Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Today it wasn't raining but last night's deluge had helped our buckeye drop the last of it's seeds. So, after our morning walk we just couldn't head into the house or to the back patio area where we usually do our outdoor lessons - this was too good to pass up.

Nightowl grabbed a collecting basket and we engaged in our yearly ritual of collecting buckeyes. They are fun to gather, find, peel and collect. We discussed why some appear to be rotting (Were they sitting in a puddle?), we noted that the shiniest come right from the seed pod. We did our favorite magic trick: Watch closely! I'm going to hold an entire tree in my hand...Ta Da - I'm holding a buckeye (from which the tree comes..).

From this we morphed into our form drawing lesson using, you guessed it, buckeyes! An engaging task because the buckeyes roll. During this first block we've been working on linear forms (horizontal, vertical, three lines of decending length, etc. etc. etc.). We've named our main line Danny so we created Danny and his various positions with buckeyes, then sticks, then added sidewalk chalk for color and variance.

This morphed into color blending and color combinations which we've been working on during our watercolor painting sessions. Nightowl was completely absorbed in making color swatches of chalk, layering and then blending with her hands for effect and new colors. Her final product was not as bright as she wanted so we considered our options then began blending to make it brighter - quite the task.

During all our exploits Bearcub was busy in the yard hauling mulch (kinda), collecting buckeyes, rolling in chalk dust, and getting into puddles. Her favorite game was dump-the-basket-of-buckeyes-over-her-head-feeling-them-conk-and-then watching-them-roll-away. Hilarious. Then Nightowl and I would patiently gather them back up.

It was so beautiful and golden sunny and just so Equinoxey and Fallish that I dashed inside for the camera - only to find it missing. Turns out Chillymama has it with her in Boston - she's away on a work trip - so I've no images to share.

We ended our work with a long ride on the tire swing for Nightowl, some heart-rate-raising pushing for me, and some running in circles for Bearcub. The buckeyes are now waiting, in their basket, on the patio. We'll keep using them for forms and math and projects as long as they are not rotting. Who knows we may, eventually, have pictures to share.

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