What We Did, March 21-April 1

We’ve been playing more and more outside. His Majesty cleared a path to cut up one of the huge fallen trees (more than a hundred years old) and that has made a new place to play in the woods, especially in the dirt churned up by the fallen roots.

We’ve had a few more science lessons, focusing especially on plants. We learned what distinguishes plants from animals (plants make food, animals eat food), D2 on his own noticed that seedlings bend toward the window and theorized that it might be the sunlight; we tried turning some of the pots to see how the seedlings would respond. Now we are sprouting lettuce seeds and drawing them each day to see how they change. We read *A Seed is Sleepy*. We also gathered an entire pailful of alder catkins one day in a fit of enthusiasm. We read a book about butterflies and had a discussion on reproduction; we also had a long discussion on the differences between vertebrates and invertebrates and the different orders of vertebrates.

We also were able to spend quite a bit of time playing on the beach during a very low tide, giving a different assortment of things to look and wonder at. D1 chose for school one day to sketch the salmonberry blossoms I had picked off the driveway.

Our reading continues to center around Germany and Switzerland: we have read several more of Grimm’s fairy tales, continued with Heidi, and are reading *The Apple and the Arrow* about William Tell. D2 was initially apprehensive about the last one, but we read a shorter version of the legend and, once assured that everything turns out OK, he has listened avidly. We read one factual book about Germany, which delighted D4 when he learned that cars were made in Germany.

We’ve continued with Lenten activities, including extra readings from the gospels and from Exodus. One day they illustrated a picture of the Bible story and did related copywork underneath.

The twins have also read with me: *The Little Auto*, *The Two Cars* (by the D’Aulaires), *Make Way for Ducklings*, *Whistle for Willie*, *Mommies Say Shh*, *Andy and the Lion*, *Umbrella*, *The Little Fire Engine*.

We’ve done some work with clocks; D1 likes to draw the current time on the papers she draws. We also played a game with dice and cards that practiced sums and differences.

D2 is narrating to me a book about Lent, which is really more about daily activities. D1 is writing an auto-biography. (“When I was born, I was a baby. I cried a lot.”) She also dictated to me a poem about Sherwood Forest with some lovely lines (“nearby the towers of London town/are gray as rain clouds”).

Still Robin Hood in the CD player every night. An unfortunate incident with a map and a notebook led me to remove nearly all the library books from the house; that has been difficult for all of us but we are working on learning to treat our own books respectfully and then will gradually reinstitute borrowing.

Looking forward: Still trying to wind up Europe. Heidi is rather long. D1 has agreed to listen to one (1!) book set in Asia to see if she is interested enough to hear more, so I had better pick a good one. That is still probably a couple of weeks out.

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