Mom teaches other kids too!

I’ve been offering some nature exploring classes to other homeschoolers, Outdoor Ed stuff like I used to do pre-kids.  It’s been REALLY fun for me.  Sometimes both boys are with me, sometimes just Simon comes to the class while Owen is at preschool.  We’ve covered seed dispersal, wild flowers, camouflage, and habitats/adaptations so far.

   
 

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Learning German

The boys and I have been working on learning more German so we can be ready to travel with Rick at some point.   

   
Here they were working on parts of the head and face.  They drew in the details and then labeled them.  These ready made face sheets are fun.  Owen received them as a birthday gift, I believe they are Melissa and Doug brand.  

Crazy Art Day

We hosted a Green Moms Homeschool gathering this morning. It was listed on Facebook as Crazy Art Day.  Well, there was crazy, there was art and I suppose there may have even been crazy art.

It was a good time all around and I don’t even think there is paint on the ceiling!

   
 

Mom, I made a lever!

We were fortunate enough to get some free scrap wood from the church down the street.  Simon has built a couple of rafts, a ladder and now…a lever!  Owen went running out to play with it too and then Simon discovered he had made a teeter totter/seesaw (which makes me curious as to which one of those you say and why?).

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The next day they messed around with it some more with Daddy and discovered that even little ol’ Owen can lift Daddy with the right length of lever.

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Really neat stuff.  I’m going to find some youtube videos about levers to put on our links page so they can explore a little further.  Perhaps I can leave some things lying around that could be used as smaller levers inside too.  A little strewing never hurt!

Fermenting and Kitchen Science

If you’ve been to my house lately you may notice the number of jars on our counter has increased quite a bit.  We brew our own kombucha and have grown many SCOBYS from one small one that a friend gave us over a year ago.  The boys and I really enjoy flavoring the kombucha and drinking it instead of sweet juices or sodas.

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I’ve made a bit of honey mead.  I dophoto 1n’t have the patience to wait for it to really mature so I’ve tried it “green” and it’s pretty tasty.

We received the gift of some sourdough starter from a friend and have been making lots of different recipes with that.  Naturally I needed to try to start my own starter and was successful so now we have our very own yeasts growing in our breads.

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Recently I’ve started making kefir, my grains were also a gift from a friend.  I like to drink it with just a bit of almond extract added or blended with some fruit.  It’s great in smoothies and as a substitute for regular milk in baking.

Rick and the boys got me a beautiful ceramic crock for my birthday and a book by Sandor Katz to go along with it with all the info on fermenting one could need.  My next project is sauerkraut in my crock!

Simon and I have been learning a little about the science behind fermentation and also a little about the history of these food traditions.  I really like that they can be shared so widely.  I have given several kombucha SCOBYS to friends and lots of sourdough starter too. It’s something fun to do and healthy for us too!

a good week

imageimageI’m not sure what it was but this week just worked.  We had a good day at co-op on Monday.  Tuesday Owen stayed for Stay Day at preschool (he takes a lunch and gets to play with friends on the playground and such a little longer than the usual day).  Simon and I got some work done, and had some extra time to be together.  Wednesday we just stayed home all day.  The boys played together, separately, with me, outside, inside…they just got along.  IT WAS WONDERFUL!  Thursday Owen had preschool again, I ran some errands while Simon did a little work and Mythbusters research at home with Daddy.  In the afternoon we built things and played outside.  Today we were home again as Mommy had a cold.  The boys played some games together, played outside a ton, watched some shows, etc.  For the most part the days have just flowed well and we’ve gotten in plenty of work without making a big deal out of it.  Hopefully the magic can continue next week!

Kitchen Helpers

One of my goals for this year is that we get the boys involved more in making meals. Simon is a pro at making pancakes now, of course they can get their own cereal and make a sandwich or such but I would like them to be more involved in the dinner prep.  Mainly so they don’t drive me batty while I’m cooking dinner, but also because I feel they are more likely to enjoy the food if they help prepare it.  Tonight without any prompting Simon asked if he could help with dinner and Owen wanted to join in. Even though I was making a dish that Simon doesn’t particularly like (even though the rest of us love it) he was still willing and eager to help.

Simon chopped the broccoli, Owen grated cheese and chopped onions.  There wasn’t much else to do away from the stove so that was it for tonight, but it was great, saved me a bunch of time and they thought it was good fun.  Bonus is that they weren’t chasing each other or fighting during this time they were helping!

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Whew, the lack of socialization is really troubling isn’t it?

Last Friday we hosted a homeschool gathering where the kids did presentations…some of them show and tell style, others more report style.  One of the few things that I think we lack by homeschooling is a chance to frequently present or share information in front of or with peers.  As many students go back to school and present a book report, a service project report or some other such presentation to being the school year I thought it would be neat if we gave our homeschool students an audience to share something they were interested in.  There were no limits to what they could present and all the children were given a choice of presenting to the larger audience or to a smaller group.  They all chose the larger audience, a fact which impressed me greatly.

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They all did a great job, from age 3 to age 11.  We had volcano experiments, a door/wall climbing demonstration (bet you can’t guess who that was!), creative creations, a lego cable car, art exhibition, reports on animals (complete with live snails), sharing of a favorite blanket, yoga, magnets, compasses, precious snow globes, little ponies and more.  It was wonderful to see them giving their attention to whoever was in front of the audience presenting.  We were also very lucky to have some beautiful weather so we could hold the event outdoors where everyone could be comfortable and chat and move as they needed to.  Hmmm…so outdoors, we had kids ages 3-11 all listening and paying attention to each other and learning new things.  Crazy homeschoolers huh?