Sunday, April 25, 2010

Colored Eggs

In some ways we are late in coloring eggs, but, it feels right to us. Earthschooling lists egg coloring a science, which is a pretty neat concept to me. I'd never thought of it that way before.

Here is the chalk drawing I put up before coloring the eggs. We had eaten some rainbow chard and I saved the red stems to use for the dying. I wanted to remind the boys of which part of the plant we were using to dye with, and that we had eaten the food first. I probably wouldn't have done this if we had taken the chard from the garden, but it was store bought.

And here are our eggs. Since we're not dying them for Easter, we really aren't concerned with having a certain amount by a certain time, freeing us to really focus on the process. Good thing since it took us three days to get three eggs! When we took the eggs out of the dye the first time, there was a weird coating that rubbed right off. So, I rinsed off the eggs and we stuck them back in the dye.

The yellow/brown egg is from daffodils, the blue eggs is from purple cabbage, and the pinkish egg is from the rainbow chard. I don't think my husband has ever dyed eggs using this process before, so he was very surprised to see that the purple cabbage made a blue egg. I had read that purple is a difficult color to achieve, so I was already expecting blue. Brother discovered that although the pinkish egg's shell was unbroken, the dye had passed through the egg shell and colored the egg white. That's pretty neat!

Next we are going to put an egg in the red dye for a day or so and one in the purple cabbage at the same time. Then we'll switch them and see which one looks more purple!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Yes, it's an "N". It's hard to see in the picture. The "N" is a combination of the trunk and two branches. The nest is at the top of the "N". You can probably see it better in Brother's picture.



Copy work.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Little White Dove

This weeks story was "The Little White Dove" from my Enki Fairy Tales book. I led the part of the drawing that included the tree and then let Brother fill in the rest of his picture while thinking of the story. He asked me to draw some flowers for him in the garden so that he could have some flower ideas.

Guess the letter!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Form Drawing

Straight lines are so much easier for Brother. He had a lot of fun with this form, wanting to draw it again and again and change the size. Brother had been complaining about his fingers hurting while he was coloring the yellow background in. We use a block crayon, but he must have been holding it wrong. Something shifted for him today and it became much easier for him. He was able to color almost the whole page in evenly.

Mine. It's a good thing we don't have circle tomorrow. I need some inspiration for which form to try next. He wasn't ready for the mirrored form yet.

Little Bunny wants to be a part of everything. I'd rather shield him from form drawing until he was in first grade but he isn't napping anymore. He woke up so crancky after naps that I'm not really willing to let him sleep unless he goes to sleep on his own. Brother modeled quiet time today though, so Little Bunny put himself up in our room and shut the door while he played by himself. Yippee! Meanwhile, here is his form. He goes through all the steps with use - drawing on the chalk board, playing with rice flour, and then drawing. At least he is drawing what is appropriate for an almost 3 year old! He has started up to that 3 year old resistance by the way. Yikes, he is one strong willed kid. It's no big deal, I just wasn't expecting it to start until he was 3. ;)

Weekly goals

We are starting our second Language Arts block. We are also starting a weekly PE class at the local homeschool center. We also went to the local homeschool groups park day yesterday. I feel like we are in an expansion stage - which makes sense as it's Spring!

I've added an activity to the morning circle called "Strange Family." It is verse and movement used to introduce skip counting in a physical way. Since it's the first week we are working with this activity, we're only walking number 1. Next week I will introduce number 2, and maybe number 3. We shall see.

We have been working with bean bags as well to transition from quiet time to afternoon practice time. We toss and catch a bean bag to a verse. First with one hand for a full verse and then the other. We then toss to a math verse, but this time tossing from one hand to another.

I've finally found the place for handwork in our rhythm! After story, on day 2 we have form drawing, which is pretty intense. It didn't feel right to draw forms right after hearing a new story. Following story day 3, or recall, we have art. So day 1 had a huge gaping hole that hand work fills quite nicely. This week Brother started sewing his tooth fairy pillow again. We had set it aside for a while, but now it seems like Brother is more ready. Little bunny (formerly Baby) laced cards.

Check out my new chalkboard!

Wow! It's HUGE, and it's green, which is unfortunate. But, I did get it free from freecycle, which is really cool. Our house is pretty small, only 1600 square feet. So, I have to do a lot of moving things around when they are being used, and then putting them away when we are done. I like the light in the diningroom the best, so I have to put the board up and write on it before lessons, and then put it away before dinner. It's heavy. I'm going to build up some muscles!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Overview for the week

Math or number qualities was our main lesson focus in the morning. For language arts we practiced handwriting the letters that we had introduced last month. We are also tossing a bean bag to poetry. Eventually this is going to turn into a math game, but we need to learn the rhythm of tossing with both hands first.

Next week we are back to letters! And we will play with math manipulatives in the afternoon.

Ta Da! It's 4!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Form Drawing for 4

The geometric representation of 4.




I'm trying to shake up our learning routine a bit. It was getting a bit dry like this Gluten free Easter Bread we made! We had a good time making it at least, and we put it in the soup, which helped give it more moisture. The loaf didn't really turn out like a square, so I gave the kids cut pieces at dinner and we talked about the 4 sides then.

Can you see all of the 4's in this picture? I made this to try and make conversations about 4 a bit more fun.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chalk board Drawings

Brother really likes me to make him chalk board drawings. I think he appreciates that I create it for him. I think this is my third one, so be kind. ;) We are awakening "D" and "P" this week, so I made a Dragon and I tried to make a "P" out of the wall of the cavern.

