Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentines, Ceramics, Pollination, and More

We finished up Valentines week with some heart-shaped vegan pizza and, later on, a craft day/Valentine party with the homeschool group. The kids all got to paint ceramics and exchange Valentines with their friends.
Ava's ceramics on the left, Noah's on the right, Amora's on top.

Going Through Their Valentines Boxes

On Saturday, Noah went out to work on sorting and organizing tools for his grandpa while my mom and I brought the girls to the Banfill Locke Art Center where Ava's art was on display, also through our homeschool group.

Sunday we were pretty much snowed in, so we rolled out some paper in the hall and also worked on some computer learning. One site we have learned about recently is Kahn Acadamy. It's a great resource, especially concerning math, with tons of video instruction. Most are beyond where my kids are at yet, but a few have been of interest already. I actually set it up for Ava to learn more math but it was Noah who got into it that day. He watched the basic addition video and was yelling out the answers at the screen as he counted along.

My mom had given the kids each a cut flower from a bouquet she bought this weekend. Ava was inquiring about how the flower was drinking the water in the cup. So we hopped online and learned all about flowers! We dissected one of them (since Noah already had squashed his) and named the parts, learned how they take in water, we learned all about pollination, and we made some cut out flowers we hanged on the walls. Actually, the intention was to take their little toy insects and "fly" around the house "pollinating" the flowers. But all three were restless by that point. So we are saving that part for another day; a great option we have as homeschoolers. Sure we could have played the pollination game anyways, since we had gotten that far, but it wouldn't have been fun. And forced learning is not learning at all. Learning when the kids want to and are enjoying it is important to me. I know that that is what will last. I love the flexibility of it all. And letting them lead the way.

Mid week, Ava decided we were going to make a raw vegan dessert. She looked it up on-line and found an apple crumble desert. She got out all the ingredients and I helped her cut and blend them up to make a pretty tasty (though somewhat sea-salty) apple crumb desert.

The other lesson we all learned about was about the sea sponge! Ava was asking about them (you know, Sponge Bob is a sponge...). "Are they an animal or a plant? What do they do? What? They make kitchen sponges out of them????" The animal vs. plant issue was a harder answer than I thought. Sponges have no heart, brain, mouth, etc. but they are technically an animal because they don't make their own food like a plant but eat off of the sea plants they attach to. Huh!

More reading games, online and on paper, with Ava. Some magic tricks with the magic kit, playing cards for number recognition with Noah, and of course, more of Ava's typing lessons. I love the pic below of her typing in her flower girl dress from last spring. Sometimes we learn in PJs, sometimes formal-wear, sometimes in nothing at all! (well, speaking for the kids, anyway, haha.)!

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