Homeschool Journey: Easing back into our routine

Hello everyone! So as we recover from Wyatt’s surgeries, I thought we would start back to our homeschool routine focusing only on his favorites – so social studies, art, and science. We are probably going to add math and reading back in this week starting Tuesday. (We had a neurosurgery appt this morning as well as physical therapy)

Our pared down schedule worked well. It got Wyatt back into the swing of school again, and also made room for him to rest when he became tired.

For science, Wyatt learned about the difference between coniferous trees and deciduous trees. We opted for the table crowd activity this time (his curriculum has three different approaches to labs – outdoors, tabletop, arts and crafts ) It was the right choice for his first day back! Just look at this face. Lol.

For social studies, we visited Massachusetts! Well not really obviously. Wyatt loves learning about the states way more than I expected him to honestly, especially learning the state symbols and seeing the flags for each state. I am happy he loves it like he does though! I always loved social studies too. We learned that the Boston Marathon has a wheelchair division! I had no idea so that was a neat fact to learn. We also learned that Dr. Seuss, Theodore Geisel, was from Massachusetts which is neat because Wyatt shares a birthday with Dr. Seuss – March 2! Wyatt loved how I told him to identify the state on the map too – I told him the little hook that comes off and branches into the ocean looks like a strong arm flexing, and that is how to find it. He thought that was hilarious.

But what Wyatt loved the best was art. Of course. He has been asking to paint for weeks now, and I just didn’t think it was a good idea until he was more healed up. However, he was cleared for physical therapy so I figured it was time to paint as well!

Instead of focusing on a particular artist over the next few weeks, I am mixing it up a bit. We are focusing instead on a poet, and then painting a picture that is inspired by a poem that poet wrote. This week we did Emily Dickinson, naturally, as she was from Amherst – plus I love her.

We talked a bit about Dickinson as a person, read a few poems, read a picture book, then we focused on the poem Make Me a Picture of the Sun. We talked about the imagery, what it could mean, and how it made us feel. Then I had Wyatt watercolor a painting that correlated with this. He loved it.

I also love that he felt his picture needed two suns. I get it, I miss the sunshine too!

Now, what we used – not much this week!

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

M is for Mayflower || Emily Writes

This week we move on to New Hampshire and Robert Frost!


Homeschool Journey: Happy Little Trees…

“There are no mistakes, only happy accidents..”

Gosh, we love Bob Ross in this house. Such a happy, gentle, uplifting soul he was. I needed some Bob Ross vibes last week and I was so happy I had planned for him to be our artist of the week all the way back when I was planning in the late fall. This time of year can get so blah you know?

We focused on Bob Ross quite a bit. We read about his life, we read as many picture books as I could find at the library about him, we watched him every night before Wyatt went to bed, and then had a family paint day. Wyatt now is a big fan of Bob Ross, which tickles me.

I did not know about Ross’ life other than watching him on Joy of Painting. I had no idea he was in the military, that he had been stationed in Alaska, that he taught in person classes that at first no one attended. When he got his television show, he was happy with just a simple little set, he didn’t need anything elaborate. He raised baby squirrels, and saved injured animals. I just adore him. He brought some lightness into our week last week, and into this week as Wyatt continues to watch him.

Our family Bob Ross inspired painting day was a lot of fun. There was no way I was using oil based paints with a 7 year old however, and knew I wanted to use the watercolors that come in the tube, to get that whole feel. I actually hit up our dollar store and was able to get everything I wanted! We usually have all of our materials on hand, but I didn’t have what I wanted for this particular project. I needed canvas boards, and instead of big paint brushes, which I thought would be hard for Wyatt to use, I opted for sponge brushes. We set up at the table, put on the Bob Ross episode “Mystic Mountains”, and got to painting!

The plan was for Billy to demonstrate in person along with Bob, and he also controlled the pause and playing of the video, in case Wyatt and I needed to catch up. I wanted Wyatt to use (sort of ) the techniques that Bob was using (although not the wet on wet since we were not using oil paints) but the brush movements, so instead of setting him free with paints and the canvas and going alone, we did a lot of hand over hand. There were parts of the painting I let him just paint freely, but other parts I helped him out, and I ended up doing the mountains because the knife work was hard for him with his current motor skills. So his painting is actually our combined painting.

