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Archive for the ‘ABC’s’ Category

If you start to look around, at least here in Kentucky, grass is beginning to sprout.  Daffodils are dotting the landscape with yellow, and crocuses are pushing their heads up and toward the sky.  During letter “G” week we read several nature stories pertaining to the end of Winter and beginning of Spring time.  We also began sprouting wheat grass, then planting a couple trays full.  I will show these pictures, once we see some pretty grass.  We will use the wheat grass in Easter baskets, instead of purchasing plastic grass, which ends up in a landfill.  If you want another alternative, shread some green construction paper and scrunch it up in the baskets. 

Having a letter of the week and combining the craft with something textural really imprints the phonetic sound within the child.  It is something tangible.  Matching up the letter and something current, like “G” is for Grass and seeing Spring’s newly sprouting grass, creates an even deeper experience.  It is like connecting the child to the web of life in a rich way. 
 
For the adult, inner work is being done and in association with the sprouting of seeds, the tending of the garden, the thinning to make room, the growing and maturing of the plant and the harvest.  Which stage are you in?  What season are we entering and how does it relate?  I am thinning the newly sprouted seeds within.  I am being born into a new Season, freshly cared for, with thoughts of intent.

Enjoy “G”.

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I am catching up on our ABC category here with this and the next post.  During the week of the letter “F” we read McElligot’s Pool, by Dr. Seuss.  The kids were enjoying the rhyming, and guessing which word ended each sentance.  When it came time for the craft I ended up doing “F” is for feather, because we had also participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count.  The kids enjoyed the feathers, and were blowing them in the air and making a game out of it, which helps them understand breath.  Enjoy.

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“E” is for Egg


We had fun last week doing “E” is for Egg.  Dr. Seuss’ rhyming was ever present in our minds this week, as we read “Green Eggs and Ham.”   For one of our lunches I took some of our hen’s eggs and tinted them green with food-safe coloring.  The kids enjoyed eating the green eggs like in the story.  We paid special attention to our hens and their egg laying this week as well, as production is back up to par.  We have gratitude for this luxury of free, healthy eggs.  “E” is for Egg.

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I am doing a little catching up, realizing I forgot to post what we did for letter “C”.  Letter “C” was apart of our Chinese New Year block.  We dipped candles and made the letter “C” craft.  The kids always think this is cool.  We are taking the candles they made and putting them on their bedside table.  In stepping up our rhythm and ritualizing aspects, we plan to light the candles right before the boys go to bed.  In this time, they will give gratitudes and say any prayers they wish.  I also have a prayer I have introduced.

Four Corners round my bed.

Four Angels round my head.

One to guard.

Two to pray.

One to keep the fears away.

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Gung Hay Fat Choy everyone! (Wishing you happiness and fortune in your new year!)  I want to give you a link right off the bat.  Have your speakers and volume ready.  http://www.nancymusic.com/Gunghayplay.htm  
You will hear a song about Chinese New Year!   The song is perfectly calm and went right along with all the creative processes we were taking part in. 

When I first meditated on doing a block about Chinese New Year, my first instincts were to enter into the immediate Now.  I began cleaning my home.  I began sweeping out the old, and making room for the new.  We went through our clothes.  We went through our kitchen cabinets.  We went through our supplies, art and food.  Somehow I found myself living this process.  Then, I got to take a trip to San Antonio and really let go.  I thank Creator for arranging all this for me.

Upon returning we picked up our children.  They had spent the first couple days of February in a blizzard, up north, with Grandma.  My goal was to pick them up and ground in to our home.  Warmth, baking, soft music, aromatherapy, warm baths and beeswax candle dipping.  Transitioning from travel with children I have come to realized is an art form.  Especially if you are homeschooling.  And, even more so if you are presenting life to your children holistically.

The Story of the Chinese Zodiac (prints one page)

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/the_story_of_the_Chinese_zodiac.pdf

Here is a coloring page to go with the story.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chinese_zodiac_story_coloring_page.htm

Anything Chinese New Year here.  Look for the Rabbit though.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chinese_new_year_coloring.htm

I had fun watercoloring a silhouette of the rabbit, along with the sign for double happiness.  I did notice Wolfsion writing on our foggy kitchen storm door the chinese symbol for Happiness.  He was inspired by a stone sculpture we have.  And, we made a paper chain of red and purple.  Here is a picture of us dipping the beeswax candles together.  Dad captured the moment.

