Saturday, April 28, 2007

Real Moms

Wow. I've been tagged. And until now I had no idea that it was even possible - or what it meant. So. Here's the deal: We overworked, overloved, tired, fabulous mothers are reading the blogs of other moms. Then we tag them on our blog and create community and etc. Fun.

Ok, so here goes: I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling, running my own business on the side mom! Ha. I have wonderful moments, the all too real mom-flab, sleepless nights and cozy mornings. It's a good thing.

I tag the following mom's: Schooling from the Heart, Amy's Mama Journal at BlogSchmog, Big Mama, and Wife Mom Maniac.

Lasagna Again

Springtime now. Time for planting. True to the promise our layered lasagna garden has evolved into rich, black earth teaming with worms and other assorted creepy crawlers. The hay and mulch layers work wonders at retaining moisture.

This week we began planting with a few perennials - black-eyed susans, peonies, crazy daisies, coneflowers, and coreopsis. We are mostly interested in seeds and will begin planting those in May - once all fear of frost is gone.

Regarding our tree nursery - sadly we had no success. The seeds in cups did not work for us. But we are undaunted and will continue with other planting experiments.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The new craft

This Christmas Nightowl received a wooden-peg loom from Santa. On Tuesday she asked for a new craft; out came the loom.

Day one. Beginning the pouch-purse project.

Day three. It's been hard to put this project down. The work is frequently punctuated by comments of "Isn't it fun to watch me do this!"

Reading is also covered here as Nightowl is working on deciphering the directions. Lots of new vocab such as weft and warp.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Word-Family Town

Ok. We completely borrowed this idea from Sara over at Schooling From the Heart. The idea of creating a Word-Family Town to facilitate reading and spelling was just too delicious. It's been really great. Nightowl loves it so much that my two week project spiraled into four. I did not take into account Nightowl's capacity for detail - my mistake. So here it is.

It all started with a story and a house. The story of the "AD" house and all the consonant friends who come to visit. Nightowl made the house and I started making the friends. From there it blossomed.

Future plans include: directions through the town, a town-wide spelling bee, and a visit from the "Article Gang" (a, an, the...).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The only subject

It seems, despite our Waldorf blocks and unschooling meandering, that our one, main, true subject is music. We spend inordinate amounts of time on music. It permeates everything. Everyday Nightowl plays her two instruments: violin and piano. Her "pencil and paper work" often relates to music theory - intervals, note reading, music writing. She also makes up songs, sings, and dances.

We use tunes to remember math and use note values for simple addition and subtraction problems. We sing songs to remember reading skills and create simple words out of various notes. We play music games such as music note go-fish.

Music also helps her to forge relationships with other kids in group class and gives her a taste of the traditional classroom dynamic. But most of all she plays. And plays. And plays. She is now playing occasionally with with an accompanist. For this task we've asked for help from our lovely friend Bob, who is a wonderful piano player, loves the children, and loves to perform. Aside from a sweet little duet, this relationship has many other wonderful benefits - friendship, family-fun (our kids play with his kids etc. etc.) and the kudos of other great adults in our girl's life.

Here they are in their first recital. Awesome.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Flat Nightowl Returns

For geography we've jumped on-board the Flat Stanely train. Flat Stanley is a children's book about Stanley, a little boy made flat when a bulletin board falls on him. Other than being flat he is fine. As a flat person Stanley finds it is easy to travel via mail; he gets mailed on a vacation to California.

We liked the book and the idea. So Nightowl created a flat version of herself and we shipped Flat Nightowl off to Hawaii to visit her Aunty Kathy and Aunty Jane. She recently returned with souveniers, stories and pictures. The real, non-flat Nightowl is keeping a book of her travels as well as fun facts about the places visited.

At the moment, Flat Natalia is touring the Big Apple with our friends Margaret and Aliza. We've been studying up on NYC in preparation for her return as well as making travel plans for the future.

Photos top to bottom:
#1 Boogie boarding at Hapuna Beach
#2 Touring the volcanoes with Aunty Jane
#3 A narrow escape from the mighty Marlin
#4 Visiting the Orchid Market