Raw wool washing

We just had a great adventure this morning.  We washed our first ever lamb’s wool.  The kids have been knitting a lot, and really wanted to know where the wool came from… so we will be learning more and more about wool.

Our raw wool had bits, manure and hay galore.    We filled a huge soup pot with boiling water and dish soap, then added our dirty wool.

I watched a few online tutorials about how exactly to wash it while the kids were asleep, main point do not shake or stir, just push up and down with a ladle.

We dumped it out into a strainer and repeated many many many times.

265CC208-F88A-43B3-89B0-F55BB5DA81F5

Eventually we got clean ish wool.  Which we put on a mesh strainer to dry.

88DAB25F-5EA7-424A-AC9F-0FD96951A569

Next we will learn how to card our wool.

 

These projects are all from the wonderful Christopherus curriculum.

Soap Making with little hands

3008C879-CF43-448F-BD4C-CEF5ADA75B8D

This project is a hundred times easier than you think!  So dive in!

Go to bulk apothecary and order a melt and pour soap base, such as Shea butter.

Once it arrives, put in Christmas music, make hot cocoa and get ready for crafting.

Line muffin tins with paper liners or use cute shaped silicone ones for bonus points.  Have essential oils (lavender is especially nice, check they are safe for use on skin), food coloring and dried flowers or herbs.

Take the giant bars of soap, chop them into smaller cubes, around 2 inches in size.  Place in a microwave safe bowl.  Heat for 30 seconds at a time until melted.  Stir as needed.

Once completely melted, very quickly add 8 drops of essential oils and 5 to 10 drops of food coloring depending on preference.  Don’t go too slow here or it will harden.

Pour into mold and sprinkle dried flowers or herbs.  Let it cool and use as is, or make a second layer in a different color.  Just pour it on gently and make sure the color/scent goes well together.

This is a very simple project to do with little ones, and a nice Christmas present too.

Homeschool sick day

We all struggle, it is inevitable.  But what can we do as homeschooling families when the days don’t go as planned?

D260A3B8-DCAB-41B4-B18D-49F424796C57We can choose to panic, that school won’t go as planned… much like life…. or we can have a new lesson plan for the day and live out peace… as much as we can.

35614DF0-FBFC-4F4F-8B49-40CFD0B7035CThis week, Elise broke 3 bones in her arm.  There were definitely some challenging moments.  However, we took advantage of a slower pace.  We lit candles and a fire in our fireplace.  We sang songs together, read Bible story books.  We had friends over.  And of course we did a lot of crafts.

We may not have checked every box on our curriculum list this week.  But we grew in our relationships and took some time to recover.  I hope my children will grow up and honor the seasons in which they find themselves.  Sometimes you need to dance and sometimes you need to cuddle and sing under blankets.

Why go screen free?

Have we ever let our kids play tablets or watch tv mindlessly?  Yes.

Will we ever again?  Probably not.

What happened?

It was the first practice for my girls’ competitive cheerleading team, and my boys were looking around, bored, sticky and hot in the crowded viewing area to see if there were other kids to play with.  There were, there were almost ten other boys Caleb’s age, but they all had their necks flexed as far forward as possible, transfixed by tiny flashing screens.  There were even kids as young as Owen (who is two by the way) breathlessly holding onto their parents’ cell phones as surprise egg videos played for them.  At one point, a mom was receiving a call, when she tried to retrieve her cell phone from her toddler… you would have thought she was trying to pull out her kidney!  All the moms seemed to nod, knowingly.

Hey, I am a mom of 4, I totally get public displays of bad behaviour, but can we not see a causal link here parents?  This technology is addictive and inappropriate for this age.

The day this happened, I did still allow my kids to access screens at least most week days.  When Owen napped, the other kids could have an hour or so of tablet or tv time. Although I didn’t love it, I figured it gave me a chance to catch up on work I needed to do or have some alone time.

However, watching those small children clutching onto those screens as fiercely as a drug addict would his next hit… it flipped a switch inside of me.

It has now been a month, and I can’t see us going back to screens.  The changes that I have witnessed have been spectacular and as I have researched further into screens and their impact on young people, it has solidified my decision.

Look out for part 2 on how we have removed screens.

Waldorf tree ideas??

We were gifted about 8 giant oak tree logs/stumps.  They are very heavy to move, mostly sturdy, except for one stump that rocks, which my kids have dubbed “the boat”.

The kids have made up many games, such as escape from lava, pirates and boats, and of course a few shelters have already been built.  So I do want to keep them available for open ended play.

However, we don’t know where to put these long term, because the surface they are currently on, will soon turn into our ice rink.

I would love set up or play ideas!  Have any??