Sunday, March 30, 2014

First Lessons

My newborn's eyes explored our hospital room. Everything, from the railing of the bed to my face, seemed to evoke wonder.  I realized that she was already learning about her little world.  It caused me to contemplate, what do I want her to learn in these early days? I want her to know that she is precious and loved.  I want her to know that she is safe and her tummy will always be filled.

I want these things because I have the natural love of a mother.

As a teacher, I know she literally will not learn anything else if she does not know those things.

Remember Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

This image was taken from Wikipedia. ( )

Acceptance of facts, creativity, and problem solving are needs that will manifest when the individual senses that the lower needs have been met.  While this is intuitive when working with babies, we are tempted to try to work top down with older kids.  "Perform, then you can have..."  

Reflecting on the needs of my newborn reminded me that I need to make a conscience effort to help my older kids feel secure during this time of transition.

Are there some learners in your life who need to have their lower needs met so that they can move on to higher things?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Science Along the Way: Flower Coloring in Reverse

My parents bought  flowers to celebrate our new little one.  These particular flowers were chosen by my four-year-old.  You may recognize that they are dyed.

In addition to giving a vibrant spring look, dying various types of white flowers is a common demonstration of a plant's circulation system.  We were surprised, to see the flowers start to un-dye after a day or so.  If you look carefully at the base of the vase, you can see the dye.  White streaks began to appear on the flowers.

Of course the question from my children was "Why?"  I had to pull out Biology by Raven and Johnson (Wow, my addition is old now!).  I learned that with the exception of calcium, particles that the xylem carries up, will travel down through the phloem with the water.  For some reason,  I had believed that minerals from the ground had a one-way ticket, but that is not the case.  In fact, we could see dye oosing from the leaves and stems as well.  Apparently, unless the plant's cells grab them and use them, the particles just circulate through the plant with the water.

It's always a good day to see something new!

Find more science posts at

Science Sunday

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Deer mask made from a paper towel tube

With Mommy busy taking care of a new baby, T-Rex has been making some fun of his own.  This morning, he came up with a new project which conveniently fits with our theme of card board tubes at Project: Recycle Create.  It was probably also inspired by the raccoon mask he made as part of our mini-nature museum several weeks ago.

Supplies: Paper plate
               Two pieces of yarn about 1 foot      (30 cm) long
                Paper towel roll
                Packing tape (Glue would be another option, I think.)

1. Cut off part of the plate to make space for your nose and mouth.  Cut eye holes. Cut tabs just above the ears to tie on the string.

2.  Cut your paper towel tube in half, and tape the two halves to the paper plate to look like antlers.

3.  Tie the yarn onto the tabs.

There you have it, a nice two-prong buck!  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Guest Posting at Mama Smiles and other Bits

Today, our family celebrates one week with our youngest member!  Baby girl and I are doing well, and we are all enjoying this sweet little bundle of joy.

I apologize for the double post in your feeds this weekend, which I would like to blame on baby induced brain fog.  I do hope you will take a look at T-Rex's creations and tell us what you like.

 Please also take a look at my guest post at Mama Smiles today.  I wrote about our experience in Kuwait, and am very excited that she chose to include it in her World Cultures for Kids series.

Hope you have a Great Thursday!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Flower Garden Mystery

We moved to our new home in the south east US in early February, and soon after were excited to see these shoots emerging in our front flower bed.  This is a brand new climate for our family.  I asked my children what these might be, and they were convinced that they must be vegetables.  

Over the next couple of weeks we watched the shoots develop.  My kids still believed these were vegetables.

Finally, just at the end of the month, the truth emerged.  Unfortunately, a harsh rain got to them ahead of my camera.  

We had been observing other people's daffodils for several days, and were thrilled to find that we had some of our own! 

What signs of spring are appearing in your area?