Welcome From Mama Bee

Thanks for dropping by The Hive!

We work to weave our homeschool days around our faith, our subtropical climate, and our coastal landscape.

Hopefully this will provide a small spot for our family and friends to follow along with our traveling, gardening, and homeschooling adventures!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Turtles and Form Drawing

Here at the Hive we generally start off our homeschool year with a full month of form-drawing. If you aren't familiar with form-drawing, it is a series of exercises popular for grades 1-4 in Waldorf Schools. During G4, these start to segue into free-hand geometry lessons. Go here to check some out at Eugene Schwartz's Millennial Child site:

When you have over twenty desert turtles living in your backyard (and they aren't shy at all about coming in through the pet-door)

You start to pay attention to things that can be used during lesson time! Did you ever notice that there Really Are Thirteen Moons on Turtles Back just like the Joseph Bruchac book?
The Worker Bees' named this King of All, he is the largest turtle in the yard:
This is Azul, he has a blue head.

I don't know who this one is, but she was standing around posing for me!

What we've noticed is that in spite of the many colors and patterns and sizes of our turtles, they ALL have thirteen sections on their shells! How Cool is that?!

So, I've been collecting stories like the Native American legend, "How Turtle's Shell Got Cracked", and we've been drawing the patterns we see on the shells. We have also been drawing the spirals that turtle must have made both when the wolves threw him through the air into the water; as well as the spirals turtle made when dove down deep in the water!

Look around outside and see what pattens you can find at your hive!

Mama Bee

Buzzing Around!

It was going to be a busy day, Knightly destroyed yet another pair of glasses. Defending the hive has turned out to be pretty rough on his clothes and accessories!

So, I scheduled us to go to the eye-doctor directly after our homeschool park day.

This was all great until the Worker Bees' dentist called on Friday to tell me that I had won a dubious sort of lottery. 3mths ago (after a 3mth wait!!), we had to cancel our dentist appt due to Horsie-Girl running a high-fever. Instead of rescheduling the appt, we were put on a waiting list...and guess what?!...our name came up for an opening on the same day as Knightly's eye appt. Sigh. With some creative scheduling and the help of Papa Bee, we decided that we could do it all!

Not gonna happen! After the obligatory Hive 50meter dash to get the snacks, water and park-day toys stashed in the van, the van's battery is dead!

Which, is why I now have loads of leisure time to sit here and type about it all! We're gonna have to skip park-day, and Papa Bee is taking off from work early to come get us. So...it isn't all bad, at least we'll get to spend the day with Papa Bee!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It Must Be Autumn

The marigolds are blooming:

The pecans are almost ripe:

The gourds are looking just about ready to pick:

And as the mornings get cooler, the turtles get slower and slower; they'll be hibernating soon. Can you find the turtle?

When we moved into this house two years ago, we discovered that over twenty desert turtles live in the backyard. The worker bees named this one Verdi, and he is one of the most friendly.

He's pretty friendly, but enough is enough!

And, we're getting out the Michaelmas decorations!

The Worker Bees like to make Dragon Candles with press-on wax:

The Worker Bees and I made this moble of St. Michael and the Dragon, when a little breeze blows, they actually chase each other around!

Papa Bee and I take the Worker Bees up into the mountains on Michaelmas to fly kites! Awesome view from up there!

Happy St. Michael's Day to All!

Mama Bee

Do It Yourself 10-Base Math Set And Other Pretty Math Projects!

This is only for Mama Bees who have high-aesthetic needs! I didn't save any money doing this, and it certainly wasn't easier, but our 10-Base manipulatives ROCK and I feel pretty using them! Hey...I have to choose between homeschool supplies and art on the walls, so I do what I can to shoe-horn some pretty stuff into the mix!

So, I started with a treasure chest of gems:

Then, I made this a family project and got all of the worker bees around the table to help me. We made enough ten-sticks for all of us:

Then the worker bees and I cranked out stacks and stacks of hundred-squares, these are the most time-consuming to make by the way:

Then, we tackled the 1000-cubes, we only made four of these! The instructions gave us a little hint, start like this:
Make nine of these, then make a full hundred-square to put on the top for the 10th one. The completed cube looks like this:

Just for the record, if you use hot-glue for these, they'll last about 3days. You want to talk about one mad, buzzin' Mama Bee! Don't grab the super-glue after the hot-glued gems all fall off...the super-glue will give ya less than 3days. Wood glue is what you want!

If anyone cares, we're using Noble Knights of Knowledge from Lively Lessons (http://www.livelylessons.com/Nobleknights.html), and here are pictures of some of the other things we made.

A friend of mine found these raw-silk bags and dyed them for us, and we keep 20 smooth counting rocks in each one!

I let the worker bees go to town with my pinking shears and some felt to make erasers for the dry erase boards! A cute little basket of gems!

The worker bees and I had a blast making these flags for the characters in the Noble Knights game. We were inspired by the picture on the NK website, and we made ours from felt and wooden dowels.

We're still working on these pretty homemade flashcards! We use illustration board and sponge water-color onto it. Then, Papa Bee cuts the boards for us with his jigsaw, and then the worker bees write the sums on them!

Papa Bee also made us this great, big Greater/Less manipulative! The worker bees love it!
The worker bees seem to be equallly inspired by their new, pretty math manipulatives and have loved working on them!


Mama Bee

Autumn is here...um...let's start a Blog!

I said that I wouldn't do it; in fact, I rolled my eyes, shrugged my shoulders, and stamped my feet that I don't have time (and well...I don't!), that I don't know how (and well...I don't!), and that I wouldn't cave to the peer pressure to start a blog!

And, now the first cool-front of Autumn has blown through the desert making the impossible seem possible, and here I am! I've maneuvered this far into the 'blog-making process' and actually seem to be typing something that just might show up on the template I selected...we'll see how it goes!

Well...um...I guess I'll get started!

Mama Bee