I don’t know if you can see what I can see, but there’s magic in this picture.  The magic of the candle making in the background.  The secret, the chemistry.  And in the front, River is just full of Light.  Filled with magic.

Ok, I can show you the candles now.  We are so proud of our discoveries.  I mean aren’t we bringing light to our lives?  The cool thing about all of this is being creative and happy with the mundane.  That aspect of the journey is very hard.  It is the only way to joy though, because it is a part.

Our faithful bookmobile lady also brought us the book Chinese New Year~Cultural Holidays, by Katie Marsico.  I most like the circular illustration of the moon phases.  We discussed the celebration beginning on the new moon, and ending on the full moon.  Wolfsion has already expressed the moon phases in his drawings and sketches.

To explain, I use a soft approach with this information.  The kids have been around the wheel a few times, but they are slowly waking up.  At this point, I work with their observation aspect in a soft way.  I don’t delve too too deep yet.  However, they come to me with very deep and simple findings.  Today we painted each others faces after nap time.  For Samantha she was the perfect bunny-girl.  A super hero.  And River was doing his bunny hop.  Which makes me happy and I note his movement development.  Joyful Movement is the name of a curriculum resource I have by Christophorus.  I have just began to peek inside and really integrate more movement to assist with developement.  Everytime there is new movement or strength, there is an immediate transferrence to their waking up…the brain.  It is amazing being a Witness in this human pathway.  Ok, so here’s some little bunnies.  They are far happier than they look, they are only in fear of smearing their paint.  Ayla Bear, our beautiful black dog licked Samantha’s paint right off!

The Year of the Rabbit is our destiny this Chinese New Year.  We have a nice nature table set up with white silk fabric draped over wood chunks forming a den for our rabbits.  Wolfsion has been long friends with one rabbit, who goes by Bunny Rabbit Dance.  Well this is Bunny Rabbit Dance’s family.  We take care of them by checking their stores, and even adding a stone sculpture with the Chinese writing of Happiness.  Thanks Magic Man!  The boys great uncle gave that to us at our wedding.  I would show you a picture of this landscape, but Bunny Rabbit Dance and his family are off making tracks.  It is the wrong time of day, they aren’t home.

If you don’t mind e-books though, here’s the link. 

http://www.starfall.com/n/level-c/chinese-fables/load.htm?f

We enjoy different kinds of presentations, because our world is filled with many mediums.  In traveling, I like to expose the children to low/moderate amounts of things.  We do not over-expose tv, computers, or phones, but it very much is in this world.  I do believe I am protecting the boys senses, but also slowly opening them up to things that exist.  I can’t imagine traveling to Seattle, or Germany and the boys not having been exposed previously to any of those three categories.  Storytelling, free-play, crafts, music, baking, nature and community, with the thread of Spirit ,weave together the majority of what we are made of.

Have you ever thought you wanted one thing, but when you got there, you realized that you already possessed the truer sense of what you were searching for to begin with!?  If you like wonder, magic, dragons and faraway places then you will like the book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  I got it from a beautiful blog.  This lady is an awesome teacher and student of life.  There is much inspiratation here for the family in 2nd grade.  I realized after receiving this book from my AWESOME bookmobile lady, it would only be a preview for my eyes only.  The book is just not quite for Kindergartners.  I didn’t know that, but I am very glad I had the opportunity to read it myself.  Timing is everything.  I felt able to apply the story to my life in the Now.  I hope you get to read the story about Minli too.
http://ancienthearth2.blogspot.com/2011/02/chinese-new-year-year-of-rabbit.html

“D” is for Dragon.

 In our journey we also watched a video of the Lion and Dragon dance.  We give Microsoft a shout out, because Uncle Thomas works there in Seattle, and we found this video by accident.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzvmzfxx3pA&feature=related

One of the funnest things we did though was sit at a low table on pillows.  The menu was fish and rice, chopstick style.  We happened to pick the chopsticks up in San Antonio, so the boys were happily suprised…perfect timing.  We decorated our table with a bright red tablecloth in honor of the celebration.  Nian the dragon would not be stopping by for dinner, but the Ancestors would, so we left a Spirit Plate out.  Our centerpiece was a dipped beeswax taper, set in sand.  And, there you have it.  We took about 3-ish weeks to move through all of this process.  Thanks for stopping by~

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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Six Buzzing Bumblebees

Six buzzing bumblebees
Flying around the hive,
One buzzes off
And that leaves five.

