Sunday, May 3, 2015

Welcoming Spring

As we continue to settle into our new home, our school days are beginning to fall into a simple rhythm. After breakfast, the boys and I take a little walk or go to a nearby park for a short time before coming home to do circle time as a family. Sometimes Arwen is still asleep and sometimes she joins us. After circle time, our main lesson starts with a little recorder practice. Our lessons this week were about Spring! On Sunday, we made a trip to a garden store and came home with some little helpers for our yard. We also planted some basil, lemon balm, mint, and a couple tomato plants.

On our morning walks, Noah and Isaac became fascinated with the ropy-polies (pill bugs) wandering around on the sidewalks. We checked out a book from the library and learned that they are not really insects at all, but tiny crustaceans, related to crabs and lobsters. We see them on our morning walks because though they are nocturnal, they seek out the moisture from lawn sprinklers in the mornings. Noah read how to make a home for them in a jar, and now we have some pets. They seem to find the nasturtiums that are growing in our backyard quite tasty (as does our little forager, Isaac).

On Monday, we read Spring Prayer by Ralph Waldo Emerson, talked about spring, and did some wet on wet watercolor painting. Isaac has not officially started school yet, but he wants to do everything big brother is doing. Isaac's 'school' books for the week were Mud by Mary Lyn Ray and The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. Painting is one of his favorite activities.

Spring Prayer

For flowers that bloom about our feet; 
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet; 
For song of bird, and hum of bee; 
For all things fair we hear or see, 
Father in heaven, we thank Thee! 

For blue of stream and blue of sky; 
For pleasant shade of branches high; 
For fragrant air and cooling breeze; 
For beauty of the blooming trees, 
Father in heaven, we thank Thee! 

Because Noah has had two years of Spanish Immersion school, we are continuing to incorporate Spanish into our daily lessons. His writing work for the week was a Spanish translation of Spring Prayer. He also had his first block crayon drawing lesson from Dad.

On Wednesday, Nature Kindergarten met at Little Corona Del Mar in Newport Beach. Curtis and I visited this beach when we checked out the area and it is still a favorite. It is an excellent place for walking the shore and peaking in all the tide pools for sea urchins, hermit crabs, sea snails, fish and brittle stars.

Arwen got over her grand dislike of sand, sitting for hours endlessly scooping and dumping sand. She even helped the boys dig their big hole.

Later in the week, we read The Rainbow Tulip by Pat Mora, a lovely introduction to May Faire that also happens to contain some Spanish. The boys made May baskets and delivered them to our new neighbors on May Day. To wrap up our week and celebrate Arwen's very special golden birthday, we attended a May Faire celebration at a local Waldorf school. Arwen loved the flowers, music, and the delicious food!

 Just as we are getting our school rhythm settled, things are going to be shaken up again as I start work this week. I am thankful that it will only be orientation for a couple weeks before I start with my night shifts. That is when things will get very interesting indeed.

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