Monday, April 24, 2017

Mud Muffins: Clay & Story-telling

Mud Muffins is one of the best Spring stories we have, from the lovely Tell Me a Story book.
There are many seasonal stories we repeat every year, but this year we added some clay play while we retold the tale.

Everyone loved the squishy feel of clay and water, plus the sounds it made!

Earth Day Mud Faces

The first time I saw the idea for Mud/Clay Faces, were photos from the amazing Just So Festival in England.
We incorporated it into park birthday games.
This week, Daddy dug up clay from the farm and we brought in into the city for Earth Day celebrations.

Daily Doodle: Framed Watercolour

Little Brother

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Vegan Bites: Dirt Bowl Breakfast

Don't be fooled.
This Dirt Bowl is delicious!

It's like vegan hippie meets tropical yoga retreat. Yum!
Creamy chocolate, crunchy granola, toasted coconut goodness.

Best chocolate pudding recipe + favourite granola + fresh fruit/berries + toasted coconut

Two 'til One


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mud Recipes

Dirt is our Earth Day theme this year and it is warmly welcomed after winter!

Swallow's Nest-Building

Barn swallows are part of our summer Sunday's.
We have a collection of their abandoned nests and so studied them to see if we could replicate their work.

Once the nests were created, Ms.O marked area's of the concrete for drying.
No humans allowed.

We followed up with this sweet Caldecott winner.

Dirt on my Shirt: Rhythm Sticks

"There's dirt on my shirt,
Leaves in my hair,
Mud in my boots

Monkey Popsicles

"Any day that begins with a popsicle,
is a good day!"

Popsicles are a staple in our home.
They're full of yummy goodness, so it really doesn't make any difference if they eat their dessert first.
Or first and last and in between!

Monkey Popsicles
~2 avocado
~2-4T maple syrup
~1 1/2c rice milk
~4T carob
~3T tahini
Chop banana's into popsicle molds.
Whiz the remaining ingredients and pour.

Magic Muddy Mousse

We cheated a bit for Math Monday with mousse.
It turned out to be more of a lesson in science, language and magic, but the end result was what we were really waiting for.

It's a real thing apparently.
We boil our own dried chickpea's and I saved the aquafaba for the next morning. It was already gel-like.

After a few minutes in the food processor, the viscous liquid made a beautiful 'marshmellow' fluff. 
It absolutely does not taste like marshmellow (it tastes like chickpea liquid!)
The wee wanted a taste test.

We then had to add a few tablespoons of maple syrup and kept whizzing.
At that point, any of us would have finished it off.

Instead, we placed our vegan Easter chocolate in a double boiler and made Chocolate Mousse!

Teeny Tiny Teacup


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sci Fri: Plant-dyed & Stenciled Eggs


If you're one who marvels at colours under the sun, pick up a purple cabbage on your next veggie run.
This natural dye was extraordinary.

First, I prepped the dye.
I even saved the boiled cabbage for Fennel Sauerkraut
Then, we went outside to look for delicate bits of nature: leaf skeleton, cedar fronds, boxwood bits...
We used nylons to make an egg bag and arranged our Nature Print inside.

Next we took a look at the Purple dye and made some predictions.

"What colour will the eggs turn?"
"What will happen if we leave some eggs in the dye longer than others?"

Remarkably, the eggs turned a brilliant blue!

All of Diaana Astons books are on our Wish List. 
Densely packed with outstanding illustrations of nature and brimming with bite-sized facts.
'An Egg is Quiet' has an inside cover of egg varieties and a back cover of corresponding birds, insects and reptiles.

Blue with Golden Deets. These are sweet and a great expansion art project.



Oooh I love kids art.
Not just my kids, all kids.
It's raw and uninhibited and honest...much like kids themselves.
If only we always retained the ability to be so wholly original.

Ms.C has been aching to sew.
Anything at all.
Her sister has been working for hours at the machine and she can't help but walk by and touch it, turn knobs, lift peddles, get her hands in there despite opposition.

Last week she sketched the sweetest doodle of A Cat.
I suggested we turn it into a puppet.
There are plenty of cute idea's for expanding kids art (pillows. shirts, dolls, wooden blocks). 

She was more than interested.
We traced and lengthened the original work, cut beige felt and cotton lining and she hammered away at the machine while I tried to keep my fingers from becoming attached to her piece.
Then she re-drew eyes and lashes before choosing pink embroidery thread to stitch features.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Dress

Ms. O is always seeking to sew something.
We don't have the ideal set-up, but a make-shift shuffle of table and chair is enough.
She traced a long sleeved shirt and added a free hand skirt, after refusing to follow a pattern.

First, she decided to hand sew, so she could "feel how they made dresses in the olden days."
Afterwards, she went over her work with the machine.
I only got in two words. Three to be exact.
Make it bigger.

Once it was complete, she noticed it was tricky to get into it without help from zipper or buttons, but she worked away for hours, from start to finish and loved the process.

What do I Need to Homeschool?


Our homeschool journey is much like when we were preparing to become parents.
We ran around collecting the things we believed we would need, only to discover that the only things necessary were not on the market.

The same holds true for homeschooling.
The keys for learning are within.
The days that run most smoothly are those in which I step back in trust and forward in presence.
It requires massive amounts of 'unlearning' on my part; being patient for progress, avoiding comparisons with traditionally schooled children, observing and being attentive to individual needs and freeing up the notion that education happens in one place at a given time with a proven method.

Life is learning. 
And I'm still in school with them!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Vegan Bites: Carrot, Parsnip & Chickpea Soup

Egg Games

Our Egg Straw Race and Bocce Eggs were a hit...

Bocce was intended to be an adding activity, but none of us could get the egg to gain any points!
It turned out to be more of a lesson in physics!

But the most popular Egg Game was the Active Egg Hunt.
I asked Ms. O to write out numbers 1 through 5 on separate papers. We stuffed each egg with one number and hid them. The Hider then told the Seekers what action they had to perform 'x' number of times.
Ms. C especially liked the commander role.

Secret Message. A loaded DIY or an easy purchase! 
Glowing Eggs. Clever!!