Showing posts with label Autumn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Autumn. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Owl Learnings at Maymont Estate

Jonas identifying the Barred Owl in our field guide on Owls. 

He was sleeping but after we were there alone with him for about ten minutes he woke up and stared at DD after she hooted at him!
Some days are just idyllic. 
Our little trip to Maymont was one of those. 
It is days like that which make homeschooling so very worth it on a personal level. 
I know mentally that this is the right choice for us. 
I know that scientifically this type and way of learning is nonpareil for my children at this age. 
But sometimes we need proof and an anchor point for all that mental data. 
I can cite you article after article about why hands on and project based learning is amazing. 
Or why Waldorf really works. 
But then to see it in front of me, really hits home. 
I mean how many kids, after learning about Owls, get to go see them up close and study them?
I certainly won't forget this anytime soon and I doubt my kids will either. 
This trip was a great conclusion to our owl theme. I highly recommend a visit to Maymont if you're in Virginia. It is free, but they suggest a small donation. We spent about 3 hours there and only got through 1/4 of the estate. It took us a little under an hour to get there. They have tons of animals, a children's farm, a nature center, the estate itself, and just beautiful grounds. Stunning. I have lived in Virginia my whole life and I am just shocked that I had never been here before.

I will be back in this place a little later this week to share a new book with you as well as our pumpkin trip and some bat crafts. I just still can't get over how lovely of a day we had. I just love this time in our lives. 

PS: I am linking up with Linda at Natural Suburbia  Nicole S at Frontier Dreams, and Carrie at Crafty Moms Share. These are also some of my favorite blogs so hop over for a look! 

Recording her observations in her nature journal (which also happens to be her main lesson book this year)


Until next time-
Love and Light,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Wise Old Owl Crafting

The wise old owl sat on the oak
The more he heard, the less he spoke
The less he spoke, the more he heard
Why aren't we more like that wise bird?
These are very easy to make. The only thing I did was hot glue the wood disk to the base of the pinecone and the kids did the rest! Watering down your glue and using paint brushes for it helped get in all the pinecone crevices. We also had toothpicks on hand to stuff the fluff in.

I highly recommend all of these owl books for ages 3-6!

We've had a fun week here in the Kleemann household! Despite more tummy bugs and still some job stress, things keep on going. I find during these more uncertain times that sticking to our family rhythm helps keep stress down and promotes peace. At least it does for me. I also find that when I am more at peace, so are the children. So it's a win-win! 

We're getting close to the end of October, so we're about to switch our monthly animal from owls to bats. Since Halloween is this month the kids asked to do an extra spooky animal. I was happy to comply and we settled on bats, however I did gently remind them that bats aren't really spooky at all! 

Primarily this week we focused on Owls during circle time, versus pumpkins and trees. I read and told lots of owl stories (I have had them all month in our school book bin, but this was the first time I introduced them to circle time).  Our crafts this week were also owl themed. I have been trying to use more 'found' materials in our crafts, so owl pinecones fit in perfectly. The kids then were able to use their owls during circle time to help act out our littlest owl play and an owl paid a visit to Sylvie from "Pumpkin Moonshine"- our monthly book. 

We also made toilet paper roll owls and of course carved - or drilled- an owl pumpkin! I was pretty proud of how our pumpkin turned out. It was a neat way to combine both of our monthly themes. (If you're new or curious about how we homeschool and use monthly themes as well as project based learning- there posts here, here, and here might help fill you in a bit!)

Since the beginning of the month, we have visited the Virginia Living Museum 2 times a week to go observe their Eastern Screech Owl and write about him in our main lesson book. For circle time this month we have a Screech Owl puppet too (the kids named him 'Woodsy') so Woodsy tags along on these trips too. 

I will be back in this place tomorrow for the other half to this post. We also took a special field trip to go see some more owls up close and personal. I can't wait to share!

If you want to see more owl and pumpkin crafty goodness, I have 2 Pinterest boards dedicated to them here and here. I use Pinterest a lot to help me organize homeschool ideas, project based learning plans, and themes. They might be helpful for you too, so feel free to use them. I am happy to share.

PS: I am linking up with Linda at Natural Suburbia  Nicole S at Frontier Dreams, and Carrie at Crafty Moms Share. These are also some of my favorite blogs so hop over for a look! 

To trace the outline on I used a toothpick and poked small holes into the outline. Then I drilled! 
Miss B thought she was hot stuff climbing up to the big table and making her own craft!
Do you have any owl crafts of your own? Please comment and share for the rest of us to see!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Preparing Our Hearts for Michaelmas

 Oh Saint Michael, God's great knight...
Strong and pure and shining bright.
I'll be a knight of Michael, too...
And polish my crown to a golden hue.
I'll polish by sword so fine and bright,
And I will use it for the right.
Drive evil away, I will try
And protect those who are weaker than I.

We're beginning our transition here to our week of Michaelmas. I find it easier to spend a week on a festival rather than trying to pack it all into one day with littler ones. 

The week long anticipation build up to the actual festival day is very special to watch in the children. 
Michaelmas is a favorite festival of mine. Saint Michael holds special place in my heart. Around this time last year I was going through a very dark and rough spot. It felt as if evil were very near and present in my life. I spent much time in prayer thinking of Saint Michael and the victory that God had through him. 

