Miss Rumphius {FI♥AR}

July 2011
"When I grow up, I too will go to faraway places, and when I grow old, I too will live beside the sea."
"That is all very well, little Alice," said her grandfather, "but there is a third thing you must do."
"What is that?" asked Alice.
"You must do something to make the world more beautiful," said her grandfather.
"All right," said Alice. But she did not know what that could be. 

Alice grows up to be Miss Rumphius and one summer as she was growing old, she wandered over fields and headlands, sowing lupines. The next spring, the lupines were everywhere and she had done "the third most difficult thing of all."

When I first read this book, I thought it would be neat to sow lupines on our mountain property in Montana. However, when we went for a visit this summer, I was pleasantly surprised to see wild lupine growing on our own hillsides and down our own lanes.

So, I thought this would be a perfect time to row Miss Rumphius. And really the timing worked out wonderfully as you will see.

Social Studies: Geographical Regions of the World

Miss Rumphius lives in a house by the sea ~ maybe Maine. 
We have been covering geographical regions in Beginning GeographyThe Usborne Living World Encyclopedia and our Daily Science, so we were able to tie this in naturally.
Miss Rumphius ". . .climbed tall mountains where the snow never melted. She went through jungles and across deserts.

This is the only day we rowed the first week. Then started again the next week on Tuesday.

Language Arts: Library Skills
"She left home and went to live in another city far from the sea and salt air. There she worked in a library, dusting books and keeping them from getting mixed up, and helping people find the ones they wanted."

So, we went to the library and talked about how librarians keep the books from "getting mixed up." I explained what the Dewey Decimal System is and then showed them how the children's books are organized. 

We also saw the oldest book in the library - printed in 1636 - that happened to be on the History of Plants. :)

Science: Seeds, Seed Dispersal, Birds, How Seeds TravelNature Explorers ~ Flower to Seed, Lap Journal, Nature Walk

"Plant Parts" from Considering God's Creation

Nature Walk 

We went for a walk up a favorite canyon of mine and discovered more lupine. I've hiked here for years, so knew it was to be found. But it was fun to let them find it on their own. Eliana was the first to spot it (she was looking for anything purple). :)

I was delighted that we not only found lupine, but found lupine in its flowering and seed bearing stages. Which is why the timing of this row was perfect!  We learned that the lupine makes a bean pod. 

I wanted to catch her as she first discovered the lupine pods, so I didn't stop to check my exposure setting (hence the overexposed photos).

Photo by Dylan, my aspiring photographer. :)
From what I understand, lupin pods are a type of legume and are edible if they are soaked to remove toxic alkaloids.

I picked up a packet of Lupine seeds to plant this Summer (for next year). It says that we can plant them now, for blooms next year {just like in the story}. :)

Math: Bushels and Peck and Sea Shell Sorting/Counting

Miss Rumphius orders 5 bushels of lupine seeds from a catalog. We learned that a bushel is four pecks, and a peck is eight quarts.

Sea Shell Counting and Sorting

Bible: Parable of the Sower of the Seed, Analogy of the Mustard Seed, verses on sowing, reaping, harvest, seed, small beginnings.

FIAR Recipe: Tropical Chicken Quesadillas with Avocado Mango Salsa, Fresh Fruit with Pineapple Yogurt Dip (with real sugar).

"So Miss Rumphius went to a real tropical island, where people kept cockatoos and monkeys as pets. She walked on long beaches, picking up beautiful shells." 
Inspired by the tropical recipes in the Five in a Row Cookbook, we had a tropical themed meal.
Pineapple Yogurt Dip and Fresh Fruit

Eliana wanted in the photo too. :)
I rarely take photos once we start, so I try to get a few while I am setting up.

Avocado Mango Salsa and Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Tropical Chicken Quesadillas ~ mmm, so good. 

Tropical Music from Dollar Tree. The Luau Party was my favorite one.  Idea inspired by Susana. :)

Sea shells and an exotic flower brought by our guest. :)
We invited two neighbor ladies - a mother and her daughter - our very own Miss Rumphius. :) They have traveled the world and lived on an exotic island and had wonderful stories to tell us during dinner. 

We also learned to do the hula dance and learned to pronounce the state fish of Hawaii ~ a tropical island. :)

And drank the coconut milk water from the coconut we used for decoration.

Did you know that coconuts are green? 
"The Bapa Raja himself fetched a green coconut and cut a slice off the top so that Miss Rumphius could drink the coconut water inside."
The coconut we see in the store is just the embryo part of the seed - it is covered by a flesh (food for the embryo). We also learned that the fibers are removed and used to make rope. 

Delightful Links:

Miss Rumphius resources @ Homeschool Share
Trellis and the Seed @ Homeschool Share

Delightful Notes: :)

We had two copies of Down Down the Mountain (an out of print book) in our 2 county libraries when I made plans to row it, and when I went to check them out, they were both "missing?!" One had been discarded and the other one was "lost." I was disappointed, but I was able to find a good copy online for $9 {including shipping!}. So much to my original desire to own all the books we row, I am one book closer. :) 

In the meantime, I have been cleaning and organizing the school room (the dining room). I filled the holes in the walls and touched up the paint on the walls and the trim in the school room, office, living room and kitchen. It's been three years, so it needed it, but I do seem to add more work for myself all the way around it seems (not just with my rows).  And with Boaz crawling and pulling himself up on furniture and into anything he can reach, I have had to make it more baby friendly - all the lower shelves are now his! It feels good to have a nice clean room to start school with, though. :)

After we row Down Down the Mountain, I will take a break from our usual rowing. I plan to make some activities available that they can work on independently while I finishing planning and organizing and get the older boys started on school ~ which will start back up August 22.