Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Edible School

The one thing that I really enjoy about schooling is being able to take different avenues to reinforce information learned. This can be done many ways. One example would be taking a field trip to a historic site that you just recently read about. I love how this brings the lesson on paper to life. Fortunately, we live in an area that is close to so many opportunities to use this particular avenue. Another would be perhaps learning about an artist, looking at their work and then attempting to recreate their work or style. It may not look like the original, but it's often a true masterpiece and the child gains an appreciation that just reading wouldn't have conveyed.

While those all bring a richness to the education process, I'd have to say one of our favorites would be heading to the kitchen to make something edible that somehow ties into the lesson. This often means dessert for everyone. Of course, it is not always a "sweet", but those are certainly the most popular!

Here is the latest...

An edible bird nest complete with grass, twigs and mud.

A little fruit to represent bird eggs....and to make the whole thing healthy!
Yea, right!

Nope, she's not a ham at all!

Enjoying the lesson!

How to make your own bird nests:

Grass - Shred 2 large Shredded Wheat Biscuits into a bowl

Twigs - add 2 cups of chow mein noodles

Mud - Melt over low heat 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup of peanut butter

Mix together. Place the mixture, divided into three piles, on wax paper. (you can make 4 if you need them or make a bunch of mini ones) Form each pile into a nest. Refrigerate until hardened. Add grapes to represent eggs and serve.

FYI: K says one whole nest (we made 4) was too much to eat at one time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why English Will Have to Wait

We've recently returned from a much needed two week vacation. We were out of town from September 16th to October 1st. Our homeschooling began early in August and we worked extra hard to get ahead. I knew the week before we actually left it would be futile to even attempt any traditional lessons. Instead our lessons that week were more on the line of how to plan, pack, clear out the garden, and budget time. Being the 'smart mom', I knew also to allow us the week AFTER vacation to get back into the routine. We had groceries to buy, clothes to wash, things to put away, spaghetti sauce to make, people to visit, etc. It sure made what I call "re-entry into the real world" much easier!

Yesterday was our first day back to our "regular" homeschool lessons. It went well and hardly seemed like we had been away for a month. We have naturally fallen into a pattern of Bible, History, and Science first. Then a break for brunch. (because neither of us really dig eating when we first get up) After the break we get back to Language Arts and Math and whatever else needs to be covered for the day.

Well, that's the "plan" of our schedule.
Not necessarily so...but that's alright with this homeschooling momma!

Because all around us we can find learning opportunities. I happen to believe that there is more to life, learning and schooling than what we find in our textbooks. So, today when K was eating her lunch she heard all sorts of noise and rustling out the front window. She discovered that our dogwoods were full of robins and a few other feathered friends that were snacking on the red berries. Being birds without hands and manners, they were just landing and jerking the berries right off the branches in a frenzy. Then, K remembered that she bought peanuts for the chipmunk and the squirrels. So, she grabbed the bag and made a large pile in the middle of the garden and a small pile on the rock. She sat down and waited. Eventually our little chipmunk stuck his head out of his hole and stared at her. She just sat still making little chirping noises and quietly telling him it was safe. He mustered up his courage and came out to start stockpiling for winter. K has been sitting outside for about 45 minutes just watching him and the birds. Quite the nature show for my animal lover and a front row seat to boot.

She was so excited, she asked me to join her. Which I did, with my camera, of course.

click for the larger image...he really is rather cute!

English will wait a bit longer than "scheduled", but it will get done. K will have a story to share with her dad and her brothers and whoever else will listen. In my mind, it was the better choice.