Thursday, March 31, 2011

Squash Boy

Here is Squash Boy. Isn't he cute? He's always rubbing his eyes, ears, and head anyhow. Get a little squash on his face and this happens almost instantly.



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chicky Day

It was Chicky Day today. We're going with Barred Rock this year at my older daughter's request. They are the tamest of the "excellent" egg laying varieties we've had.


In other news our little man is crawling and getting into lots of trouble.



Monday, March 21, 2011

Homeschooling On The Weekend

I always have to remind myself when I become discouraged about homeschooling. I don't do these neat projects with my kids. We don't dress up as revolutionary war heroes or pretend to be Thomas Edison. Sometimes we'll color in and label a map about a book we've been reading, but we don't study everything about that place. We don't make flags to document our travels. We do no cooking representing the Ancient Roman civilization. We don't make circuit boards or do lots of hands on science experimenting.

But, my kids love learning. They love writing stories. They love Math. They love learning new vocabulary. They love telling me about the weather. They love finding out that mice are born naked and are mammals just like us and that they nurse their young. They love playing their violin or playing around on the piano. They love playing with blocks and putting the blocks in patterns. They love keeping score on board games. They love art. They love learning about nature by being out there with it or on the farm. My kids love being read to. They love to read the Bible. They love to memorize poems. doesn't stop just because it's the weekend. When we have down time. My kids might ask for a video. But, if I say no, or when the video is done, they show a love of learning and keep writing, doing math, asking me about how things work, asking me how to spell such and such and what does this word mean.

My kids are great kids, despite all of my shortcomings. And homeschooling works. I need to remember that.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Daily Summary 3-11-11

What We Did Today March 11, 2011

  • Watched coverage of earthquake in Japan
  • Had breakfast
  • Cleaned house - Rachey took forever on her jobs
  • I did several extra loads of laundry and partially cleaned our bedroom
  • I fed and held Josiah a lot
  • Nat did 1 1/2 Saxon lessons
  • Rachey read a science chapter about birds
  • Rachey did 64 multiplication facts
  • Rachey did 2 cursive worksheets
  • Nat did the Z cursive worksheet
  • Nat read a science chapter about climate and weather and filled out 1 1/2 worksheets about the topic
  • Quesadillas for lunch (plus Rachey ate some leftovers)
  • Abigail took a nap (and woke up happy) :)
  • I made bread (4 loaves)
  • Nat read The Rover Boys On The Ocean, filled out vocabulary cards, and wrote a "letter" to Tom Rover's Father
  • Rachey practiced her violin and mostly has all songs memorized
  • Rachey read from The Adventures Of Reddy Fox
  • The girls are playing with clay and playdough
  • Nat practiced her violin
  • We ate dinner - Pasta with chicken, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes

Monday, March 7, 2011

Good Light

We had some sunshine shining in our windows today. Both yesterday and today, we actually spent some time outside. It was pleasant...wasn't raining, wasn't snowy, there was no slush on the ground, it was nearly 50 degrees...tropical almost.

I let the girls do some of their schoolwork outside. The neighbor is falling marketable timber in preparation for a road they are putting in their property. The girls kept getting distracted as the trees came falling down. They kept asking questions about how the falls got the trees to fall a certain direction.

Then...a hawk came swooping over our chickens. Our rooster sounded the alarm and my daughter called me to have a look. It turned out the hawk had killed one of our chickens, but hadn't been able to take it with him. The chicken had found a hole underneath the fence (the chickens actually dig them...sort of...when they have a dirt bath), but was outside the fence when the hawk arrived. The chicken appeared to have trouble finding the hole in the fence to come back in and was stuck attempting to squeeze through a spot it couldn't squeeze through. This was probably the reason the hawk was successful at catching the chicken. Chickens are not the smartest creatures in the world. They rely solely on the benefits of the flock and on instinct.

Finally, just now, I hear my 3 year old SCREAMING. My 7 year old daughter told me she was screaming because there were three chickens in the yard. I had locked all the other chickens up, but didn't see any in the yard. When there is a predator nearby the chickens take to hiding. Smart chickens. Sort of.

So I set my 7 year old to chasing the chicken in an attempt to catch them. My 7 year old is REALLY good at this, but catching chickens is easier said than done. The first one we caught because it ran out into the field, then I just herded it toward the chicken coop and opened the door. The second one she cornered against the fence and picked up no problem. She handed the chicken over the fence to me. I was in the field near the chicken coop and just put the chicken in the coop. My 7 year old told me that this is the very same chicken she always could catch in the summer. The third chicken was more elusive and kept dodging my daughter. Suddenly, though it hopped up on the fence. The chicken was facing me, away from my daughter. I said to my daughter, I hope she will let us grab her. My daughter just put her hands on her and grabbed her (the chicken never saw it coming) and handed her to me. Away she went safely in her coop.

Here is a picture of my little man in the wonderful light that was coming in our living room windows today. He's growing and changing.



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Playing With Toys

Everything has been going well around here regarding school...

However, we seem to be on round two of the chest cold we've had for six weeks. This must be a new virus because the kids...mostly the baby and the toddler...have a new, full-blown round of nasal and chest congestion. They never really got over the previous chest congestion. I'm hoping I've already had this because I was feeling sick for a few days about a week ago.

Snow came and went around here and never really amounted to much, but did keep us home from activities because of when it hit and the impact on our road. We were back to classes today despite the baby being sick. He did alright going out, but was very grumpy when we got home.

For school we've gotten in groove lately. The girls have changed how they've done vocabulary lately. I'm surprised they like it because it is extra work for them. They've been highlighting or writing down words they don't know in their school reading and looking them up in the dictionary and writing down a definition they can understand. We're using mostly Robinson curriculum this year and they have pre-written definitions for them to memorize. This is just a slight variation. I've been studying grammar from Robinson's source, as well as online sources...trying to solidify how I'm correcting their writing. I think we'll start reading some of the rules together. I'm really not into diagramming sentences or the like for grammar. I never learned from that... Yet, it seems to me that to teach writing to my children we need to know more than what we learn from good writing (the Charlotte Mason way). So, that is one area I'm working on right now.

I wanted to share this picture of how my oldest daughter arranged her animals she was playing with today. Some of their farm experiences, as well the influence of the many nature videos we watch are coming out I think.