Wyatt painted the water and sky freely, then I helped with the trees, clouds, and mountains, hand over hand for the trees and clouds. He also did the tree/island in the water. He was so happy!! He loves painting and asks to paint constantly. And usually, I let him.

Wyatt also learned about Idaho last week. His favorite facts were all potato based, that they grow a ton of potatoes, that there is a potato museum, and that frozen french fries were introduced to the world by J.R. Simplot in Idaho in 1953. We of course had to have frozen french fries with grilled cheese sandwiches that night.

We had a fantastic week last week!

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.


P is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet

Bob Ross and Peapod the Squirrel

This is Your World: The Story of Bob Ross


And thanks to a friend, the Bob Ross episode of Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum on PBS.

In parting, I want to leave you all with a few Bob Rossisms.

“You can do anything you want. This is your world.”

“Talent is a pursued interest. Anything you’re willing to practice, you can do.”

“It’s hard to see things when you are too close. Take a step back and look.”

“There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.”

“Go out on limb. That’s where the fruit is.”

Homeschool Journey: Grunge, Gaudi, and Gray Wolves

This post is a mash up of the past two weeks of school, since we were easing back in after the holidays and things were a little off kilter as well. It took a minute to get back into the swing of things. We spent most of our time on the basics and I don’t usually blog too much about that aspect of school because, well, it’s just doing math and reading.

Our first week back we covered Washington State and the architect Antoni Gaudi, which was a nice way to welcome January. I of course treated myself to some Starbucks in honor of the first Starbucks in Washington, a matcha latte, my favorite. Since I started with Washington, let’s stay there for a minute.

I sort of felt like I was revisiting my youth teaching Wyatt about this state. Coffee, grunge, Kurt Cobain. Ah, the 90s. Wyatt loved all of the railroad facts we talked about and learned, about the Pacific Railway, and how the trip from Chicago to Tacoma shrunk from 6 months by covered wagon to 4 days by train. What could that have seemed like back then? Magic maybe. Wyatt has been obsessed with railroads and trains ever since we covered John Henry at the beginning of the year, so all things railroad for this kid right now.

We of course talked about the arrival of grunge music on the scene. How could we not? We played a LOT of Nirvana around here that week, and Wyatt seemed to enjoy it. I was never a Pearl Jam or Soundgarden fan, I was more of a Nirvana and Alice in Chains kid, so we listened to them. Billy however was a huge Pearl Jam fan in the day. We used to stomp around in our Doc Martens, flannel shirts, and go to coffee houses (remember when those had a heyday in the 90s?). Wyatt got into the look a little that week..

For art that first week, we learned about Antoni Gaudi, who I didn’t know much about when we started but then I ended up being super interested in myself. Gaudi was an architect known for incorporating nature and whimsy into his buildings, and now, seeing Casa Batlló and all the rest in Barcelona is a huge bucket list item for me. That area of his work has become a UNESCO World Heritage Center, and the buildings are literally works of art.

So for our project I thought it would be fun to build something out of cookies, a structure following the imagination of Wyatt. Billy and Wyatt drew up “blueprints” together, I made the cookie, then construction was a family event. It turned out a little differently, like its lack of actual walls, but we had fun!

Next up, we moved on to Oregon and Bev Doolittle. And more trees in science. Oregon seems pretty cool! Wyatt always enjoys the flag part of social studies (I’d heard these people existed that like flags – I found one!), and Oregon has a flag that has two different sides. One side is the state seal, and the other is a beaver. Wyatt thought this was fantastic. Whatever floats your boat kid. 🙂 He also thought it was neat there is a college there that has cows on campus. I really wanted to take a side trip and explore the Oregon Trail with him for a in depth rabbit trail, but I decided to hold off until next year when we start American history. We talked about it a little bit though of course.

