We've been busy...the good kind of busy;)
Busy wrapping up a semester at the college (my students took their finals yesterday...woohoo, it's summer break)
Busy working in the yard and garden,
trying new recipes,
volunteering in our community,
finishing the loft space remodel upstairs.
And while it's nice to be busy,
I'm ready for a few days rest.
Guess our summer fun list will have to wait just a couple more days!
1-3 Farmer's Market Day- there's always a crowd. We found all sorts of fresh, local goodies to tide us over until our garden is producing. M. stopped to take pictures of the flowers in the town square. The beautiful azaleas are in bloom:)
4-6 What these two girls spend all afternoon doing...oh, to have that kind of energy again!
7 Mother's Day morning:) M. gave me a coupon...she'll get up early and take care of the hens and chicks for me (offer expires on 12/31/13). I plan on cashing in that coupon very soon!
8-11 Mother's Day afternoon...because there are no holidays for DIYers;) Glad Hutch is willing to do all the work up high! I prefer to keep my feet on solid ground. I could hardly watch him work on the platform he made across the top of the stairs...yikes!
12-14 A. spent a lot of time on Khan Academy this week...what a great resource! M. made cooking videos and treated us to homemade strawberry shortcake with fresh local berries that a friend gave us:)
15 Sharing M.'s recipe at the end of this post! You don't want to miss it.
16-18 Sharing games with kids at the children's shelter and teaching them to play some of our favorites. They especially loved Guess Who, Jenga, Candlyland, and Battleship. We'll be doing that again soon...what a fun and crazy day!
19 My friend Tami and I had an opportunity to visit with seniors at our local high school and pass out Bibles and copies of The Life Book
to them! Curious? Follow the Life Book link and download a free copy of it:)
Our "schoolish" endeavors this week:
Researching and trying new recipes, especially gluten free recipes Blimeycow on YouTube
Autobiography writing- this was fun! Loved reading the story of A.'s life through her own eyes
Bird watching- we saw a beautiful painted bunting in the backyard:)
Mine Craft Seven Cool Homeschoolers
- This is one of the highlights of each week...check it out!
Shel Silverstein poems Khan Academy
math tutorials- both girls love this incredible free resource! Take Two
AG Treasures game- a pretty fun American Girl game (it takes a while to play, so we only get it out every once in a while, but it's a favorite) Camp Out
(M.)- a very cool book for kids interested in camping, hiking , and outdoor skills. We're planning on camping soon so I think M. wants to be prepared!
Gymnastics Tuesdays at the Castle
(A.) Nurse Matilda
(M.) and I can't forget to share this-
M.'s recipe for Strawberry Shortcake
1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries
2 T. sugar
1 1/8 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/3 c. unsalted sweet cream butter
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c. milk (M. substituted vanilla coconut milk)
heavy whipping cream plus a small amount of powdered sugar
*Makes about 8 cupcake size shortcakes*
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Rinse and slice strawberries in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little sugar (to taste), toss lightly, and set aside.
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in another bowl. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center for the egg and milk. Stir until combined.
Spoon batter into cupcake liners (about half to 3/4 full) and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. They will look more like biscuits than cupcakes:)
Cool, slice, and serve with strawberries on top:)
To make the whipped cream, just
put heavy cream into a bowl and beat on low until it begins to thicken. Begin to add powdered sugar by the spoonful (to taste...it doesn't take much) while continuing to beat the cream. Stop when you reached the desired consistency.
I am eating gluten free now so I had my berries and cream with Udi's Gluten Free Granola instead:) Yum! I didn't feel like I was missing out;)
I planted a whole bed of strawberry plants last year, so I'm hoping for a big bunch of berries this year. I sure hope there's more strawberry shortcake (or strawberries with granola) in our future:)
Linking up here today:) I guess it's better late than never!
I would love to have a homestead, but I get overwhelmed at where to begin.I'm a global thinker not a linear thinker
,so I look at the big picturerather than the steps of getting from point a to point b.I'm not so detail oriented ormuch of a planner at all...or even patient, for that matter.I just want to do it already.Unfortunately, that is so not going to work for building a homestead.
