Ten Fun Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

It’s been so long since I’ve done one of these posts, it’s going to be hard not to be 30 or 40!  🙂  Here’s a bit of what we’ve been doing around here…

1.  We’re reading Kayak Anna. I got the book Kayak Anna and Palindrome Creek (or something similar) to review and started reading it to the kids.  I am so pleasantly surprised!  It’s a chapter book that deals with the environment, bullies, palindromes and trolls, just to  name a bit!  I am really enjoying the rich language and the adventure.  I’ll review it once we finish it.  We read a chapter or two per day so I figure we’ll be done around next weekend.

2.  We made fruit leather with blackberries and raspberries from our back yard and strawberries that we’d frozen from berry picking.  Oh my goodness.  Homemade fruit leather beats all, guys.  You must try some!

3.  The kids have all been reading. Anna read On the Banks of Plum Creek, plus a pile of other books I’ve forgotten.  Victoria is still reading young adult novels at an astounding pace, Jack has been reading A Crack in the Night (another that I reviewed and one that he really enjoys) along with picture books.  Alex has been listening to picture books, most noteably If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (the giant sized version), Where’s Pinky? and Llama Llama Mad at Mama.

4.  Jack, Alex and Anna went to the Walnut Grove festival in the park. They did crafts, sampled treats, met Laura Ingalls Wilder fans and helped their daddy teach people how to play the dulcimer.

5.  Jack has been learning about eggs, embryos, fertilization and chickens. We’ve been getting eggs from our friend Erica again, and Jack has delighted in some of the gigantic (and teeny tiny!) eggs that we find.  This one was enormous and had two yolks.

There was also an egg that was the size of a robin’s egg.  It had no yolk at all.

6.  Jack has me working on collecting printouts for him to make a reptile lapbook. He has started assembling mini-books and coloring, but is impatient to get to work.  He wrote up a book of facts he learned about reptiles, too.

7.  The kids have been doing lots and lots of art. Behold, a few examples…

8.  I got the kids new composition books for homeschool studies. We use these all year long — I leave them pages of silly math problems or write letters full of grammatical errors and so on.  Each child got an extra one for something fun.  Victoria wanted one just for German work.  Jack wanted one for art.  Anna wanted one for drawings and stories.  They’ve decorated the fronts and are having fun using them.

9. We did science with friends. That’s all I’m saying.  😉

10.  Daryl and the girls are busy in the pageant. The boys and I went and watched a dress rehearsal last week and got to sit in the front row for the show.  When Mary went blind, she was “looking” right at us (Jack cried for her!) and it was neat being so close to all the action.  We went again the other night with Grandma and Grandpa.  The boys played football on the hill before it started and then sat so nicely for the whole show.  Alex was enchanted with the singing, dancing, fire and so on.

Last night, there was an enormous crowd because the actor from Little House on the Prairie who played Almonzo was there and it was part of “Laurapalooza,” a huge multi-day conference about L.I.W. that took place in Mankato.  A huge storm passed through before it started and the audience was instructed to wait in their cars while it passed through.  The cast all waited in the barn while lightning flashed and thunder boomed, and when all the rain had passed they dried off all of the chairs and the audience came back.  By then it was around 10 pm (the show generally starts at dusk, around 9) and almost nobody had left.  They estimate around 1,400 people stayed in the dark and the rain and then watched until past midnight to see the show.  🙂

Above, Anna is dancing by Nellie Olson while Daryl plays the spoons in the background. You can see a lot of pictures here.

I am so proud of Daryl, Anna and Victoria for their part in the pageant, and of everybody involved in it.  This year is the best ever that I’ve seen.  They’ve added so much more music (Victoria even plays the spoons and Daryl plays a couple of lovely dulcimer duets in the background of certain scenes) and they’ve really fine tuned the script.  The sets, the special effects and the whole production are just amazing in my not-so-humble opinion.  🙂


And now, I am really late in starting supper and rescuing Daryl from a certain 3 year-old, so I’m off!


7 thoughts on “Ten Fun Ways We've Learned and Played Lately

  1. Sounds like you are all having lots of fun! We did some similar “science” experiments here, and had a blast (pun intended.)

    The pageant sounds wonderful–wish we could see it!
    .-= Sparklee´s last blog ..Peach Season =-.


  2. That seems like a wonderful festival. We love all things Little House and have recently finished reading By the Shores of Silver Lake. Hope to finish the last three books this year as literature choices. Thanks for sharing the pics.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Google Account Troubles =-.


  3. hi, there! just came across your blog, and i’m loving it! i have 3 boys, ages 5, 3, and 1. we live in a very small, remote, rural town, and though we love the location and (most of) the people, it’s definitely a struggle to feel like we’re really part of a community of folks w/ shared values. my 5 yr. old is already known the town over for his insistence that he will NEVER go to school. i’ve been researching homeschooling & unschooling strategies, techniques, philosophies, etc., and to tell you the truth, i think i’m deep down horrified to a) go against the “norm” b)fail my kids somehow c)take on something so huge i may not be able to manage successfully and so on. all that fear in the face of growing certainty that homeschooling would just be so perfect for us…ack!! now i’m rambling. anyway, your post on feeling a bit mournful about your children growing/changing got me all teary, especially after the VERY difficult day i had today w/ my oldest. just wanted to say thanks for writing, thanks for your secular leanings (SOOOOO frickin’ refreshing around here!), and i’m glad to have “found” you. i’ll be visiting often, i’m sure. 😉 be well.
    .-= Lindsay´s last blog ..surprise! =-.


    • It’s so nice to meet you Lindsay! I just peeked at your blog and can see I’ll need a big chunk of time to explore all the wonderful stuff there. 🙂 As for whether you might fail at homeschooling, to my mind it’s just an extension of parenting. It seems you’re doing a pretty good job there! While it is possible to fail at “school at home,” I don’t think you can fail at homeschooling as long as you are willing to work at it. And by work at it I mean things like spend time with your children, visit libraries, answer questions and look up the answers, make the environment engaging and keep modeling a love of learning, things like that. But you know I’m biased. I’m glad you wandered in!


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