Bev Doolittle is one of Billy’s favorite artists, so I left him to the art lesson planning this week. Wyatt and I talked about some of the features found in her work, the use of camouflage and how things are hidden and you need to look more closely. How animals can be animals but also part of the landscape. I do really enjoy her work myself! Billy and Wyatt spent Sunday afternoon working on their interpretation and I think it came out really neat! Their version was of a wolf blending into rock, and it looks pretty cool.

And finally in science we talked about tree rings and what they can tell us, and about tree bark! It might be obvious which project Wyatt liked better…I had to do most of the actual work for his tree ring. He listened though so I will be happy with that. The tree bark painting – he painted over different types of bark to explore the varying textures.

And now for the resource roundup!

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

Gaudi: Architect of Imagination || Reading the Wild || Building on Nature || Carmen and the House that Gaudi Built || B is for Beaver || E is for Evergreen

Video Links:

Antoni Gaudi’s Barcelona – Four Unearthly Buildings

Casa Batllo

Ranger Zak – What is tree bark

SciShowKids – Life of a Tree

SciShow Kids – The World’s Tallest Tree

This week should be a fun one! I am super excited about our artist of the week!

Homeschool Journey: Alaska, Mistletoe and Holly

I usually do a homeschool post every week, but since we are learning a little differently this month it made more sense to combine last week and this week. We are still doing his basics, reading and math which I usually don’t share about because it is basically what you think and not really anything to share about. I do love to share what we are doing for literary arts, social studies, and science which is where learning is more hands on as well as instructional.

One thing I wanted to do with Wyatt is introduce him to different cultures in school this year. We spent a lot of time learning about Dias de los Muertos already this year, and this week we read a little bit about Hanukkah. Then we made latkes! I have never ever made them and felt like food is such a great bridge without being appropriational. I mean, I want him to learn but I don’t want to be disrespectful either. Latkes played an important part in both books that we read, Hanukkah in Alaksa and Little Red Ruthie, so it seemed like a natural fit.

I have never fried anything in my life, or cooked like that. THAT was my learning experience for the week. However, I think they did turn out pretty ok? Wyatt seemed to like them at least. They were not pretty though. We had them with pierogi and crepes – that we did not make ourselves.

It’s also been a week of tiny books. Two projects I had for him he had to make tiny accordion style books and they are so cute! One was a booklet about Alaska, the other the life cycle of holly. We have actually been learning a lot about holly! The life cycle, parts of the plant, uses, how it looks in different seasons, and its adaptive qualities, such as the prickles and spiky leaves being a response to herbivores like deer!

This week we read Mim’s Christmas Jam, which is a great Christmas book. The father in this book is away for the holidays, working in NYC digging the tunnels for the subway system, and naturally the family all miss each other. The mom and kids make him a jar of their belly-hum jam, and send it off to him. He shares it with his mean foreman (nicknamed Mean and Evil) and they become filled with the spirit of Christmas and give the men time off for Christmas. Dad gets to go home and surprise his family by being there for the holiday. It also includes a recipe for belly-hum jam that we are going to attempt this weekend. Attempt being the key word.

Today is actually our last full day of instruction! Tomorrow Wyatt has therapy, and then I am taking him to the Immersive Nutcracker experience with my dad in the afternoon. Friday we will work in the morning, then we will be off for break! Next week is all about making cookies and ornaments, reading books, celebrating winter solstice, a little bit about Balto to wrap up Alaska, and then Christmas. We both need the break!

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

Mistletoe || Mim’s Christmas Jam || Alaska || Molly’s Awesome Alaska Guide || Midnight Dance of the Snowshoe Hare || Little Red Ruthie || Hanukkah in Alaska


Holly Looking Glass Unit Study – Books and Willows

Mistletoe Investigation Set – Honeycomb Cabin

Homeschool Journey: Alaska, Cranberries, Evergreens (still)

It’s December and that means Christmas school in the homeschool world! Some people drop their entire regular curriculum and supplement with all Christmas themed special unit studies; I have done this in the past, but Wyatt is in second grade now, and I am not feeling like that is the best choice for him at this time. So, I am adapting our regular curriculum around the holidays. I wasn’t going to include Social Studies this month, but I decided to take one state and just run with it for the whole month. That state – Alaska! I guess the biggest state in our country deserves an entire month, don’t you think? And, it so easy to adapt it to our needs. We still have our The Good and The Beautiful math and language arts everyday, but for everything else we are sliding into Christmas school.

