Friday, January 25, 2013

N will be age-eligible for kindergarten this coming fall, but already for much of the past year she's been taking her education into her own hands. Yesterday she maxed out our motley collection of magnetic letters and numbers by setting up addition equations, words, and the "number alphabet" (numbers in order). Lacking many essential characters, she improvised them, for example, creating 13 from J, F and K. ("Mommy, please don't count these two lines.") After this photo, she went all the way through 17 in the same inventive style.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This week a friend invited me, N and H for an "Africa Activity Day"--part of a geography unit she and three of her children are studying at home. Another friend, who grew up in Kenya, joined us along with her two little ones.

We examined maps and read a Maasai storybook.

We passed around samples of major exports like cotton, dates, millet, and coffee.
We made play dough animals and ground peanuts with a mortar and pestle.
We tried, with scant success, to walk balancing baskets on our heads.

We tried on Maasai beads and clothing.

 After a few races up and down the frozen lane, lunch--the crowning activity--included peanut soup (Kenya), rice pilaf (Kenya) and dried mango, papaya, and pineapple.

Of course we made barely a scratch in the surface of all the richness of an enormous continent; still, the morning provided a fun freezing-weather diversion and a tangible connection with loved ones in that part of the world.