I think diagrams are cool.

I can’t help it, there’s nothing like instantly understandable information. BAM! You learned something and didn’t even mean to, it’s like guerrilla education. Anyhoo- the kids and I made time lines this morning FOR FUN.

So here’s the long story of how we hopped aboard this train of thought. We were doing a giant 50 state floor puzzle, and Wyatt was putting in the Kentucky piece and he says “Hey! That’s where Abe Lincoln was born!?!” I wasn’t so sure, I’d always remembered Lincoln and Illinois ( or at least remembered that was the state he represented in congress.) My trusty iphone made short work of  googling the answer, and Wy got a high-five for showing up his mom.

Then Aves busted out our copy of  Scholastic Encyclopedia Of The Presidents And Their Times. We started looking through the profiles of the different presidents, and since they’re early/emerging readers we spent alot of time looking at the pictures. We saw the changing flags, President’s birthdays/dates of death (god that sounds macabre lol) and used our GIANT CALCULATOR to figure out about how many years old they lived to be.

Source: Library of Congress (cph 3a44236)We  also saw this image of how slaves were packed into the cargo holds of ships which led to a discussion of how sometimes it takes alot of  hard work to change things that are wrong, because they might have been wrong for a long time. We ventured into civil rights, and women’s rights…It was just the sort of discussion I wish I could have more often with the kiddos, the kind where they take the lead.  This lets me be the mommy version of google, getting them the answers they’re looking for, which then lead to more questions and connections… I love that. That’s the mom I want to be.

So Avery was very excited to point out that Susan B. Anthony was one of those people who worked hard for change, and remembered we had just gotten an Easy Reader about her and ran over to the bookshelf to get it. It’s from a great little series of books on different historic American icons. It manages to paint a pretty good picture of her and her times though it didn’t mention anything about her work in the abolitionist movement. But hey it was 10 pages long and meant for first graders… I did like enjoy the list entitled “These were some of the ways life was unfair for women in those days.” The thought that women had to give their money to their husbands blew their minds, which was adorable to watch.

The last page of the book had a time line  about Susan B’s lifetime. She was born in 1820, died in 1906 and women didn’t earn the right to vote until 1920 (which, according to our giant calculator meant that she was 86 when she died, and women were able to vote 100 years after she was born). And then I got the brilliant idea that we could make time lines for things in our lives, so we found a ruler, some paper and a pencil or two and headed to the little table. Chloë’s time line was a span of years, Wyatt chose months- and Avery chose to go play legos. Birthdays seemed to be the most memorable date-related item, so they logged them on their charts.

It was really quite easy, I just showed them how to draw a line and mark off each inch for a unit of time. I think I’ll create and instruction sheet and a new section for projects on here. If I have the section maybe I’ll feel obligated to do fun stuff like that again more often and post more of them. <When it’s done I’ll insert the link here>

Dinohats

Awwww… I’ve been digging through some old pics, and I came across this shot of my son Wyatt wearing a “dinohat”. These were a little concoction of mine from a few years back. I need to make some more of these, they really are fun to wear. Maybe I’ll bust out some polar fleece tomorrow with my daughter and she can help me design some new polar fleece hats…

Lego bracelet

Recycled Lego Bracelet by Emiko Oye

Recycled Lego Bracelet by Emiko Oye

What a sweet little find! Artist Emiko Oye creates amazing necklaces (imagine something a queen would wear to her coronation) by recycling those ubiquitous plastic building blocks, legos. The photo at left is a much simpler version, available in her etsy shop, but I really enjoy the color combinations she comes up with and how she sneaks in translucent and architectural legos.

Little Wooden Blocks

wooden building blocks

wooden building blocks

My kids have too many toys. I keep trying to purge the piles, thankfully we’re avid freecyclers so nothing really goes to waste. Now that the kids are getting bigger, I’m finding that I’m the one more attached to some of the things they’ve stopped playing with. I did put a small box of Wyatt’s beloved train tracks away, just in case I have grand babies someday, and I’ll save the rolly-poly chime ball (which was one of my favorite things as a child- the musical chimes have so much depth and beauty compared to sharp electronic noises) but the rest will have to go at some point.

I debated over saving the wood blocks- and then I realized that was kind of silly. Those I should still be able to find in 20+ years with little effort, why do I want to haul those around?! So while I was planning on giving those away, I realized they’d make really great somethings. I haven’t decided just yet what they’ll become- and well- there are alot of them, so they’ll probably end up becoming lots of things…

Happy Memory

Rock Garden, Deep Pendant by AdornJewelry

Rock Garden, Deep Pendant by AdornJewelry

When I was around 4 or 5 years old, we lived with my maternal grandparents for awhile and they would watch my sister and I during the day while mom was at work. Often enough I was handed one of my grandmother’s spoons and told to “go dig” in this little patch of dirt between the spigot and the back-porch door. I’d spend hours transforming that little 2’x4′ rectangle of dirt into tiny moss-covered islands– planting weeds as tiny trees, placing little stones as boulders in the landscape,  lining the stream bed with sand, and building tiny bridges out of popsicle sticks…

I stumbled across these pendants on Etsy and was instantly transported to my grandmother’s backyard… The artist, Amy Mueller of AdornJewelry, combines polymer clay and faux moss into these beautiful little pendants & rings. They have a nice little interview with her.

So much more here…