Outer Space, Turkeys, and Medieval Adventures

photo 1 (86)Lucien, you might need to set down the book so that you can eat!

We have had another week full of lots of reading and art and learning and fun. We completed all the planets in the solar system. (All nine of them – Pluto is up on the wall, too. We discussed how scientists used to consider it a planet, and then decided it was not a planet at all, photosolarand now call it a micro-planet. Pluto’s moon – which is about 2/3 its size – is also technically considered a micro-planet. Just FYI.)

We are also getting into the Thanksgiving spirit. We checked out a stack of Thanksgiving books at the library and have been reading through all of them. Lucien asked to do a handprint craft, so we made some colorful handprint turkeys. He painted the colors on so methodically!
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photothankfulLucien also informed me that he wanted to make a “Thankful collage” and hang it up on our wall. Can do! I got down some paper and he handed me crayons, dictating the exact words I should write, and in what colors. That boy has such a sweet spirit.

Daddy was off of work on Veteran’s Day, so we went to the park for a picnic with friends. Yummy Thai food, beautiful weather, playground, bike riding, and fun friends made for an awesome afternoon! We climbed and spun and played along with him on he equipment. We got some weird looks and chuckles from other parents, but we had lots of fun! Lucien continues working hard toward mastery on his balance bike.

photo 1 (83)The highlight of the week, though, had to be the Discovery Center. We were there twice to explore the new traveling exhibit, all about medieval towns and castles! Lucien hammered in the blacksmith shop, where we discussed metal, heat, and malleability. Yes, I taught him that word 🙂 He played with the wooden figurines inside the “castle tower” and with the puppets in the puppet theatre, but he was most enthusiastic about harvesting vegetables from the garden and collecting eggs from the henhouse, then preparing an enormous feast in the castle kitchen.

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We were fortunate to meet up with some friends during one of our visits, and we also did participated in Art in the Park. Lucien loves glitter – and it is a substance that rarely makes its way into our house 🙂 – so art this week was a real treat!

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I kept encouraging Lucien’s newfound enthusiasm for medieval times with some new books. Unfortunately most of them I had to request through ILL and they are not available yet. We did find a few, however, during our weekly library trip. The best one involves Lucien’s friend Ms. Frizzle, from the Magic School Bus. Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Medieval Castle was a perfect fit for us, even if it is supposedly written for older kids. We pointed out the different parts of the castle that he recognized from the Discovery Center, like the garden and blacksmith shop, or the kitchen with the soup pots and ovens and meat roasting on a spit. We pointed out the drawbridge and learned about the portcullis. During the story the castle comes under siege, so we drew parallels between this story and the siege of Troy (which Lucien still requests from our Usborne book). We talked about the benefits of living inside a castle or fortified city, and how only a few people inside could fend off a large army. We talked about various strategies an army could use to penetrate the walls. It was a fun adventure with the Frizz, and I am looking forward to the arrival of our other medieval-themed books next week.

Now, on to our most recent book list. This is what we read yesterday:

1. Big Al

2. Usborne Illustrated Greek Myths: The Wooden Horse

3. Ms. Frizzle’s Adventures: Medieval Castle

4. Quest (This is a wordless picture book by Aaron Becker. Lucien and I love, love, love it. It has so totally captured his imagination. He acted out the book, pretending he was one of the protaganists, drawing with his magic crayons. He was genuinely upset with me because I did not have a belt with crayon holders just like the girl in the book.)

5. Thanksgiving: Circle the Year With Holidays

6. Thanksgiving Treat

7. The Night Before Thanksgiving

8. Annie and Snowball and the Thankful Friends (Lucien picked out Annie and Snowball from the Thanksgiving shelf at the library. It is a fun read, and as an added bonus, we learned about Henry – Annie’s cousin – and his dog Mudge. We also checked out a whole bunch of Mudge books. Annie and Snowball and Henry and Mudge are both beginning reader series by Cynthia Rylant.)

9. Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Good Move

10 Henry and Mudge and the Best Day of All

11. Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend

12. Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble

13. Tom and Pippo and the Bicycle

14. Tom and Pippo Make a Friend

15. Catty Jane Who Hated the Rain

16. What Does the Rain Play

17. Angelina Ballerina

18. Where the Forest Meets the Sea (This book by Jeannie Baker has amazingly beautiful and detailed mixed media collage illustrations. I found this book on a recommended reading list in a homeschooling book that I was reading, and I am so glad that I requested it at the library. Lucien and I have spent a lot of time just poring over the intricate illustrations. The text also addresses great themes for us to discuss together – history, imagination, nature, conservation. An all-around winner!)


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