Cooking Thursdays

We have always enjoyed cooking at wheelhouse. It is such a holistic activity for children in the sense of all the different skills and abilities they are practicing when cooking. There is math, sequencing, fine motor skills when squeezing, kneading, eye hand coordination when cutting with soft knives. And of course the joy, the sense of community, the chance to chat with friends, joke and tell stories while hands are busy. Its also such a wonder for them to see how something raw becomes food.

We cook often and for sure every Thursday morning is cooking day with Frank and Irina. We have made soup with our garden’s vegetables, potatoes, celery, chard, and other vegetables such as carrots and broccoli. We also made bread after reading a book called: Walter, the baker by Eric Carle. We will most likely make more bread. It was a very involved process with the children and they wanted more. Here are some images from those experiences. Tell us in the comments if you do, how do you involve the kids in food preparation and cooking at home. Also if you have recipes you would like us to try, get in touch with us :).

Love,

Irina

Forest visit with our forester neighbor

Forest days are always an adventure that children look forward to. This week though, was extra special, since we went to say hi to our neighbor and check out what he was doing in the forest. Jamie had tools with him, along with his safety gear for using them. Children asked what he was doing, he explained: “You know how you take the weeds out of the garden, I am weeding the forest. Cutting some branches of good trees in the forest help them grow healthier”.

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Another kid asked: “And what you do with those pieces? (referring to the branches he had cut off) Jaime: “ These are for growing mushrooms on them. How do you think we grow mushrooms on them?”

Child: “With seeds”

Jamie: “Seeds yes, but seed for mushrooms are called spores”

Jamie used his tools. We moved a few feet away from him but it was still loud.

Jamie used his tools. We moved a few feet away from him but it was still loud.

Some trash/treasures our neighbor found while exploring. And a child so excited to tell stories about things she finds at her home forest and how trees are so fun to climb, and how she has a special tree at her home that she climbs all the time and she loves it.

Some trash/treasures our neighbor found while exploring. And a child so excited to tell stories about things she finds at her home forest and how trees are so fun to climb, and how she has a special tree at her home that she climbs all the time and she loves it.

At the end of the visit with our neighbor the other members of his family were on their way to work in the forest too. It was a most pleasant surprise to see Harley, furry friend, and our neighbor’s forester partner, Tanya. Of course children were so excited to interact with Harley and learn how he too, loves the forest. And kids had stories about how their own home furry friends interacted with the forest and how “they scared the bears away with their loud bark.”

At the end of the visit with our neighbor the other members of his family were on their way to work in the forest too. It was a most pleasant surprise to see Harley, furry friend, and our neighbor’s forester partner, Tanya. Of course children were so excited to interact with Harley and learn how he too, loves the forest. And kids had stories about how their own home furry friends interacted with the forest and how “they scared the bears away with their loud bark.”

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So, families, tell us in the comments, if you heard about this forest day or anything kids experiences at home with nature, forest or chain saws :)

Until next time,

from the Autumn forest,

Irina

A glimpse into our first days of school...

We have been busy these first two weeks of school!! Here are a few highlights of our days together <3 Be sure to save the date for our parent tea each month, where we will share with you more of the work children have been doing, and also give us a chance to connect as a community!! All dates are posted on the school calendar (extras are in the cafe for anyone who hasn’t picked one up yet!!) Our upcoming parent tea is Tuesday Sept 25th from 3:30- 5:30!!!

Summer Camp 2018

Hello Families!!!

It's been a great summer!! Its almost over, but not yet- we have one more week to go!!  

Here are a few highlights from the sunny explorations we have been on.

The Forest is our Classroom!

With the advent of warmer, drier weather, we have been spending even more time outdoors than we usually do, and it has become much more feasible to bring tools for learning outside with us. Simple additions of drawing materials and measuring tools have provoked immense curiosity for the children, and have added a new dimension to our outdoor explorations. Read on to take a peak!

Colored pencils and clipboards have been used to record observations of features of the woods and meadow. However, children have also used these materials to develop ideas all their own. Last week, writing materials inspired children to write their own "reports," which evolved into map drawing, which then evolved into the creation of passports. "What's a passport?" one child asked. "A passport is what you use when you need it," another replied. As there still seems to be a lot of space for curiosity and learning about passports, adding materials for investigating and creating passports to our indoor space will be a next step for learning. When we follow children's questions and curiosities, rich, authentic literacy learning about the world emerges. 

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The addition of rulers and measuring tapes has led to discussions about size and units of measurement. "You're 55 tall!" one child exclaimed, while running a tape measure along my back. Children initiated the ideas of measuring rocks, sticks, and the circumference of trees.

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Math and literacy understandings go hand in hand with scientific questions and deductive reasoning. One of our children asked that we make another visit to the pond, since we hadn't been there since March. He wanted to look for the turtle nests that he remembered discovering last spring. We didn't find turtle eggs that time, but we did have the chance to be led on an adventure by one of our six-year-olds, and to pretend to be tigers, and try to catch butterflies by "planting" a flower in a handful of dirt. Did it work? Not this time...further experiments await...

On another walk, we discovered tracks next to the pond, and children discussed what might have made them. "I think they're deer tracks!" "No, they're wolf tracks." "They look like duck tracks." "No, they're not wolf tracks. They're too small." "I see the part that looks like a hoof." "No, I see a hole that looks like a wolf claw." "What made the hole? Maybe it was an ant." "Maybe it was a worm." "No, a worm is too small."

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But perhaps the most valuable aspect of all is the experience of joy. Listening for bird songs, chasing butterflies, trying to make friends with turtles...these threads weave the fabric of our days. We couldn't be luckier!

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