Sunday, November 19, 2017

Family Schooling Summary: Halloween Candy Science

What to do with a bunch of extra Halloween candy?  Science experiments! We tried this one with smarties and baking soda.
 We also had our Fall Class Fair with our home school co-op.  Here is a display from a class that M and S took:
 Here are some cool things that the gals in my teen DIY class made:

 Here is the display from my pottery class:
None of the kids projects were done yet (all waiting to be fired).  We displayed some of my projects and those of my assistants instead. 
Here is M doing the performance part of the class fair.  They memorized the 50 state capitals!
 Here is the class photo of everyone who was willing to be in the picture... so not brother S.

Farm Fresh: First Freeze

Temperatures dropped down into the twenties last week.  Everything is officially done in the garden except a few sturdy lettuces. 
 We have a bunch of new rabbit kits. Most of them are black.  Here is Alice - aka. very experienced mama bunny.
 We have had a least 8 playdates in the last week with friends coming over to visit the farm and especially hold these cute rabbit kits.
 Some friends brought us 5 extra ducks. Their neighbors felt that they were too loud - 2 pekin and 3 more khakis.
 The cold snap plus rainy windy weather brought down most of the hickory trees leaves in one swoop.
 And with all this cold weather we finally started using our wood stove. It has been great. So warm and cozy. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Recommended Reading: September & October 2017

We read a lot of great books so far this school year:
1. Magic Tree House Series -- Their are sooo many of these. They are great for helping kids learn history, but kind of annoying for grown-ups listening along.
2. Ramona the Brave, Ramona and Her Mother, and Henry Huggins By Beverly Cleary
Classic read aloud books -- I love these because they are so funny.
3. Who was... series (TV and Movie Biographies); I am terrible at all things pop-culture, so reading these books was an education for me.
4. Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider by Jean Fritz; Hamilton the musical has been very popular listening around our house this fall. We have most of the words memorized and have been able to link things from the musical with things in his biography.
5. Thomas Jefferson by Cheryl Harness. We have been focusing on the founding fathers and the revolutionary war this fall -- big sister A wrote an essay on Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. They also had a special night on "Liberty" for her activity girls group. She brought a copy of the Declaration of Independence and talked about it with the other kids.
6. Story of the World: Volume 3 Early Modern Times, Queen Elizabeth to the Forty-Niners by Susan Wise Bauer -- this is our history book for this year. We finished reading it over the summer and have just been delving into specific events during that time period (like the American Revolutionary War).
7. Liberty's Kids - DVD -- I have a lot of Relief Society meetings at our house lately and this DVD is a great history activity to keep the kids occupied during the meetings.

Family Schooling Summary

I always forget to take out my camera at the pool. We have been doing homeschool swim lessons twice a week for the last two months. I love it because it is a LONG lesson (1.5 hours) and at a gym so that I can drop the littlest off at the kids club while I swim laps too. The teachers are the swim team coaches too and they do a great job teaching correct technique.  
 Homeschooling means more time for family togetherness! It doesn't take us as long to get through the each day's materials so the kids have time to play together.  I love watching their growing closeness with each other and how well they work together on projects.
 We are doing a Montessori approach to math and reading for brothers M and S. I think it has been great so far... just a little expensive for some materials.
 M and S are taking a cardboard engineering class at co-op.
 Miss L is in the nursery class.
 This is big sister A's gym class called "Old Time Games".
 One of our assignments from A and M's guitar teacher was to go listen to some live bands play.  He gave us some ideas.
 We went to the Railroad Festival in a nearby town to hear the live bands playing there.  The banjo man did a great job involving the kids.

Family Fun: Halloween

  Halloween 2017 Roster: 2 NASA Astronauts, 1 Fireman, and 1 "Alien". Miss L looks like a fairy princess, but calls herself an "alien". Here's why - The big kids wanted her to be an alien to go with their costumes, but she never liked any of the alien costumes that I showed her. Then one day she played dress up with big sister A and came up with this costume aka blue fairy "alien". Awesome.
 We kicked off the season of Halloween festivities with Trunk or Treat carnival at the church.
 Astronaut costumes are thrift store snow clothes spray painted white with patches sewn on.  I bought the white t-shirts, printed and ironed on the NASA logo.
Then our homeschool co-op party on Monday:

 Big sister A made these cupcakes for the cupcake walk.
 They did a great job of having activities for kids of all ages.

 Relay races:
 We went trick-or-treating in our old neighborhood.

 Miss L was so cute with her little "Thank-you" and then loudly saying, in her squeaky toddler voice, "Happy Halloween!"
The next day they organized their loot and traded in most of it for 10 cents a piece. We feel like this is a good deal -- much cheaper than fillings at the dentist. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Family Fun: Girls' Night Campout

Activity girls' campout was this weekend.  It was cold that night (low of 46F), but we had a nice big bonfire that kept things pretty cozy. We roasted and ate hot dogs, s'mores, chips, salads and fruit for dinner. Then we told silly ghost stories, played funny circle games like "would you rather", and looked at the stars trying to see the meteor shower. 
  We doubled up our sleeping bags in the tent and that was cozy too (one sleeping bag inside the other.  The only problem was that L kept rolling out of hers and I spent most of the night trying to make sure that she did not get too cold.

Farm Fresh: Popcorn

 This week's harvest - popcorn! 
 We grew this from seeds we saved last year. Remember that corn that we picked up at the Pilgrim Festival?  It popped so nicely. I was not sure that the seeds from it would grow the same variety, but I figured it was worth a try. I left it hanging out on the stalks while I was waiting for it to dry. 
 It all popped and some kernels were a little golden.  They tasted sort of crunchy like Kix cereal -- possibly those kernels were a bit on the moist side?  I am not sure why that happened, but the results were delicious.

We harvested enough kernels from our little corn patch to fill my gallon jar. I will try to plant more of it next year.