Monday, March 19, 2012

Hiking and goofing about

Ok, week 2 and what do the kids think. Well, my oldest loves that she sleeps in and that she gets to play American Girl most of the day, indoors and out. My boy likes that he gets to have computer time throughout the day and not just late afternoon (though we still have a 2 hour screen time limit), but I just don't see the least not the on paper type learning (which is probably just me having to change the way I see learning) But I am willing to keep can't give up after only a week.

Today we spent a good portion of the day hiking. We covered about 3 miles of woods and trails, stopping along the way to eat lunch and making homemade "fishing rods" which we used to try and lure the minnows. They definitely do NOT like beef jerky as bait. That is what we learned there HaHa! Along the trails we played the game where you go through the alphabet one at a time, saying for example "A, my name is Alex, I like to eat Apples, and my favorite animal is an Aardvark". Then the next person is B, then the next C, etc. The kids really got in the spirit and tried to come up with obscure food and animals and only used the obvious ones when they got stumped. It was fun, just the three of us. We talked, and laughed and sang and held hands. It was a beautiful spring hike.
The highlight for the kids I think was the two snakes we saw. One was a blacksnake and one was a garter snake. Both let the kids get quite close before slowly slithering on their way. We also collected water for our Sacred Well. This is something we do every February on St. Brigid's Day, or Candlemas. We spend the year collecting water from every place we go and then putting it all together in a communal bowl, creating a Sacred Well surrounded by candles that represent Brigid's Sacred Flame.
"Holy Water,
Sacred Flame.
Brigid we invoke your name
Bless my hands, my head, my heart,
Source of healing, song, and art"

 When we returned home the children practiced piano, half an hour each, and then we continued with our Kite learning. Today was Kite Geography. We got out the globe and some blank political maps of the world and found out what kites are called in other countries. It is interesting what they are called. In English speaking countries, they are Kites, which is also the name of a graceful bird. In Japan, where they use long bridles and tails on their kites, they are called Tako, which means Octopus. In Korea, they are called Wau, which comes from the sound the kite makes in a strong wind. After telling the children several, they then had to choose 3 from a list and look up what that word meant in that language and where in the world the country was. This mapping page they added to their kite folders. Then they had free time where my son played with a friend on the internet and my daughter went out in full costume, in the rain, and threw the baseball up in the air and caught it, over and over and over, till she wasn't scared of the descending ball any longer. When she came in, chilly but flushed with pride, I hugged her wet self and then sent her up for a hot bath to warm up. Only later did I find out that her game didn't end there. She changed costumes into a sort of shift dress and pretended to be a child in a 1940's orphanage in France and bathed IN THE DRESS. "After all, Ma-Ma, we are not animals that go about naked and vulgar" Oh the imagination there. I LOVE IT!

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