Where to start… let’s start with science as this was where I really focused the bulk of our Christmas themed studies. In our regular curriculum of Blossom and Root we are actually on conifers and evergreens, so I didn’t have to do much there. But then we are putting the rest of the weeks on pause until January to study a few more wintry botanicals.

This week we looked at studied cranberries in addition to learning about conifers. (I honestly had no idea that not all evergreens are conifers!) I tied it into Alaska with the help of The Museum of the North’s website. I find so much cool stuff on museum websites! I have a few different lessons that I printed from The Museum of the North, but the first one we did was the Berries and Animals lesson and collage. We talked about how important berries are to the animals that eat them, and tried to think of alternatives for what they would eat if they couldn’t find the berries. Then Wyatt used the template of animals and berries to make a collage.

This month I also wanted to add a baking component to our school – I have some different kitchen projects planned, but for our first one I had Wyatt make his very own sourdough starter. We read The Sourdough Man, which is an Alaskan folktale based on the gingerbread man. Sourdough Annie is doing well so far, and in a few days we will turn it into our little Sourdough man cookie (biscuits?). We also talked about how sourdough has a long history in Alaska, and how some strains have been around for 200 years!

We also read the book Berry Song, which is one of my very favorite picture books that I have read all year. We read it in August, and I liked it so much that I added it to our curriculum. Here is the book description:

On an island at the edge of a wide, wild sea, a girl and her grandmother gather gifts from the earth. Salmon from the stream, herring eggs from the ocean, and in the forest, a world of berries.

Salmonberry, Cloudberry, Blueberry, Nagoonberry.

Huckleberry, Snowberry, Strawberry, Crowberry.

Through the seasons, they sing to the land as the land sings to them. Brimming with joy and gratitude, in every step of their journey, they forge a deeper kinship with both the earth and the generations that came before, joining in the song that connects us all. Michaela Goade’s luminous rendering of water and forest, berries and jams glows with her love of the land and offers an invitation to readers to deepen their own relationship with the earth.

We also started a berry book, which I found on the Museum of the North website as well. We are going to continue working on it this week. And art – we are a bit behind! I plan on doing two art projects this week and since this is a bit more relaxed month with everything kind of flowing over and through the weeks that will be ok.

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

The Littlest Evergreen || Christmas Farm || The Sourdough Man || L is for Last Frontier

If you are interested in The Sourdough Man but can’t find it, I did find a YouTube video of someone reading it.

The Museum of the North

Sourdough Starter recipe

Saturday Morning Coffee Catch Up

The coffee is excellent today – Billy made it this morning and isn’t it always better when someone else does the making? We are back to Post Alley, our favorite. Billy also told me the other day that my coffee is always made strongest on Mondays – hmm. I wonder why that could be?

It was a bit of week around here. In the overnight hours of Tuesday/Wednesday Wyatt woke up with some quick illness that came and go very fast, like within two hours. I really don’t know what that was about, but it was an intense two hours!

Then Wednesday was my birthday! It was extremely low key, with basically 100% laying around by Wyatt and I. I could have had worse birthdays, and in fact I have. It was actually sort of nice to be do absolutely nothing for a change and to spend the day with my little guy just chilling. I very, very rarely allow myself to completely relax and it was amazing. Billy gave me a book, my friend dropped off a gift, and my parents gifted me with money to spend on me. They were very specific that it had to go to me and not something for the house or a bill or Wyatt. We will see.

The other night I nestled up in bed with my cup of mint tea, my new book, and a cat and it was all very cozy. The wind was whipping outside and it was so cold outside, but warm and happy inside. And I am still loving our bedroom refresh! The other day was so grey outside but our room still felt so open and light.

I’ve done some online Christmas shopping this week and feel pretty good about where I am! I have one thing for Billy, two of my three nieces are halfway done, and for Wyatt, I need to get just a few things still. I still have more shopping to do but I like to know the kids are covered first, then I move on.

