Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cruise Post

I've posted the story and pictures of our cruise on my travel blog if you are interested. It's a long post, but it's mostly pictures! Enjoy!
Crumpet Moves to Paradise

Monday, December 26, 2011

Practicing Gratitude: Gifts 751-780

Oh so many gifts! It has been a wonderful month.
751: Finding old pictures on my cell phone.
752: Christmas lights.
753: I finally got around to making this craft with Crumpet. I've had it on my list for the last several Christmases...
754: Seeing this cat so happy when we set up the tree every year.
755: Seeing this cat so happy with Christmas wrapping every year.
756: Mellow cats who have been through so much in their years with us that nothing phases them anymore.
757: Crumpet has been a crafting maniac this month. We made LOTS of Christmas crafts.
758:Christmas cards containing photos of friends.
759: The joy of a 5 year old at Christmas time.
760: The fun of pulling out all of our Christmas ornaments and remembering where we got them.
761: A chance to go on a cruise.
762: We have seen all of the Hawaiian islands that we wanted to visit during our tour here.
763: We got to ride in 2 helicopters.
764: We survived our helicopter rides.
765: We saw flowing lava.
766: All you can eat buffets.
767: Towel animals.
768: Dolphins.
769: Hot tubs.
770: Wrinkled mountains.
771: We saw silversword plants. These are extremely rare.
772: I don't live in a cold climate!
773: Crumpet is a great traveler.
774: Accidental meetings with acquaintances in unexpected places! I ran into my yoga teacher at a bathroom in a wildlife refuge on Kauai!!
775: Double rainbows.
776: Finding this one morning:
777: The endless giggles caused by living with a silly 5 year old, AKA Christmas Dude:
778: The world is full of interesting places to explore.
779: And fabulous sights to see:780:So many creative people - this was a Christmas village made out of gingerbread that contained all of the beautiful buildings of downtown Honolulu.

Our best learning is happening now, while school is out..

Lately, the craziness of life has been affecting our school time. We have so many commitments and appointments... We end up squeezing our book work into the few hours of down time we have each day, and it always feels like we're trying to 'get it over with' so we can go run the next errand.. It's nothing like I pictured homeschooling.
This week, though, we've used our usual book work time to go learn outside while having fun, like I planned it..
Friday, we took Crumpet Sr. with us to the beach and flew kites and had a picnic. Then we went wading around in tide pools to see what we could find. We ended up with a bucket of little fish, snails, and piles of little hermit crabs. The weather was beautiful, the waves are huge, and the surfers are fun to watch. Crumpet was so excited to be outside, studying nature. It was bliss. There is no other word.
Today, Crumpet and I headed out to a park we've been wanting to explore. The next science lesson in our book was about learning to identify local plants and birds. We took A Hiker's Guide to Trailside Plants in Hawaii with us.
This was a great lesson in using the table of contents and the index of a non-fiction book. In the park, we chose some plants to identify and found almost all of them in the book. We took lots of pictures and brought home a few leaves and seeds to dry so we can make a booklet to refer back to.
While we were out, we found a geocache. Then we played on a huge wooden model train engine located in the park.
We pretended we were characters from Puss in Boots. It was so much fun, and Crumpet had no idea we'd spent the afternoon doing school work. I need to find a way to do this more often.
This week, I'm noticing that Crumpet is finally more willing to ask 'why' and come up with a hypothesis. He's willing to wonder, and discuss possibilities. He's learning to think for himself. It is so exciting to watch, and it makes him so much fun to talk to.
Life is good.

(P.S. I just looked back at my blog, and one of my recent posts was about all the fun things we were doing in November when we weren't in school... Maybe I need to relax and stop stressing so much about the daily requirements of life and remember the fun bits more? )

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Have a wonderful holiday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fun Restaurant Activity

We're back, and and we had a wonderful time. I have several blog posts to write, including a couple of travel posts, a post about A Thomas Jefferson Education, a school update, and of course, a huge gratitude post. And I have a million of your blogs to read... I'm guessing it will take me til after Christmas to catch up!
For now, I'll just post this randomness:
We had lunch at a pizza place on Kaua'i. Instead of the standard coloring sheet and crayons, they hand out a ball of pizza dough to keep the kids busy while they wait for their food. I thought, "Oh, how odd", until Crumpet spent hours playing with it, during lunch, and in the car afterward. It's better than playdoh because it holds together really well. We will definitely be using this idea at home!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Scholastic Books Warehouse Sale

Have you heard about the Scholastic Books Warehouse sales? Check out this link to see if there is one near you! We went to one that happened to be 10 minutes away from our house, and we found some good deals. Maybe not as many educational books as I planned, and a few too many Star Wars books, but Crumpet and I both left happy. Apparently, these sales take place a few times a year. We'll definitely be going to future events!