Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Since I did nothing but complain about the terrible weather and rabid geese we encountered on our previous homeschooling hike, I decided I should post some photos of the absolutely beautiful weather we had during our last hike. I really do not like cold weather. I know, I know, I live in New England and have for most of my life. I'm supposed to love wool sweaters, red noses, chunky mittens, long underwear, skiing, blizzards in April, noreasters in May, but I just don't and never have. I do, however, like soup, hot chocolate and reading a great book by a nice fire. Anyway, since it has lately been nothing but blue skies and warm days I am happy, and happy to post pics of the hike and picnic we shared with friends. Also included is a pic of the new planter D made. I love his choice of fall colors and can't wait to plant a nice mum in it in September, though I must admit that the orange, drippy hue brings to mind velveeta mac and cheese.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Well, we have officially ended our second year of homeschooling! Of course, we never stop learning, and we never take the summer 'off' but we do shift gears and enjoy the warm weather and the unstructured learning that summer brings. We celebrated our last day of the 'school year' by learning about Mexico and throwing an end-of-year fiesta. We read about Mexico in our children's atlas and read a children's book about Frida Kahlo, Frida by Jonah Winter and Ana Juan. It is one my favorite children's books of all time - the artwork is absolutely beautiful and evokes the style of Kahlo. We also looked at some of her paintings online. The kids liked all of the monkeys in her portraits. Of course, no cultural study is complete without some sort of cooking project and Mexico was no exception. The difficulty lay in narrowing down what to make, as Mexican culture offers so very many delicious options. We chose to make empanadas, filling some with ground turkey sauteed with organic taco seasonings (for the meat-eaters) and some with cheese (for the non-meat eaters). We filled the remaining 4 with diced apples and apple butter, and rolled them in cinammon-sugar when they finished baking. I found the empanada dough recipe on allrecipes.com. It was simple, and delicious, though not at all healthy. We ended the day with a pinata! Now that we have put the workbooks and projects on the shelves, I am looking forward to sleeping in, hanging out in p.j's, delving into several art projects that have been postponed for quite some time, cooking mammoth ammounts of cupcakes (explanation to follow), exploring nature and the beach, and discovering the adventures that this summer will bring
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
J and I have been reading about life cycles this spring. We've planted our seeds and have been reading lots of books about frogs and butterflies. J loves stamps and puzzles, so we've incorporated those into our unit study as well. We ordered some caterpillars and watched them eat, grow, make their chrysallis' and eventually hatch out of them. We've been feeding them sugar water and orange slices, but today decided to release them as they weren't looking all that robust any more. Since they only live for three weeks, we decided they might as well enjoy a few days of freedom.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
We've finished our formal math programs for the year! I've been using Saxon with D and J, along with lots of manipulatives and games. D finds Saxon to be a bit tedious, however, so we will most likely be making a switch to Math-U-See for the fall. Pre-school math is so much fun and I'll probably continue to play lots of math games with J in the fall, but might also add some Montessori math manipulatives for both J and K. We'll keep you all posted as we make our curriculum choices for the fall.