Saturday, September 5, 2015

Classical Conversations Cycle 1 wk 2, Unschool Beach Time, Nature Study FUNGI

I didn't have time to post this before we went on a two week trip, but before we left, these are some of the things we did for CC Cycle 1 week 2, followed by 2 weeks of relaxed unschool adventures on a road trip to Conneticut.

For history we made the second tablet engraved with commandments 6-10, to go with the first tablet we made in week 1 using crayola air dry clay.  The kids made up their own actions to go with the song.

 We also did more picture study from the Art History text that featured clay pots, mud bricks/buildings, jewelry, votive statues, and the beginning of visual narrative in artwork from the Fertile Crescent/Assyria. 

For science we used our nature notebooks and made a page for each of the 5 Kingdoms of Living Things. For Animalia they made a collage, cutting out pictures from magazines, animal stickers, stamps and drawings.

 For Plantae we each made a page full of illustrated plants, trees, flowers etc.

Fungi was a fun one.  We made mushroom prints.  The kids went on the hunt for some fungi outside and we stamped our various fungi samples in ink and stamped them on the page experimenting with different patterns.

For Protista I pulled up a google image and we replicated the protists.  We used green glitter glue to fill in the blob shapes...algae or slime mold I guess...

kind of looks like a page of snot lol! And finally for Monera we made a page where we just used our fingertips covered in ink to stamp little circle stands and clusters.  This one is by my 5 year old.  Not that exciting to look at but they thought it was fun.

The kids LOVED the project and are proud of every page, even though it's simple! But I think they are proud because they know what those words they learned in their science memory work actually mean and put them in context in a fun easy way that I think/hope they will always remember.  

When we were at the beach last week they were excited to point out things and identify which kingdom it belonged to.  We had to google muscles and clams and my daughter was right, they are in Animalia.  The only thing my son couldn't find was Monera but I assured him it was there!  Probably a lot of it in the rotting crab leftovers from the seagulls and the murky water in the marsh that smelled like sulfur when we explored back in there when the tide was out observing crabs scurrying around and eating little bait fish.  And especially certain there was a good amount of Monera (bacteria) in that area when a ranger came over just to make sure people know the muscles aren't safe to eat from that area!  

So we were 2 weeks in and then took a 2 week break for this  trip.  We unschooled at the beach. They were learning so much on this trip and enjoying being outside every possible second.  We were in Madison, CT and the weather was perfect the whole time and the water warm enough I even got in!!! I don't get in the water a lot of the years we've been going because it's cold but it was just slightly cool and refreshing.  Hubby and I definitely took advantage of the kids having lots of quality time with their grandparents and got to recharge our batteries going out to breakfast, taking long walks around the entire town, kayaking, hanging on the beach and just enjoying our littlest one a little extra as he turned TWO while we were there and it's gone by so fast!  Having family around to enjoy the kids is a luxury we don't get to enjoy very often as we live on the opposite side of the country!  

Here the kids are crabbing, when the tide goes out they crack open muscles with a rock, tie it on the end of a little fishing line and drop it down into the openings between the rocks where there are little tide pools.  After collecting crabs in the bucket they dump them out in the sand and have a crab race to see which crabs get back to the ocean the fastest.  They learned to all about this fun activity from another little girl my daughter met there last year and they have been own pals and thankfully, they were able to see eachother again for 2 days while we were there.  Her once a year beach friend pen pal!  Being pen pals with her beach friend and her cousin is definitely part of our language arts as it's such an easy and fun way to work in spelling, grammer, punctuation and neatness!

The kids learned how to cast and reel, I was amazing at how quickly they could easily cast it way out!  But no fish.  Dad and Grampa kept catching fish every time we happened to not be around them ... Or maybe they were just fish stories!!! Lol

The kids started their first business.  First J made flower, herbs and grass soup from yard clippings.

And made a lovely presentation...

Grampa was a good sport and tasted it and then convinced her to taste it.  It looked pretty but after a taste she was onto the next thing...setting up a shop selling cool rocks, sea shells and fresh flowers from the yard
Business was decent due to a nice mail lady, elderly gentleman and supportive parents and grandparents...but when things slowed down they learned that it's hard to sell something that people can go get for free 30 steps away.  A lesson in supply and demand.  So they upgraded to an ice tea and lemonade stand and it was, in my daughters own words, "A SUCCESS!"  She sure was willing to go the extra mile for her customers as she told them she's open til 9 and she can also deliver on her scooter, no extra charge...which everyone had to chuckle at the thought of a cup of lemonade being delivered on a scooter.

They learned about being resourceful when they wanted a sign for the shop. No poster board available but paper plates and fishing line come easy at a beach cottage!  The also got some practice in making change and an economics lesson.  She did pretty good with her sales and tips and we reminded her that stores don't get the things they sell for free.  Even a little calculator from the dollar store, the manufacturer needed those buttons, and what about the plastic casing? And the computer and battery inside that makes it function? And they had to pay a person to make it. So hardly anyone can sell something for pure profit because there are costs in doing business.  So she asked her grandparents how much she owed them for the lemonade she used since they bought it and they said 25 cents would be fine so she paid back one of her quarters and asked how much for the plastic cups? So she was understanding the various costs involved but we said they were on the house, literally... the house had a big supply of plastic cups when we arrived!  It was a spontaneous, organic lesson that got her thinking about how businesses operate but was gentle enough.  She didn't mind paying 1 quarter out of the bowl full of dollar bills and change she had earned.  Since then, she has had more questions about the ins and outs of running a business and at the grocery store will remember "oh yeah so the store isn't really getting $7 from that because they had to spend money to buy it and they have to pay the people that work here and probably have to pay for the building and stuff I wonder how much they really make?" 

