Wednesday, February 23, 2011


(by Micayla)
This week we went to STARR Ranch near Trabuco Canyon. We were driving along in a neighborhood and then to get to the ranch we went down this random road that turned into a dirt road, which lead us over a creek and under bent over trees... which finally lead us to STARR Ranch!

STARR Ranch is a 4,000 acre meadow of wild land. It is home to deer, mountain lions, grey foxes, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, opossums, and skunks - including rare spotted skunks. We took a walk (led by wildlife biologist, Scott) and looked at some 'scent stations '. A scent station is a rock sprayed with a special kind of (animal urine and skunk spray stuff) spray in the middle of a bunch of powder. At the scent stations we saw bobcat, grey fox, skunk, coyote, and raccoon paw prints in the powder. We got to measure the paw and look at the toes to identify what kind of an animal it was.

Then we went on a hike with Lisa (who is an ornithologist) to look at plants and birds. We saw a falcon and a red tailed hawk and identified smelly plants like, white sage, black sage, and sagebrush. We also saw this salamander (in photo above).

At the end of our hike we ran into Heull Howser who was doing a "California's Gold" show on Starr Ranch. He asked our group to be in a clip that will be at the end of his program. You can learn more about Starr Ranch and look for us on March 2nd and March 10th at 7:30p.m. on KCET (LA).

~Fun fact: did you know that on any dog or cat their front paws are bigger than their back paws? Check on your own cat or dog!!

~Starr Ranch is also home to some baby owls that you can see on a video cam here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Class Dismissed

Check out this homeschool documentary coming sometime next year:
Class Dismissed: Education And the Rise of Homeschooling in America

Listen here to an interview with the director/producer.
*Click here if you'd like to make a contribution to help fund this film!

Friday, February 11, 2011

On the Radio!

(by Carly)
On Wednesday we went up to Pasadena to participate in a live recording of Larry Mantle's AirTalk show on the radio, a forum all about homeschooling. There were about 100 people there; all homeschool families. The talk was really great! They had a panel of people that contributed their thoughts on homeschooling, and then Larry Mantle invited the kids to come up and talk. So, Micayla courageously went up and got interviewed on the radio! She did well (although she mistakenly said I went to Kindergarten and I really didn't); here are some photos, and the link where you can hear the whole hour of AirTalk.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tutu in the Making

(by Micayla)
I designed a tutu that I am making with Miss Hilde. She is a seamstress who makes tutus and other costumes for ballet performances. I am making a light blue tutu with a leotard bodice. The first week I worked with her I learned about Pi, because I had to measure the tulle in a way that it would go all the way around my hips without crossing over.
I'm having lots of fun working with Miss Hilde in her awesome garage/sewing room! It is definitely a process - not an over night job, but the tutu is coming along nicely and I just got the first layer of tulle on! Here are some photos:

*If you'd like a sewing lesson with Miss Hilde, you can all her at (818)521-9350
*A great book to help you learn about Pi and circumference is Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure) by Cindy Neuschwander.
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