Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Lab is open....

Even though the calendar says June, our weather much of last week was more like November.  We still played outside some, but we also had to spend some time indoors.  There goes the projects we had planned for outside.  Rain didn't keep us down though, we still had some fun, catching raindrops when we could.

Some things we adapted to our weather:
  • In Sarah's corner of the yard a new hole was dug and crayon sail boats were set to float in a child made pond.  Totally adorable.  We learned that if you coat paper with wax it keeps the water at bay.  This is how they use to make boats, well not wax --our method was wax. 
In ancient time boat builders started coating their vessels with oil. They understood how the waterproofing properties of oil and tar worked. They did this when boats were made of reed and wood. A substance called bitumen kept the boats from leaking. Bitumen was a black, oily substance.  More info here.The new found method quickly spread to others all around the world. The practice of caulking or coating boats with bitumen continued unchanged for more than a thousand years. It only ended when boat makers began to use metal and fiberglass in modern times.
  • Then we did "Stained Glass" pastels.... well I did, Sarah said she created a coloring machine. She is a coloring machine, and a cutting machine..... *grin* she loves cutting paper, etc.
  • We baked bread, brownies, muffins, and made corn bread together in our cast iron dutch oven. 
  • Saturday Hubs and Bear spent a long time in the back yard looking at things in the microscope.  Moving things.  Moving things from standing water..... 
  • We even did a couple work sheets this week. 
  • Of course we had our tea party picnic on Friday. 
  • We dug out some old CD's from when Sarah was a baby, even before she was born and one was "Meet the Orchestra" and Mozart.  Sarah really enjoys classical music, Mozart in particular and I can't help but think its because while she was in utero and for the first two years of her life she heard it every day.  Has anyone else, who played classical a lot for their child while very young, noticed this? 
  • We finished our display together for the homeschool groups end of the year celebration.  I was thinking we didn't do a lot, but looking back over the last 9 or months, we have been busy! That's only a small portion of it too.  There is a lot more we didn't print out for want of time, space and cost.  Amazing.  I am willing to bet most homeschool families do much more than they really think they do when it comes right down to it.  The whole world is a laboratory and it's open for our kids to explore. 
Even if your kiddos go to a brick and mortar school you can do things that enhance their learning opportunities.  Get involved, not just at the school, but more importantly, at home and in their lives.  Know who their friends are and who their friends parents are.  It's not butting in, don't confuse being an involved parent with being a controlling parent.  Show an interest in your child's likes and dislikes and the hobbies they have decided to do.  It doesn't mean you take up the hobby, but show an interest and encourage the good so when the bad comes along they know they can go to you with worries and fears.  I am really trying to be the kind of parent that allows my child space (in age appropriate times and manners) but still be active and someone she can come to.  I think as a homeschool parent we can sometimes fall into the "do everything" with the child pattern.  I have seen families where the children were not given room to be individuals, and I have seen families where the children were allowed to go and pursue their own paths and develop hobbies, separate from the family unit.

We welcome and embrace the summer exploration and the classroom it provides!

The finished drawing of the "Color Machine"

She made up the list of stuff (along with a few reminders--
the best thing she said she did this year was 'tea parties')

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