Friday, April 29, 2016

Pictures tell the Story

Welcome back to the Blue Rabbit Academy.  We've been getting into fun mischief lately. This week I'm just going to tell you a series of stories based off some of the pictures I took this week. 

The babies library program this week was about colors.  After the program they had some little activities for the kids to do such as fishing for letters of your color and putting pom poms on the rainbows. 
 Here is Ro-bear hunting for yellow letters.
Here is Boo putting Red, Yellow, and Orange pom poms on her rainbow.

Last weekend at our weekly get together at their Aunt and Uncle's house someone decided to do a fire and roast marshmallows.  The kids had a blast.  Boo got a little cranky when people started telling stories, but it was late.  I brought her inside so I missed a lot of the games and stories, but there's nothing quite like a fire with marshmallows and s'mores.

 We started trying to do some crafts in the morning.  This one is a construct kit, it had three dinos cut out to assemble and decorate.  The girls had fun dividing up the stickers and planning some YouTube videos with these dinos.  We haven't filmed them yet, but they are on the very official looking chalk board of Icy Breeze Show stuff.  I don't know if you can tell in this picture, but L-bug got into poison ivy. Seriously all over her face.  We almost brought her to the Dr because it was near her eyes, but then it stopped spreading.  By today it is down to a light pink and no where nearly as poofy.  I do wish my kids didn't get poison ivy by just looking at it... two out of three had it on their face this month alone.
One of the other crafts we've done this week was a science kit on crystals.  The kit came with little pouches filled with jello like material.  You add them to water and they turn into crystals... Well, they got fuzzy looking (see picture) then they got bigger. They never made me think of crystals, but more like Q-bert- like the boards in that game.  The kids liked watching it grow, but we all agree that the kit should tell us what the crystals are. Or why they form the way they do.  We just would like a little more science.

We didn't have a ton of outside time this week because I can't quite shake the cough I got last week.  We did go out some though.  Boo and Ro-bear decided to put on their bathing suits one day and use a box that was in the yard as a slip n' slide.  They brought out of bucket of water and poured it on the box and slipped and laid on it and in general had fun outside. 

L-bug has been asking for a bunk bed with a futon under it.  She says between sleepovers and playing Nintendo it would just be awesome.  It just so happened that her Uncle was getting rid of that exact type of bed and gave it to her.  Her Dad and another Uncle got it all set up for her and its been next to impossible to get the girls our of her room now. 
 About five years ago L-bug went to a VBS over the summer and they gave out prizes.  L's prize was this turtle, but sadly as soon as she got it home its leg broke off.  She insisted that she keep it because it was important to her, so its been sitting around in different places around the house for the past five years.  This year in school we just happened to be reading Minn of the Mississippi.  L-bug looked up after our reading one day and says "Mom, my turtle. It's Minn!" In one of the first chapters of the book Minn lost her leg to a gunshot woud and we believe it was the same back leg, but we could be wrong.
While taking a picture of Minn up there, Boo insisted on taking a picture of her fox.  So, here is Boo with a fox. Please excuse L-bug's desk. Dear Goodness that kid keeps her desk a mess.  I can't say too much though, that's her craft desk.  Craft desks are made to be messy... Shh don't tell.

Last May a friend gave me a Queen comforter bag full of yarn.  I've been working through it as the year passed and the bag is almost empty.  I found bunches of smaller balls at the bottom of the bag and decided to make a magic blanket with them.  A magic blanket is essentially a blanket where you use the yarn you have and just tie on a new ball as you finish.  Another way to do it is to take the left over yarn from a project and wind it into a ball of other scrappy yarn.  In a week I've gotten it to about baby blanket size, but I'm running out of small balls.  I think I'll finish it for now, and then when I have scraps from another project I can just add more on as I get more.  The girls all love the blanket so we're hoping to get it big enough for a couch blanket.

It has been a fairly busy week even though we left the house as little as possible.  I could use a weekend to rest and get rid of this cough, but its just not going to happen.  We have International Table Top Board Game Day tomorrow.  A day I look forward to all year long! Followed by the Spring Festival on Sunday.  I think we all look forward to that as well so we are going to be super busy, but that's okay. We can rest later. 

Don't forget that you can check out L-bug over on YouTube at The Icy Breeze Show, and you can check out our crafts at Blue Rabbit Cottage on Etsy and Blogger and @RabbitCottage on Twitter.

I hope you have had a wonderful week and thanks for stopping by and listening to my stories.  Hope to see you again soon.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Morning Musing

Good morning, welcome back to the Blue Rabbit Academy.  We've had a rather lazy week this week.  I hope you have had a restful week.

We got a new camcorder for Youtubing and other things people use camcorders for- so we've been doing loads of filming this week.  Its so much fun to see how creative the kids can be when they are working on new ideas for videos. 

We finished our English book early this year. Not doing English is just too strange an idea for me that we started doing some review worksheets.  They are really too easy though. They are supposed to review fourth grade concepts, so I guess it is a good indicator that we did do enough this year if the sheets are too easy.  L-bug did a video on English one day this week.  After I edit it, we'll get it up on YouTube if you want to check it out.  It will be under the Icy Breeze Show.

