Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Five Loaves and Two Fish

We are currently in a series of lessons on the miracles that Jesus did.  Last week it was five loaves and two fish: the feeding of the five thousand.
We weaved our own basket to place our loaves and fishes in.  Abishai asked if it was a basket similar to the one Moses was put in to be sent down the river.  I was glad that he made this additional connection during our basket weaving.  As we took turns weaving, my thoughts had wandered over to Moses as well. 

Brotherly love...
... and play.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Micaiah Turns 4

Today, Micaiah turns 4.  Happy Birthday big boy!  Here is a look at his birthday signs over the years, a birthday tradition.
1 year old.  Picture chalked from How Do Dinosaurs Pocket Library.

2 years old.  From a favorite book of Micaiah's Ten Little Fish.

From the book When A Dinosaur Moves In.

3 year-old Micaiah.
Micaiah asked for a Hyena picture for his 4th birthday.  Personally, I do NOT like hyenas but Micaiah has a special place in his heart for them.  As you might have noticed already that there is a theme happening with each passing birthday. Thats right... ANIMALS.  Micaiah is CRAZY over animals.

Happy Birthday to my Rough and Tumble, but oh so Sweet, Micaiah

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Traveling Journeys

Grandfather's Journey: A book about a Japanese man's travels throughout his life.  The boys and I had a lot of art discussion around the beautiful drawings in this book.
We covered topics on city pollution, birds (that Grandfather kept as pets), and World War II history (Grandfather's homeland was destroyed by war).
We looked at pictures of traditional Japanese art.
Art: After seeing the shadows from Grandfather's Journey we made some of our own by moving the flashlight around an orange and watching how shadows move with the light.

Then of course we sat down to eat the oranges.
Art:  We took a look at contrasting colours.  We discussed what makes a particular object POP out when you look at a picture.  Abishai really seemed to enjoy this as we paged through the book.
The umbrella was the first thing Abishai noticed when he looked at the picture above. When I asked him why he thought that was, he responded by saying, "because the woman's hair is so dark." Contrast!
Then Abishai took some magazines and cut out pictures of the colours that he thought were contrasting.
Placing our story disks onto the map.  We mapped out Grandfather's Journey from Japan, and across the Pacific Ocean to California.  Here Abishai is placing some additional disks from How to make an Apple Pie and See the World.
Looking at pictures of D-Day from World War II.
Art: Origami, the traditional Japanese art of folding paper into shapes and animals.  We just happened to have an entry level origami book and coloured square paper on hand.

Abishai chose to make a dog.

Micaiah didn't want to make one himself, but was interested enough to watch me make the cat and elephant.  Abishai decided to add North American touches to his origami dog.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Science Experiment Results

Near the end of last week we did a science experiment where we dissolved 1/4 cup of salt into 2 cups of water and then waited for the water to evaporate.  It took 5 days for all 2 cups of water to evaporate.  Every day for those 5 days the boys and I would take a look into our shallow dish to observe and see how far the water had gone down and if we could see the salt.  The once fine salt ended up gathering into thick square crystals.  The boys enjoyed tasting them.  I am so glad I don't have to wait 5 days to evaporate sea water from sea salt in order to bake an apple pie!

Friday, January 18, 2013


This past week we went ice skating three times!  I took them to our local outdoor skating rink.  It's so close that we can stop in for a quick skate if need be.  The boys love it.  The weather outside was so beautiful that there was one day I had my mitts off for most of the time.  And at the end of the week when it got too cold to be outside... we went swimming instead!

 What I love about Micaiah's personality is that he rarely gets frustrated.  If he falls, he just gets up and tries again... and again... and again.

Asher got a family swim pass for his 1st birthday (what does a baby love more than water?) Friday mornings while most people are off to school or finishing their breakfast, we head out to swim.  The boys are learning to swim mostly through playing in the water and discovering for themselves––just as John Holt says they will in his book How Children Learn (front and back floats, underwater bubbles, front swim, etc).  It also doesn't hurt to have a mom who used to be a national lifeguard and swimming instructor.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Seeing The World

Europe, Italy, France, England, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, and Vermont are some of the places that we ventured to this week all because of the book How to Make an Apple Pie and see the world.  We had a great time flying around the world in our imaginations.  We learned that Cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka, Sugar Cane from Jamaica, sea salt from the ocean, and apples from Vermont.  Then we used all those ingredients to make our own apple pie!
Some of the books we looked at and read.  One of our favourites while exploring England was Come to the Castle.  It was written from the perspective of the lord's servants.  We found it very entertaining, especially when it got to The Gong Farmer (the guy that shovels the "gong"), which of course the boys found funny.  We learned a lot about castle life in thirteenth-century England and there were lots of new words to explore.
We took a look at all the different kinds of apples grown, and picked 3 to remember their names: Granny Smith, McIntosh and Red Delicious.
We then coloured some apples of our own, trying to make each one different.

We tried Pantomiming (Charades) to some of the pictures from our book.
Here Micaiah is sitting down to act out "milking the cow".  I had a hard time getting Abishai or Micaiah to participate in acting out a scene, but once started, Micaiah at least thought it was kind of fun.

Looking at pictures of France.  Our character got her hen/eggs from France. Micaiah recognizing the Eiffel Tower from a previous study of Paris, France from the book Madeline.

The boys couldn't wait to get started on making an apple pie.  My mother gave me a healthy apple pie recipe a while back that I tucked away for such an occasion.  I use these cooking times to teach health class.  I like to explain the health benefit of each of the ingredients and since this is a "no guilt" apple pie, each ingredient has a benefit for the body.
Micaiah measuring the cinnamon from the "Kurundu tree in Sri Lanka".
Double checking to see if his "rolling out the dough" was working.
Organic apples going in to be coated in coconut oil, cinnamon, and raw honey.
Spelt pie crust made with coconut oil, sea salt and water.  The coconut oil makes the hardy spelt easy to roll out.  It was thin and crispy, absolutely beautiful; something I'm not used to when making spelt pie crusts.
Asher-baby constantly up and behind you, wanting to be apart of everything.
Pie cooling.  Asher reaching to squish it in his fingers.
In-between moments.  Abishai's foam patten creation.
Asher puzzling.
Quietly listening to their music.
 Art: flip out double-page street scene.

Honourable mention. An unrelated book worth owning––so original.

Science experiment:  Part of the humour of How to make An Apple Pie and see the world was that the main character derived salt from salt water by the process of evaporation before she made her apple pie. Here Abishai is dissolving 1/4 cup of salt into 2 cups of water.
"Mommy, the salt is gone!"
Taste testing our dissolved salt water.  Abishai was not to be fooled.
You won't be catching Micaiah drinking ocean water in the future.

We poured our salty water into a thin dish. Now we wait patiently for our water to evaporate.  I wonder how long it will take with our winter sun?
Baby block building... and smashing.
More in between moments: sponge art...
...Light tracing
...Water play.
...and chalking.
Abishai blowing on the hot apple pie. He kept saying, "this is so good".  So good for taste and for health, so eat as much as you want––but wait, save some for your father!