Yarn-y Goodness

Color Basket

This week I made a trip to the craft store to look for some art supplies.  Of course I can’t ever resist peeking at the yarns, even though I normally prefer to buy from our LYS.  I’m glad I did look because I found this beautiful trio of bulky 100% wool yarns in soft pastels.  The colors in the picture really don’t do them justice!  One is a solid pale blue, another a mix of the same blue with sage green and beige, and then the last one– my favorite– looks like autumn wrapped up in a ball!  I can’t wait to get working with that.  I’d intended all of them for the kids’ knitting basket BUT…  it might just find it’s way to mine instead.  😉

Weekly Report 9.20.10

We started the week with a lesson in how to make chili.  Both kids LOVE to cook, so I’m trying to spend more time on this this year.

Chili-making Lesson

Peep #1 worked on a wall relief project for his studies of Ancient Egypt.  Here is a picture of the work in progress:

Carving a Wall Relief

And the finished product…. the colors were a little bleed-y, but he was happy with the result.

The Finish!

In addition, we worked on a cool project from Great Scott that involved the Eye of Horus and fractions.  We’ll still playing around with that.

Peep #2 is reading Fossil Detective and wanted to make a “fossil” in addition to doing a page for her main lesson book on prehistoric times.  She wanted it bright blue, so there you have it:

Bright Blue Fossil

In Grammar and Writing, in addition to continuing our Unjournaling exercises, they did pages for Alliteration and Onomatopoeia…

Grammar and Writing Main Lesson Book Work

Thursday was Mabon (the autumn equinox), so we did lots of activities related to the holiday.  First we read a story about Mabon, son of Modron, from Circle Round.  Then we came up with ideas for a chalkboard drawing:

Mabon Chalkboard Drawing

I have a HUGE aloe plant that had a couple of suckers.  I rooted them a few weeks ago to give to the Peeps for a Mabon gift.  It’s nice to have something green in your room through the gray winter months; and aloe is so good for boo boo’s. 😉

Mabon Gift: Little Aloes

We then worked on some magnetic poetry with a Mabon-inspired theme… (afterward they copied them into their poetry books).

Magnetic Poetry

Peep #2's Poem

Inspired by Nature’s Nest’s Leaf Gnome Garland, we are working on a leaf garland of our own:

Leaf Rubbings with Block Crayons

We haven’t put them together yet, so I’ll post a picture of the finished product next week.

So, there are a few snippets from our week.  Happy Autumn, Everyone!

The Week in Pictures -September 13, 2010

Mostly in pictures because I don’t have time today for much else!

Peep #1 started the week with a woodworking project:  making a multiplication board with his Dad.  This is the first woodworking he’s ever done!  Not the prettiest thing in the world, but I was so proud of him.  He will actually have to make a new one because the bark around this one is peeling really bad and gets everywhere, but we will keep this one for outside play!

Multiplication Board

A small selection of their work this week.  We are experimenting with binders this year, as well as lined paper for lesson books.   So far, the binder gets a thumbs up.  It’s especially good for Peep #1 because he’s writing reports (he did one on Ramses II this week) and he can print and file them neatly in the binder.  The lined notebooks, however, thumbs down.  I don’t like how the lines show through her illustrations… so, for the next lesson block we will be using plain white notebooks.

From Peep #1’s Ancient Egypt lesson book:

Stained Glass Pharoah

Sketch of his plan for a plaster of paris wall relief

Map of Ancient Egypt

Some of the work Peep #2 did this week:


Grammar Lesson Book- Figurative Language

Grammar Lesson Book- Literal Language

Grammar Lesson Book- Personification

Grammar Lesson Book- poetry selection

And from her Prehistoric Lesson Book:


A Trilobite

A cut-and-paste map of pangea

Prehistoric Time Line

How plants moved from water to land.

And a fun project Peep #2 and I did for Math this week, using a little fabric paint, a plain white t-shirt, and an apple!

Fibonacci Fruit Tee

On Friday, we did some more water color painting, form drawing, and tried finger knitting for the first time.  Peep #1 decided to use his as a headband; Peep #2 made a necklace:

Finger knitted headband and necklace.

And yes, Peep #2 is EXTREMELY annoyed with her dear brother in this photo. LOL

That’s the week in a nutshell.  I’ll try to post a more detailed review next time!

Alpaca and Soap and Felting Oh My!

On Sunday Peep #2 spent some time at her friend’s alpaca farm and store.  Below are a few pictures.  Enjoy!

Peep #2 and India the Alpaca

"Smile" for the judge!

Training is done for the day.

Then, after a quick hot chocolate break, the kids went back into the store to work on some felting projects:

Making felted soap.

The finished products!

Needle felting.

This was Peep #1’s first attempt at needle felting.  I’m happy to report there were no stabbed digits!!  But neither was anything finished– this was just a practice run.  We’ll be working on more at home…

First Week

Well, we are off to a good start!  None of us were sure exactly how this “new” system would work but there was consensus over bowls of homemade chicken soup last night that it was a success.  Of course, this could be the honeymoon phase; it’s really too soon to tell.  But I’m encouraged.  So, what did we do?

