Monday, April 7, 2014

Active Education

Here are some of the activities that have kept me busy lately:
  • Books! I finished reading Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud (writer of the Bartimeus series). I then handed Stroud's book to Sierra and she finished it in two days. Imagine a teenage Sherlock Holmes with his own Ghostbusters agency and you have this book. Except with scarier bits. I also read The Giver by Lois Lowry. Lowry's book is about a boy living in a dystopian society where there is no choice. I would call it a junior 1984. I considered letting Sierra read it, but some of the subject matter is intense. 
  • Sewing. I found this pattern for a Minecraft Creeper doll, thanks to Once Upon a Family. Sierra loves Minecraft, so we decided to try to make it. Let me just say right now that I am sewing machine challenged. Helping Sierra make this was a "blind leading the blind" situation. I think her skills have improved as we pieced this together. Mine have not. I kept having issues of the thread getting stuck and pulling out of the needle. We broke two threaders (my sewing machine is not self-threading) and Sierra became my threader after that. She gained lots of experience threading the machine as I lost the thread regularly. I did about half of the cutting and sewing for her, usually when she started getting bored. It's almost together now. We just need to sew on the legs.
  • Yardwork. The weather has started to warm, at least enough for the crocuses to put in an appearance. We had so much snow this year that it compacted the leaves. I needed to gently lift my leaf mulch away from the shoots where they couldn't spear through. And then the flowers started blooming. And then deer started eating them. Or was it the squirrels? Maybe both. I pointed out deer tracks and scat to Sierra and we talked about how the deer usually shear off the vegetation while the squirrels pluck the flower blooms. I did manage to get a few pictures before the carnage.
    Next year, I might leave the leaf litter alone. Maybe the deer won't eat what they can't see.
  • Nature. We visited Cranberry Lake Preserve to see if anything was wriggling in the vernal pools. Unfortunately, the day we picked was cold. We heard plenty of spring peepers, but nothing was visible in the water. The nature center has several animals. One of the latest is a hedgehog. Sierra took photos of her. The hedgehog growls a lot, so the curator is thinking of naming her Monster. Have you ever felt a hedgehog? They are as prickly as they look. I poked myself trying to remove a scrap of wood shaving from her head.
  • Testing. Blah. But it's time to prove to our district that Sierra is surviving her unconventional education.
That's it for now. I hope life slows down soon, but since we are heading into Easter and then birthday month, I doubt a slow down will come any time soon!


Paula Vince said...

What a cutie that hedgehog is! Just gorgeous, like a character from a story book. Our echidnas are cute too, but look different, which is surprising when you consider they are both covered with quills.
And I have to say, your sewing machine skills must be 100% better than mine to even attempt such a thing.
Sounds like a great week.

Inner Elder said...

The hedgehog is so cute - let me know when you plan to visit him/her (?) again. I was wondering if Sierra has to take the Core Curriculum test that so many parents of schooled kids were protesting. Have a beautiful day! Love, Mom

jugglingpaynes said...

Not yet, although the test I use is starting to align with the requirements of the Common Core. I'm not happy about that. We shall see what happens.

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