Thursday, June 30, 2011

End of Year

This evening we are celebrating the end of our school year with some other wonderful homeschooling families. The children have all been invited to bring along some of their school work to share: a special project, a collection, a talent, an assortment - whatever the child would like to share. Holly has thought on this for a couple of weeks and just recently decided she wanted to share some of her art work from the year... an Art Exhibit she called it.

Last night we got out an old display board and she sorted through her entire collection of art we kept, unfortunately some pieces did not make it to our storage (several 3-D styles). After much debate... and it took some time, she narrowed it down to about half of her collection. She laid it out many times over until she found the right display and then we attached it. She added some various small art pieces throughout and chose others for the table portion of her display. When all was said and done -she was SO PROUD of her display!

I am looking forward to this evening for her, where she will get to celebrate the end of Kindergarten with homeschooling friends and share a bit on her life as a homeschooler! She is excited! I'll share some photos tomorrow from our evening... in the mean time here is Holly working hard on her display. I didn't think to take any photos in the beginning part of her creating this mini-exhibit... so bummed! But, here is the final stages.

Monday, June 27, 2011


We are still finishing up some lessons on butterflies and moths. Our caterpillars have created their chrysalis homes and are in the midst of changing to a beautiful butterfly. In the mean time we have been enjoying some fantastic books and collecting wild butterfly & moths to inspect and release. Another fun tool we have used in our journey was a great video from DK Eyewitness DVD called Butterfly & Moth ~ this was beautifully done and a wonderful compliment to our studies. I love Netflix!!!

Now, we wait for these little critters to become beauties!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Living Lesson

We have been planning to adopt a new kitten into our family, we are a cat family. However we also have a goal to enroll Holly into the 4-H program that focuses on cats when she is seven years old in preparation for learning about caring for and showing her cat when she turns eight years old. Training a cat to be comfortable with crating, traveling and people as well as mature enough to handle it is our goal before we enroll her in 4-H. We are a family who plans - so.....

Meet Lilly!

Lilly is the newest addition to our family and part of Holly's newest learning lesson - a living lesson if you will. Holly is beginning to learn about care for this personal cat. While she has always assisted in the care of our two oldest cats she is taking responsibility for this one - feeding, watering, litter box, play, proper care, etc. We have some great books on cats that we are reading through as a good reminder on behaviours of a kitten.

Today we take Lilly to the veterinarian for her first post-adoption check up. This will be a lesson for Holly as well - she has been but was too young to remember. Now she will get a chance to learn what happens at a vet check and those following.

We are excited for this new journey in our lives. Lilly is a very sweet little girl who is playful, snuggly, easy going and so far a wonderful fit for our family.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wild Grasses

As we have been out in our yard enjoying outdoor play, exploration and gardening Holly has really noticed the different styles of wild grass. We are fortunate that we have a large yard with several open growth areas that really allow for nature to do its own thing... meaning we have a lot of wild grass on our property.

We collected several varieties this morning, some were wild and some were from plants we planted. We brought them inside and placed them all down onto a solid color sheet of paper to inspect them with a magnifying glass. Then we tried to find information online on identifying grass seed... that is hard! We did learn the various styles of seeds are classified into three types. The head of the seed stem is called a spikelet, the narrow kind are called a spike, the fluffy kinds are called a panicle and the tight narrow kind are called a raceme.

It was nice to compare them, draw them in our nature journal and inspecting them up close... identifying them proved pretty hard though, we will work on this some more!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sea Star Art Project

Today Holly did a fantastic job on a sea star art project. Such a simple project, but really enforces taking a closer look at a favorite sea creature with a fine eye. Today we picked out some favorite pictures of sea stars and also inspected a dried sea star that we own. In our discoveries texture was the key element -- sea stars have beautiful textures.

After much observation, we discussed how the appearance of texture on a sea star might be recreated in art. The final product was a hand cut sea star covered in orange and white paint... with fine detail work that included a pencil and toothpick. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun and the results were fantastic!

Take a cut out of a sea star and colored paint of choice - in this project we used brown paper, orange paint and white paint. With the end of a pencil, the eraser end, you will dip it in the colored paint and make several, several... did I mention several paint dots all over the sea star. The paint being a tad gloppy is good as it will create even more visual texture. Then you will dip a tooth pick into white paint and create even more white dots all over the sea star. The layers of these two paints will give a textured look similar to a sea star.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Theme

I have done some thinking on how we are going to handle our summer season with schooling. I lean towards year round learning... not schooling, but learning. This can prove difficult with being busy enjoying summer! So, I have talked with Holly and we chose a theme for our summer months, one that we can center some learning around and yet enjoy over the summer months.

Our summer theme is Ocean & Sea Life. With this theme we will enjoy many books, movies, art projects, writing, science experiments, math and outings to local beaches! We are excited to take this approach to our summer and still keep learning as a main focus. I think it will be a great summer!!

Yesterday we met up with our homeschooling friends for a kick-off day to our summer theme with a beach exploration at low tide. We met up at Titlow Beach in Tacoma. This is a fantastic local beach for exploring. Holly had a great time discovering various sea creatures throughout the changing tide, rocks, pilings and tide pools. We brought along some various containers for capturing critters for closer inspection, a magnifying glass and a great chart for determining various creatures on the beach. It was a fantastic day!