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Happy Leap Day!

February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day! This is like turning back the clocks for daylight saving time X 24! What are you going to do with all that extra time?  Well, it may not feel like extra time since everyone in the whole country has it and will probably spend it doing the  mundane tasks that make up life.

Our school has been in a bit of a rut lately. Like the housework suffering from a “way too busy” schedule, school became routine and full of “read this”, “do this workbook page”, and “take this test.” When there is no spark, it gets boring for all of us – teacher included.

While school work is getting done and I can assure myself that the kids are completing assignments, there is no love for this kind of learning. There are no wide eyes staring,  questions unable to be contained exploding like popcorn from their mouths, and no sly grins that let me know that they are understanding. 

Sometimes text books lend themselves to a lecture and quizzes, and that is okay. But when that is all you do, everyday – it is boring.  The oil of learning drys up and the friction increases. Learning becomes a weighty task and not fun and exciting.

This day will be different. My younger children are studying botany and we will focus some activities (activities = ACTIVE ) in this area. We are going to build the cold frame with the older boys help. We will start some herbs and vegetables inside today.

finishing touches

There is some math to be done in calculating the space needed and yield of vegetables to plan the garden this year, not to mention the budget and ordering of seeds. We can plan as if we had an acre of land to garden figure how much land we would need to really feed the family for a year. Maybe we will divide into groups and do both calculations.

Carl and Grace measuring the PVC pipe

Tomorrow we will go back to the books, but I’ll be looking for ways to give each day an hands-on activity applies what we are learning in a practical arena.

I think I will set the older boys to pruning the apple tree after we carefully mark the limbs to be removed.  The younger children might cut some of the forsythia to bring in and force to bloom too.

I’ll post some pictures later that show how this day went.

How will you spend your leap day?

UPDATE: We had a great day. I ordered seeds and my coldframe is ready for plants and seeds. Jake  and David did a great job on pruning the apple tree back. I told them which branches and off they came. The tree was sorely needing this and some of the branches are just too high for them to (safely) get to.

soil prepped and ready to go!



Grace even took some of the trimmings and made boquets of branches to force to bloom. I can’t believe how swollen the buds are already.

apple buds for forcing



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