Five buzzing bumblebees
Flying near my door,
One buzzes off
And that leaves four.

Four buzzing bumblebees
Flying around a tree,
One buzzes off
And that leaves three.

Three buzzing bumblebees
In the sky so blue,
One buzzes off
And that leaves two.

Two buzzing bumblebees
Flying by the sun,
One buzzes off
And that leaves one.

One buzzing bumblebee
Looking for some fun,
It buzzes off
And that leaves none.

Bees that buzz

Bees that buzz
At my elbows and knees —
No sir, I’m not
Fond of these.

But bees that buzz
Near flowers and stem,
Making honey —
I like them.
Mmmmm!

http://www.atozkidsstuff.com/bugs2.html#bees

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Alligator A

 

The Little Jackal and the Alligator

A Children’s Story Classic

The little Jackal was very fond of shellfish.  He used to go down by the river and hunt
along the edges for crabs and such things.  And once, when he was hunting for crabs, he
was so hungry that he put his paw into the water after a crab without looking
first,–which you never should do!  The minute he put in his paw, SNAP! –the big
Alligator who lives in the mud down there had it in his jaws.

// //
After this the little Jackal kept away from the river, out of danger.  But after about a week
he got such an appetite for crabs that nothing else would do at all; he felt that he must
have a crab.  So he went down by the river and looked all around, very carefully.  He
didn’t see the old Alligator, but he thought to himself, “I think I’ll not take any chances.”  
So  he stood still and began to talk out loud to himself.  He said,–

“When I don’t see any little crabs on the land I most generally see them sticking out of the
water, and then I put my paw in and catch them.  I wonder if there are any fat little crabs
in the water today?”

The old Alligator was hidden down in the mud at the bottom of the river, and when he
heard what the little Jackal said, he thought, “Aha!  I’ll pretend to be a little crab, and when
he puts his paw in, I’ll make my dinner of him.”  So he stuck the black end of his snout
above the water and waited.

The little Jackal took one look, and then he said,–

“Thank you, Mr. Alligator!  Kind Mr. Alligator!  You are EXCEEDINGLY kind to show
me where you are!  I will have dinner elsewhere.”  And he ran away like the wind.

The old Alligator foamed at the mouth, he was so angry, but the little Jackal was gone.

For two whole weeks the little Jackal  kept away from the river.  Then, one day he got a
feeling inside him that nothing but crabs could satisfy; he felt that he must have at least
one crab.  Very cautiously, he went down to the river and looked all around.  He saw no
sign of the old Alligator.  Still, he did not mean to take any chances.  So he stood quite still
and began to talk to himself,–it was a little way he had.  He said,–

“When I don’t see any little crabs on the shore, or sticking up out of the water, I usually
see them blowing bubbles from under the water; the little bubbles go PUFF, PUFF, PUFF,
and then they go POP, POP, POP, and they show me where the little juicy crabs are, so I
can put my paw in and catch them.  I wonder if I shall see any little bubbles to-day?”

The old Alligator, lying low in the mud and weeds, heard this, and he thought, “Pooh!  
THAT’S easy enough; I’ll just blow some little crab-bubbles, and then he will put his paw
in where I can get it.”

So he blew, and he blew, a mighty blast, and the bubbles rose in a perfect whirlpool,
fizzing and swirling.

The little Jackal didn’t have to be told who was underneath those bubbles: he took one
quick look, and off he ran.  But as he went, he sang,–

“Thank you, Mr. Alligator!  Kind Mr. Alligator!  You are the kindest Alligator in the world,
to show me where you are, so nicely!  I’ll breakfast at another part of the river.”

The old Alligator was so furious that he crawled up on the bank and went after the little
Jackal; but, dear, dear, he couldn’t catch the little Jackal; he ran far too fast.

