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.

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

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Next we will learn how to card our wool.

 

These projects are all from the wonderful Christopherus curriculum.

No screens??

How do you entertain your Kids???!!!

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This is what no screens looks like at our house.

The kids are much easier to entertain.  Sticks and leaves …  for over an hour.

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.

Art Study of Red

Today, after we completed math, language arts and science we decided to do some art.

We have been doing a lot of yellow wet on wet watercolour.  Today the kids wanted to work with tempera paints… honest reaction – boooring… however, they were inspired, so I went with it.

I gave them each a disposable coffee cup lid with red, black and white.  I told them a very short story about a red leaf on an autumn tree as I demonstrated focused slow paint strokes, washing and wiping our paint brushes and let them paint beside me.  I also encouraged them to mix in varying amounts of white or black to achieve shade or brightness.

It was really exciting to watch each child paint at their own level.  Owen painted a lot lines and circles.  The middle  girls experimented with shade and brightness and colour.  Caleb painted a red barn scene set at night, and spent about two hours improving on his night sky.

 

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??