Friday, May 1, 2015

April Lessons

Still working with sight words, I added to our story from last month:

"The princesses wanted nothing more than to become the apprentices to the medicine woman of the kingdom, but they did not know what to expect - or when to expect it! Then one day the medicine woman appeared. Her hair was braided and flowers and leaves were woven into the braids. 'It is time for your first challenge,' she said. 'Adira, follow me to the enchanted forest, and there I will hide you in a secret spot. Phaedra, you will have to find your sister, but the pathway is magical, and you will only be able to see the stepping stones if your heart is pure and true, and filled with love. Do you accept this challenge?' 'YES!' the girls practically screamed." Then I "hid" Lyra in the middle of the circle of sight words I had made by having her sit down and covering her with a silk. I took Isla by the hand and the story resumed: "The medicine woman led Phaedra into the woods. 'When you see a stepping stone, say the word that is on it and it will not sink into the bog when you step on it.'" As Isla stepped on each "stepping stone" she said the word. I helped her with the few that she did not know. Once she reached the last stone I lifted the silk off of Lyra. "Phaedra recognized her sister at once and the two princesses hugged each other! Then all three walked back to the palace together."

I also rearranged their playroom to make a cozy spot to read. Isla has been reading her 1st grade readers to her sister, the two of them all snuggled up together on their "couch":

On round two of "Herb Fairies" we are again reading about Viola, the violet fairy. In honor of her we made violet and pansy flower candy and violet/pansy syrup, which we used on pancakes and oatmeal, and mixed with sparkling water to make soda. It also came in handy when Lyra got a little sore throat and cough:

Our hands were stained indigo from making the syrup, so we thought we'd try a silk dye. It turned out lovely!:

Our calendulas have taken over a section of our garden. Those we've been collecting as they've opened, and drying, so we can make a dye for more silk scarves. This batch is much more orange than the last, so I'm wondering if they'll turn out a different color than the gold we got last time.

I will be taking all three kids backpacking next month, so we've been practicing hiking a bunch, which has been fun:

For Easter we started some grass and made some fun bunny cards by painting their hands and only two fingers on each hand. They found the fern baskets the Easter Bunny brought them with wooden eggs which held fairy dust necklaces and quartz points:

This month was full of fun and crafts, too many to photograph, but here are some highlights, which include a mad scientist birthday party, watercolor, face painting, silk dyeing with natural dyes, gluten-free play dough making, papier machè globes for Earth Day - and TWO Earth Day festivals, family bike rides, baby birds living in my gardening bag right outside the front door, cooking, remedy-making and wooly blue curl tea-making, butterfly raising, rock wall climbing:

Math has been the biggest challenge for me, because I've been short on lesson planning time. Although Isla seems to enjoy her sporadic math lessons enough, the way we've been going at it is so uninspiring I'm going to have to figure something else out. It's tricky because I'm thinking we do need to take a more mainstream approach in order for her to make a smooth transition into school next year. But there has to be a creative, artistic way to do this, through story and picture language… Next month we begin a Chumash block, so I'll try to incorporate math into that in an inspired way.

The girls can't wait to start the Chumash block:

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