We had Lego club at the library this week.  L-bug and Ro-bear built bridges and Boo played with the big blocks.  The librarians had two tables spread apart 6" to test the bridges and rolls of pennies to put on for weight.  Ro-bear's bridge was too skinny to hold more than one roll of pennies. L-bug's held all the pennies they had plus some marbles they had on hand. 

I got sick towards the end of this week, so we spent most of our free time watching tv and being laid back.  Boo and Ro-bear discovered Yokai Watch.  It is a pretty cute show, with really annoying theme songs.  Its a little young for L-bug though, so they take turns watching shows.  Her current favorite is Girl Meets World.  Which, if you liked Boy Meets World, you'll like this new one.  We'd started on Animaniacs, but some reason the kids all lost interest about five episodes into the series. What are your favorite shows to watch when you're sick?

We still have three weeks left in school, but we already feel like we're wrapping up.  As I look back on this year my favorite thing we did was listen to audio books together.  Every morning we would take our handicraft project to the living room and sit on the couch and listen while a lovely Librivox reader would read to us.  We read The Secret GardenA Little Princess and Kidnapped this way. I completed a cross stitch for a friend's Christmas present while we listened and now when I think of cross stitching I think of the cozy feeling I had while listening to The Secret Garden and most of A Little Princess.  Then we moved on to a new book that wasn't available in audio and now I miss those mornings.

Another thing I missed this year was taking nature walks.  We rarely went out on walks.  We got so busy being busy.  We had school work and extra activities and L-bug has a friend she plays with every afternoon after school and we just ran out of time.  We did spend plenty of time outside with the chickens, but its not the same as taking a nature walk, or any walk for that matter.   Looking at what you miss in your school life doesn't have to be depressing though.  Don't beat yourself up over what you could or should or would like to have done.  Simply start where you are and adjust.  We have three weeks left.  In a 36 week year it might not seem like much, but it is, it is almost a month.  We can find time to snuggle together to read, or do handicrafts with the tv.  We can spend time outside talking walks, having tea parties all the "extras" that make homeschooling worth it.  It is not too late to adjust and make your year what your family wants and needs. 

We've talked over some ideas for next year when Ro-bear will be joining us as a Kindergartener.  We want to start having tea parties maybe once a month to read poetry together and make cookies.  We want to hang our artist study on the wall so we can enjoy the paintings every day.  L-bug will start writing for the blog just a little something for her writing assignments.  We will try a four day a week schedule where we spend Friday's doing crafts, YouTube recording, free interest projects, walks and things that don't make it on the school schedule. L-bug's favorite part of school is science experiments, so I know to add hands on activities to school.
 Do I believe we'll succeed immediately? No, but if we try to implement these things something new will emerge and I think we'll have a more restful school experience.  What are your goals for schooling?

Here's to the final three, may they be everything we hope them to be and more.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Busy Bees

We're wrapping up our school year already.  We still have four more weeks to go, but our PE class just ended and everyone said their goodbyes and we all made plans to meet up this summer to play.  It feels odd to be wearing a jacket in the mornings and be planning meetups at the splash pad by afternoon.  I even managed to get sunburnt at PE.  Just doesn't sit right with me.  We're enjoying a peaceful, but busy time.  We're growing things in the garden, doing our school work, filming for YouTube and buying next years school books.

Am I the only one who plans next year while still in the trenches of this year?  There's just something so hopeful and fresh about new books, that it helps me pass the last few weeks of school without going insane.

Our chickens have discovered our compost pile.  They think they are in chicken heaven.  The only sad part was that something was growing in there. I think possibly a pumpkin.  Its not now, they totally mowed it over.

We found this little guy on our steps the other day.  Little did I know that Ro-bear would catch him in a jar.  I thought he had run away, went inside and there's a mason jar sitting on the kitchen bench with a very miserable looking lizard inside.

Don't worry about him though, I gently slipped him back out onto the porch and he had wandered off by the next morning.

On the bookshelf preschool edition

Mustache Baby Meets his Match by Bridget Heos

Boo loved Mustache Baby so much she asked for a copy for Christmas, so when a sequel came out we headed to the library.  Everyone else must have run too because we had to wait months to get a copy.  Finally Boo got the book.  She loves it.  The illustrations are just as adorable as the first book. 
I preferred the story of the first book better, but this book gently showed little kids about competition with humor and adorable characters.

This book and Mustache Baby are a great addition to any little person's library! You will reread them over and over. 

Our Misadventure

The other day for art class we decided to do a project with tempera paint.  We read about a Medieval artist who used egg and berries or bugs to make tempera (not that he was the only one, he was just the example in the book).  The book told us to take chalk  instead of natural materials, mix with egg yolk and just a touch of water.
L-bug found a piece of chalk that for some reason was wet, so she had difficulty crushing it for the paint.  She mixed a light yellow and wanted it darker so she added more chalk.  It was not crushed up well, so for some reason she decided to try to melt the chalk in the microwave... a minute later she comes out with a bowl of nasty smelling... scrambled eggs.
It was just about the nastiest paint I have ever seen and hope to never see a paint this sticky again...
If you decide to make tempera paint, please do not microwave your paint. Crush the chalk then add a little bit of yolk with water (just a little water).

I hope you have had some fun adventures lately.  Please feel free to share in the comments.  I'm glad you came back to visit and hope you check back soon for more school adventures are the blue rabbit academy.