Taking this week to think over all that God has done and how God can use us to fight evil, as he did through Michael, is very empowering not only for me but also the children. Yes the festival is fun. Yes play acting dragons, angels, and knights is a good time. But the message behind all of this means so much more. It seeps into their being through this fun, beauty, and repetition. Knowing God's love, his power, and that evil has already be defeated touches all of our hearts. 

It all leads well into our next big festival Martinmas and giving them a heart for others as Saint Martin had for the beggar. Michaelmas bids us to stand firm in God's victory over evil and Martinmas bids us to extend that victory in spirit to those who cannot do so for themselves. 

So needless to say, we're excited for the 29th and the coming months of other festivals!

How do you all celebrate Michaelmas? Or do you focus rather on the Harvest Moon? I'm interested to hear all your stories!

Linking up with Crafty Moms Share and Natural Suburbia and Nicole at Frontier Dreams this week! 

Until next time,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Runny Noses and Busy Bees

Our first week is on squirrels and gathering. 

Things are gearing up around here for school to start. Since Deirdre and Jonas are not getting a traditional first day of school, since we're homeschooling, I am trying to make it as special as possible for them. One of the ways in which I am doing that is making half of our dining room a 'school room'- which will be covered up until Monday for their first day!  It is complete with a little library, a reading nook, a small table, an easel, a seasonal nature table, and other daily charts and art displays! (I promise to update the photos as I finish it up and have better light) 

Today I was able to finish unpacking a few leftover boxes from our move as well as clean! Thankfully I have a nice mother in law whom lives close by. So getting this room set up has been a breeze now and all its parts have been located.

I am also excited to start our co-op next week as well with my dear friend Anya and her little ones. We will be meeting two days a week and rotating weekly lesson teaching. The Waldorf curriculum we decided to use is called "Little Acorn". Its perfect for preschoolers of all ages. There is something in each lesson for Jonas as well as Deirdre, so that neither of them will get bored or left out. It also provides lots of extra activities and crafts to choose from so that you can pick and choose. The creator focus in the curriculum is also a plus since we are Christians. So since the curriculum allows wiggle room, I am able to add verses and biblical stories where I see fit. Not to mention we're also introducing Latin and French familiarity and our ABCs since Deirdre asks me daily to learn how to read. So we will go with!    

My works in progress list is ever growing. Currently I have:
-Knitted pumpkins
-Knitted apples
-Quilt bindings
-PJ pants
-Aprons (For me, DD, Craig, and Jonas)
-Autumn dress (Deirdre)
-Autumn outfit (Jonas)
-More PJs for Jonas and Deirdre
-Halloween wall hanging and costumes
(Not to mention I already have a list to do for Christmas presents!). 

Phew. So needless to say I am going to be busy but I think that list in manageable. I also have some volunteer work to do that I am very excited about. 

However- per the title of my blog- cold season has started early here! Please pray for me since I have had a nagging little cold for a few weeks now. Nothing too bad but enough to make me feel tired and yucky! 

The Tomten and the Fox, their Hunter's Moon gift 

Hansel and Gretel 

Autumn gnomes and some trees I made. 

The children's books. 

The nook

Jonas' fabric

Deirdre's fabric

Daily Verse: 
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? – Psalm 85:6 (NIV)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A New Crisp Breeze

Tomorrow is the day that the Autumn edition of Rhythm of the Home comes out! In it you will find my wood burning gnome tutorial as well as my giveaway. Yep, that right I have a giveaway! Thank you for all your support and feedback. I am truly blessed to have this space.

Jonas and my mother. 

Loving the sound in Buxton

Our last days of Summer on the ferry ride to Ocracoke, NC.

Before Irene hit, we enjoyed our last hot summer picnic by the lake. Since then our days have noticeably been cooler and less humid. Trust me, I will not complain, however I am always sad to see Summer leave. The older I get the more I seem to prefer Autumn. I still feel the going-back-to-school rush that I got as a little girl when I noticed that first crisp breeze. Autumn also vividly reminds me of when I fell in love with my husband and of our long night walks in November. 

So as we enjoy the last wisps of Summer, I also welcome my old friend Autumn. With him I welcome many many changes, both exciting and a bit scary. But that is what I love about the changing of the seasons. No matter how well you know them, our walks through them year after year still forge a new exciting path. 


Before I end, I just want to thank all of you for thinking and praying for us and the East during Irene. We were without power for about three days, yard is a mess, and one tree is half fallen- however we are safe! 

During this ordeal, a few voices have risen up decrying the "hype" about the hurricane, and I feel a need to address that. We all experience nature differently based on where we live, what stage of life we are in, and how connected we all are to the world around us. 

For some in my community, Irene was a disaster. I think we'd be remiss in comparing one to storm to another, because again while Katrina was more catastrophic, Irene was just as heartbreaking to those whom experienced loss of life or property this time around. And by comparing these two storms, one can demean the legitimate loss of those whom suffered due to Irene. 

A young boy was crushed to death near to us, due to a tree falling on his bedroom. If I was his mother, Irene would have been the worst thing to ever happen to us. So with that being said, please friends let us all think before we publicly decry the media for covering Irene so much or 'making a big deal about it'. I am so thankful that it turned out to be weaker and shudder to think what it could have been if she had not and if we had not been prepared for the worse.