Pine Cone Bird Feeders – Ecological, Fun, Responsible, Sustainable

Spring is coming and the birds are going to need to reenergize.  Here’s how you can help!

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My fav Pyrex set: http://amzn.to/2Emah5Q
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Our New Arrivals

We went and picked up our first installment of livestock! We got four Barred Plymouth Rocks and two Guinea keets from Dean Family Farm not far from here! What a great experience.

Catch and Release

The kids are getting more adventurous, and fearless! With this new bold curiosity, I am teaching them humanity and compassion, and to respect all lives. At Noble Academy, we’re having so much fun! This week, we learned all about dragonflies.

Oranges & Lemons, Say the Bells of St. Clemens, and Tenderfoot Mom!

Winter’s over.  Stop hibernating. Wake up with citrus!! (It may be a bit before your time, but there was an old nursery rhyme, “Oranges and Lemons, Say the Bells of St. Clemens,” that is totally stuck in my head.  I put a link to a kids’ animation of the song below.)

oranges and lemons
One of my little artworks 🙂 … A Vicki Noble original on an old book page.

Winding down to the end of these winter doldrums, one might feel depressed, light-deprived,  and generally used up.  My remedy for this “down” feeling is using uplifting scents like the bright citrus notes of orange and lemon.  I put sweet orange and lemon oils in my homemade cleaners, and they help make the job less tedious.

I also love to make citrus-flavored desserts, combining sweetness with the pop of acidity definitely perks me up.  Recently, I have been following a blog that proves itself valuable whenever I peek over at Tenderfoot Mom‘s corner of the internet. She first got my attention with the Ultimate Chocolate Orange Cookies, and now she’s really done it with Luscious Lemon Curd Yogurt Mini Muffins !

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Luscious Lemon Curd Yogurt Mini Muffins from Tenderfootmom.com
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Ultimate Chocolate Orange Cookies from Tenderfootmom.com

Hayley is a creative dynamo and full time mom of two who shares original, helpful information. She shares her interviews (including a great one with Emmy Award winning artist Mark Kistler!), home school ideas and help, giveaways and more.  I encourage you to check out her blog

Here’s that old nursery rhyme I was talking about…

Livening Up Lessons -from Boring to Booyah!

Keeping students’ attention is essential and one of the biggest challenges in teaching.  In our modern time, kids are used to the “ADD-style” media that hits them constantly in short, quick bites of info punctuated with loud noise, fast action, and bright colors.  How to compete? Most times, I just think back to what had caught my attention in the lessons I learned.  The time our science teacher made a giant black carbon snake grow across the lab counter while demonstrating chemical reaction, the model rockets we used to study propulsion and aerodynamics, the string/salt/ice cube trick, blowing up a balloon with a bottle full of warm water, and on and on.  THESE are what teach a great lesson, things that are experiential, memorable, and sometimes (almost ALWAYS) a little messy, and the implied element of danger can also make it fun!

Last week, Lady O was playing with her tablet and reading an eBook about insects.  She was very interested in the Bombardier beetle.

We did a little research and found out that this amazing creature has chambers in its rear that when the contents combine produce a small explosion! Being that Lady O is only 3 and her fellow student V is 5, I had to creatively and safely demonstrate the concept of chemical reaction. I took a 5 gallon bucket and placed it on the floor in front of us.  I took a large zip-lock bag and held it in the center in the bottom, forming two small chambers, one on either side of my hand.  I put some baking soda in one side, vinegar in the other.  Once the kids were “READY!?!?,” I zipped the bag and shook it and tossed it into the bucket.  The bagged inflated and then POPPED as the soda and vinegar bubbled inside. It was loud and seemed  dangerous, so it was super-fun.  Needless to say, the kids now know what a chemical reaction is!!

shaker

I was inspired to post this quickly after reading “10 Ways to Spice Up Boring Homeschool Curriculum” this morning. I see one of the items is to open the day with a read-aloud.  Being mine are little, we sometimes need to shake the ants out of our pants so we start the day with “The Music Shaker.” Our “Shaker” is a big cylinder (you could use anything, even oats container or shoe box) filled with index cards with the names of energizing songs we like on them.  We start each day with our “Music Shaker” with one shaking it, and the other picking, and them ALL of us getting our wiggles out before class begins.  Welcome to Noble Academy of FUNschooling!!