Why the Tree of Life?



We've started a once weekly craft day with a friend. Crafts just weren't happen' with Ayla-zilla. We rotate days between painting, woodworking, fiber arts and seasonal crafts. We watercolored last week, made pencil holders this week, and next up.... felt bead necklaces! Better get busy cutting...

Kirven completed his pencil holder, and my friend had found some awesome fuzzy pencils to put in them.
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Race to Nowhere

There's new documentary coming out: Race to Nowhere
I found out about it through this interesting blog post: Too Busy to Notice

High school was high pressure when I attended from '90-'94, and it has only gotten more extreme, from what I can tell. Our (including my husband's there) experience was a major factor in deciding to homeschool. Considering that so many of my contemporaries are choosing to homeschool for many of the same reasons, enough that it is a topic of public controversy rather than just a weird fringe thing unworthy of notice, I wonder if society is getting closer to a widespread crisis that will bring about effective change? Things will probably have to get much worse before they get better, and honestly, that sort of sea change will be years in the making. It certainly won't be in time for my kids. Because, really, it's not the teachers, it's not the parents, it's not the gobs of money we throw at the problem; it's the heartless, inhuman system. It's the factory model. It's going to take a lot to reverse the momentum of a 100 years of pedagogical and business decisions that have gotten us where we are today. But it needs to be done. The voices are getting louder at least. Now, how to put that in a soundbite for a politician....

Quill & Wrap-up

Kirven has been wanting to make a quill pen for a long time, and he recently came home from the ranch with a turkey feather. Not knowing the finer points of quill making or whattheheck we would use for ink, I put Kirven off as long as I could, until he reached the mama-when-are-we mama-when-are-we phase, and I said, ok, let's do this thing.

I just snipped the very tippity-tip off at a 45 degree angle with a pair of scissors, and then decided that blue food coloring, undiluted, might do the trick. Worked beautifully, and everyone has had a go at it. Kirven has declared that it would be more fun, nay, easier to learn to right with a quill and ink.

We also just got some math wrap-ups. I used these when I was little, and I remembered them being fun. They have been a big hit, which is gratifying. They also work great as keys to your Blackbird spy plane or big, twin-engine boat.
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Book Binding

Kirven finished Grade One this past week, and we just tied the final knot on binding all his work from the past year into a Good Book. Ask him to show it to you next time you visit!

Next up, Grade Two for Kirven and Kindergarten for Dunagan.
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The boys started a Tinkering class with Austin Tinkering School this week. Kami has a real gift with the kids, and is very creative and knowledgeable.

They had two tables full of dead electronics from which to work, and they even had a couple of old dishwashers to dismantle and explore. Towards the end, some of the kids were taking motors they had found and were attaching batteries and other parts like fans and disc drives to them and making them go.

This class will last for another five weeks or so, and then we're hoping to join Kami's Artisan Field Trip class where we will get to see a guitar maker, a welder, a cement caster among others at work.

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Innerspace Cavern

We went to Innerspace Cavern in Georgetown today. There are 6 miles of cave and we were about 100 feet down. It is always about 76 degrees down there, and the water is always 74. With the recent flooding, all the pools and "lakes" were full, and water was dripping from all the stalagtites and trickling over the flow rocks. There were teeny, tiny bats, too, flying around and putting on quite a show. Ayla said we should have brought our net to catch one, and Dunagan and I thought it would be very comfortable hanging upside down in our herpetarium.

Ayla refused to wear her shoes nearly the moment we entered the cave, and she and I were quite covered in cave mud by the time we emerged. At least she left her dress and diaper on. That would have really shocked the uninitiated.
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Above is what I want to make. Aren't they lovely? Our Little Nature Nest always has lovely ideas. Go to her website for details about her flash cards.

Here's what I just bought off amazon instead. Sigh. Part of me thinks it makes a difference that the flash cards are beautifully watercolored to match the characters in the Four Processes stories. The practical and exhausted part of me doesn't think it makes enough difference to make the effort worthwhile.

Addition 0 to 12 (Brighter Child Flash Cards)



I just found this in our house!
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