Friday, August 27, 2010

grade 2, block I, week 3...herbs.

last week we completed our 3rd and final week of our herbs block.

this has been an amazing experience! i have learned so much & so have the boys. i now find herbalism to an approachable subject, and no longer feel completely & totally clueless on the healing powers of plants.

i am going to try & do more in the future & avoid "main stream" cures as much as possible. homemade herbals add another layer to the peace of mind that comes with living simply & responsibly. and this peace of mind is priceless when you have children in your care, not to mention both ourselves & mother earth.

and now, the lessons...

monday, august 23rd
(heart) walk/hike with circle time
(head) main lesson
*read aloud with mama, 15 min...more tales of oliver pig
*begin making addition fact flash cards for #1-12, beginning at 1+0 thru 1+12. today we did both the ones & the twos.
i wrote the problems & aydin wrote the answers on the back... i had gems ready in case he needed them, but it appears that he has got this lot down.

(this is a great way to reuse some of your old paintings. :)

*form drawing, from the book of the same title by hans neiderhauser, p. 3, fig 3
(i had lent a friend my embry-stine book w/out looking at this week's form, so i hunted down another. unfortunately i cannot find a link to this one for sale anywhere...sorry.)

*tell story of comfrey, "the knitbone", p. 96
(hands) handwork, begin work on treehouse...
for some reason i did not take a single picture of aydin's treehouse last week. :(

this project was inspired by an article i found in a family fun is the link.

today we hunted for forked branches on our walk. we had a perfect base in the basement leftover from, hmmm...i don't know when...but today it found it's purpose!

we drilled holes for the two branches & glued them into place. then aydin set to work on adding a few platforms. (they were out of the balsa wood strips recommended in the article at michael's, but they did have another mixed, we got those.)

(will add some photos later...our card reader is acting up. :( )

tuesday, august 24th
(heart) garden day, 1 hour/week spent weeding, mulching, harvesting & otherwise exploring
(head) main lesson
*read aloud w/mama 15 min, more tales of oliver pig
*make more addition fact flash cards, today's families are the 3's & 4's...

*recall story, "the knitbones"
*make green salve...
you will need your chosen herbs, olive oil, vitamin E (preservative), beeswax & glass jars

1. we used 6 herbs in our batch...(clockwise, starting with bright green at top)
plantain, calendula, echinacea, comfrey, elder & chickweed , 1c of each

2. add the olive oil to the pot (we added 1 1/2 c), simmer mixture for 20 min

3. near the end of the 20 min, begin to melt beeswax (we started with about 1 1/2 oz) in a double boiler (or) in a can inside a pot with an inch or so of water

4. strain the herbs over an old glass/enamel bowl to catch the "juice", squeezing the herbs to get every last bit of goodness.

5. add the melted beeswax & stir. take a sampling on a spoon & place (on a plate to catch the drips) in the fridge. check in about 3 minutes or so...if it is too oily, add a bit more beeswax, if it is too hard add a bit more oil.

6. once the right/desired consistency is achieved, pour into jars (carefully, the oil will be HOT!), and allow to cool...UNCOVERED.

label & use liberally for all of bug bites, scrapes, burns, diaper rash, etc.

*we had to add a bit more beeswax to ours. also, our salve smells a bit strongly of olive oil. next time i might use 1/2 olive oil with half jojoba/grapeseed. i am thinking about melting our lot down & adding a bit of lavender essential oil, but honestly i don't know that it is entirely worth it. the smell is just a wee bit stronger than i would like...but not overpowering or anything.

(hands) baking...chard quiche
for some reason we have no pictures of this either. :(
it was good, but one of our favorite parts of quiche is the lovely flaky crust which you don't actually get with this recipe. on a side note, we discovered that aydin has a seemingly insatiable love of sauteed chard!

wednesday, august 25th
*today was miss rose's kith & kin playgroup for the under 5's & then we met on the island for our own local homeschooling playgroup in the afternoon.

it was a lovely day, & ended with the children all tripped down to their skivs playing in the river!

thursday, august 26th
(heart) walk/hike with circle time
(head) main lesson
*read aloud with mama, 15 min...more tales of oliver pig
*make next lot of addition fact flash cards, today's numbers were the 5's & 6's

*math review of all cards made so far...
*recall story
*draw comfrey & write plant profile

(hands) handwork, more work on the treehouse
aydin did quite a bit of work on tuesday, adding 3 different platforms. today i helped him with a bit of stabilizing. we added some support beams & re-did one platform on a stronger piece of scrap wood that we had, etc.

friday, august 27th
(heart) walk/hike with circle time
(head) main lesson
*read aloud with mama, 15 min...more tales of oliver pig (finished book :)
*make next set of addition fact flash cards, #7's & 8's
*BONUS: aydin decided he wanted to play bananagrams, LOVE it!
orin & aydin have both loved this game...and i love that you can play alone or with friends/mamas. ;)
*read back through main lesson book, recalling stories & favorite projects, etc...
(hands) painting,
"blue tries to calm down a wildly excited red one day"

we both also chose to do a second 'free' painting...
aydin did another mini painting with sharpie & then added a watercolor wash...and i did "happy" because i just found out that my sister is moving up here at the end of the month!

i am so very excited!!

rainbow-licious & then some...;)

first up, few projects from the last knitting post are now finished (& stashed away ;)

ehren's rainbow keyhole scarf turned out lovely...

and me, um...modeling it at 5am or so...(note the bags under the know it's early, the coffee must still have been brewing...:)

rainbow kitchen cloth, complete & already in action...

