Much Ado About Picnic

Today I was planning on having a small little poetry picnic, when it hit me... 
Let's do Shakespeare!

I think one of the important things is to not worry too much, especially at this time of year when everything is coming to a close in most people's homeschools.  Spending time outside doing group lessons and projects are a great way to make it through the homestretch.

As Lucy helped me set up plates and I put the finishing touches on some deviled eggs, I still didn't even know what shakespeare play we were going to look at!

Awhile ago I picked up Shakespeare - A 16 Book Children's Story Collection Set .  I had let the kids browse through them, and honestly, the 2 year old carried them around for a week or two.  But I hadn't really dived into them yet.  One of my favorite Shakespeare plays is Much Ado About Nothing, as while most versions on film that I have seen are NOT for children, this book was a delight.

It took occasional stopping and trying to explain exactly what was going on, after all there are a lot of characters in Much Ado with similar names!

After we finished the book, I looked up a few scenes on You Tube.  The most important thing one must remember when studying Shakespeare, is that it was not meant to be read.  It was meant to be seen.  Any study is worthless without seeing it preformed.

I have been dying to see some of the David Tennant and Catherine Tate version and was so excited to see some clips.  I know I will go back and look at more later.  We watched the scene in which Benedick is tricked by his friends into thinking Beatirce is madly in love with him.

After we watched the videos we then broke out our Shakespeare books and drew a scene from the play.

It was a lovely afternoon and proof that great lessons don't always need to be planned!  I have found that I can actually work something up so much in planning, or what I imagine it should look like, that it never actually takes place.  Which is exactly what always happened with our Shakespeare studies.  I love Shakespeare so much that I was often scared of tackling it with the kids.

If there is something you have been wanting to tackle in your homeschool, go for it!  Don't let grand ideas and the quest for perfect plans stop you. If you plan too much or wait too long, the opportunity will be gone.

Wildflower Hike

We are all about nature study these days, getting outside, and enjoying whatever weather presents itself.  I am refusing to let any drizzle stop us either!

We went for a wildflower hike with some other homeschool friends of ours and had a marvelous walk along the trails in Jacksonville, a tiny historic mining town here in southern Oregon.

I have often wanted to walk this hike in each season to try and see the changes, especially in the small creek that flows through these woods.  In only a few more months it will certainly be dry and a completely different.

Top Left: Columbine    Top Right: Blue Eyes Mary
Bottom Left: Wake Robin    Bottom Right: Henderson's Triteleia

Klammath Weed

Pussy Ears

I think this is some sort of Oak Tree gall.  If you know what it is, let me know in the comments!

We are really enjoying our adventures lately and getting out into the fresh air.  I used to always worry about going out in damp weather, but this was truly worth it and the few drizzles that came were hardly worth noticing.

A Stop by the Pacific

After our adventure in the Redwoods, we had to stop for a moment on the Oregon Coast.  Sailing into Oregon, the first thing you see, of course, is a recreational marijuana place with a large and proud sign that reads "WEED."  Yeah, welcome to Oregon.  Keep heading up 101 and soon you will come to the small and lovely coastal town of Brookings.

We grabbed a much needed coffee and hot cocoa at Starbucks and then headed to one of our favorite places, Harris Beach.  We only spent a few minutes out on the sand as we were exhausted after getting lost and hiking much longer than we planned.  We were covered in mud and thought we might as well enjoy some sand too.

Some people had already built an amazing little shelter, which Theo loved.  The kids found some really cool rocks and one lovely muscle shell.  Sadly the tide was high and there was not much beach to explore.  But it was getting late and it was time to head home anyway.

Plans have already been made to go back next month.

Knitting and Reading in May

I thought I would pop on and share with you guys and Nicole what has been on my needles and what has been on my nightstand.

I am currently reading a few things, but mostly I am have been reaching for Catherine Levison's book More Charlotte Mason Education.  I had ordered it from the library but I knew I needed my own copy.  I recommend it highly as well as her first book A Charlotte Mason Education.

I have been trying to read about Charlotte Mason lately...  trying to see where our grove may be.  I always flip flop between unschooling and CM.  Since May is always my worst my month as far as motivation and inspiration, I figured a bit of CM might help me narrow our path for our educational future.  The more I read the more convinced I become that unschooling might just be the path we need to follow and one we have been fighting for years.  I adore Charlotte Mason and pretty much everything she has to say about education.  In her book Levison discusses a bit of unschooling as well and I can't help but think many, maybe not all, of her ideas are right up our alley.

As for my knitting, if you follow me on Instagram you have seen a lot of these projects.  I am taking a break from my blanket and another pair of plain vanilla socks to work mostly on my Find Your Fade Shawl and these wonderful Strawberry Field Socks.

The Fade is almost done.  I am on the lace section of the second to last color.  It is starting to feel like I HAVE TO FINISH THIS.  Like the little engine that could, I'm getting there!

These socks!  Oh my.  If you have never knit with Amber's yarn from Maker's Haven, you need to!  I absolutely love her yarn and her colors are right up my alley.  Hey and she is a homeschool mom!  She has her Strawberry Fields Sock pattern up free on Ravelry now, and it is a great knit.  It is my first time knitting toe up and my first time doing a fish lips kiss heel, which is my new absolute favorite heel.

And speaking of Amber's yarn, look what I got for Mother's Day!  I got two beautiful skeins and she sent along a lovely progress keeper too!  I received some beautiful roses, Wild + Free's Nature Journal book (which is AMAZING!!!), and a pedicure!  I was very happily spoiled.  I hope you all had a very love filled Mother's Day!

The Redwoods

We are extremely lucky to live only a few hours from one of the most unique places on our planet.  The Redwoods are an amazing thing to behold.  Practically mythical, it is a lush and beautiful journey to walk through these trees that reach straight to heaven.  You cannot help but be in awe of their majestic beauty. 

We don't nearly go enough.  We had to convince the kids to try and be quiet a few times, just so the could encounter the amazing quiet and beauty before them.  But for six children that was nearly impossible, even with the promise that perhaps we might see animals if we don't scare them away.

We mostly saw some really awesome banana slugs... well, some of us thought they were awesome... a few snails, and the kids did see a mouse.

Eva was a real trooper and walked most of the way herself, and only because she refused adamantly any offer of help.  I fear her teen years.

Someone was not impressed by the banana slug and it took some coaxing to get her to walk past him.

I found a large gnome beard... the kids seemed skeptical.

Catching rain drops.

Despite getting lost, (the trail did not end up where we thought it would and having to walk a whole  extra mile more) it was truly an adventure.   One we will not forget for a long time.

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