Harvest Curriculum – Week Four

As short as last week’s post was, this one is the polar opposite. It’s actually a compilation of three weeks: a week we planned on taking off from schoolwork (but still ended up doing some things), a week where the girls got sick for a few days (but not at the same time so it took up most of the week), and a week where we learned about apples. The three weeks kind of blended together and there wasn’t a logical way to split up the pictures that still made sense so here they all are!

We read several books about apples and enjoyed all of them. Not pictured here are “Apples Galore!” and “Apples and Pumpkins”. Each book had a different take on what was important to know about apples, giving the girls a well-rounded look at apples, and some were just simply fun to read.

Continuing on with our study about van Gogh, we read “Vincent Can’t Sleep” and “Katie and the Sunflowers”, both wonderful to read and a great introduction to various van Gogh pieces.
We spent a lot of time in the woods during this time. It’s definitely Mimi’s preferred place to hang out. She could wander around a forest all day if she was able to! Mimi is also wanting to do more and more on her own. She put pigtails in completely on her own and I had to include this picture of how adorable they turned out! I love seeing how she expresses herself! About six months ago we made the decision to completely cut out tablets and the girls have had to figure out how to entertain themselves in the car. Bringing along a notebook and some crayons has been an excellent form of entertainment and, as a bonus, there’s no fighting! Going places is so much more enjoyable when everyone’s having a good time on the way there. Even though Adi wasn’t ready to join a gymnastics class, she still wanted to be able to do gymnastics so we found a happy medium with open gym. This was a fantastic way for them to get exercise! While we were reading a different book, Adi swiped Mimi’s math book. We both thought she was just scribbling or drawing, but discovered that she traced the numbers all on her own!The girls are also learning how to patiently wait in public settings. We had to wait at the bank and they brought a book to look at together. It’s really sweet seeing them interact with each other. The girls made wooden bead bracelets incorporating measuring, counting, and patterns.  Our bug exploration from last week carried over into this week as they explored behind their grandparents’ shed. Weighing water bottles was a fun lesson in measuring and balancing. Art this week was focused on recreating the “Wheatfields with Crows” painting by van Gogh with oil pastels, along with lots of art free time. Adi particularly enjoyed painting a lot this week.  For our apple unit, we did a few STEAM apple activities. First, we put apple seeds in a jar with water, vinegar, and baking soda to watch the seeds “jump”. It took a while for the seeds to start moving, but once they did, it was really fun to watch! Then, we tricked our senses by smelling peppermint and lemon while taking bites of an apple, and then we discussed how smell and taste are connected. Finishing up the apple activities, the girls made apple prints and we ate delicious apple cinnamon quinoa.  Another week of open gym! This time we knew to be on the lookout for the harnesses to be free. The girls had a bunch of fun bouncing around. We worked on more life skills this week while making gluten-free chicken nuggets. They dipped chicken in egg and then a blend of cassava flour, arrowroot starch, and seasonings. A great lesson in following directions and hand-eye coordination that had a tasty treat in the end! We also made some cassava flour pumpkin snickerdoodle cookies. Yum!Adi has begun packing her own box to take with her to Mimi’s gymnastics practice. Every week we either work on a sticker book or build with LEGOs. Mimi spontaneously worked on her handwriting a lot this week. It’s great seeing her self-motivated to learn and refine her skills.
Being sick meant a week with lots of snuggles. The learning didn’t stop though as their favorite activity was to look through a book about wild animals together. A trip to the bank resulted in a mini lesson about acorns thanks to the prolific amount of acorns throughout their parking lot! The tellers were ecstatic to have people picking them up as they were tired of stepping on them on their way in every day.  Learning with board games is the best because it doesn’t feel like work at all. Sum Swamp is a family favorite and the girls are old enough to play it on their own now! It’s a double-win because Mimi strengthens her mental math skills while teaching Adi and Adi has the benefit of learning from someone that she looks up to.
At the end of these three weeks we celebrated Adi turning 4! She celebrated surrounded by family and had an awesome party! She is currently loving the chipmunks so we dressed her up as Alvin. Going back in time a little bit, the beginning of the three-week period did not start out as well as it ended. First of all, I stepped on glass that I couldn’t get out of my foot so we made a drawing salve with the herbs below as the base. (It got the glass out and everything is better now!) Then, we made elderberry syrup and a thyme cough syrup when both girls got sick. They only ended up being sick for about 2 days each and felt pretty great the entire time. Teaching them how to take charge of their health is a priority of mine and I love when they get to see such fast results from it! Next week we learn about leaves!

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