new sisters

new sisters
Penelope holding 10 day old Violet

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Winter Learning with Robert Frost

Snow Dog

Snow Girl and Snow Dog

Playing dinosaurs in their nest. 

Pretty Winter Sycamore

Outside ice sculpture exhibit, which inspired our ice sculptures.

Trying ice sculpting.

Sparkly Snow Play-dough

Snow Girl

Snow Monster

My Attempt

Quite possibly the most terrifying snow creation ever!

Snow Alien?

Snacks and snow play-dough sculptures with friends.
Salt and snow science.

Pen teaching Vi hoe to make a snow angel.

Mixing up a batch of birdseed cakes.

Filling muffin cups.

Straws put in to make a hole for the string to hang them.
Birdseed cake hanging up for the birds.

Painting winter birch trees.

We put painter's tape on water color paper in the shape of trees and the girls painted everything blue.

When the tape was pulled off the dry paintings we had winter birch trees!

Snowflake paintings. We drew snowflakes with a white crayon and then painted the paper blue.

Violet thought this was magic.

Lots of snow.

Making yet another snow person.

Her name was Ruby.

We spent weeks and weeks working with the Robert Frost poem  Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening this winter. I only intended for this to be about a week long thing, but we had so much fun with it that we just kept dragging it out. Penelope announced after I read her the poem for the first time that she would like to memorize it. I supported her by reading it to her every day at least once, and again before bed. She kept asking me to record her reciting it, but then always got nervous. She somehow started saying "perhaps" where she should have been saying "to ask if" but other than that she got it down. It didn't seem important to me to try and make her say it right, it was her idea anyhow and I just wanted her to enjoy it and be happy. She's only five, after all.

I have a beautifully illustrated book of this poem, and we used that. We had a snowman week where we did so many things, paintings, collages, actual snowmen and home made, sparkly play dough snowmen. We read tons of snowman books too. We had a snowflake week too, learning about how they are formed, how they are all unique, and we made paper snowflakes and snowflake paintings. We also learned about animals in winter, which lead to learning about mammals, migration, hibernation, and how animals use camouflage to protect themselves. We also learned how to identify animal tracks and scat, read tons on all subjects and took many a snowy walk in the woods where we got to identify deer, rabbit, squirrel, and lots of dog tracks. We also made birdseed cakes, which we hung out for the birds and squirrels once they were dry and hard.

We brought the snow inside too for various experiments, including the salt on snow experiment where we watched how the salt melts the snow. But we were outside almost daily with this study of winter. And the best part was that nature cooperated with us so nicely. As soon as we began the snow began to fall. We got a real blizzard, and lots of opportunities to go sledding, build snowmen, ice sculptures, observe snowy animal tracks, and on the day we began to learn about snowflakes tons of tiny, perfect works of art began to fall from the sky for us to catch on mittened hands and examine with amazement. Spending so much time with this poem, and everything that evolved from it has really helped us to be in the winter. To appreciate the magical and just plain fun qualities of this season that so often has me grumbling.

Penelope also discovered that she really loves poetry, and we read many other poems by Robert Frost, and so many other people too. She has lots of poems she likes to have read to her now, but says Robert Frost is her favorite poet. And Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening is her favorite poem. The Runaway by Frost is her second favorite. It is about a young horse that is frightened at seeing snow for the first time.

We finished this a couple weeks ago, and have moved on to learning about pandas. Penelope has chosen to learn about china for international night with our homeschool group and pandas were what she wanted to learn about first. I think I'll post each thing we learn as we go so I won't have such a monster post next time.

I thought the snowy weather had ended just as our study ended, and we have spied snowdrops and crocus blooming and been excited, but it is snowing as I type. Snowing quite a bit, in fact. We may be forced to skip homeschool gym if it continues like this, but I guess that will give us more time to learn about pandas!

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