Saturday, March 24, 2018

Neighborhood Planting Project

My children and I have been so busy today... since even a Saturday is a school day when you're homeschooling!

We start Saturday mornings at 9 am with Zac's developmental therapy (and a big thank you to Ms. Leslie for the donation of even more art supplies to our school stash, plus several National Geographics AND a beautiful cow bell for the musical instrument bin). Then we went to a music program at the public library at 10 am. From there, Natalie and I went out to buy supplies for tomorrow's Easter craft projects.

And then we went to get our FREE native trees! Our family participated in the Neighborhood Planting Project organized by Libre Unschool. We got three hawthornes, three hazelnuts, and two chokecherries. We also got mushroom compost, mulch, and a bunch of vegetable seeds from the Seed Swap.

At 1 pm I dropped Natalie off for the local March for Our Lives and Leah, Becca, Zac, and I got to building wire cages and planting our new trees.

After tree planting I had a meeting with a homeschool consulting client and then, poof! 6 pm. Natalie was off to the church to babysit for an event; we sat down to Breakfast for Dinner with Leah's excellent homemade waffles.

The Neighborhood Planting Project is such a good thing to support and I'm so excited to be part of it. We also have a beekeeping friend who will be setting up a bee swarm trap in our yard this week. I think that will be really interesting to watch. If we do successfully capture a bee swarm it will go down to the farm to their hive boxes.

In other assorted news, I recently purchased a bunch of new curriculum materials. The children were so excited on Thursday when the BIG boxes started to arrive! From Nienhuis Montessori, I got

And from ETC Montessori I got Leah the fabulous Multi-Base Bead Frame. She loves it!

Needless to say, the children in the homeschool group have been putting lots of math in their plan. Boxes from Amazon have also been arriving with new math games (Clumsy Thief, Check the Fridge!, and a beautiful large Mancala set) as well as a more challenging memory game (I Never Forget a Face).

I've also had to replenish my Wool Yarn in Animal Colors selection, since I have a lot of brand-new knitters in my group! The first few chickens are complete and it's on to harder animal patterns. I need to have on hand at all times the appropriate colors for chickens plus lambs, lions, pigs, elephants, and horses. I like Paton's wool roving yarn for beginning knitters. I also want to say thank you to the Dayemi Family Center for donating a large bin of ribbon and fabric pieces. Leah has been very happily creating outfits for her sweet little knitted doll.

My students have been reading up a storm as well. Jason and the Bees and Ants are Fun are great science books for younger readers. The Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series by Betty MacDonald and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lindgren are also fantastic. Here are some more titles which students have been enjoying these past few weeks:

Then there's Leah, who is splitting her time between Pride and Prejudice and the Lunar Chronicles. In addition to -- I'm sure -- many other books which she hasn't bothered to tell me about because she reads them so quickly.

New interests are also popping up. Leah is creating brown paper patterns for, and sewing, an entire wardrobe of doll clothing; another teenage student has decided to start taking French online with Duolingo; a younger girl is interested in electricity and has started to explore our collection of Snap Circuits kits. I love watching students change and grow throughout the year!

We've had some warm weather lately, and last week the Yoga class took a meditative walk outside. Of course, we've also had snow showers. On the whole, Spring seems to be here. The daffodils all over my property are blooming joyfully and tomorrow we are decorating Easter eggs in Handwork Hangout time. Here are my project plans:

Shaving Cream Easter Eggs

Galaxy Easter Eggs

Water Marble Easter Eggs

We are also making paper Easter cards in the shape of eggs. This evening Becca has been tearing up used white printer paper from the recycling bin, along with some colored construction paper to create pastel colors of pulp (blue, green, yellow, pink, purple). It will soak overnight. Then, tomorrow, into the blender! I got a wide variety of sizes of Easter egg cookie cutters to be the molds, and I love the idea of making zigzags or stripes or polka dots of different colored pastel pulp. It's so easy! Last year we made very sweet little homemade paper valentines using a heart cookie cutter as the mold.

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

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