Saturday, March 9, 2013

A day in detail

We started the day with maple cashew granola, and then checked on the eggshell geodes that we had started the day before.  We had filled each eggshell with a super-saturated solution of hot water with either table salt, epsom salts, or borax to compare how the different crystals appear.  We're still waiting for the water to finish evaporating.
Sylvia and I sat down and read Hop on Pop, which is significant because it was the first time that she showed any interest in decoding the words in a book without frustration.
Then, she made a design with magnetic mosaic pieces while Camille strung beads in her hair.
We brought some kitchen scraps out for the chickens,
and played in the snow.

Armed with a foam noodle 'sword', a plastic hanger, and a unicorn (on a stick), they set out on a grand adventure, in which they built a village and defended it from beasties.  While they were in the front yard, I got a little bit of cleaning done.

The snow and ice started to lose its hold on the house, as the sun strengthened in anticipation of spring.

Ayla wanted to come in from the expedition the soonest.  She helped me make maple-sweetened hot cocoa and a home-made all-purpose cleaner from Stephanie's fabulous cleaning potion recipes.  Camille and Sylvia continued to play outdoors, sledding and building a snow woman.

Then, it was time for curlers and cocoa.  

Sylvia and Ayla built elaborate play dough creations while Camille decorated the snow woman and jumped on the mini-trampoline.

Our eggshell geodes experiment prompted us to look at (and wash) all of the crystals on the counter and talk about how they had formed, which led us to other stones and fossils, as well.  Somewhere in there was lunch and snacks and face-painting and an impromptu dance party.

Camille and Sylvia played hangman. I helped Sylvia spell out all of her words while putting puzzles together with Ayla.  All of the girls watch My Little Pony; Friendship is Magic while I did some more cleaning and laundry.
Camille payed Sylvia 50 cents, plus any unwanted toys, to help her clean her room.  Camille ended up with a tidied room and a bag of stuff to donate to a thrift store, and Sylvia ended up with makeup and toys, and they both had fun.  Win-win.

We helped Papa make an adjustable microphone stand out of an old fan base, PEX tubing, and duct tape.  The girls recorded themselves singing.  Camille played her guitar, and played around with writing a song.

There was a dot-to-dot that involved alphabetizing three-letter words.

There was TV with Papa and dinner and baths and this . . .
If you asked me what we did on Thursday, I might say, "Not much.  I got some cleaning done.  The girls played in the snow for awhile."  That is true, but it's not the whole truth.  I can see so much measuring, figuring, experimenting, predicting, creating, asking, discovering, building, dancing, and laughter.

If I am distracted or over-tired (um, or spending too much time on the computer), our days are not as rich and joyful.  While, I don't limit my kids time on the computer or TV, I have found myself needing to be more thoughtful about my own time spent on the computer.  This time of year, with winter still holding on, my natural motivations are challenged.   

Friday (less detailed :)

We played in the morning and ran errands in the afternoon.

 remote control car in for the demolition

 We headed to the library, the farm market store, the thrift store, and the hardware store.  We talked about the cost of things, where they might come from, local foods, women in history, matriarchy/patriarchy, and so much more.  These were not heavy conversations.  They were not teaching moments.  They were curious minds, trying to make sense of their world.  When we were almost home, Camille hopped out of the mini-van and jogged the last half-mile home.
In the evening, they read about burrowing owls and timber wolves, watched Curious George episodes, and played with magnetizing metal surfaces.   At the end of the day, everyone piled in my bed and Camille and I watched Hugo while the younger two snuggled to sleep.

Learning is everywhere.


  1. Your post illustrated beautifully just how much learning goes on in a typical day. I am a tiny bit envious of your snow - wow! We are having an autumn heat wave here and can't wait for it to cool down. The eggshell geodes looks like a fascinating project - might give that a go over here. Thanks for all the lovely inspiration xx

  2. Thanks, Lou!! Let me know if you try the eggshell geodes. We didn't add the food coloring, and now I wish we had. I think you could probably see the details better with it.


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