Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dumb Dirt

We have the perfect backyard for a lesson about DIRT. We live on exactly 1/3 acre of the red silty stuff and have been for 3 summers now. I have been known to shout, "I HATE DIRT!" when picking up my muddy specimen of a toddler and hauling him away to be hosed off....again. I don't care if anyone hears me. In fact I can now say that I LOATH dirt--can't wait to bed it down with some plants and grass.
I hope my attitude has improved a little today because of our science lesson on "appreciating SOIL." Soil is just a nice name for dirt. While the girls played in it, we learned it's made up of

  • air

  • water

  • minerals

  • humus (HYOOMUS) (things that were once living)

Here is what Kate regurgitated from the lesson and I wrote it down in her notebook.

Humus is made of dead stuff. It makes dirt black. There are 3 types of soil. We have CLAY soil in our yard. If we add humus to it, it will make our plants grow better. That kind of soil is called LOAM. Next week we will be at the beach. It will have SANDY soil.

This afternoon we went to our local Home store or what Brynn calls the "boringest store ever" and bought some LOAM, a spade, and some daylily's. We are excited to add some more dead stuff to our dirt. It's time we put our dirt to work and try to beautify the yard-- if only a lily at a time.

p.s. While at the Home store I got a consult for installing a sprinkler system. We're only a simple irrigation system away from getting rid of the dirt problem forever. Ha ha. I'm wringing my hands with delight.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A Very Bad Horrible No Good Day

Sending kids to public school is so very tempting on days like yesterday. Was I in a bad mood and it rubbed off on everyone else or were they in a bad mood and it rubbed off on me? Either way we all had a bad attitude. I would give an assigment followed by complain, complain. Some days I can manage to divert a little complaining but yesterday seemed to be unmanageable. We got our work done BUT IT WASN'T PRETTY. Time for me to refresh my Love and Logic parenting skills or something. Eventually I put myself on time out. Meditation and prayer work miracles...we ended up with a good afternoon.

I LOVE this new book we got from the library, The Shape Game by Anthony Browne. It has a fresh perspective on Fine Art and an idea for a fun game at the end. Here's how it goes: someone draws a silly free form shape. The other person has to make a picture out if it. Our girls had a lot of laughs and used about 20 sheets of paper. Here is my favorite sample:

Today was much better , we invited a friend over and had a geography/history lesson about Africa. We learned about the gold of Ghana and the merchants who traded it through the Sahara desert with their trusty camels. It acually kind of turned into a science lesson when we watched a National Geographic clip about camels, talked about Dromedary and Bactrian camels and made our own out of egg cartons and pipe cleaners.

If anyone is interested in some cool spelling software there will be a free trial offer and giveaway Friday Sept. 4 on this website. www.SpellQuizzer.com/community