In case you haven’t noticed, we’re a bit of an arts family. We’re also a family that holds social justice and activism in high regard.
We’re looking at Jackson Pollock’s Autumn Rhythm painting this week. It’s the first time we’ve spent focused time at abstract art, and the twins were intrigued. We had a focused exploration of the piece, trying to find beginning and ends of lines, looking for where they crossed and tangled and became something new. Tracing the lines led to some discussion of mazes, a rabbit trail I would like to follow. There are lots of free printable mazes online, but I don’t think that’s the direction I’d like to do. Maybe we’ll use blocks to build mazes– it’s a shame we don’t still have a hamster in the family! Our Hexbug phase has come and gone, but maybe we can build a maze for hexbugs. Or I could always get out the marble run. Although I’m not looking for worksheet activities, I might make an exception for these number mazes— Matthew especially loves dot markers.
I started noticing how climate change was affecting our area a few years ago. Some trees started losing their leaves and they began falling in August, and others held on to their leaves forever. And it’s several weeks into October and I’m only just now taking the air conditioners out of the windows, but I’ve had to turn the heat on as well. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of in-between, open the windows, jacket weather anymore. I planned on this being leaf week, but it’s hard to find pretty colored leaves, at least near our house. They’re either dead already or still green. Luckily there are some days off school this week, so we may have to go leaf hunting.
Etsy no longer allows users to create treasuries. Boo! Until someone creates a new way to do this, I’ll be experimenting with my own ideas. I really do love the idea of supporting small, at-home businesses though. Here ae some things that caught my eye this week.
I love this set of little wooden apples treated with beeswax, along with a scoop and bucket. These crochet apples are bright and colorful and squishy for little hands. There are several apple tree lacing toys on Etsy but I liked the 3-D aspect of this one. If you’re looking for a more traditional lacing/threading toy, you can find one here. And the details in this color shade matching game are amazing.
Last week’s internet outage means I’m playing catch up with posting the rest of last week’s apple posts today.
Apple week has been the perfect opportunity to keep apples out for a healthy snack– I meant for us to make crock pot applesauce as well, but sadly, that will have to be non-thematic and wait for another week– and also introduce the children to using the apple slicer. Daniel is in a public magnet Montessori school this year, and I am hoping that eventually the twins will be as well. I’ve always had a deep admiration for Maria Montessori and her work, and will be introducing the twins to some of her lessons when appropriate. This one was easy as pie.
As part of our afterschooling with apples, we’ve been looking at the still life paintings of Paul Cezanne. Specifically, we looked at his Still Life with Apples and Still Life with Bottle and Apple Basket.
We have a little art appreciation area set up, although we may have to change it if we end up getting a hamster.
Note: This recipe was an absolute bust. It was just too much flour and for whatever reason, the dough wouldn’t come together no matter what we did. Maybe I am not a good measurement converter. Who knows? I thought about deleting the post altogether, but it still really is a lovely story, so I’m going to post this anyway in the hopes that the story at least will be helpful. Perhaps you can use your own (edible) raisin bread recipe!
When you have six children, finding one on one time can be tricky. Some weeks it seems like the best we can do are car rides when taking the children from one activity to another. This is one reason why I have tried to be very intentional about planning “dates” with my children each month.
I used to be very fastidious about going from oldest to youngest. Sometimes it’s a big date– a trip to a movie, a fancy dinner– and other times, it’s much less planned– running errands together or going for a walk in the park or grabbing at fifty cent ice cream cone at McDonalds.
We’ve been starting off our book times with a little apple rhyme. Fingerplays are brilliant because they engage everyone from itty bitty babies who love to watch your hands move and listen to the rhyme and cadence of your voice, to toddlers who can begin to imitate and thus engage in the drama of the moment, to preschoolers and kindergarteners, who have a hang of the rhyme and rhythm of the whole thing and enjoy presenting it in its entirety as experts.
So many, many thanks to Christine for allowing me to share her lovely story, The Shooting Stars, with my blog readers. The twins and I loved this story. You can purchase the story here. Christine is also currently working with Natalya Yeshchenko on absolutely gorgeous watercolor illustrations, two of which I’ve included in this post.
Once upon a time, at the very end of summer, three little stars looked down upon the earth and they became very distressed, for a change was taking place below them.