Outdoor geography ties in with our math lessons in such a lovely way.
Burt Dow Deep Water Man
"Mom, that way is North and over by those reeds is South," was a comment that blessed my heart this past weekend on a lovely autumn day.
Outdoor geography ties in with our math lessons in such a lovely way.
"...firm hand on the tiller he cranked up the make and break on the Tidley Idley..."
Burt Dow Deep Water Man
Pockets were filled with shells and pretty leaves (and sand for good measure.)
And we tried not to disturb the fish while we were at it.
I am reposting this entry from an old blog. We did this fun fall handcraft in our homeschool community a few autumns ago.
We had just been reading words like these in co-op, the perfect introduction to our next handicraft.
October is the treasurer of the year,
And all the months pay bounty to her store:
The fields and orchards still their tribute bear,
And fill her brimming coffers more and more.
But she, with youthful lavishness,
Spends all her wealth in gaudy dress,
And decks herself in garments bold
Of scarlet, purple, red, and gold.
...She lives her life out joyously,
Nor cares when Frost stalks o'er her way
And turns her auburn locks to gray.
Paul Laurence Dunbar
I began by reading the group The Iroqouis Legend of the Corn Husk Doll which is a really neat little story.Then we set to work!
There's a really simple how-to in this book. They're fairly easy to make, and they take very little materials, as well as cost effective (as long as you have a fields of dried corn right out your back door like I do. Though I will warn you, be prepared to get muddy!)
I'll be adding my little gathering lady to our fall nature table at home :)
Have you ever made them?
"We must be able to see those things which are invisible, or how can we lift up our eyes to God? Imagination is, like faith, the evidence of things not seen; indeed, is not faith the supreme effort of imagination wherein she stretches her wings, compels her powers to produce mental pictures, or ideas, of the things eternal?" - C. Mason
...making time to play outside with my little ones
...imaginations filled with characters and heroic, fanciful events from the stories we read
as well as the magic of make-believe
...living with an awareness of and delight in the majestic created world around us
just some thoughts about the important things...
and a book we liked on this subject
Seven years ago when I stood on the soil of Granada, Spain, or more specifically in the halls of the Alhambra castle, I had no idea it was the very place Columbus had long ago asked King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to fund his voyage in which he discovered the New World.
I look forward to Columbus Day in a fresh way after having read some wonderful living books about the life of this impressive hero who earned the title Admiral of the Ocean Sea.
In true tour guide fashion, here we are in The Hall of the Ambassadors (Gran Salón de Embajadores,) the room where it is claimed that Columbus was received by the King and Queen.
A visitor here would have stepped from the glaring Court of Myrtles into this dim, cool, incense-filled world, to meet the silhouetted sultan. Imagine the alcoves functioning busily as work stations, and the light at sunrise or sunset, rich and warm, filling the room.
Note the finely carved Arabic script. Muslims avoided making images of living creatures — that was God's work. But they could carve decorative religious messages. One phrase — "only Allah is victorious" — is repeated 9,000 times throughout the palace. Find the character for "Allah" — it looks like a cursive W with a nose on its left side. The swoopy toboggan blades underneath are a kind of artistic punctuation setting off one phrase.
In 1492, two historic events likely took place in this room. Culminating a 700-year-long battle, the Reconquista was completed here as the last Moorish king, Boabdil, signed the terms of his surrender before eventually leaving for Africa.
And it was here that Columbus made his pitch to Isabel and Ferdinand to finance a sea voyage to the Orient. Imagine the scene: The king, the queen, and the greatest minds from the University of Salamanca gathered here while Columbus produced maps and pie charts to make his case that he could sail west to reach the East. Ferdinand and the professors laughed and called Columbus mad — not because they thought the world was flat (most educated people knew otherwise), but because they thought Columbus had underestimated the size of the globe, and thus the length and cost of the journey.
But Isabel said "Sí, señor." Columbus fell to his knees (promising to pack light, wear a money belt, and use the most current guidebook available). quote here.
In that relational way, those newly learned facts and ideas hung themselves on the pegs of previous experiences in my brain.
My imagination is weaving all sorts of interlocking webs as I learn more from here and there.
All these tidbits are fitting in to create that sweeping panorama of history in my mind.
