Monday, April 26, 2010

Free Historical Notebooking Pages

This website has great, free pages for history...especially U.S. History.

We had fun learning about Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry today.

Here's the famous quote (which was actually re-costructed by a Historian) from Patrick Henry:

"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, Give me Liberty, or give me Death!"

I, especially, got really into learning about history today...

I learned that Patrick Henry (a friend of Thomas Jefferson) was a staunch Anti-Federalist, but then with the threat of war from France and with the fear of a situation similar to the French Revolution happening here, Patrick Henry turned more Federalist. Thomas Jefferson was a part of the original Republican party and strongly supported states rights. He become involved in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions which said that the states did not need to follow Federal Laws that weren't specifically documented in the Constitution, which was only a document of agreement among states. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions are still an important precedent in our law.

The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed in 1798 under John Adams - basically making it harder for aliens to become citizens and easier for them to be made to leave the country. However, one of the laws also said that acts and words against the Federal Government would be punishable by Federal Law. When Benjamin Franklin's grandson was arrested for an article he wrote criticizing John Adams, public outcry was great. They say, that is part of what gave Thomas Jefferson the ability to win the next election and become President...because Americans were fearful of the power of the Federal Government.

We're there again, are we not?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Turkeys And Unschooling


Natalie's Dad decided Natalie could have Turkeys today. Since he'll be in charge of making their shelter and of butchering, it has really been his decision alone. Natalie, however, does have to feed them and water them and clean the tank they stay in until they are old enough to stay outside. She does this already with the Pullets (future Egg Laying Chickens - they are about pre-teens right now), but this does add to her chores. And, she had to spend her own money for the Turkeys. However, she will be getting that money back (and probably more) when it comes time for eating the said Turkeys. Funny thing is, none of this seems odd to our farm girls. They are used to the idea of raising, getting somewhat attached, and eating your food. I, on the other hand, have a strict rule with my husband that I do not know any details about which steer we ended up having in our freezer. And, that took a bit getting used to.


True Unschooling is something I do not believe in. Basically, you let your child determine what they want to study. Your role is simply to open the discussion about topics, provide materials, and answer questions. The biggest area of disagreement I have with Unschooling is that True Unschoolers usually don't believe in parental authority - parents are merely guides, helping the children to determine what they believe to be right or wrong. I am so on the other side of this. I believe it is our God given responsibility to teach right and wrong and to shelter our children, when appropriate.

Anyhow, Heather over at Special Needs Homeschooling, has written a couple of articles about Unschooling, with links to other articles. It got me reading and thinking about this topic. The other day, Natalie's violin teacher asked if we watched TV. I answered that we occasionally watched videos, but that we didn't watch TV per se. I commented to her that I felt that children learned automatically, if they don't have TV and video games and if they have materials to learn with.

All these topics are encouraging to me, especially right now with a more limited school schedule imposed by pregnancy. I do make my children do things. I'm downright mean when it comes to making them learn math. I teach them phonics and we read together. They have to do chores. And whether I cross every T right now during this pregnancy, my children are learning. And I am so impressed with them and their natural interests. Natalie is excelling at Violin this year...I think because of a really enthusiastic teacher, combined with maturation, and self motivation. She is also really blooming in her art class that she and her sister are taking. My six year old has become an amazing little reader this year and I was SOOOOO worried about her last year. Both of my school age girls have wide interests - from singing hymns (which they are doing right now), to arts & crafts, to science, to farm skills. It's good. When, I'm discouraged, I need to remember this. I may not keep a perfect house, I may need to work on my patience, I may be in a season where tiredness is more the rule than the exception; but, I have a great family, who is doing great.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring Like

It was finally Spring like today. More rain is coming next week, but at least with this stretch of rain, the temperatures are supposed to be in the upper 50's not lower 40's or lower. We had a little snow several days ago. But, none stick, so I didn't take a picture.

I asked my husband to dig up a couple of really bothersome bushes for me. He suggested doing it with his tractor, which I was a little concerned about (concerned the tractor would tear up the yard). But, surprisingly, especially considering how soggy it has been, the tractor barely left a trace on the shape of the yard. And, it was amazing how an hours plus worth of work (plus a lot if it were me) could be done in mere seconds with the tractor. It was like someone was merely scooting a little sand around in a sandbox with a little hand shovel. Flowers are planned for the location of the old, prickly, and ugly bushes.



Jon also finished putting doors on my greenhouse and now I finally have a fully functional and easily accessible greenhouse. Here is my blog entry from last year. Just picture the same greenhouse, a little longer, with wood doors on both ends. Unfortuneately, I didn't get any pictures for you today, but I will. My starts really aren't too amazing yet. Only a few have even germinated.

And, Jon and I finished pruning and putting up Marionberries (Oregon domestic variety of blackberries) and Raspberries. Also, Jon brought up compost to the garden. It will be our best garden year ever! I'm even hoping to get my first harvest of Kiwi. I've had them four years now.





Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I've been trying to think of motivators for my kids when it comes to chores (and schoolwork) and just generally picking up after themselves. Here are a couple of my thoughts I had tonight:


  • My kids love to cook. I was thinking to motivate my kids to get their chores done in a certain amount of time (like under an hour altogether) by telling them if they get those chore done under that time they could make something (like banana muffins). Of course, they'd have to clean up after themselves after cooking.
  • Stop picking up after them when they haven't done what I've asked. Well, duh!? But, I have a terrible habit of asking a child to do something --- run and put the babies shoes on her door, make sure and put your clothes in the dirty laundry after taking them off --- only to find they haven't done it and I end up picking it up myself. Sure, I can pick it up quicker than I could probably follow up with them. But, long term...I'm making things really hard on myself.

That's all for now...

Friday, April 2, 2010

In Real Life

Carol of Three Little Ladies, is in the process of moving from Colorado to Alaska. Due to weather, she and her family had to change their route at the last minute and happened to be headed by my neck of the woods (SW Washington). So we got to meet up. It was wonderful to get to meet her In Real Life as she says. Her children were sweet and gracious, as is she and her husband. I especially enjoyed her littlest one's enthusiastic disposition. We got a chance to take a couple of quick shots. Here they are.