Math: Every morning the Peeps worked independently on their math lessons for an hour.  Peep #1 completed Saxon lessons 1-3; Peep #2 completed lesson one from Oak Meadow Math 5 on the first day! (It was supposed to take the week).  I’ve checked out the first few lessons and they do seem to be pretty light.  I’m hoping they ramp it up a bit or we may be switching back to Saxon.  Anywhoo, for the rest of the week we worked on activities from her Real World Math book, which she loved!  She created a secret code, learned about and experimented with Mayan math, and reviewed Roman numerals.

Language Arts/Writing:  We warmed up every day by doing some Mad Libs and reading/discussing poetry selections.  This week we also discussed the difference between literal and figurative writing, metaphors, similes, and imagery.  The Peeps did a couple of exercises from Unjournaling.  Surprisingly, they did very well with this.  We have not done much creative writing AT ALL.  I gave them the direction (“Write a paragraph about a girl named Dot, but don’t use any letters that have dots,”) and went to hang the laundry.  I expected to hear, “Well what do you mean exactly?  What about capitol “I”?  How long does it have to be?”  etc., etc., but no, when I came back, they both had completely aced it!  Some other things they enjoyed writing about this week:  the gunky stuff in the sink drainer and a description of three things they find “silly.”  They really had fun with those!  Also, Peep #1 started reading Word Circus.  We all had a good laugh over this one:  The only difference between a “champ” and “chump” is u.

Geography:  Once a week we’re doing geography.  This week we did a unit on Canada from The Ultimate Geography and Timeline Guide, which included learning the ten Canadian provinces, about natural resources and industry, climate, and mapwork.  In addition to the map we illustrated a Canadian flag for our lesson books.

Science:  on Thursday the Peeps spent the afternoon at our nature center for their monthly homeschool class on ecosystems.  As usual, this was a big hit!  We also did our regular nature walks/observations.  Peep #2 learned about volcanos as part of her study of “The Beginning of Time.”

History:  Peep #1 started his Ancient Egypt study by breaking the topic down into areas of study, which will be:  science, art, pyramids, gods and goddesses, and daily life.  He wants to focus on Pyramids first, so we spent some time at the library getting out a couple of books on the subject.  I also okay-ed him including The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan into his study of Egyptian gods and goddesses.  Honestly, all the time we spent putting into learning about the Greek gods and goddesses, it was Percy Jackson that solidified it for both Peeps.  Whatcha gonna do?? 😉  He also illustrated an Egyptian mask for his lesson book, and constructed a pyramid from Legos.  In an effort to help him self-moderate deadlines, I assigned him the SOTW Activity on building a model of the Nile River, due next Friday.  He entered it in his student agenda, and will get no further reminders from me.  I’m available to help him with materials or whatnot, but HE has to take charge of making sure it gets done!

Peep #2 started her study of “The Beginning of Time.”  She read about the Earth’s formation in a couple of different science encyclopedias we have, and then summarized the content in her own words.  She also added several illustrations, including a diagram of a volcano.  We also did a chalkboard drawing of the same.

Art/Music:  Ah, Friday!  The day I’d been waiting for all week.  A chance to really get our Waldorf feet wet, and BOY did we ever!  After morning chores and a tennis lesson, we came home and had lunch.  Afterward, we did some basic watercolor painting using only the primary colors.  After playing around with that for a while, I introduced them to the beeswax block crayons I purchased last week.  Focusing on basic techniques from Coloring With Block Crayons by Sieglinde De Francesca– clouds, bars, and ribbons, I let them play with the strokes and mess around with blending a bit.  We listened to their choice of classical music (Peep #1-Bach, Peep#2-Mozart) while we worked, and danced for a bit in between. 🙂  I was the most surprised at how much Peep #1 loved the block crayons.  He lacks both desire and, I hate to say, skill when it comes to art (honestly, he probably would have more skill if he practiced!)  But he had a blast with the block crayons, and even asked if he could continue after we were done.  Of course I said, as matter-of-factly as possible, “Sure,” while doing a mental mambo inside.  After a break of outside free time, we resumed with clay and knitting.  Peep #2 is working on knitting a set of wash cloths for my brother’s new baby due in February.  I did a bit of finger knitting with Peep #1, but it’s so not his thing.  I looked through some books I have on simple woodworking projects and helped him decide on something to do with that instead (he chose stilts).  This was definitely the best part of all our week.  I look forward to more Fridays!

Currently Reading:

Peep #1:  The Red Pyramid, Inside an Egyptian Pyramid, Egyptian Gods and Goddesses, Word Circus

Peep #2: The Alchemist, The Sky’s the Limit-Stories of Discovery by Women and Girls, Cherry the Cake Fairy