October just happened and as you have guessed I can barely keep up.  Here’s a quick run down of our schooling adventures from last month.

Silverwood Nature Center

After a class with our wonderful new homeschool group mates!  We had a short astronomy lesson and made sundials out of clay.

Lilydale Brickyard Fossil Dig

Finding many 450 million year old fossils at Lilydale Fossil beds.  Two national park rangers led and informed us on this fun adventure, which was planned by a gracious member of our homeschool group.

University of Minnesota Raptor Tails Program

Barn Owl

Red Tail Hawk


Great Horned Owl – using long-handled tongs, the instructor served lunch to this owl during class.  We observed why owls cough up pellets, as he swallowed his lunch in a couple gulps.

The University of Minnesota’s Raptor Tails program (three classes spaced over a month) was marketed toward preschoolers, but the instructor welcomed and included materials for all the students in our family.  We enjoyed books, crafts, activities, and songs about raptors, but especially loved getting to see raptors up close.

Duluth Trip

Hiking at Hawk Ridge.  After raptors are caught in a net, they are banded and released.

By the look of these numbers, this is a pretty good place to check out raptors.

Boulder hopping along the shore of Lake Superior.  We walked to the light house through the fog (which lifted before these pictures) and got to watch ships and boats pass through the canal.

Exploring the Lake Superior Duluth Maritime Museum

The Land Bridge

A good game of tag at Longfellow Gardens, which is the land bridge over Hiawatha.  The boys like rolling down the hills to the Longfellow House and watching for trains to enter the tunnel under the garden.

Fort Snelling State Park

A perfect outing on a rainy, chilly day:  Fort Snelling State Park‘s visitor center.  On the drive through the park, we saw many wild turkeys, some deer and a buck.

MacPhail Center for Music

Continuing our weekly piano lessons.  The boys gave excellent performances (Miles – ‘Ping Pong’ and Parker – London Bridge) in monthly group  classes.  In addition to Suzuki discs one, two, and three, we regularly listen to Chopin and various composers (on Spotify).

We will be adding music history to the the mix at home, similar to the timeline from Miles’ theory and performance class at MacPhail.  We’ll break down centuries of history by musical time periods such as Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary.  Then we’ll learn about a few prominent composers from each period.  This week we’ll focus on the Baroque period and learn about and listen to music of Bach, Handel, and Scarlotti.  Spotify‘s Classify app breaks down selections by composers, eras, instruments, and more so we’ll give it a try.

Parks, Trees, and Biking…Oh My!

All the children love climbing trees, especially certain ones at Dowling Community Gardens.  We enjoy our daily post-school bike rides to the play park to chat and play with our kid and parent friends.  Pokemon card trading is at an all-time rage this fall.

Darth, Transformer, and Pirate all enjoyed trick or treating (for at least a couple houses anyway) and handing out candy.

Not Pictured

OK, so there are lots of events not pictured simply because my hands are full (or wet, like in the case of Family Swim night) or wearing gloves.  We wrapped up our soccer sessions for the fall and look forward to indoor soccer this winter.  Our school ‘day’ tends to run from 9:30am to 3pm, with kickball, tag, and running outside breaks sprinkled in (and of course there’s always lunch, snacks, and impromptu piano jam sessions).  We continue our weekly library runs.  This cooler weather has us baking bread, crackers, and pumpkin bars.  One of our favorite geography and science lessons involved making chocolate chip cookies while reading All in Just One Cookie by Susan E. Goodman.


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