Posted in Homeschooling

Crayon Fun!

Another year has come and gone, and Aurora turned 5 the other day. Winter leads us to another bout of cabin fever, looking for things to do to entertain ourselves.

I’ve been seeing melting crayon art online, so Aurora and I tried it out. While our 1st attempt kinda failed (only 1 crayon really melted out of the several we had), we did get a cool little shadow looking figure on our cardboard.

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After our failed melting art, I did some research online for other things to do with old bits of crayons.

I found instructions on how to repurpose old crayons and make new ones from them.

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Aurora and I tweaked it a bit. Since we didn’t have cooking spray, we lined our mini muffin tray with aluminum foil. The foil didn’t work as well as maybe no stick spray would but we did still have positive results.

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Some of the crayon melted into the tin so on our next trip to the store, we’ll be looking for some silicon molds that we can use in the future. We also tweaked the baking time since our crayons took a few minutes longer than what was recommended, which may have been on account t of the aluminum foil.

We turned some of Aurora’s old bits of crayons and made some pretty new chunky ones. Being that I want to experiment with different brands of crayons (to see which melt the best) we will definitely be doing this again. It was fun and it passed the time on a chilly will terrible afternoon!

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From my house to yours, I wish you all a happy belated New Year’s and look forward to sharing this year with you!

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Posted in Homeschooling, nature, Plant Life

Homeschool Observation

Top of the Saturday morning to you all! I hope that today finds you alive and well and if you are not well, I wish you to get better. We woke up to a mild 35 degrees this morning and at the moment, it’s 43 with 100% humidity and a real feel of 52. I’ll take it, at least it’s not 90 like the beginning of the week. My heart skipped a beat though when I woke up and saw how dangerously low to freezing that it was. I wouldn’t want my jungle to freeze before it had its chance to shine! 

After I write this post, Aurora and I are going to go do some “sciencing”, a word I made up a while back. I home school her, at least for now, and we do our science stuff out in the field to learn about the world around us. At breakfast this morning, I mentioned to her that we should get a couple of field notebooks, as scientists take notes on what they observe. When I told her that the notebook would be to write notes in, she lamented that she doesn’t write (yet! that’s for us to start in a couple of months) but then she perked right up and said she can draw. That is certainly true that she can draw her observations, for that is part of a field notebook. I can’t draw worth a crap but I can illustrate with words, so we will make a good science team in the future. 

Our first year of homeschooling has been lax since September, and by lax, I mean that I have no clue what I am doing and we are winging it! I must be doing something ok because she knows her alphabet by sight, sound and sign (she learned to spell and sign her name the very 1st day!) and I was told by my eldest daughter’s old Head Start teacher that I am doing excellent and that she was impressed that Aurora could spell and sign her name so quickly. We are homeschooling year round, which leaves us the freedom to do what we want, when we want to learn, without any pressure. I feel that children can learn better in a freer environment, to learn at their own pace. For example, I had tried back in September to teach Aurora to start writing her letters, but she was not very interested in it. I put it on the back burner to start for this September. I am finding that she is more of a visual learner, so we’re going to go with that. Part of the reason why I chose to teach her year round is because of the flexibility. During winter, we did more of the general concept learning letters, numbers, etc. and I have been waiting for spring and summer for us to learn some science hands on.

Our main science mission to observe this summer is the life cycle of the monarch butterfly. They are dwindling in numbers and I think it is important to teach Aurora to try to help conserve them. Monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed and when people cut them down, it hurts their population. We are blessed to have a bunch of milkweed near us to observe monarchs and their life cycle, in a place where they will not be disturbed.

The past couple of days we have seen a few monarchs, but they haven’t sat still long enough for us to observe them. We have, however, been finding hummingbird hawk moths that have been a bit more cooperative with our observations. I saw my first hummingbird hawk moth several years ago, and only a few times since before moving here last year. They may seem elusive but you just need to know where to look. Being that we have all the time on our hands, Aurora and I have learned where and when we can find them, which also helps teach her about life cycles. 

Here’s a clip of our adventure yesterday. We did see a couple of monarchs for a few fleeting moments, but we got good footage of a hummingbird hawk moth. We embrace any learning opportunity we get! I am a firm believer in being self-taught, but that is a post to be written for another day. Right now, we have some sciencing to go do! I bid you all to have a wonderful day, and to go out and observe something!