In all my relaxing time from my birthday I took an online quiz on my phone to see what my “booksona” is. It was actually a really fun quiz. It was interactive and different from most little silly quizzes. I mean it was still silly but it was fun too. And I have to say I agree with my booksona! It feels really accurate.

Tonight my brother Devin and his family are coming over here for dinner. We are using a recipe for pizza dough that Jeanie from The Marmalade Gypsy sent me that her partner Rick uses. We are all going to make our own individual pizzas. I think it will be fun! Last week we had a really laid back dinner at my brother’s house, soup and bread and homemade pumpkin pie. It was a very simple, perfect evening. Even though I had Wyatt dressed like Doc Boy from the Garfield Christmas Special. (well Wyatt is super cute in anything) And for a little bit of reality, that is Wyatt being sassy! Then, one second later trying to charm us. Stinker.

This weekend we have to do a lot of around the house stuff. Cleaning, getting groceries including the ingredients we need for our contributions to Thanksgiving and Wolfenoot, and work on the gifts we are making. Busy but also fun, with a nice break for pizza with family.

Next week is a little wild, and the introvert in me is freaking out already! Tuesday we have a get together with my cousin and his kids, my mom, and my brother and fam. Wednesday we have early Thanksgiving with Billy’s family, and Thursday Thanksgiving at my brother’s. It will be a lot of fun but Friday Wyatt and I will be doing a lot of nothing.

And that is about it for today! I hope all is well in your world!

Homeschooling Journey: North Dakota, Edward Hicks, and Peace.

Last week was well, peaceful. I wanted to explore the concept of peace and mindfulness and home this month with Wyatt. It just felt like the right thing for November. It is an ongoing theme, so we started reading a few books on the topic of peace, talked about things that felt like peace to Wyatt, and made those cute peace dove hearts with his cousin one afternoon. Inside the kids had to write three things that peace is and they did a really good job.

When I learned that North Dakota was home to the International Peace Garden, which is situated on the border of the U.S. and Canada I knew it was the state we were going to work on in social studies. I mean, obviously. We didn’t get around to making our own mini peace gardens but maybe before the month is over we will.

We always cover the key facts of the state, talk about the state animals/trees/flowers etc, and then always pick the interesting facts that are most appealing to us. I am not expecting Wyatt to memorize the date of statehood or what number state they are, or even the capitol of the state right now. I want him to learn about the area the state is in, the region, what the landscape and climate are like, the flora and fauna, and those interesting things that stand out. I am always a little surprised by what he chooses! This time he chose as his favorites the W’eel Turtle, which is an 18 foot turtle built out of 2000 wheel rims, and that the National Buffalo Museum is there, and home to a rare white buffalo named White Cloud. I didn’t tell him that White Cloud passed away in 2016 so he is on display there, not actually living there. I kept that tidbit to myself.

We always have fun in art! This week Wyatt was a bit bored by the actual art and artist I had chosen – Edward Hicks and his work The Peaceable Kingdom. And from his perspective it probably wasn’t super exciting to look at, but it did give us the opportunity to talk about how the animals in the painting are usually animals that wouldn’t normally get along, which was the point of the painting, that they were a peaceable kingdom. He then picked an animal from the painting and then together we created one out of oil pastels. It was again an art lesson with Dad, which has been a fun trend! Wyatt chose a lion from the inspiration artwork, and then I helped him with the actual outline of the lion using hand over hand due to his motor control, although he is getting better and better everyday! Sometimes he just wants my hand over his wrist as a confidence boost while he does all the work. Anyway, we got the lion drawn, he made all the wild marks for the mane, and then Billy showed him how to blend the pastels to make it look smooth and soft. It turned out really well! And Wyatt did enjoy that part!

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

P is for Peace Garden || Peaceful Pieces || Peace is an Offering || Peace Train || The Peace Book

For the peace dove heart craft

Homeschool Journey: Wayne Thiebaud, Missouri, and desserts

We had a bit of a more laid back week last week – I think we both needed it! However, we still did some pretty cool stuff.