After this, the little Jackal did not like to risk going near the water, so he ate no more
crabs.  But he found a garden of wild figs, which were so good that he went there every
day, and ate them instead of shell-fish.

Now the old Alligator found this out, and he made up his mind to have the little Jackal for
supper, or to die trying.  So he crept, and crawled, and dragged himself over the ground
to the garden of wild figs. There he made a huge pile of figs under the biggest of the wild
fig trees, and hid himself in the pile.

After a while the little Jackal came dancing into the garden, very happy and
care-free,–BUT looking all around.  He saw the huge pile of figs under the big fig tree.

“H-m,” he thought, “that looks just like my friend, the Alligator.  I’ll investigate a bit.”

He stood quite still and began to talk to himself,–it was a little way he had.  He said,–

“The little figs I like best are the fat, ripe, juicy ones that drop off when the breeze blows;
and then the wind blows them about on the ground, this way and that; the great heap of
figs over there is so still that I think they must be all bad figs.”

The old Alligator, underneath his fig pile, thought,–

“Bother the suspicious little Jackal, I shall have to make these figs roll about, so that he
will think the wind moves them.”  And straightway he humped himself up and moved, and
sent the little figs flying,–and his back showed through.

The little Jackal did not wait for a  second look.  He ran out of the garden like the wind.  
But as he ran he called back,–

“Thank you, again, Mr. Alligator; very sweet of you to show me where you are; I can’t
stay to thank you as I should like: good-by!”

At this the old Alligator was beside himself with rage.  He vowed that he would have the
little Jackal for supper this time.  So he crept and crawled over the ground till he came to
the little Jackal’s house.  Then he crept and crawled inside, and hid himself there in the
house, to wait till the little Jackal should come home.

By and by the little Jackal came dancing home, happy and care-free,–BUT looking all
around.  Presently, as he came along, he saw that the ground was all scratched up as if
something very heavy had been dragged over it.  The little Jackal stopped and looked.

“What’s this? what’s this?” he said.

Then he saw that the door of his house was crushed at the sides and broken, as if
something very big had gone through it.

“What’s this?  What’s this?” the little Jackal said.  “I think I’ll investigate a little!”

So he stood quite still and began to talk to himself (you remember, it was a little way he
had), but loudly.  He said,–

“How strange that my little House doesn’t speak to me!  Why don’t you speak to me, little
House?  You always speak to me, if everything is all right, when I come home.  I wonder
if anything is wrong with my little House?”

The old Alligator thought to himself that he must certainly pretend to be the little House, or
the little Jackal would never come in.  So he put on as pleasant a voice as he could (which
is not saying much) and said,–

“Hullo, little Jackal!”

Oh! when the little Jackal heard that, he was frightened enough, for once.

“It’s the old Alligator,” he said, “and if I don’t make an end of him this time he will
certainly make an end of me.  What shall I do?”

He thought very fast.  Then he spoke out pleasantly.

“Thank you, little House,” he said, “it’s good to hear your pretty voice, dear little House,
and I will be in with you in a minute; only first I must gather some firewood for dinner.”

Then he went and gathered firewood, and more firewood, and more firewood; and he
piled it all up solid against the door and round the house; and then he set fire to it, and
roasted that old Alligator.
http://www.familybooksandcds.com/childrens-story-the-little-jackal-and-the-alligator.html

“Oh, dear!” thought the little Jackal; “the big Alligator has my paw in his mouth!  In
another minute he will pull me down and gobble me up!  What shall I do? what shall I
do?”  Then he thought, suddenly, “I’ll deceive him!”

So he put on a very cheerful voice, as if nothing at all were the matter, and he said,–

“Ho! ho! Clever Mr. Alligator!  Smart Mr. Alligator, to take that old bulrush root for my
paw!  I’ll hope you’ll find it very tender!”

The old Alligator was hidden away beneath the mud and bulrush leaves, and he couldn’t
see anything.  He thought, “Pshaw!  I’ve made a mistake.”  So he opened his mouth and
let the little Jackal go.

The little Jackal ran away as fast as he could, and as he ran he called out,–

“Thank you, Mr. Alligator!  Kind Mr. Alligator!  SO kind of you to let me go!”

The old Alligator lashed with his tail and snapped with his jaws, but it was too late; the
little Jackal was out of reach.

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