i LOVe this yarn! i can see many more clothes of varying designs in our future...

oh, and this yarn...LOVE it, perhaps even more than the last. it is a plant-dyed, superwash merino from mamajude's etsy shop. i got a double skein so that everyone could pick out a rainbow project.
ehren's pilot hat turned our perfect...i was a bit heistant & now that i have knit one, i don't kow for evyn's!

i still need to knit up some sort of tie...debating between an i-cord or a button strap...

a gorgeously green pair of fingerless mitts knit for a dear friend...i LOVE that everyone loves these mitts! they are so very fun to both knit & wear... and lastly...

i have just begun this sweet smock for evyn...others have said that it knits up a bit small, so i am going with the medium size (18months). i am hoping for it to be a bit large so that she can enjoy it both this fall & winter & again in the spring...

the thing is that she is just about 18months, but going by the chest sizes the 12months size would even be a bit big on her. so, we'll see. i am using pisgah's, peaches n' cream, fiesta (the same yarn that i used for the above washcloth). and will be knitting it up solid, vs stripes as the yarn is already so very colorful.
(will post pictures soon, as our card reader is acting up. :( )

ok, and these are, of course, not knit...but i felt like they fit with the theme...;) and you could always munch on them while you knit. so, there you go...the cookies are completely relevant! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

grade 2, block I, week 2 (herbalicious!)

monday, august 16th
(heart) no walk today...we had lego club!
(head) main lesson
*read loud with mama, 15 min...more tales of oliver pig
*form drawing, p. 13, fig. 22b
*tell story, "the young rabbit" (p. 63, mullein)
(hands) handwork,
*make play dough
(we used the recipe from childhood magic's blog)

*3 c flour (& a bit more for kneading)
*1/2 c salt
*2 tbsp cream o' tartar
*2 tbsp vegetable oil
*2 c boiling water
*essential oils, optional
*food coloring, optional

1.mix all dry ingredients together.
2. add oil, boiling water & essential oil (if using)
3. mix carefully as it will be quite hot!
4. knead, adding a bit more flour if needed.
aydin & i made mama & baby dragonflies & frogs..:)
ehren's creations...
even evyn got in on the fun!
tuesday, august 17th
(heart) garden day, 1 hr/week spent weeding, mulching, harvesting & exploring w/circle time
(head) main lesson
*read aloud with mama, 15 min...more tales of oliver pig
*make mullein oils...
we used mullein that we have harvested & dried last month...:)
1) massage oil (lavender, chamomile, calendula, & mullein)
2) earache oil (st. john's wort, garlic & mullein)
1. measure out ingredients, having both jars & grapeseed/olive oil at the ready.
we used 1/2c of each herb
2. rub herbs between palms to bruise & release oils.
3. add herbs to jar (we used quart mason jars) & cover with either grapeseed/olive oil.
4. poke herbs down into oil...any not covered in oil could mold, etc.
5. shake for 1 minute.
6. label, then store in cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. shake for 1 minute each day, for the next 2 weeks, then strain.
*if using fresh herbs, strain oil after 2-3 days. the water in the plants will make the oils going rancid much more quickly.
the oils didn't take nearly as long as i thought they would take, so we played legos!
aydin, our resident lego master, built a backhoe...
ehren built (from left to right) a dvd, a tv & a remote...
i built??...the boys have decided it was a rainbow army base...
note the bed hair...a lesser known perk of homeschooling, or is it just me?? ;)
(hands) baking; hummus & pita chips (mmmmm...)
i could not find our hummus recipe, so we winged it. we ended up with our best hummus yet!
*1 can garbanzo beans
*2 heaping tbsp minced garlic
*3 tbsp lemon juice
*salt, pepper & cumin to taste
combine the above ingredients in a food processor until well blended. slowly add olive oil to achieve desired consistency.
pita chips?? (we LOVE these!)
preheat over to 400 degrees.
cut pita in 1/8s, separate halves (so that you end up with 16 triangles per pita)
arrange on baking sheet, brush lightly with olive oil
bake 5 min or so, depending on how crispy you like them.
some of our boys like them a bit soft, and some like them fully crisp.

wednesday, august 18th
*play group @ the library...

thursday, august 19th
(heart) walk/hike with circle
(head) main lesson:
*read aloud with mama, 15 min...more tales of oliver pig
*recall story, draw mullein & plant profile
*tell story, "how fluff cloud gave plantain herb to the earth" (p.81)
(hands) beeswax/play dough molds...
another project inspired by ariella over @ childhood magic
gather modeling beeswax (we used stockmar), play dough (we used ours from monday) & some fun little trinkets/treasures that you think would make cool molds...
press the treasures into the play dough to make the casings...
melt beeswax. you could use a double boiler, but we don't have one. we just put the beeswax in a tin can & put that in an old pot. then we added about 1/2" or so of water.
be super careful pouring the wax into the molds as it is HOT!!
let cool... the beeswax's colors will lighten as it hardens. remove play dough 'shell' & enjoy!
we actually had to wash the last bits of play dough off in the sink...
this was addictive! the boys seriously would have gone on all night if i hadn't nipped it. ;)
friday, august 20th
(heart) walk/hike with circle time
(head) main lesson
*read aloud with mama, 15 min...more tales of oliver pig
*practice plantain poultice
used to remove splinters & pains from both insect bites & bee stings...
*make plantain window hangings (p. 78)
*make plantain leaf rubbings
(hands) painting day
"yellow shines down on blue from above. she is careful not to get too close...she does not want to wake him."