Friday, September 26, 2014

This week in immersive learning: Over and Under

This week saw a lot of making, and a lot of gift giving. The kids figured out how to weave hair ties together to make useful cords, and then took it a step further to make the cord into other things, like jewelry - such as this bracelet!

To be fair, it did eventually fall apart, but it lasted quite a while before my normal wear destroyed it.
 Hazel has been working very hard on making realistic depictions of the scenes that play out in her imagination.  This was one of the few works that she did not destroy in a frustrated huff for not being good enough.  She was pretty proud of this one, as she should be...the scene below is of her birthday party. She and Cadence are in the lower right next to me - I'm pregnant with Calliope - and James is on the left (the only figure not in a dress), and the rest are friends.  There are balloons and party poppers and the hearts are there to show that there is a lot of love...I love it.


Displayed on the wall in our bedroom...albeit at Hazel height, but hey, we'll take it.
 This week also saw a lot of magna-tile creations...I found this rocket ship that Hazel made particularly impressive, as it was complete with separate compartments for cargo, passengers, and fuel/supplies. She was really determined to see her vision through, even though it took a surprising number of redesigns to find a way to make her vision manifest.


Kangaroos destined for space!
video

This week our 4H club hiked Turkey Run, and I discovered (confirmed?) that hiking is one of Calliope's favorite things ever.  She was beside herself with excitement that we were going on a "HIKE!!! We goin' for HIKE!" ...and she saw something approximately every quarter of a foot along the way to stop and marvel at.

Selecting the perfect hiking stick is a vital step in the process.
There were some steep climbs in this one, which presented a new sort of challenge since we haven't done a lot of serious hiking yet - but for little legs this was probably a pretty impressive challenge.  There was a creek along the trail, too, which allowed for some splash-stomp-wading and rock explorations, too.


checking out her submerged feet among the leaves
At the bottom of the trail, the woods opened up to the river, which provided some really awesome views.  We watched for various types of wildlife and examined how the soil was different along the shore than it was just a few feet back into the woods.


Definitely not a sight we would have seen in the big city.
The kids have been doing parkour, as well, and it was kind of neat to look at the environmental aspect of the art form as we traipsed over roots and under branches.  I admit to being ignorant of the environmental aspect of the parkour philosophy until *after* our hike, when Calliope found this book at the studio and became entranced by the photos.


Makes me love it even more!
As the month draws to a close, October looms, bringing along all that it contains, which for us is...a lot.  In addition to halloween and the usual fall festivities, it will also mark the first anniversary of my mother's passing.  I am anticipating this to be a difficult time, so while I want to allow us space to breathe, I also want to find a way to meet it head on. 

My sister and I have long known that we would be creating mom an altar for día de los muertos, so I decided to expand on that to teach the kids a little bit more about the holiday, and the culture around it.  We haven't really delved in that far yet, but we had talked just enough about it that, on our usual run to Michael's for project supplies, they found these paper maché skull masks and asked if they could get them to paint like sugar skulls.  I admit I balked at first because I'd rather make our own paper maché skulls, I ultimately decided it was better to let myself off the hook (we have a full plate of projects) and so I relented.


Scary Callie 
Creepy Hazel
I did not, however, agree to pay for a decorative cardboard hat. Sorry Cadence.


I think the grump face was actually because the hat didn't fit, anyway.
But the main focus this week has been on sewing.  Cadence decided she wanted to get back into sewing -something she had been introduced to in her 4's class at the blue school - and asked me for the necessary supplies.  She was a bit rusty so we had to go over the basics again first, but she quickly took to it and improved quickly.  Once her first pillow was complete, she got out the fabric markers to put the finishing touches on:


Front
Back
Not to be outdone, Hazel wanted to give it a shot, too.  A simple square wouldn't do for Hazel, of course, so she dove in with a heart. (I'm noticing a strong theme in Hazel's work...)


Not sure why the thread didn't show up in the picture...but here is is hard at work.
Cadence at work on her second (or third?) project of the week.
Calliope didn't really sew her own project this time around, but he sisters did make sure to keep her involved by showing her what they were doing at each step along the way.


Cadence shows Callie Hazel's heart while Hazel went to work on her next project.
It wasn't too long before I started finding things like this laying around, even when I wasn't directly involved with project oversight.




Proud hazel shows off her work 
 All in all, this week saw a lot of over, under - sewing, parkour, hiking, weaving, engineering...it was a pretty full (and pretty great) week.


Calliope shows off her ridiculous core strength and proper shoulder alignment during a hang.