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Friday, May 31, 2013

Creative Learning #16

Creative Learning on Friday

Welcome to our last Creative Learning on Friday link-up for the academic year.  During the summer, I will begin some new series of blog posts and consider renewing Creative Learning in September.

Last week we had another gathering of creative ideas including:

A DIY Leveled Reader Tutorial from Patricia at Lessons In Homeschooling
As I teach our younger son to read next year, we will be making
several of our own books based on our summer adventures.

Little walnut shell necklaces from Marie at Softearth's World 
 sure to inspire creative with your little one and nature 

Ashley at Life with Moore Babies shared fun ways of teaching children
viewpoints and perspective - a quality needed for good creative writing
and critical thinking skills 

**Don't forget to enter to win a copy of the delightful book by Elsa Beskow The Sun Egg.  The rules for entry and more great children's books can be found here. **

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Book Giveaway: The Sun Egg

Tomorrow is our last day of lessons for our homeschool academic year, but, of course, the learning will continue as will the reading.  I look forward to restful summer days reading to the boys in the hammock under the willow in the back yard, or peering at picture books by flashlight during a deep-woods night in the shelter of our tent. Books by Swedish author and illustrator, Elsa Beskow, are some of our favorite and I am thrilled to be able to give away a copy of The Sun Egg.  Sonya, from A Toy Garden, generously provides the minibook.

photo courtesy of A Toy Garden

In The Sun Egg  an elf finds a large object in her woods and invites all her friends to come look at it.  Adventures continue to the end of this delightfully illustrated story.

photo courtesy of publisher Floris Books

To enter, leave a comment telling us about your favorite children's book and follow A Toy Garden via email or facebook.  (While I would be pleased to know you follow How the Sun Rose, it is not a requirement to enter the giveaway, but doing so will keep you updated on upcoming giveaways, crafts, and summer fun.)

I will choose a winner the morning of Wednesday, June 5th.  Congratulations to Nancy, who will add another lovely book to her library.

To learn how to use The Sun Egg in storytelling with moving pictures visit Rhythm of the Home.

This post has been shared at:

Giveaway Day

Friday, May 24, 2013

Creative Learning #15

Welcome to another week of Creative Learning.  Last week I was attending a homeschool conference and was unable to post a Creative Learning link party, but two weeks ago, we had some wonderful submissions.

Ashley from Life with Moore Babies showed us how to transfer flower colors on to paper

Maureen from Homeschool Mo introduced us to the 4 elements
as seen by Waldorf education with a focus on Water

We have one more week of Creative Learning on Friday, then I will switch to a new linky party called Summer Fun, so gather those warm weathered posts and get ready to share your fun times.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Making Poppies

Over the last few years, we have purposefully taught our children about our cultural heritage.  We are pretty much straight across the board Scottish, Irish and English with a tad Welsh and French.  To help them learn, we have attended Celtic Festivals, listened to traditional music - the Tannahill Weavers being our favorite - and read folktales.  We also encourage our boys to appreciate the great melting pot of American culture.  There are so many opportunities to see our citizens as One instead of groups divided and many of our national holidays are no exception.  This upcoming Memorial Day covers generations,  races, and belief systems as we come as one people to honor the fallen.

For this upcoming Memorial Day, we have read books about the founding of the holiday, learned patriotic songs, and we will look at my father's photo album.  He was in the United States Marine Corps for over 20 years, joining during World War Two and retiring during the Vietnam War.  While we do not want to glorify war in itself, my boys are learning that they come from a long line of warriors who answered the call to defend freedom, which would require, in some cases, the sacrifice of their own life.

To help the make the emotions and actions of honoring those who gave their life for our freedom more tangible, we made tissue paper poppies for our family to wear on Memorial Day.  Wearing red poppies on Memorial Day was the idea of Moina Michael who, in response to World War I Colonel John McCrae's In Flanders Fields, wrote:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.

1. Trace 3 different sized circles on to red tissue paper - for little hands it is easiest to use 3 different sized jars or glasses - and cut them out

2. On a 3x5 card color a small black circle and cut it out.  This will be the center of the flower and will help it keep its shape. Poke 2 holes through the black circle.

3. Stack the 3 red circles with the largest on bottom and smallest on top & poke a hole through them with a pipe cleaner then thread on the black circle.

4. Pull the pipe cleaner through about  one inch then thread it back through the black circle and the red tissue paper and twist the end of the pipe cleaner around the stem.

You can wear your poppy in a button hole, around your wrist, in your hair, or pin it  to your lapel to show that you remember and honor the those who gave their lives.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

In the Woodlands

Our family truly enjoys being in the woods.  An ideal day for us is hiking with a picnic lunch in tow and returning home with two happily tired boys and many newly found treasures for our nature table.

