Posts

From Dinosaurs to Da Vinci (January Unit Studies)

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For the sake of planning, fun, and sanity, we're working with unit studies this year for music/Bible/art/science. Pippin still has his normal 2nd grade workbooks: Explode the Code for reading/writing, Developmental Math for math, and Thinking Skills for spatial development, as well Dutch group 3/4 workpages for language. And we have Mystery of History for history, and an ample supply of library books and chapter readers. But our electives have been more random over the last year or so, so having the unit studies planned out is extra fun for all of us. Especially now that Bloom is in preschool 3/4 and is ready for more than wooden puzzles or scribbling on coloring pages. And knowing there is a new little one on the way, it makes me feel better to be preparing easy crafts or making library lists for late-pregnancy-life or newborn-life times when I just don't have the energy to sit at the table and check workbooks.... For January, our themes were:  Bible: Creation, Adam and Eve Ar

Monthly Themes Printables - Science, Composers, Artists

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If you can't find something online... try making it yourself.  I love the canva.com website for making my own printables when I can't find what I need somewhere else. In this case it was all-in-one pages of 12 top composers, artists, and science unit studies for this year. I already had some printouts from various websites for those areas, but all the loose pieces of paper floating around and a lack of a central list meant that we weren't as consistent last year in our unit studies as I wanted to be. We listened to classical musical occasionally, checked out some library books on famous artists, and had nature walks and watched science movies, and that was all good! But this year, with Bloom and Pippin a year older, some extra structure should help us learn more effectively and have fun along the way. And since we're expecting a third little human to arrive at our home this summer, I am allll about organizing now while I still have energy and time! Another change I made

Corona Changes

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In March, the rumors of the COVID-19 virus became reality, and the Netherlands went into partial lockdown. Over the rest of the year, the lockdowns lightened and tightened in turn, but changes were visible everywhere.  Not all the changes were bad. We saw encouraging signs everywhere, like the Feyenoord themed "You'll never walk alone" one hung outside the hospital.                                                 A sign in the window of a closed school read, "Lieve kinderen we missen jullie" - dear children, we miss you."                                                    Church services and messages were held online, and while it was certainly practical, we missed the community of being able to share faith and everyday life with friends instead of staring at a screen.  The holidays took extra effort, since we couldn't meet up for a meal with friends or family. Instead we made Easter baskets with mini chocolate eggs to drop in mailboxes. The children

2020 Garden

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FEBRUARY :  The crocuses we planted last year started coming up outside, and inside, Pippin and I sat down to plan out our garden. Bloom helped by playing with seed packets as I tried to sort which seeds we had left and which seed packets I had kept because they were worth repeating. I also had charts from last year with lists of what I had planted, when, and whether it worked well or not. A few plants from last year, like my strawberries and honeysuckle, were still alive but dormant.  MARCH :   Every year I optimistically start seeds inside in February, set them out around March or April... and then the frost kills them. So this year I didn't even start the seeds until March. Pippin and I planted lettuce, morning glories, marigold, rucola (arugula), scarlet runner beans, and sweet peas - all seeds that had done well last year. And they all shot up happily in their little starter buckets within a few weeks.  By the end of March I dared to put the biggest and sturdiest plants outsid

July 2020 Photo Recap

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Sometimes I feel like writing a blog post about the fun and interesting things that come our way while living in Holland. Sometimes I just feel like dropping a ton of photos into a post so there's at least some sort of recap. (Also sometimes (most of the time) I take so many hundreds of photos that my computer fills up and gets upset at me, which means I really need to get better about clearing them out.) So, here you are. Alsjeblieft .  This is hagelslag (literally, hail-strike), the chocolate sprinkles that Dutch people put on bread. But this particularly kind is so fancy, it's called HAGEL-SWAG. I can't even.  Soft summer evenings with bike paths up the dike. Beautiful but annoying to bike up.  Sometimes we do school outside. Because, why not? Pippin continues creating with pattern blocks. His six-year old explanations of what he has made are not brief, but they are entertaining.  Our blueberry bushes give us about a handful a week.  Friends come over for playdates and