Missouri was a surprise! As part of our state studies, Wyatt has to choose a few interesting facts about every state. This time, his favorite facts were all about food – that the first ice cream cone was served at the World’s Fair in 1904, as well as tea with ice in it. We had to of course have ice cream to celebrate that first ice cream cone.

I kind of had to chuckle that his favorite fact was about the ice cream cone, as the artist I had chosen for the week was Wayne Thiebaud, a pop artist known for his paintings of desserts and food. Pies, ice cream, cakes, hot dogs – all done in really cool pastels.

We didn’t get to art until Saturday, which worked out because then Billy could participate. He actually led the lesson for him this time! Billy is an artist, and knows so much about art so I appreciated his help. I had never used oil pastels before, and they were part of the lesson, as was creating a resist, which was new to me. So I switched on some 50s music as it felt appropriate, and we got to work – in our pajamas even! Billy also came up with a genius idea to create templates for Wyatt to trace around to get the right perspective and proportions.

It worked perfectly! Then they added in the details, the color, and then traced over the lines with a black sharpie. Thiebaud uses oil pastels for the frosting to create a more luxurious, thicker look, then paints the rest in watercolor. So Wyatt and Billy did as well.

Billy did such a good job that I hung his up as well.

It was a low key week, but still very fun!

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

Missouri || Train of States || Counting With Wayne Thiebaud || S is for Show Me

Crayola Oil Pastels – these were really cool and fun to use! We are using them again this week.

Wayne Thiebaud Artist Handout – Teachers Pay Teachers – No Corner Suns

Homeschool Journey: Dia de los Muertos, Frida Kahlo, Jose Posada and a Weird Pumpkin

Last week we continued on with our fundamentals like math and reading (which I never share about really because it’s not super exciting as one might imagine) and also dove deeper into Dia de los Muertos and especially into Frida Kahlo.

Wyatt and I are both loving art this year. I decided to just wing it, and it is working out really well for us. Since October is Hispanic Heritage Month, I thought it would be cool to focus on Hispanic artists. We spent some time on Diego Rivera, and then on Frida, and then a quick lesson on Jose Posada.

I introduced Wyatt to the art of Frida Kahlo the other week, and we talked about who she was as a person, how she overcame pain and obstacles to create her art, and how she eventually married Diego Rivera. We read about how when she was in bed overcoming an accident, she drew her feet – so Wyatt drew his feet while laying in bed. And if you follow these posts, then you know that he also put together a little Frida doll. Well this past week we took art a little further. We started by making a felt flower headband, which is super easy. (I will link the tutorial we used below in the resource roundup area.) I am always working with Wyatt on fine motor skills, which can be difficult for him with his cerebral palsy, especially with his right hand. Rolling is particularly difficult, and we work on it a lot. So this was a great project do with him even for OT purposes!

The next step involved Wyatt using watercolors to create a background – he opted for various colorful stripes which I think turned out beautiful. The next day, I took his photo wearing the headband, printed the photo, and cut it out. His background painting was dry, so it was time for the next step – painting on flowers using acrylics. While this was drying, Wyatt and I read a few books about Frida and all of her animals, and how she often included them in her self-portraits. I asked Wyatt which of our animals he would like to include in his self-portrait and he surprised me by saying Luna, one of our leopard geckos. I thought for sure he was going to say Miso, our fluffy cat! But nope, it was Luna who got the honor. I printed a photo of Luna, then it was time to put it all together. And I have to say, I absolutely love how it turned out!

I am 100% going to hang this in our house.

We also had a quick lesson on Jose Posada, who created the image of the calaveras. I also had picked up a mask kit and we put it to use.

In lieu of a state this week, we focused on the cultural traditions observed during Dia de los Murertos. We learned about the importance and symbolism of the monarch butterfly, and how it came to become a part of the celebration. We learned about the traditional foods that are provided on the ofrendas and also enjoyed by families, about the inclusion of earth, water, fire, and air which I hadn’t heard of before, and the reason for the sugar skulls. I love that I continuously learn as well, alongside Wyatt.

