Monday, January 14, 2013

A Homeschool Snow Day

There was much excitement when we woke to a white winter wonderland this morning. There was no having to beg and plead the girls to get out of bed on time. I had leverage - snow. If the girls got up, dressed, completed chores and had breakfast in good time, we could manage a snow walk before lessons started. Low and behold, we were ready to go by 08h00. A whole hour and a half before our official start time!

We headed down to the lake. I asked the girls to look out for animal tracks in the snow.

We found lots of doggie paw prints and some sweet bird prints.

After a bit of sledging and lots of fresh air, we headed back home for our lessons. As we got home the heavens opened and the snow fell once more. What a lovely atmosphere in which to do lessons. We sat in the conservatory, watched the snow fall and began our lessons.

 I am so grateful for Charlotte Mason's 'short lessons'. I wanted to motivate the girls and said that whatever time was left after each lesson - each one only lasting 30 minutes - they could be rewarded and use that time outside playing in the snow. Of course this did not mean that we were sloppy in our work or gave poor attention to lessons - that would mean spending longer on lessons. Narration went well so I was happy to see that they were paying attention and involved in their lessons.

We spent some fun time outside in the falling snow having snowball fights, making snow angles and building a lovely snowman who is standing at the end of the garden overlooking the entrance to the park. He is a cheery chap and seems to be welcoming all who pass with a smile and a wave :o)

At the end of summer last year, we once again read 'Little House in the Big Woods' - our favorite and much loved set of books. In this book, Laura and Mary are shown how to make snow candy by Pa. We determined than and there that when our snow day came - that is what we would do. So - we did!

"Laura and Mary each had a pan, and Pa and Ma showed them how to pour the dark syrup in little streams onto the snow." - Little House in the Big Woods.

While the girls built snow forts outside, I prepared the snow candy mixture.

100ml Molasses or Dark Treacle for those in England
100ml Brown sugar (I used white as that was all I had) - place ingredients in a pot.

Bring to a boil - stirring the whole time - until you reach 'crack stage'. You can tell you have reached this stage by dropping a bit of mixture into a glass of cold water. It should harden and crack immediately.

Trickle some of the mixture into a pan of clean snow. It will harden and set within seconds. My girls soon abandoned the pot and dribbled the candy straight onto the snow.


Have a wonderful day everyone. We are heading back out to the lake to feed the ducks - I'm sure they must be hungry!


  1. I love that bird track s photo especially! You conservatory (and indeed your whole house and property) looks lovely!

    We made the same candy recently, then the kids moved onto pouring maple syrup directly into the snow and eating it when that ran out. They were very happy but bouncing off the walls for hours. :)

  2. Lovely photos, Shirley Ann. It's always a joy to stop by. :)

  3. Sounds like you had a wonderful day - I too used to Home Educate my girls and I loved it, I really miss it now that they are all grown up

  4. What a lovely idea Shirley, you are such an inspiration my friend. Never a dull moment...
    Wonderful to see how you appreciate and enjoy the snow and nature in general, everything He blessed us with!!!


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