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Math and Science through Plant Exploration

The Marigold School of Early Learning

Math and science are aspects of early childhood education that can be learned through plants.  Columbine and spider wart are two plants that have unique petals and leaves; each plant allows for children to learn about how a plant grows and incorporates numbers and patterns.

                                                                                                  Heidi's School Pics 059

There are a couple of ways I will mention that a provocation for math and science can be set up for children to question, explore and learn from.  First I like to set up a potted plant or fresh cut flowers so that the children can admire the the plant and incorporate both art and literacy…

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Gardening and Worms

I have to admit that I hate worms.  I don’t think they look nice and I certainly don’t want to touch one-not even in my garden!

I’ve had a garden every year since 2006 and not only has it grown to more than a  couple of cherry tomato plants and a pepper plant, I spent the first several years using-gasp-Miracle Grow and other yucky stuff to get it grow.  I just didn’t know about the harmful chemicals in that stuff.

In 2012 I began to attempt organic gardening.  That’s a tough feat considering I had used all that nasty stuff for years.  I really don’t remember how that garden turned out.  But in 2013 I decided to continue to garden organically.  Of course, we also decided to sell our house that summer and the garden got a little less love than it had in years past.

But, the garden grew and it grew fairly well.  We didn’t get nearly as many tomatoes but considering I didn’t use anything but some good old compost, I thought it did okay.

Fast forward to last spring and I was anxious to plant a garden in our new backyard.  I knew it would be a learning experience and it certainly was!

First, we had to build our raised beds.  Although we got that done we didn’t have time to fill them with more soil!  But at least the garden was defined.

As I dug up the new garden, I realized there weren’t many worms.  You already know about my dislike for worms and this should have made me very happy.  But I knew that worms were a sign of a healthy garden.

So I simply used more compost, watered, and waited.  After quite some time the plants began to grow and they began to flower.   But toward the middle or end of July they still weren’t producing fruit.  My first thoughts went to the bee population in my area, but no, I saw plenty of them hanging around.

Finally I mixed Epsom salts with water and used that mixture on the growing plants.  I have to say, I should have done that much sooner!!  The plants began to fruit and we did end up with a small harvest of tomatoes (not the bushels I had hoped to can).

This year my kids and I went to plant our cool season veggies and you’ll never guess what I found-WORMS!!!  Tons of them were crawling in the soil.  I knew that was a good thing but I still can’t stand the sight of them.  Instead of screaming (and teaching my kids to be afraid of these harmless creatures) I simply picked them up with the shovel and buried them.

Growing organically must take time but I’m glad to see it’s starting to pay off!

I’ll leave you with some pictures of what’s growing right now!

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Radishes…Can you see the tiny carrots coming up?

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Yellow Onions

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Potato Plant!  Needs to be mounded.

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Sugar Snap Peas; It looks like one vine needs to be cut down!

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After a Break…

If you’ve followed my blog to any extent in the past, you have noticed that I disappeared.  During this time, I’ve attended to other things (my children, for example).  I also have considered whether or not my attempts at writing are futile.  While I’m coming to a decision, I’ll let you know that I’m considering a new blog.  One that holds my interest (and hopefully yours).  In the meantime, thanks for reading.

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Bittersweet

While pregnant with my daughter, a friend of mine arranged for two of her friends to give me baby clothes.  I went to visit with one of her friends while she sorted baby clothes.  I asked her if it was nice to give all these clothes away and free up much-needed closet space.  Her response:  It was bittersweet.  I didn’t really understand what she meant until recently.

We have a son and a daughter and decided that our family is complete.  So I began the task of sorting baby clothes.  And with sorting came giving away and selling baby clothes and baby equipment that we no longer have a need for.  So slowly, over the past couple of weeks, baby items moved from our hometo many other homes.

Last week I sold my son’s crib bedding and 0-3 month clothes.  I almost cried handing these things over.  And now I understand that this experience really is bittersweet.

It’s bitter because my kids will never be a baby again.  They’re growing up (they seem to do this quickly).    We’re closing the door on one phase of our life but looking forward to many new adventures.   So it’s time to look ahead and make memories that will last a lifetime.

I think I’ll take some time to just enjoy my children the way they are.  And look forward to the sweet things ahead for Punkin and Baby Girl.

(Next week, I’ll be posting my knitting swatches and a couple of more recipes.  So keep reading)!

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Being Productive During Bathtime

 

Punkin is 3 1/2 years old and enjoys his bath time.  After he’s washed, he likes to play with his toys.  And that leaves me with some free time to sit and do nothing.  Or to be productive.

So I use his bathtime to complete other minor tasks.  I can brush my teeth and was my face.  I also take time to inventory the bathroom cabinets so I can determine what needs to be stocked.

But the biggest time saver is cleaning the sink, toilet, and mirrors.   We have only one bathroom (and although that is occasionally an issue, we really do fine-plus, there’s less cleaning to do)!   So while Punkin splashes in the tub, I cross one more thing off my to-do list.

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Friday Morning Adventure

I woke up rested and had my to-do list ready.  After feeding the kids breakfast, we went to the backyard so they could play.  I noticed the rest of my onions were ready to be pulled so I got to work while Baby Girl played in the dirt and Punkin played with his basketball hoop.

I forgot to mention that we have a bird.  A cockateil named Harvey.  Punkin has a new-found interest in him.  I had let him out earlier in the day and forgot he was downstairs.

Anyway, while pulling onions, Punkin exclaims “Mommy, Harvey’s in the tree!”  I turned, not quite sure I heard right and sure enough, the bird decided to fly outside and join us.  He landed in a tree and I began to look for him.  Two hours later, I still don’t know which tree he is in (although I can hear him and I do know he is in a neighbor’s tree).  So our time has been spent trying to lure the bird back to our house.

I called my husband for advice and he said to call Petsmart.  First, I put the kids and the bird-cage in the mini-van and drove to the street behind us (yes, I drove-I couldn’t push a stroller, hold Punkin’s hand, and carry the bird-cage (in case we managed to get him).  Our neighbors weren’t home so we came home.  I decided to put Harvey’s cage in the backyard and hope that he would eventually return.  Then I called Petsmart for advice.  Their advice:  Put the cage outside with food and water in it and he will eventually return.  Oh, well.  I already did that.

So that’s where we’re at right now.  Waiting for Harvey to return home.   When he returns, I’ll be sure and let you know.  So for now, my to-do list is on hold.  Maybe I’ll get to it later.

UPDATE:    7/3/12

After a day of waiting for Harvey to return, I was certain he was gone.  But we took one last walk around the neighborhood Friday night and found him in a tree two streets over!  Imagine our joy when he responded to the sound of my voice and finally flew down!  I ran home-carrying him in my hands.  He’s safe in his cage once again!