Friday, August 29, 2014

Six September Activities

I love Autumn!  I love the smell of apples, decaying leaves, pumpkins, and wearing long sleeve shirts. I know it's still summer, but we are getting ready with anticipation.  Here are some activities that we just finished up or have done in the past.

Toilet paper pumpkins:
Pumpkin Play Dough:

Pumpkin Life Cycle:
 Apple Mosaic:
Apple Pie Play Dough:
Homemade Apple Sauce:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Cow's Eye Dissection

Our Classical Conversation group gathered today to dissect a cow's eye.  We are learning about the human body this cycle and the past two science experiments have discussed the eye.

This was the first dissection experience for the children.  I explained that the smell was fermaldihyde and it was used to preserve specimens. (I should mention that this was my first dissection since high school.)

We went step by step: fatty tissue, cornea, lens, retina, tapetum, and optical nerve.
The children also learned how to find their blind spot.  This first dissection project was pretty fascinating and not gross.  The children and Moms walked away with a better understanding of how the human eye is made.

This is a great link to help you understand the dissection process.

Half-a-Hundred Acre Wood - See more at:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


I signed up a few months ago to do an activity and file folder Five In A Row Swap. As with most swaps, they always sound great, but I always wait until the last minute to complete 10 bags.

I chose the book Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmams.
Below are the activities that I made for our swap.  I know it will be a big help receiving nine other book activities to use during the year.
Trace the Eiffel Tower for younger kids.

Madeline Match

Learn to draw the Eiffel Tower and fun facts.

Madeline search and find

Homemade French Bread

I would love to hear what you've been rowing.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The smell of Grandma's house

I was recently gifted two vintage tablecloths that belonged to my Grandmother.  She has been with her maker for nearly 15 years and I believe she is my guardian angel now.

My family currently uses her rock maple circular table.  We can't seem to get rid of it.  It doesn't fit our kitchen space well and it's not incredibly beautiful.  We got rid of the hutch that went with it two moves ago, but the table still remains, along with her memory.

During our visit to PA, my Aunt went down to her basement and pulled out Grandma's vintage fringed tablecloths. She never used them due to her table's size- lucky me!

Shortly after returning home, I pulled those vintage beauties out and had planned to wash them, but the smell stopped me.  I felt like the food critic in the Disney movie Ratatouille as I was transported back in time.  My heart started to ache and tears welled in my eyes, happy tears, wishing I could once again talk to my dear Old Nanny.

Those tablecloths remain unwashed in my cabinet.  I don't want to lose that smell of moth balls, old wood, and something sweet.  For it's the smell of my Grandma's house, if only all smells could be so endearing.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Leaf rubbing & nature journaling

It's a beautiful day here in North Carolina. 
It's perfect for leaf rubbing and nature journaling.  
My girls love to discover nature. They select a fallen leaf and rub the paper with oil pastels, then then they look up tree name in our nature books. 
They think each tree has a different scent so they like to rub the leaf in their journal, like a scratch and sniff sticker.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lancaster County, PA

I took Lancaster County for granted when I was growing-up. I found the endless corn fields and supply of fresh produce in exciting. Yet years later, we stop and watch the horse and buggies trot by and look at awe at each Amish community. I am glad that I can share this experience with my children.  We head home with a car full of fresh picked corn, melons, a shoe-fly pie for our neighbor, and sweet bologna.
- places to see:
Choo Choo Barn
PA Railroad Museum
The Turkey Hill Experience
Strasburg Railroad

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cotton- field to fiber

Our 4-H Textile group had a wonderful field trip last month. We learned all about cotton and how it goes from the field to the fiber.
We learned that the cotton buds are edible and it takes 1 plant to knit a sweater.

The girls took the cotton from the plant and brushed it until it was fluff.  The fluff was then spun onto a make shift spinning wheel made from a mason jar lid and cabob stick.  Spinning is such an art!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Echo In Celebration- FREE

Did you know you can download a free copy of Leigh Bortin’s book, Echo in Celebration? Visit for your free copy.  The free download is located on the right hand side of her blog.  It's a lovely book on how to encourage the life long learners and it's a simply read.

Classical Conversations Cycle 3, week 1

If you are like have been staying up late prepping for the new school year. I pulled this one out of the archives.  It's hard to forget week 1, it's always the first one that comes to mind when I give someone a CC example.

Columbus Boats

We made these cute boats to go along with our Classical Conversations history sentence and they turned out great.

History Sentence:
In 1492, Columbus sailed on the first of four trips to the Caribbean on three Spanish ships, called the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria.

I think they will make cute name cards for our Thanksgiving table.  We followed these directions, but used a chopstick to hold the sails up.
(linked to Half a hundred acre woods weekly link-up)

Summer Nature Study

Summer Nature Study Schedule
As you know my girls love nature. This is the second summer that we are following this guide. We are also observing a tree through all the seasons right in our front yard.

June: Birds- name, visual identity, song
         Ocean- plants, shells, mammals, crustaceans

July: Amphibians- life cycle, parts, habitats, identity
         Butterflies- life cycle, watch it grow

August: Rocks- types, visual identity
Along with our study each girls will keep a nature journal, nothing fancy, just another way to record what they see by drawing, sketching, and doodling. These take along guides found here at Amazon should help us on our nature journey. I hope you come along too!
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