Medieval Studies

We just had another history get together for our study of the Middle Ages. This time we were talking about the Crusades and life in a castle so our projects were focused on those themes.
The girls and I made lovely princess hats. We found the idea from the Usborne book
Princess Things to Make and Do.
First we cut a piece of poster board into two semi circles.
Next we pulled one semi circle together to form a cone shape. We taped this together.
Then we ripped up pieces of glittery tissue paper and glued them all over the cone.
The last step was to tape three peices of long paper streamers to the hat.
Voila, medieval princess hat!
We could have made it even fancier by gluing pretty fabric to the cone and using real ribbon for the streamers but this budget version was pretty and fun.

My boys also brought string and sticks to make bows and arrows. The children then had an archery tournament.
We also pretended to have a plague and the children were able to use Thieves essential oil scented hankies to prevent contamination. Marla brought a tapestry making activity and the children were able to make up their own storyboard for a tapestry.
And of course we had good food! Marla brought fruit ala Saladin, Heather made lamb stew and we brought bread to use as trenchers and some biscuits for the gluten free crowd.
As always our history day was fun and inspiring for our young students. It is such a blessing to have creative friends to do these projects with.


An Expotition- In Which The Pepito's Take a Break

This year has been full of busyness, we have had lots of extra projects and sad events that we could not have foreseen at this time last year. The children have been troopers through it all and we could not have managed the extra commitments without their help.

Sometimes though, we need to put the work aside and take a day to just be together. The best places we have found for getting closer as a family and building relationships usually involve being outside. Because we are in an area that is somewhat new to us, we have had to explore a bit to find lovely spots for family time. Our last expotition, as we like to call them in honor of Pooh Bear, was to Rainbow Pools near Yosemite.
It took us almost two hours of driving and although it was sunny in the valley, rain was coming down at our pretty destination. However, the rain proved to be an asset because for one reason the parking lot was empty, which gave us leave to be as loud and silly as we wanted, and also because the rain had brought California Newts out in hordes. It was so neat for my little ones to see these spectacular little orange newts and I loved sharing their wonder.
It was a lovely, restful day and I was sad when all too soon it ended.


Science Presentations

I have always loved giving my children opportunities to do oral reports. I feel that it provides valuable experience in the art of eloquence as well as building confidence in my children.
Another aspect of oral presentations that I love is that it really does inspire my children to do their best work. If their friends are all going to see their projects then we all work a little harder to make them look good.
A rhizome which we dug up and photographed.
Sometimes though I just don't know how to make a project look nice. I am not a naturally crafty person, I really can't even scrapbook to save my life and so making presentations look good is not my strong suit.
It was a blessing when on a recent Sunday at church, which meets in a Seventh Day Adventist School, we were able to enjoy looking at beautiful biology displays that had been created by their students. These displays sparked in my children some ideas for displays of their own. Fortunately this happened just a week before we were to meet with our botany co-op.
 It was so neat to see my children take the initiative to find different types of roots, photograph them and then build their presentation. I love learning with my children and those moments when their interest is sparked and they are excited about what they are learning makes all the hours of slogging through the tedious lessons worthwhile.

Emmett presenting his report on root systems