Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Little By Little

"little by little, one walks far." 

Being chased

H is for Hooked

 H is for Hooked and Homeschool...

The more I witness interest-led learning in action, the more I am hooked.
John Holt repeats in his literature time and again, all it takes is interest to drive us to learn.
In addition, interest-led learning is the stuff that sticks with us, as opposed to the things we are made to 'learn', which in effect might be made to memorize, not internalize.

We are not taking any conscious steps to teach O the alphabet (no letter recognition, no writing practice, no phonics or Sesame Street), simply giving her access to the written word (being read to, witnessing adults reading for enjoyment and necessity, type-writer access, providing art supplies etc.)
On her own, she is producing letters each week and announcing her achievements.

Today was the letter H.
While I was busying myself in the kitchen and her sister was whacking her in the head with a spoon from her highchair, O was hard at work on the chalkboard wall!

Taking a break to address the head-whacker!


O surprised me last week while hanging out on the hammock.
"Mom, look. I made a four with my legs!"

Oo Ee Oo Ah Ah



Monday, August 18, 2014

Autumn Sensory: Acorns & Fairy Tea

 Fall Colours

In O's collection of nature items, she has recently included some acorns, thanks to our neighbours oak tree.
This is her first encounter with acorns, as they are not native to Shanghai!

We managed to find a few acorns the Chippies left intact. After waiting a day, they changed from green to brown and dried enough to pop them out of their little caps. 
I painted them in autumn hues and popped them back into their caps with hot glue.

I saved a few caps, for Fairy Teacups, painting the inside a shimmery lime colour. Check out this adorable nature set! http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/adorably-tiny-versions-of-normal-sized-things?sub=2768666_2013334#240kz6y

Themed Bins.  Nurture Store is at it again with lovely little themed bins.

Alphabet Stamping

 ABC Stamps

China was chocked full of places to find cool sets for stamps.
I had yet to use this set so when O asked for playdough today, I thought it would be time to break out the box of alphabet stamps. Child of my own heart could not get her hands in there fast enough!
 Handfuls of Fun!

I admit to seeing this on Pinterest (surprise, surprise) but the idea is simple enough and can be done with anything that has a 3D image. Even old alphabet blocks could do the trick.

Mom's Sampling

 O's sampling

O was very generous with her use of letters and numbers.
The letters are all uppercase and slightly cursive, but she was happy to identify a few...more happy to go nuts on her Framma-made playdough!


Then she opted for some fossil-type activity!

 Baby C takes a feel....
..and an inevitable bite!

Poor Baby C was screaming (literally) to be involved.
She threw aside the activity I had given to her and reached out for the playdough atop the table whilst doing her best pterodactyl impression!
Inevitably, she left teeth marks in hers, but she was so happy to do what the big girls were doing!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunray Tee's


Blank tee's are the blank canvases for this easy, peasy project.
We took some shirt's & markers to Michigan for the four little ladies.
The Big Sister's created the wearable art.

Placing a cup under the shirt, and an elastic over top creates your workspace.
Though I think this step is meant to prevent bleeding colours onto the back of the shirt, it was a good way to keep the girls in a wee parameter with their markers.
They placed a few coloured dots on the space and then dropped alcohol in the center to bleed out the colour in a burst-like pattern.

Road Trip to Michigan

 On the Road

Our first trip with the girls Stateside.

The Driver

Our family has been raised with taxi's.
The first time O rode in the backseat of our own vehicle, she kept insisting I tell the driver where we wanted to go. The driver, being her father.

We had the pleasure of joining dear friends for the weekend in Michigan. It required a bit of a road trip, but we planned in advance and packed accordingly.

1) Good Music.
We love Frances England.

2) Favourite Instruments.
Our backseat bandmates.
Slide Whistle

The poor driver had to put up with our Backseat Band, but it did keep the campers happy.

3) Never Seen Stuff.
Baby C was smitten with this mini colander we picked up on our grocery run Stateside.

Pot Head

4) Paper & Writing Tools
O loves to 'write', so Daddy picked up a new book of lined paper.

5) Fun Newbies
Grandma J bought a mini Etch-a-sketch that went to good use.
We also picked up a water-magic book (a simple water pen, changes the white page to colour.)
I had made chalkboard clipboards, but forgot the chalk!

 O & her Letter
6) Snacks Galore
We ate all the way there and back!

Bridge Crossing

Loads of learning opportunities in a wee road trip.
O liked that we had to cross the bridge to leave Canada and kept asking when we would get to China!

 Mapping it Out