Something I like to do with my children is take time off from our regular school work to do a week of fun, seasonal activities. The start of the new school year is a great time to do a week of autumn activities and kick the new school year off with some fun! Let me show you some of the things we did during our week of autumn activities.
Munchkin, our preschooler, loves animals of all kinds, but her favourites are definitely farm animals! (She is a true farm girl!) She is also my only child who really loves doing book work and work sheets. When the other two were preschool age, we mostly played and if they learned something, great, if not, that was okay. Also, if we did not do any school, it was not a big deal because they were not ready for it anyway. Munchkin is completely different! She wants to do school every day, all the time! She is quick to tell me when her work box is empty and ask if I can give her more school work to do! So, we started a new unit study on animals, consisting mostly of things I can find to keep her busy while I am working with her brother and sister.
We are still pretty busy with the garden, but I am starting to think ahead to the new school year. For science this year we will be studying Apologia's Exploring Creation With Botany (*Not an affiliate link!). I was going through it to see what kind of supplies I need to get for the experiments and I realized that a lot of the activities would be best done outside in the summer. I decided that on the days we are not processing our garden produce I will try to do activities from our Exploring Creation With Botany book. We have been having a lot of fun since we started that!
I mentioned in my strawberry post that when we went to get strawberries at the u-pick we were pleasantly surprised to find out that there were saskatoons ready too! I could not resist picking a pail of saskatoons, but I felt a little guilty about it because our neighbours actually have a saskatoon u-pick, which is only about a mile across the field from where we live! Since the saskatoon farm is so close to where we live I decided we needed another field trip :)
Last year Princess grew lettuce for the first time and she loved it! She is in charge of growing our lettuce this year too :) When I thought about blogging about lettuce I realized that the usual salads and sandwiches that we use our lettuce for are rather boring for a blog post. So, I headed to Pinterest to find some interesting ways we could use lettuce.
Lemon Balm is one of the plants we learned about when we read through the Herb Fairies books. I got excited about it and bought a plant, and then found out from friends who have tried it that it is only an annual where we live and it won't come back the next spring. I was disappointed, especially since I did not actually use my lemon balm the summer I planted it. I wanted it to put down good roots so I left it alone. Boy, was I in for a happy surprise this spring when I saw that my lemon balm not only came back, but it had spread it's seeds and I had lemon balm coming up all over my flower garden! I must have somehow found a good spot where it was happy :) This summer I am finally going to try some of those lemon balm recipes from the Herb Fairies!
Rhubarb is a fun spring food, but one of my all time favourite foods is fresh strawberries, straight from the garden! There is nothing else like popping a fresh strawberry into your mouth after you have picked it with your own hands!
Unfortunately, after years of fighting with the stinging nettle that insists on growing in my strawberry patch, I finally moved a few plants to a new location and worked under my original strawberry patch. I use to get an ice cream pail full of strawberries every three or four days from my patch. Now my patch is much smaller and we are getting only enough to eat a few fresh ones every other day or so. I wanted to make strawberry jam and I needed more than a handful of strawberries. So I decided a field trip to a u-pick was in order :)
I have discovered a new favourite blog :) Fran's World of Discovery is a blog after my own heart! Here is what Fran says about her educational philosophy:
In my world, education is interesting, the choices are endless and everyone learns at their own pace, in a way that works for them
While searching for strawberry recipes I read Fran's post about strawberries and saw that she has written an ebook called Strawberry Craze. When I contacted her about it she generously sent me a copy of her ebook to review.
To be honest, when I first saw this ebook I thought it was something different. I was expecting it to be more of a child-friendly strawberry recipe book. Now that I have read it I know that while there are easy strawberry recipes in it, this book is so much more than just a recipe book! It is full of fun, hands-on educational activities to learn all you can learn about strawberries!
We did something really fun last year with our gardening. We learned about the weeds we find in our yard and what we can do with them.