Brother was inspired too!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Funny Bunny

Here are little bunnies I made for my boys out of cotton dishcloth yarn. I was in a handwork pinch - needing a project that I could complete with what was handy. So I used cotton instead of the lovely wool I usually use. They are soft, but not nearly as beautiful as when I use wool. I put some dried organic white beans in the bottom and then finished stuffing with wool roving I have in my closet. The boys love them, include them in most of their play and sleep with them at night. I actually had to put the pink bunny's ears on while Baby was sleeping. He just pretended there was ears so he didn't have to wait.

Here is the tutorial for the bunny.

I used double pointed needles instead of the rounds.

Number 3

This week we learned about number 3. It felt a bit flat. It didn't seem like Brother picked up many threes from the story either. One reason is because we are sick... again. Someone has been sick every other week this winter. This time it is actually all four of us. And the trees are putting out a ton of pollen. So, we hung out at home limping our way through our week.

Here are our pictures:



I think the other reason it felt flat is because I tried tell the Grimm's version of Cinderella. Brother hated it. He was Ok during the telling, but Monday night in bed he said, "I don't need to hear that story again Mom, I'm done with it and I don't like it." He was pretty clear about it. So, Tuesday I switched to the Enki Story "Pear Blossom" which is the Korean version of Cinderella. Honestly, the story rings more true to what our family values anyway. And it does contain archetypal images, which is what made me try out the Grimm's version anyway. That and pressure from a friend - which was not her intent BTW. If she knew I felt pressure, she'd be sad. Anyway, changing a story midstream like that kind of deflated us as well.

Also, I had forgotten that Brother has a choleric temperament. I was recently reminded that choleric students need to have things change to keep their attention. I can't just keep doing the same thing each week or he is going to become bored. So, I am going to be looking to Sixth Sense Math from for additional ideas when I am presenting the number 4 next week. Hopefully some additional fun activities will re-ignite the spark.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wheat berry grass experiment

Here is the final product. The grass in the middle cup was denied water. It actually grew pretty tall at first because the seeds were soaked, but it did eventually dry out. The grass in the cup on the right was denied light. It grew in the pantry. I always felt guilty keeping it in the pantry. I could see it striving towards the light, growing taller, put remaining pale. It's texture is a little different as well. It feels more weak. I felt guilty about the grass denied water as well. It's not even a sentient being, but I felt like I was killing it. I am such a bleeding heart! It's not like it isn't going into the compost in the end anyway. Or the cat's bellies'.
The grass in the plastic container is growing in sand., and the grass in the basket has optimal conditions. Except that the cats did find a way to nibble on it.

Brother is only 6.5, so we didn't document the experiment, the plants were just around floating in and out of consciousness. I gave the healthy plants a haircut for Easter so that I could use real grass in the boy's Easter baskets.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Form Drawing

Three sides has the triangle! Since the number we are learning about this week is 3 - we did a form drawing of a triangle.



Friday, April 2, 2010


This week we explored the qualities of number two. We read the Western European Tale of "Two Brothers" from our Enki Fairy Tales book. There were a lot of twos in the story. The most descriptive of the twos for me was the two pairs of brothers. One pair had opposite qualities, the twins shared the same qualities. Brother picked up on the opposites with the two forests in the story. One was a long, wide forest, the other was an enchanted forest of no return containing a witch.

Here are our number pictures. He chose the twins, the two forests and of course the two guns. In our story the huntsman's have guns.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wet on Wet Watercolor painting

Baby's painting.



We are finally back to painting! I have such a hard time fitting everything in to the week, that this activity tends to slide. Since this is a math block and we are only doing one number a week, I thought I would really make an effort to get back to it. The kids really love it. First Brother painted with Blue and yellow, then I mixed the left over paints together to give baby green. Baby is only 2.75 years old and only needs one color anyway. Kristie Burn's Earthschooling April curriculum for preschoolers included a story with a green frog hopping all over the page. Baby loved the story and it helped him to fill the whole page with paint instead of just a bit of it.

Here is her link

As you can see, we are still having a "fractal" type issue on the sides of the page. Hopefully I get that figured out soon.

Form Drawing



In an effort to use less paper, we were trying to use both sides. As you can see it won't work, at least not for form drawing. The form on the other side shows through. Oh well, it was a good try. But I don't want to distract from the current form with a previous one. And what is the point of doing your very best work in your good book if the picture shows through that way? So no more of that for the kids. Of course I can use both sides on my book as it is just going to be recycled when I am done anyway.

Poisson d'Avril'!

On April 1st 1752, Olaf (Pilor) Toyou became the first born son of a Hungarian fisherman. When Olaf was nearly six months old, on September 12th, 1752, a violent earthquake struck far out in the Mediterranean. Olaf was sleeping in a cradle slung from the branch of a tree, while his mother mended nets nearby. The turbulent sea raced up the beach so swiftly and quietly that the mother noticed nothing until it was too late. She ran to save her son but all she found in the cradle was a small fish. Demented, the mother searched for her husband, shrieking that the baby had gone. While her back was turned, a second tidal wave miraculously returned the baby to the cradle and retrieved the fish. When the husband inspected the cradle and found the boy, wet but unharmed, he berated his wife as a fool. She, however, remained convinced that her child had the power to turn himself into a fish at will. To the derision of everyone on that stretch of coast she insisted on calling him Olaf “Pilor” which means Olaf the Little Pilchard.

From my favorite festival book "All Year Round". I memorized the story and then told it so that it would feel more living to the children. They loved it!

We made fish to celebrate the story.

And used them to play a joke on Daddy. When Daddy came in for dinner we told him that Brother was playing in the livingroom, but all Daddy found was his clothes and a fish head. "What happened to my son" he cried? And then Brother jumped from around the corner saying "April Fools". It was a cute introduction for Brother to the holiday.

Here is a link to another blog where they celebrated the holiday in a more traditional way (at least according to the book). It's very sweet!’Avril.html