Monday, August 30, 2010

Homemade Playdough

We hosted last week's homeschool playgroup and I made fresh, homemade cinnamon playdough, which happily occupied the kids for a very long time!

Play Dough Recipe:

1 cup white flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoon cream of tartar (find it in the spice section)
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup water

Mix first 5 ingredients in a pan. Add water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 – 5 minutes. Dough will become clumpy. Remove from stove and knead until desired playdough texture is achieved.

A Day in the Life


When I really take a moment to reflect on all the great learning experiences that the kids are exposed to on any given day, it really is remarkable. For example, this morning we went to our homeschool playgroup and M and the other kids spent part of the time sitting together in a circle under the slide spontaneously telling stories! So cute. Then, during J's nap, M had some quiet play time where she chit-chatted with her dolls, created imaginative little stories, and played with her word puzzles. After quiet time, we looked up Spanish words that she wanted to know in the Spanish dictionary. Then, I decided for "math" time to print out and number 100 little bus cards. M loves reading the numbers on the city buses when they pass us by, so I thought she'd love this activity. After nap, we headed to the library to borrow some books on spiders because we discovered a spectacular spider living on our deck and she wanted to learn more about them. Daddy was working from home for much of the day, so he was able to spend extra reading time with M at the library while J and I went to the market and I started making dinner. After dinner, we played in our backyard, then had bath and bed! What a wonderful day of learning and exploration.... as usual!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Rainy Day


Today was the first really wash-out day we've had in awhile and it was kind of nice. We spent the morning at the museum, which was empty when we arrived at 9 and jammed when we left at 11. We saw an amazing beehive, watched little chicks try to hatch from their eggs, examined what A looks like in utero, swung on some swings, dug in an archaeological site, performed an experiment, and participated in various other fun adventures along the way. Then M had "quiet play" time while J napped and mommy gained her second wind. M and I read books and then baked homemade oatmeal cookies! Yum. Then it was off to Spanish music class, which as much as M loves Spanish right now, I'm thinking has never seemed to be a good fit for us and I think we might avoid it this fall. We have enough going on!

Homeschool Support Groups

I initiated the start of a small, weekly homeschool group with four of the moms I met through our larger local homeschool group. We switch homes each week and the kids get to play and build relationships with others around their age.

And we moms have started meeting for 2-hour coffee chats on weekends every couple of weeks and that has been heavenly. So wonderful to be with like-minded women chit-chatting about curriculum ideas and homeschooling rewards and challenges....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Biking at the Arboretum


The kids and I had so much fun at our local arboretum yesterday morning. We decided to head over there so M could ride her bike freely. It was a perfect day for a walk amidst the flowers and the trees and we had a nice picnic in the meadow.

It got me to thinking yet again how incredible homeschooling is. While many kids spend the schoolday inside, my kids are exploring outdoors, naturally learning about the world around them, and fostering their innate curiosity. I was imagining how it will be a few years from now when we go to the arboretum and M is busy researching various trees and habitats, while J is recording which trees he sees in a nature journal, and A is collecting leaves for her discovery jar. Homeschooling provides such an amazing resource for differentiated, child-led learning -- even in the same location-- that it will be so fun to see the kids develop and discover right before my very eyes!