We studied and read about oak trees for one of the days during our tree celebrations. First, we collected leaves and acorns from oak trees. Then, we read A Year Around the Great Oak by Gerda Muller. This is one of our favorite tree books. Finally, we used watercolors to paint oak trees.
We could not help but try painting a couple of other kinds of our favorite trees. Ethan painted the White Fir tree and Audrey painted the Weeping Willow.
We are celebrating autumn! One of the first books we read was a delightful little story, Because of an Acorn. We also made autumn spiced play dough. We made a batch of cinnamon play dough and a batch of vanilla play dough. We also added cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves. Then, the creating began!
We also had our first day of Classical Conversations this week. We were all very excited to get back to our weekly community day with friends. We learn together and play together every Tuesday. We just love it!
We celebrated our first day of homeschool this past Monday. Even though, we are homeschooling all year with a 6 weeks on and 1 week off schedule, we officially began Audrey's 5th grade year, Ethan's 3rd grade year, Sophie's kindergarten year, and Ava continued with her "quiet growing early years" this week.
We begin each new homeschool year with a meaningful celebration. This year, it was all about animals around the world. This was chosen because we will begin our science studies this year with zoology. So each child received a new Ostheimer wooden toy animal and an animal book.
Audrey was given a wooden zebra and The Burgess Animal Book for Children. Ethan was given a wooden alligator and the DK Smithsonian's Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide. Sophie was given a wooden giraffe and D'Aulaires' Book of Animals. Ava was given a wooden monkey and Eric Carle's Animals Animals.
We began our first day of homeschool celebration with a pancake breakfast. Everyone got their new grade shaped pancake. Ava got an "A" but was unhappy when I took her picture because I would not let her pour her own syrup. Other than that, we had a great first day!
Fall is here! In our house, we start celebrating fall on September 1st. One of the first things we do to help us celebrate fall is to set up our nature table for the season. We like to set a fall scene with our wooden Ostheimer figures and add some of our favorite fall books to the display. We also love collecting fall treasures from nature. We began our collection this fall with seeds, fruits, and nuts from the trees we studied on our recent nature walks.
We spent the final days of our butterfly celebration reading more stories and doing more art. After reading Waiting for Wings, we made our own painted paper butterflies in the style of Lois Ehlert. We also read A Butterfly is Patient by Dianne Hutts Aston. We decorated our own butterfly wings with tempera paint and glitter.
We also painted glitter watercolor butterflies.
These beautiful watercolor painted cards are from the Twig and Moth Etsy shop. They were the perfect addition to our butterfly studies and celebration.
We love to see the Swallowtail Butterflies fluttering around outside while we play! They are so beautiful! We drew them in our nature journals. We love to read about them too! One of our favorite butterfly books features the Swallowtail. It is Are You a Butterfly? by Judy Allen.
To celebrate the Monarch Butterfly, we read two beautiful stories. First, we read Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way by Elizabeth Ring. The next day we read A Monarch Butterfly's Life by John Himmelman. We also spent some time outside in or garden watching the Monarch Butterflies that love to visit our Milkweed plants. We were even lucky enough to see some Monarch Caterpillars on our plants too.
After observing the Monarch Butterflies in our backyard, we drew them in our nature journals.
We began our butterfly celebration by reading and learning about the naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Merian. Her story is so fascinating! She became extremely interested in butterflies and moths at a very young age. She studied insect life cycles and recorded her discoveries in beautiful watercolors. After reading about her and looking at her watercolors and prints, we created our very own detailed watercolor butterflies.