Ornaments!

Ornaments!

After finding that I had “undesirables” living in the kilo of whole-wheat flour I just bought,we decided to use it for our salt-clay ornaments! So we invited over some friends and had an ornament party! We’ve made them several years and in several different ways and I’ve messed with the recipe until I’ve found one that we like:

1 kilo whole-wheat flour (you could substitute any flour, corn flour for gluten-free)
1 cup salt
1 cup white (“school”/all-purpose) glue
1/4 cup cinnamon
Enough water to make stiff dough (similar to chilled cookie dough)

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch in thickness and cut out the shapes you would like. Bake at 350 degree F for about 20 minutes or until thoroughly baked (will look and feel like a cracker). Paint and glitter to hearts content! We’ve also just left them plain, for a fun country look. Use a clear acrylic paint (we use a spray-paint) over the top to have them keep longer. We’ve had some for several years now!

What lines?

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My children, especially my oldest daughter, continually push me to think outside the box.

I remember when she was very young and just learning to color pictures, she showed me what she was doing and I (unfortunately) let habits lead my thoughts and actions and said, “Are you going to try to color in the lines?” Fortunately, being the ever independent thinker, she, without missing a beat, said to me, “What lines?” I almost laughed out loud!

This experience  really caused me to do some serious re-thinking of my teaching methods. Don’t get me wrong. I think rules, and guidelines are a very necessary part of education and life. Especially when it comes to morality. But there are so many other things, especially when it comes to education that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it, just different ways.

One of the main reasons we homeschool is that I didn’t want my children to be leveled out to mediocre or feel they need to be like everyone else. The irony of this is that I have to constantly fight myself and my own habits so that I don’t fall into the trap of being “by-the-book” when it comes to schooling.

So now, when I find one of my children doing something that I think is “not right” in terms of their secular education, I try to bite my tongue first and ask myself, “Is it wrong? Or is it just different?” If it’s different I let it be.

Besides, how can I inspire creativity if I tell them they have to be creative in a certain way?

How have your kids pushed you to think outside the box?

Multi-purpose

DSCN6954DSCN6943DSCN6946DSCN6930DSCN6960                                                                  So what is it? A tulip? An airplane? Mathmatic or color practice? A rainbow? A caterpillar? Well, they started out at plastic colored clothes-pins but became all of those things and more (I wish I had pictures of the “hair-clips” and “fingernails”!) Love the imagination of kids!