Summer has (finally) ended and we are slowly moving into shorter, colder, darker days. Sure, we still sometimes have days where we barely need a jacket, but all the signs are there. The leaves are falling, frost is on the windows in the morning, and the heat is on. During this transition, we have a cluster of family-centered holidays– Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day. Other traditions and cultures have similar holidays– Samhain, Day of the Dead. These are the three we choose to celebrate because they are part of our own cultural heritage. Read more...
Yesterday, I had a whole lovely blog post about owls… and my WordPress ate it. It was all rather frustrating, as it took almost three times as long as the amount of time I had carved out for it, and so I decided to walk away for a little and try again today. As I tell my children, it is ok to walk away from something if it is frustrating you. That gives you space to decide what to do next. And so… here we are. Owls. Take two.
Calendar of the Soul
[September 16, 2017 – September 22, 2017]
There dims in damp autumnal air
The senses’ luring magic;
The light’s revealing radiance
Is dulled by hazy veils of mist.
In distances around me I can see
The autumn’s winter sleep;
The summer’s life has yielded
Itself into my keeping.
I looked out the hallway window this morning and was saw a shock of red among the green. Halfway through September, and the leaves are changing their color. The air smells different. It’s still hot, but it’s a different kind of hot than the heat of summertime. There’s an air of transition about. Read more...
Whoops! Forgot all about the autumn creatures last week, so here we go!
Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper
We just bought this one at Barnes and Noble, and the twins love the adventures of Duck, Cat, and Squirrel. They were disappointed it didn’t include a recipe for pumpkin soup! Do you have one?
You can hear the store read here in a lovely accent.
Yonie Wondernose by Marguerite de Angeli
This is a Caldecott Honor Book and the twins are fascinated by the “medal” on the cover. I always like to point it out to them, telling them that the illustrations in this book are sooooo wonderful that it won an award. That always gets their attention! Read more...
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. Read more...
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. Read more...
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.
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. Read more...
I have two Michaelmas posts to get up yet. Christine Natale very graciously granted me permission to share her Michaelmas story about the falling stars that the twins and I have loved so much, and I also have our Michaelmas star bread recipe and story to share. It wasn’t a picture perfect typical Michaelmas, but in an effort to fight my continued battle against perfectionism, I’m sharing it with you anyway, warts and all.
I’ve decided I need a little structure as I get back into blogging, and have come up with some themes to take me up through Advent. I’m not going to reveal them all at once, but this week our theme is… Read more...