Sunday, October 29, 2006

Another fun, busy week!


DSC01032, originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

We had another fun, busy week. It started with a park day with some fellow unschoolers down in El Cajon. It was a really nice day. Violet started up an impromptu game of baseball with all of the other kids. Some I don't think had ever played before. There was a little cutie name Sam who was 3 and from England, who played for the 1st time, and he was pitching and hitting the ball, pretty amazing little guy. The kids all took turns hitting and pitching. They ran around the make shift bases (a jacket, a box.... )
Wednesday we went to another homeschool group's park day in San Marcos and had a Halloween party. Olivia was, of course, Superman, and Violet dressed up as a rock star. We lined up (sort of) our lawn chairs (the mommies) and the kids went through and trick or treated. I thought it funny that Violet was trading candy for play-doh. Olivia had fun playing with a little boy dressed up as Spider Man. So cute!
Friday, we had a science unit study here at our house on Owls. We read about Owls, made a paper plate craft making them into owls. Did a few flight experiments with ping pong balls, and paper, and dissected owl pellets.
Here are some of our resources, in case anyone is interested:
Insectlore (for the owl pellets)
Kids Wings (for flight experiments)
Kids Wings (for virtual owl pellet dissection diagram)
Enchanted Learning (for information about owls and owl coloring pages and owl craft)
Books:
Animal Lives The Barn Owl by Kingfisher Illustrated by Bert Kitchen
Sleep LIttle Owl by Oward Goldsmith
Great Horned Owls Doug Wechsler
The Barn Owl Mike Read and Jake Allsop
Birds of Prey Kate Petty
Owls The Silent Hunters Sara Swan Miller
Owl Moon Jane Yolen
Owls Animal Predators by Sandra Markle
It was a great time learning about Owls.

Note: Featured in December's Unschooling Voices.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Apple picking at Calico Ranch


Violet at Calico Ranch
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.
Last Friday we went to Juilan to go apple picking with a local hs group. We went on a tour with one of the owners. He told us about the different types of apples they grown there, and he said there are over 10,000 types of apples. He told us how they are grown, not directly from the seeds, from propogating a branch from a "good apple" tree to a seed. It was a beautiful ranch, you could really appreciate the fall colors (not too many in my neighborhood), and again another beautiful, perfect day. The kids each got a bag, and were able to fill it up with apples that they had picked themselves. Yesterday, I got out the caramel and covered a few of the apples they picked for a special treat! They loved them!

Playing at the Pumpkin Patch


Olivia at the Pumpkin Patch
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.
We all (Dan included) went to the local pumpkin patch at a working farm at the edge of town last weekend. It was a cloudy, overcast day, with little bits of blue peeking out, perfect weather for pumpkin pickin'! There were these huge boulders that the kids had fun climbing on (hubby too!) and farm animals, corn chucking machine, corn maze, and the pumpkin patch where you could pick your own, or you could pick one out from the barn which was filled with them. They also had dried corn, which we bought a few. You put them in a paper bag, and pop them in the microwave and you have popcorn! We picked up a nice big pumpkin for Halloween.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Batty "Taste - MSO"



Violet made these chocolate cupcakes with bats, spider webs and spiders on them for our science unit co-op. It was our turn to host, and our theme was "Night Creatures". We had a fun time learning about bats. We watched part of a Stella Luna dvd, which has an educational piece at the end of the movie about bat conservation (don't you love the extras that they put at the end of movies?!!). We read from "Amazing Bats" and learned about echolocation, different types of bats, nocturnal creatures, hibernation, to name a few things. Bats are mammals, they are nocturnal, they eat insects, flowers, fruits, frogs, and of course the vampire bats that lap up blood from chickens, & cows. We played a fun game which was about echolocation. A child would be blindfolded and be the "bat" then the other kids were the insects. The bat would go "eek, eek" and the insects "buzz, buzz" and the bat would catch the insects and they would go in the bat cave. Everyone had a great time, and learned alot about bats! Next time it will be owls, and we will be dissecting owl pellets! Fun!
Other fun bat/owl reads:
Owls aren't wise & Bats aren't blind by Warner Shedd
Kratt's Creatures Wacky Animal Facts
Stella Princess of the sky by May Louise Gay
Bats in my Attic by Sydnie Meltzer Kleinhenz
Bats by Gail Gibbons
The Magic School Bus Going Batty (Scholastic)
Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
Young Observer Vampire Bats and other creatures of the night (Kingfisher)
Creepy Creatures (Eyes on Nature)
Night Creatures by Joyce Pope


See more of MSO theme at http://www.mamasaysom.com/index.php

Note: Featured in December's Unschooling Voices.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Fall Y'all from Violet


Happy Fall Y'all from Violet
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.
Have my temp studio set up in our garage right now. Dan is remodeling the barn, so that I'll have a real studio out there some day soon. In the mean time, I'm practicing with my new camera, and studio equipment, and Photoshop. Got a lot to learn! But it sure is fun! And I'll never have to pay for studio pictures again! Wanted to get Livie in the shot, but she wasn't up for it, too busy running around. Will have to get a shot of her later.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Violet's Heritage board


Violet's Heritage board
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Little fairy by Violet


Little fairy by Violet
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Max the bunny's stepping stone


Max the bunny's stepping stone
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Mermaid by Violet


Mermaid by Violet
Originally uploaded by mandaroo63.