We carried our lessons on over to language arts as well. We read the book Our Day of the Dead Celebration, which I highly recommend, and Wyatt and I talked about our family members that have passed on and I shared funny stories with Wyatt about them, and talked about different things that they had liked.

Music is another area we are winging it, and while art is going awesomely, music is a bit more difficult. It is more like music appreciation at this point but that is ok. I found an incredible free resource online from the Phoenix Symphony which included a “concert repetoire” of music from Mexican folklore and also lessons about the Ballet Folklorico. Wyatt predictably enjoyed La Cucaracha the best.

What We Used:

This section contains Amazon Affiliate links. In addition to the curriculum I am creating for him, we also use curriculum from The Good and the Beautiful, The Waldock Way, and Blossom and Root for phonics, reading, science, and social studies.

Our Day of the Dead Celebration || Funny Bones || Viva Frida || The Remembering Day || A Parrot in the Painting || The Boy with Flowers in His Hair || Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos || Frida Kahlo: The Artist who Painted Herself || Danza!!

Felt Flower Headband

The Phoenix Symphony The Ballet Folklorico

Our Crafty World Dia de los Muertos Display Board

Oh, and that weird pumpkin? It’s sort of creepy… are you ready for it?

Allow me to explain. Last week (when this pumpkin was created) we were studying spores in science, and looking at the spores on ferns. Well, since I had already trimmed these fern pieces I decided we were going to do something with them. I had seen something on Instagram about botanical pumpkins, and I was like ok, we will try it. Instead we had glue and mod podge all over us, were we laughing hysterically because we 100% could not get ours to look even remotely like the ones I had seen, so I told Wyatt to just be creative and make a fern jack o’lantern. And frankly, I can imagine this creation scaring spirits from our door!

October was a great month of learning with fun activities to accompany our work! I am looking forward to moving on to our November studies.

Field Trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts

Circumstances have aligned that are going to make going places and doing things much more accessible for us. First, the wheelchair! Wyatt is working on walking but just doesn’t have the stamina or endurance to go very far, so we need the wheelchair until he gets there. And we have one now and life is easier! Second, the pandemic has reached a point where I feel comfortable taking Wyatt into places like museums again. We still wear masks but things are better for us around here. So I was super excited to take Wyatt to the museum!

We rolled up early in the morning., bright and early at 9 when they open. We are get up and go people, we are up early anyway (thanks to early bird boy) and I also like how empty a place is that early so, there we were. The only other people there seemed to be the people going to the Van Gogh exhibit (which I need to get to before it leaves) so we sort of had the rest of the museum to ourselves for quite a while. My mom went with us, as did Billy since he had the day off to go camping. (he headed out after our field trip). We had a great time.

First up were the Diego Rivera murals, the whole point to our trip. Wyatt has been learning about Diego River in art and I was really excited to be able to show him some actual, in person, works of Rivera. He could not believe how huge they were. They are pretty awe inspiring.

After we spent some time here, we moved on to the ofrendas, a special exhibit right now. I wanted all of us to see it, as this month Wyatt and I are focusing on all Hispanic artists this month and I also have some lessons about Dia de los Muertos as well coming up. My mom, Billy, and I were very moved by these personal and emotional creations. They were very elaborate and thoughtful. I was not comfortable taking photos of them for obvious reasons, but there were some parts I did feel it was ok to do so. These ofrendas were intended for public viewing to educate but also still were personal to the artist’s family, so it was tricky.

After soaking in the ofrendas, we wandered around the rest of of that floor. Wyatt was more excited about using his wheelchair than he was about the art and we had to keep him in check – I was slightly anxious my exuberant child was going to knock over a Roman bust or something.

Just a few more, I promise.

We didn’t explore the whole museum this time – I figured that this was enough for this visit and we can back and see the rest later. I also wanted to visit the gift shop before we left to look for Frida, Rivera, or Day of the Dead stuff. I could have poked around in there all day but my guys were getting restless.

The DIA offers a free educator pass to homeschool families which is pretty cool! I applied in September and received mine a few days later. I am looking forward to seeing what they offer!

Our first wheelchair field trip adventure was a success and I am looking forward to our future adventures!