Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fruits of the Harvest

It's fruit picking time in New York, and we've been enjoying the bounty of Grandpa Chen's backyard orchard. Nathaniel loves pears, and he has been excited about the concept of picking his own pears this fall. He was not excited, though, when everyone else decided that the perfect time to pick pears would be in the middle of an Autumn rain.

The fruit was so abundant this year that the trees had to be harvested early because some branches were cracking and threatening to break under the stress of all the extra weight.

Nate was interested in how the pears hung in clusters (like the blossoms in the spring) and in how the Asian pears were round while the American pears were teardrop shaped. He liked the fact that he could pick the pears off in their groups instead of having to pluck each pear from the tree.

We filled buckets, bowls, and the hoods of our coats and then headed inside for some lunch with Grandma and Grandpa Chen. Nate spent a lot of time talking about how long it will take for the pear trees we transplanted into our yard to grow large enough to bear fruit, and the fact that we do not need two pear trees to have a lots of pears.

Now we're researching options for pear storage. I think we're going to freeze some sliced pears, freeze some pear pies, and can some pear butter.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Greetings and Salutations

Welcome to our learning blog. Nate and I have been positively influenced by a wide variety of homeschooling and unschooling blogs online, and have decided that this format would be a great way to keep a written and visual record of our early learning years.

Nathaniel is the middle sibling and only little boy in our family of 3 children. He is also our only full time home-learning child at the moment, since his big sister decided she enjoys the atmosphere at our local public school and we are supporting her in her decision to go that route for a couple of years.

Our boy is a wonder, and sometimes an enigma. Nate has sensory processing issues, and is very weak in his gross and fine motor skills. Like his sister, he has trouble with visual perception, which has inhibited his ability to read (though he does read at a 2nd grade level). His knowledge acquisition and comprehension are on the college level, though, and he has exceptional auditory recall. If we had not already walked this road with Emily, Nate may also have fooled us into believing he could read for a number of years. But, since we learned from Emily that our children are auditory sponges who can repeat things they've heard verbatim for ages afterwards, we were able to catch his "plot" more quickly.

Nate's big interests are physics and technology. He is also very interested in mythology and fantasy. His favorite toys are dragons and knights and his Lego blocks. Oh, and video games, which we use as part of our fine motor skill and hand/eye interaction improvement lessons.

I hope those of you who read this blog will enjoy following along on our explorations of the world and all it offers for those who go seeking knowledge.