I remember this stunning castle and the way it filled my senses, the tinkling fountains the smell of orange blossoms and jasmine, the cool halls and intricate carved archways. I bought the book Tales of the Alhambra by Washington Irving in the bookshop at the end of our 5 hour tour. He wrote these little tales of Spanish history during his stay at this beautiful palace when it was no longer the main housing for royalty but used by a lower-ranking military official. Reading it is like taking a little stroll with him through the Spanish countryside.
Not too long ago I picked up a kids' pop-up book with words from Columbus' own journal which my son has enjoyed.
I also found this sweet storybook of Spanish folktales gorgeously illustrated by Emma Brock. Spain, and Columbus... it all weaves together in a fascinating way, doesn't it?
I love learning a new handcraft, especially one that is reminiscent of ages past such as the time when all cloth was made from fibers extracted by hand from animal or plant.
Most people are more familiar with yarn made from wool or animal hair. Less know about the fascinating process of spinning, or in this case, twining, with plant fibers.
This dry brown Swamp Milkweed plant was harvested in a ditch near a lake last October.
The plant has narrow pointed leaves and when blooming, it flowers only at the top of the stalk...
...compared with the commonly known Milkweed plant that has thicker more rounded leaves and flowers all the way up the stem.
As you can see the next close-up, the blossoms look deceivingly similar.
On to our first handcraft of the year! All it takes are 2 smooth stones, a stalk or 3 of dried milkweed, and a careful hand with which to harvest the hair-like fibers that reside just below the thin bark or outer covering of the stalk. Here's the how-to we used, and a video demonstration. Videos 3 & 4 show the process using Dogbane plant.
The cordage is used for making fishing nets, woven food storage bags, clothing, bow strings, etc. We're getting a taste of the process by making simple bracelets.
It was slow work, but I think it's safe to say everyone in the group got into this handcraft!
A few more interesting things:
2 videos on Flax: Extracting and Spinning like in Ox-cart Man
A recommended living book here.
I'd love a link back if you happen to try this out.
Let me know what handcrafts you've been up to lately.
My handcrafting page (my gift to you all) is up and running now!
Check out the tab at the top of this page when you are in need of new crafting ideas.
I plan to keep adding links for current handcrafts so stop back again.
the soulful poetry of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow this term.
Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.
...we were snug inside the house ...
“Children want to start helping in the kitchen at a very young age. So many mothers pass up this opportunity for the sake of time (‘I can do it faster myself’). What shortsightedness!
Take the time to teach your children what they can and want to learn at each age. This will pay great time dividends for you as they gain these skills and can perform them independently.
Don’t be a supermom who does it all; be a smart mom who liberally engages the assistance of well-trained children. They will ‘rise up and call you blessed.’
And you will be!”
-quote from a recent homeschool email I recieved
My oldest likes to work alongside me for a while. I have him wash, sort, help peel, count, measure and even use the jar lifter to put them in the warm water- a special treat.
The 1 yo. likes to stir, once in a while and munch all the while, but is mostly occupied with his own little pots and pans in his play kitchen nearby.
He heads over my way so I can 'taste' his creations.
This particular morning he sweetly serenaded us with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
We took a break to wrap up in blankets and stand on the front porch to listen to the rain and thunder storm outside.
The little one's mouth was 'O'-shaped much of the time out there.
Here's our tasty tomato recipe:
Roasted Tomato Sauce
25 roma tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic, halved
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
Cover a baking sheet with the tomatoes cut side down. Tuck in garlic and onions. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with s&p. Roast in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes until skins turn brown and soft.
Transfer to blender and puree. Pour through a sieve to remove seeds/skins.
Place in small jars adding 1 tsp lemon juice to each jar before putting on the lids.
Process in hot water bath for 35 minutes.
We add spices and use ours as pizza sauce sometimes.
"I am recording this so that future generations will also praise the Lord for all He has done." -Psalm 102:18
I am a mama to 2 sweet brothers who aspires to a "thinking love" toward my children.
Take a peek into our journey towards a living education inspired by the writings of Charlotte Mason.
Be sure to leave me a comment if you're inspired!
I prefer to keep my text and images right here. Please don't copy without permission. Thanks!
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"In this field small efforts are honoured with great rewards, and we perceive that the education we are giving exceeds all that we intended or imagined.”
“It may be that the souls of all children are waiting for the call of knowledge to awaken them to delightful living.”