Artwork and timelines

This week Violet had a Brownie meeting and was supposed to share about her heritage. First, she was going to take pictures of family, then she decided to make a Heritage board. It came out really nice. Yesterday, Violet pulled out her Brownie Try it book and decided she wanted to work on a few of them. One that she did was making your own mask. She used a paper plate, put some nylon elastic on it, and decorated it with some pieces of pretty pink satiny material. She then made a dress out of the rest of the pink material. Olivia also made one out of blue material. Olivia's is a "Hercules" outfit and Violet's is "Meg's". We also made timelines of their lives. Violet's first year says "Got born", 2nd year "Walking", 3rd year "Dress up", 4th year "reading", 5th year "soccer", 6th year "learn about Egypt", and 7th year "hip hop". Those were hightlights of her year. Olivia also made one, with pictures. Her 1st year was "walking", 2nd year was "climbing" and 3rd year is "playing superheroes and king". Violet also wanted to make another stepping stone for Max, our bunny. She had made one a few months ago for Bone, our dog. She made this one all on her own and it looks lovely in the garden. Another thing Violet likes to do is make up performances. She decided to make a Bratz show. So, she used post it notes (she loves to write on these(can you imagine trying to turn in your writings to a public school on sticky notes!!!). She also recieved a letter from Nana, so decided right away, to write her back. Funny how some days just seem so full of activities and other days, we just relax, or go to the park or library. When I follow their lead it takes us so many fun and interesting places. Their creativity just amazes me. I hope it never disappears. I just read this (on CHN's message board), and showed it to Violet, and we both thought it really sad.

Flowers are Red
> > > >> by Harry Chapin
> > > >> ----------------------------------------------------------
> > > >>
> > > >> ----------------------------------------------------------
> > > >> The little boy went first day of school
> > > >> He got some crayons and started to draw
> > > >> He put colors all over the paper
> > > >> For colors was what he saw
> > > >> And the teacher said.. What you doin' young man
> > > >> I'm paintin' flowers he said
> > > >> She said... It's not the time for art young man
> > > >> And anyway flowers are green and red
> > > >> There's a time for everything young man
> > > >> And a way it should be done
> > > >> You've got to show concern for everyone else
> > > >> For you're not the only one
> > > >>
> > > >> And she said...
> > > >> Flowers are red young man
> > > >> Green leaves are green
> > > >> There's no need to see flowers any other way
> > > >> Than they way they always have been seen
> > > >>
> > > >> But the little boy said...
> > > >> There are so many colors in the rainbow
> > > >> So many colors in the morning sun
> > > >> So many colors in the flower and I see every one
> > > >>
> > > >> Well the teacher said.. You're sassy
> > > >> There's ways that things should be
> > > >> And you'll paint flowers the way they are
> > > >> So repeat after me.....
> > > >>
> > > >> And she said...
> > > >> Flowers are red young man
> > > >> Green leaves are green
> > > >> There's no need to see flowers any other way
> > > >> Than they way they always have been seen
> > > >>
> > > >> But the little boy said...
> > > >> There are so many colors in the rainbow
> > > >> So many colors in the morning sun
> > > >> So many colors in the flower and I see every one
> > > >>
> > > >> The teacher put him in a corner
> > > >> She said.. It's for your own good..
> > > >> And you won't come out 'til you get it right
> > > >> And all responding like you should
> > > >> Well finally he got lonely
> > > >> Frightened thoughts filled his head
> > > >> And he went up to the teacher
> > > >> And this is what he said.. and he said
> > > >>
> > > >> Flowers are red, green leaves are green
> > > >> There's no need to see flowers any other way
> > > >> Than the way they always have been seen
> > > >>
> > > >> Time went by like it always does
> > > >> And they moved to another town
> > > >> And the little boy went to another school
> > > >> And this is what he found
> > > >> The teacher there was smilin'
> > > >> She said...Painting should be fun
> > > >> And there are so many colors in a flower
> > > >> So let's use every one
> > > >>
> > > >> But that little boy painted flowers
> > > >> In neat rows of green and red
> > > >> And when the teacher asked him why
> > > >> This is what he said.. and he said
> > > >>
> > > >> Flowers are red, green leaves are green
> > > >> There's no need to see flowers any other way
> > > >> Than the way they always have been seen.
> > > >>

Monday, October 02, 2006

La Jolla




Yesterday afternoon, we went to La Jolla Shores (for those out of the area that is La Hoy-yah) to scope out the scenery for some photos, and for the girls to play in the water and sand with daddy. It was about 4 pm, and cloudy, but the water wasn't too cold (for them anyway), but it made for some beautiful skies. Violet made a new friend who was vacationing from Texas. They made some sand hills, where you dribble the wet sand, and it looks like a giant turd! Dan took the girls in the water and played with them. We drove through the cliff area, where the caves are, and it was a lovely shopping and restaurant row. Will have to come back with Dan on a date night some time. We're still fairly new to S.D. so it's really nice to find new places to explore. I got to experiment with my new camera. I'm planning on starting a portrait business, and already have some folks that want Christmas beach pictures, so looking for some great spots. Torrey Pines has some beautiful scenery, but it's either from dangerous, unstable cliffs, or on a golf course, of which I don't have membership. Please share with me any spots YOU may know of in San Diego.