Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some recent projects, among many others

Here's one of those boring collected photos posts just to keep up with some of the projects the kiddos are up to these days.

Experiments in ice.

Geomag stegosaurus.

Helium balloon basket experiments.

Tangram tessellation I.

Tangram tessellation II.

Multi-tiered lego birthday cake.

Lego Halloween decorations.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's gonna blow!

The other evening the kids and Jim built a Smithsonian model volcano that we've had sitting around for a little while. They were all very excited about building it and setting it off, painstakingly crafting and molding it and adding the food coloring.

Apparently, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be, however, as you can see by their reactions in the photo to the right. Vesuvius it was not.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Halloween Festivities

The kids had a blast on Halloween, and although they all got store-bought costumes, Sam was the only one to wear his—he was a ninja. The girls decided last minute not to be pirate wenches and went instead as Katara and a Kyoshi warrior from the Avatar series. They pulled to gether these costumes themselves from various articles of clothing and were quite pleased with them despite the lack of glitz, glamor and instant recognizability. I'm often amazed by their utter lack of pretense and their disregard of competitive, expensive appearances. Just one of the many perks of not being socialized in a school yard.

Another perk would be the kindness and consideration I so often see displayed. More than one person giving out candy Halloween night was surprised and pleased by how polite the kids were and pleasantly caught off guard by the well-wishes for a Happy Halloween, reactions evidenced in voices and profuse thanks in return.

The kids are not only kind to others, they're very often kind to each other, missing much of the sibling rivalry that's fueled by grade politics and conventional culture. At one point I overheard Emily telling Julia that she planned to give Jules and Sam all the candy she couldn't have because of her braces. To which Jules responded earnestly, "No Em, I'm going to trade you for all of it because I want you to have just as much candy as we have."

By the end of the evening, they'd traded to their hearts' content, sampled and discarded several treats, and enjoyed their fill of their favorites—all the while loading me up with my own favorites like Almond Joys and Butterfingers. The remainder, which filled a gallon ziploc bag, was bagged up and sent into the office with Jim for others to enjoy. The kids were surprised at how little of the candy they liked this year, and I think they're scheming for a way to have Halloween next year and all their favorite candy, too. I see visions of brief trick-or-treating just for the fun of it and store-bought bags of their favorites at home.

Although the pumpkin muffins I made for our Halloween Harvest party weren't a huge hit with my kiddos, the candy selection that filled our Halloween Hunt bags was. The added benefit of keeping all the extra bags was pretty great, too, not to mention getting to hunt for those extras all over again once the party was over. I'm suspecting that our Halloween party may grow as the actual trick-or-treating wanes. Unschoolers, yannow—we just like things the way we like them.