With that in mind, I want to share the Woodland Trust's website.  Although it is based in the UK, there are several activities, ideas, and lessons that we can apply to nature in the US.  Right now they are featuring delightful nature activities to do in the springtime.


Have fun perusing the site and let me know if you do any of the activities.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Field Trip - Hans Herr House

Here in central PA we have many, many opportunities for field trips, which is proving to be one of our favorite things about homeschooling.   A few weeks ago, we went to the Hans Herr House. Built in 1719, it turned out to be a perfect place for learning about colonial life in rural PA.  We also got to take a peek at a still-under-construction Longhouse - a large multi-family home made of logs, saplings and tree bark. These homes of Native Americans once dotted the surrounding countryside and in some places, thousands of people lived together in towns filled with longhouses.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Creative Learning #14

Welcome back to another week of Creative Learning.  We are inching our way to the end of the academic year, yet there is no end of learning in sight.  In our home, we are looking forward to the relaxed learning of summer and I am earmarking several posts from Creative Learning on Friday for summer days and future studies.

Last week, we had a wonderful link up from Trillium Montessori with African Themed Fine Motor Trays.


Sheila, of My Soul Doth Delight, shared a fun Clown Collage, perfect for artsy craftsy time.

What do you have to share with us this week?

If you have gardening with children in mind for the upcoming weeks, don't forget to enter to win colorful carrot seeds from Cubit's.

Our Garden & Cubit's Seeds Giveaway

For the past few years, we have had a small children's garden where we have grown carrots and zucchini. This year we are changing things up a bit by growing a green bean / zucchini tee-pee in our yard (more about that later), yellow peppers in containers, and carrots in our children's garden.  These carrots will not simply be orange, but will be a colorful mix of white, yellow, orange, red, and purple.  I purchased our carrot and pepper seeds from Cubit's, a wonderful etsy shop that offers organic, rare, and heirloom seeds. (See the Cubit's Organic Living blog here.)

Want to grow your own colorful carrots? Laura and Ryan, Cubit's owners, have offered one of my readers a package of Colorful Carrot Mix Organic Heirloom Seeds, a 200+ count of organic white, yellow, orange, red & purple carrot seeds. To enter, leave a comment about the Cubit's shop or gardening with children.  We will draw the name of the winner on Tuesday evening.

photo courtesy of Cubit's

Friday, May 3, 2013

Creative Learning #13

Welcome to another week of Creative Learning.  Many of our contributors spent time outside and shared learning ideas inspired by nature.  Hannah, from Like Mama, Like Daughter, shared a fun idea for decorating paper in flower pounding.  If you are ready to decorate your windows, check out Maureen's lovely Window Transparencies.  These lovely little peg doll flower fairies would be a wonderful addition to seasonal storytelling with your child.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Terrariums - part 2 - A Gift

I am fortunate to have a very sentimental husband who saves my hand made cards and will keep every little bit of nature, from a brightly colored feather to a tiny sea shell, that the boys or I give him.  With that in mind, I set out to make him an anniversary gift.  I thought of many things ranging from paper craft to fiber arts, but decided on something that would represent our love for nature: a terrarium.

A few weeks ago I posted about a tiny terrarium that I made and mentioned plants I purchased at the Philadelphia Flower Show.  I've had the plants waiting for an inspired moment and this was it.

To begin, I gathered a jar (ours is one given to us for our wedding), pebbles, potting soil, moss, Tillandsia (air plants), gemstones we found on vacation in North Carolina, shells from Ireland, and various other natural treasures from time spent together.  I also used a piece of scrapbook paper and toothpicks to include a special message.

 I began by filling the bottom with 2 inches of pebbles to allow water to drain. If you do not have pebbles nearby, you can purchase a bag for a few dollars at craft stores. 
On top of the pebbles, I added about 3 inches of potting soil and the moss.
 Next, I wrote out a message to go in the terrarium. (Song of Solomon 3:4) I was going to type the message, but then decided hand-written would add to the sentiment.  If you include a message, be sure to seal it with packing tape so water will not warp the paper.
I added the Tillandsia plants, and placed the rocks, shells and other natural treasures all around the moss and the message - taped onto toothpicks - in the moss.

 That's all there is to it.  The only maintenance from here on out is to mist it with water every few days.
It was easier than I expected and now I am thinking about making one to represent our whole family, a kids terrarium (I'm sure lego minifigures will be involved.) and perhaps a fairy garden terrarium.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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