homeschool day at adventure park

my homies helped me win tickets to the adventure park at sandy spring friends school so I was able to take three of my girls and join them in the trees.

it was a challenging, yet rewarding experience for them. after completing a trail, they would go right back to the start to have a go at another trail.

there were times when we called for help (“Staff!”), there were some tears of frustration, there were times when we bailed out before the finish, but we all left happy and spent. kind of like our normal homeschool days.

can you find my girls (three of them) in this picture above?

pumpkin harvest days at butler’s orchard 2015

since the first hint of color in the leaves
prayerGirl has been asking to go to the pumpkin patch.
this year butler’s orchard did not disappoint.
even as the weather threatened rain on the way there,
when we arrived there was nary a cloud in the sky.
the animals were all out,
the apples were crisp,
the pumpkins were perfect,
and the big girls managed to find the exit to the corn maze
before i had to come looking for them.
we ended our visit with a pumpkin roll from the farm market.
pumpkin roll…mmm-mmm.


now i’ve just got to make sure we actually do something with pumpkins we picked.


the girls ended their summer with an archery workshop
that included archery anatomy, safety and techniques,
making their own arrow,
and, of course, time at the range getting close and personal
with a bow and arrow.
this was not their first time shooting,
but no class has been this thorough.
ms. behrend was their certified 4-H archery instructor
at the rustic Patuxent River 4-H Center.

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now all we need is a archery club for kids in PG county.

woods wise

this summer three of our girls attended
ancestral knowledge‘s woods wise camps.
the progression of their comfortability with nature
and knowledge and hands-on application of survival skills
makes me so…envious.

they came home mud-stained from neck to toes,
sometimes with a tick or two,
but always with a sense of confidence, camaraderie with their peers,
and calm.

i didn’t catch a pic of signGirl, but after her first woods wise camp
she is comfortable wielding a very sharp knife of her own,
and us parents are confident that she can handle it responsibly.

in woods wise 2,
among other things,
mercyGirl learned how to use a bow drill to make fire.
that’s some primitive power!
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this is radianceGirl’s third woods wise camp.
she made her own bow and arrow.
how cool is that!
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though they still ask us parents to remove spiders from their rooms
or squeal in terror because of some many-legged insect,
there is something about spending all day outdoors
(with some excellent counselors as their guides)
that gives them the courage to go farther.

wizard of oz playground at watkins regional park


we’ve been waiting for this park to re-open since winter.
we’d drive by on our way to or from classes at watkins nature center
and peek at their progress.
i don’t know if it’s been officially opened
since workers were still painting on the yellow brick road during our first visit
along with some other works-in-progress,
but that, nor the heat, stopped my girls from exploring this “wizard of oz”-themed park.




the play area is awesome,
but thankfully there are still lots of places for shade,
and the nearby picnic pavilions remain,
plus there is another flat area suitable for a game of, say, kickball, or the like.

now we’re waiting for the new camping areas to open…