Studying Japan

In spite of a whole collection of challenges, this has been one of my very favorite weeks of homeschooling — studying Japan in all sorts of ways! We read “The Old Man Mad About Drawing,” a story about Hokusai the famous artist. We painted Japanese characters using a sumi-e ink block and learned to recognize a few symbols. We watched “My Neighbor Totoro” and a documentary about Japan. We read “The Big Wave” by Pearl S. Buck and ate sushi for dinner. Now if only we could squeeze in a little field trip to Japan . . .

Whaleback Trail

We walked up the Whaleback trail this morning and found some of the first autumn leaves. The girls are so eager to show Wallace how to dip leaves in beeswax! Ellen said, “There are so many exciting things for him to discover!” Yes, indeed.

Walking Among Giants

When the Leelanau Conservancy preserved this piece of land, there was talk that these woods overlooking an incredible expanse of Lake Michigan Clay Cliffs was “old growth” forest. Upon closer inspection, stewardship staff determined that the trees don’t quite fit that classification, but as we made our way under their canopy this morning, I still felt like we were walking among giants.

This is perfect weather for taking the school books outside!

We’re filled with such gratitude for this land of lakes we live in.

Kehl Lake Natural Area

One of my goals this year is to visit a new place (wild place) at least once a month. We have a habit of going back to the same places over and over again . . . but there are so many incredible natural areas in our county! Kehl Lake Natural Area was magical this afternoon. We walked the two-mile trail loop under ancient hemlock trees and along the edge of this quiet lake tucked away up near the tip of the peninsula.