Another afternoon during the baby's nap we just had been at the beach all morning so we had a quiet time in the living room doodling on the floor while listening to Children of The New Forest on the Audible app on my phone.  

And I will say, my kids are pretty good with extended creative play together but after this trip, at that old 95 year old beach cottage that is so simple and easy and technology free other than the adults cell phones, the kids ability for creative play now is like seriously impressive me at least I can only compare to what I know but we decided to do the drive home in one day which ended up being 15 hours and we only stopped once for an hour at chik fil a and then just quick restroom and gas stops.  We went about 6-7 hours before I decided to put a video on in the car because my newly turned 2 year old was needing some distraction and when I put it on the kids were enjoying the game they had been playing for the past several hours they agreed not to watch the video and keep playing.  After that it was getting late and I put on a Disney movie and then the babe fell asleep.  After we finally got him asleep we let the kids each play minecraft for about 15 minutes to keep the car quiet so baby wouldn't wake up from their toys doing whatever in their game.  Then we took the phone back and put on some peaceful music and they talked/played quietly until they fell asleep which is where the only fight occurred.  When my son got to be almost asleep he got upset that his sisters leg was touching him, barely.  I told him he always snuggles her in his sleep and he didn't believe me so after his little stink about her leg barely grazing his, he quickly passed out and before you know it he's snuggling into his sister, we had to laugh...after all that fuss about not touching her, he was completely snuggled into her.  My husband and I were seriously impressed and thankful with their hours and hours of creative play with no fights for that long in the car.  We got in late last night and today, they picked their game up right where they left off, but first started by building castles with moats (play silks) filled with alligators (green blocks) and surrounded by knights (the black blocks)  the main characters are my daughters Rapunzle and Flynn Ryder dolls and my son has a GI Joe Ninja and transforming Dino Robots....I'm not sure what the storyline is but it must be really fun! Lol

And then it came full circle back to their CC science week 2 memory work when they discovered all kinds of Fungi that had popped up in the woods while we were away.  We ended up going on a scavenger hunt to see how many different kinds we could find.  There were so many interesting, strange and pretty varieties.  The kids couldn't believe the vastly different shapes, sizes, textures and colors they kept coming across.  We ended up going back inside to grab the camera and go back and photograph some of our favorite finds.  Even my 24 month old was joining in pointing and saying "fungi!"  

See the huge fungi in front of him?  I looked like a turtle shell, it even had an opening where it looks like it tucked it's head in to hide.

My daughter also found these treasures while out studying Fungi today. The middle feather is from a blue jay, the bottom one we think a woodpecker and we still need to find who the long yellow and light brown feather belongs to... But we know they all belong to the Kingdom Animalia ;) thank you fun CC memory work.  I wouldn't do it if we didn't enjoy it and as you can see it really is a great fun way to strew little bits of knowledge that can spark new interests and learning beyond the time we learn the new material.  

And since this short blog turned super long I will end with a story about one our moments on the trip that didn't go so well.  We went to Five Guys and the babe was crying that he hurt his fingers right when we left relatives house and we couldn't figure out what he did...until we arrived and were waiting inline to order I noticed some little blisters on the tips if his fingers and figured out that whip he and the kids were playing in the living room, we were in the kitchen right next to them but didn't see what happened, I realized he must have touched the light bulb on the lamp.  So we went to the table and put his fingers in the cup of cold water and he immediately was happier but in the meantime, the kids are focused on me helping the Babe with his fingers and my son accidentally spills his full cup of ice water all over the table.  Ok accidents happen my hubby goes and gets a bunch if napkins and cleans it all up.  He comes back and almost sits down when the baby suddenly reaches for the condiment cup of ketchup and it flies towards him and lands on the chair splattering everywhere.  My hubby gets more napkins and cleans that mess up and then is getting to his hair to sit down when our daughter whose a gymnast randomly does some fancy gymnastics salute at the table and sends her full cup if ice water flying everywhere.  My husband gets a S-ton more napkins and again cleans up as I'm still helping the baby with his sore fingers.  He comes back with our food and sets it down and I catch the bag before it falls and knocks over my water... We look at eachother like holy crap is this really happening!?!? Then my hubby gets everything situated and FINALLY sits down and SQUISH!!!  The first cup of water spilled had run off the table onto that seat and we didn't notice because it went everywhere!  So he was sitting in a puddle of ice water!  I mean at that point, what do you do?  Just laugh it off and eat your food and don't worry if looks like you wet your pants when you get up to walk out if the place.  For all the times things go well, there will always be times when randomly we get to be the spectacle that leaves people thinking who knows what!  Or maybe it's just a thing with us and Five time my son thought the fire alarm was a dispenser for those little white notecards they draw on and the alarm was so flippin loud the place cleared out completely and they told us we couldn't leave til the fire department came and shut it off.  That was also quite fun!!!! Really!!! NOT!!!  The good news was I put some Lavendar on baby's fingers and he was fine the next morning!  I always bring Lavendar and peppermint with me.  Use the Lavendar in the car to help keep things calm and relaxed and then use the peppermint on the hubby and I when were start getting a headache  or just need a pick me up.  Sometimes I rub a little on his neck and shoulders while he's driving.  Sometimes it comes in handy to rub on our tummies if we are feeling rotten after eating out.   

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