying a cup of cider when an angry yellow jacket gave Nonie her first sting.  Oh how she howled.  OUCH! I have never seen a place clear out so fast.  Darn yellow jackets.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Going home

It had been more than two years since I'd been  home to the place of my childhood.  My folks have come to see us, but somehow we have managed to stay far, far away from small town Michigan.  Fall seemed like the ideal time to travel home.  It's been, well, two years since I've seen good fall colors.  Here in sunny California the weather seems to be pretty much always the same, though I'm told they have a rainy season.

The trip there was long.  We left in the dark, took a car, a plane, a plane, a car and arrived in the dark.  But the air was crisp and smelled of fall.  How comforting to be home in the fall.  Being home involved all kinds of wonderful time with my folks.  We played madlibs, the girls played with my old barbies, Lillian helped grandpa split logs with his fancy new log splitter.  Mostly we played outside.  We collected milkweed with Nana, watched twenty sandhill cranes down the way at the pond, fed horses and breathed the fresh air while running, running, running thorough the big, huge back yard.

Can you imagine though that I walked out the door without my camera?!  It was actually in the glovebox of the car but in those wee hours of the morning I was just thinking of getting to the airport with all three kids and car seats and luggage.   I realized this travesty on the plane but then I remembered I had this great little device I like to call the iphone.  It's a new acquisition.  I was forced at gun point to purchase it when we entered Silicon Valley.  Okay that's not true but it really did take me a while to get on the smart phone wagon.  Anyhow, I wasn't in love with the shots the iphone camera takes so I found Instagram.  It's got some fun little filters that make the photos not quite so terrible.  I do like the old-time-y feel to them.  Seems fitting for going home right?!  I think I'll mostly post photos this week.  Happy October!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

First grade

The one thing I've regretted about homeschooling this year is Lillian missing the waldorf tradition of the rose ceremony.  In waldorf schools children don't approach the academic portion of learning until first grade.   At the start of the school year the whole school attends a ceremony welcoming the first graders into academics.  It is a beautiful ceremony where the child walks up to the teacher with her parents on either side and is welcomed to first grade and given a rose.  Afterward the teacher tells some version of a story about a child or children wishing to learn and how they find a teacher to teach them. 

I've been thinking about having a rose ceremony for Lil ever since we decided to home school.  Life has been chaos lately but marvel of marvels it just happened to come together today.  We found roses and strawberries at the farmers market.  (She had requested strawberry shortcake for the tea after the ceremony.)  We all dressed up and our own little family had a rose ceremony in the back yard.  It was short and simple and beautiful and I was rather pleased with my story.   Welcome to first grade Lillian!