Thursday, June 24, 2010

Our Latest Reads

For our afternoon story we are reading The Celtic Dragon.

So far everyone loves it. And I must say I quite enjoy reading it out loud, it had a nice rhythm to the story, and frequently uses alliteration.

I've also been reading Lucy Cavendish's book on Atlantis, Lemuria and Avalon. Interesting, and certainly something to contemplate.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice!

We have had a lovely Winter Solstice day here. Busy with friends, and violin lessons, and celebrating and craft.

Last week for our form drawing, we made up star lanterns. A little complex to make, but simple once you get the folding. These were done in preparation for using tonight.

Then over the course of the day, we had one of Arden's little friends around, with her mum. A lot of lego building- the kids have seen a competition for lego. A violin lesson for Willow.
And finally our solstice dinner.

We put out our candles, with our yule log- which we haven't burnt as yet, but placed as a focal point in the table symbolically. We had a pleasant meal by candlelight. And we took some beeswax candles and decorated them with pressed flowers, from last spring.

Folded Candle Holders

And with light!

Before the Yule Log

With the Log

It was a very simple and pleasant evening.

Happy solstice where ever you are!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Out and About

We've now had a few interesting outings in our van. Though it's reliability is variable- we've discovered that the battery doesn't always keep charge. Currently we're working out why- it appears that whilst the car is off, the CD player and clock are still on using power. Also we think the remote key may be part of the problem- both it, and the CD player were added later.

Otherwise we've gotten down to Victor Harbour, which was great...we walked across and then took the horse tram back. It was a bit of a windy day, and it would be great to go back in time to see the fairy penguins one night.

Then last weekend Willow went to Burra with some friends, so the rest of us went off through the hills, with our plan to get to Birdwood, as a final destination. We went via Lobethal, and found Camelot on the way.

And I have now seen my first giant thing in Australia- we went past the giant rocking horse at Gumeracha.

And just to finish off....this was a local trip, we went to the Himeji Garden as part of our study in Japan.

It was very beautiful and peaceful.

Class 5

Willow has a very interesting array of themes and topics to study this year.

We've done the first part of her geography block, and examined our state.

And we've done a large chunk of the ancient world. There are so many interesting ancient cultures- it was hard to choose. But in the end I decided that we would briefly look at Atlantis, Mu, Zealandia, the Mayans, and the Jamon culture, but our main focus was on Babylonia, Hatti and Ancient Persia. She put together a beautiful book. And she is also getting very good with her map drawing.

The exposure to varied languages and scripts very much appeals to me within this sort of education. Looking at cunieform and Persian and Chinese, so far this year, and later Greek and Egyptian- just seems to me to bring much richness to a child's education. To have a familiarity with the greater world- and to understand that there is more, than what we here have done, or are doing, seems to me to be an invaluable realisation.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Food School

We have had such a busy term, that I have not done much blogging.

Gabriel has been doing food preparation, and maths, and a creation book.

There was much fun and mess!

Making butter using Gabriel's flavour shaker (or should I say Jamie Oliver's?) went down well. As well as our butter in a jar, made with a jar and marble. It was interesting to see that the flavour shaker made butter quite a bit quicker.

Flavour Shaker butter

Marble and Jar butter

Then there was the sauerkraut. Very simple to make- cabbage, caraway seeds and salt. Everybody got into making it. Willow and Arden included. We all sat in the backyard, and bashed and bashed the cabbage with our wooden spoons. It took a while, but eventually we had plenty of juice, and sauerkraut was left to ferment. And after making it once, I often have people offering to help, seems everyone loves to bash a cabbage!