So, I am trying to plan...definitely not my strength, but here goes.Last year, we continued remodeling the inside of the old farmhouse and added a screened porch to the back. We raised chicks and rabbits for the first time
.The girls established a profitable egg business
.M. started her local, natural, and organic cupcake business.Hutch built four raised beds for a small vegetable garden.
We planted two apple treesand raspberries.This year, the plan (so far) includesfinishing the farmhouse interior (we are so close!) a dozen more chicks (done!)using the same four raised beds for planting the vegetable garden (done!)adding a few containers for planting veggies
fencingexploring raising dairy goats planting four more fruit treesplanting blackberries.We have big dreams for this place! I just have to be reminded that it's a process and an amazing learning experience for us all and not something that happens overnight.I am inspired by
these words “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
and this video that Jessica
shared on her blog:
I'm also linking up here for more ideas and inspiration. Join me:)
As of this week, our homeschool group
is finished for the spring
and won't start back up until fall.
The girls are already wondering, "Now what?"
I'm thinking of restful days at home,
working on the house, and
maybe completing the dozen or more projects
I started earlier in the year and didn't have time to finish.
The girls are worried that they'll be bored this summer...
not when you are used to learning all the time!
This week was far from boring- Play performances
Birding- spotting new birds, observing nesting birds
Photo collages- Thank you, A. I love the collage you made!
Coin collections and coin history
Keepers of the Faith badges
Trip to the library
The Big Book of Spy Stuff
How movies are made
The Sound of Music (one of our favorite movies...we've been singing the songs all week:) Also learning about the history from that time and the real Von Trapp family
Adam of the Road (reading it at bedtime...almost finished!)
Babysitting Craft Monday- we were behind in posting our recent crafts, but we updated the page, so check it out!! Drawing, lettering and cardmaking
Seven Cool Homeschoolers video making:)
Alone Yet Not Alone (started this one on our road trip...a really good book about having faith through difficult circumstances. M. kept asking me to read just a little bit more!)
The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia (A)
Episodes of the Waltons and great discussion on life during the Depression
Crafts- The girls made a gift and cards for a friend's birthday party
Silver Dollar City- The weather was eighty degrees and sunny...perfect for the water rides and walking around the park (which is beautiful this time of year). Everyone rode their favorite rides, then the girls went to "school" at the 1880's school house.
Cooking and trying new recipes
Visiting the Emergency Children's Shelter- taking lunch and playing games with the kids there today:) Something we enjoy doing as a family and with our church family
1. Drawing the planets
2. These two cuties are one of the best parts of each week! The girls look forward to babysitting them.
3-4. It snowed in May...for the first time in history for our area! We stayed warm inside, worked on crafts, and watched reruns of the Waltons.
5. A. was the narrator for the play that her theater class performed. She did a wonderful job!
1. Tell me these aren't the cutest bugs ever?! M. and friends after their performance:)
2. Studying her coin collection...she's gotten a lot of new ones lately as friends and family have realized that she's interested in coins:)
3. Daddy and M. heading to Silver Dollar City
4. Navigating the park
5. Mama and A.
6. Trying not to get splashed by the log ride!!
7.-8. Going back in time to school in the 1880's. They liked the slates;)
9.-11. The park is shaded and beautiful this time of year but also very hilly (definitely a workout for the legs:)
12. We were tired at the end of the day and rode the train through the park to give our feet a break.
Lots of crafty things
going on this week. I hope to see more to come this summer as our days slow down! “You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Maya Angelou Love that quote! Linking up with Savannah at Hammock Tracks this week and these ladies too:)
Take two girls
add one day at home
with no outside commitments...
and complete freedom to follow interests
and pursue learning independently.
Throw in beautiful weather and plenty of outside play,
and you have the perfect unschool day.
The day flowed along from one thing to the next:
Birding- nesting, spotting new birds
Creating photo collages on the computer
Studying coin collections
Planning future KOF badges to earn
A trip to the library
Seven Cool Homeschoolers on YouTube
The Big Book of Spy Stuff
How movies are made research and discussion
The Sound of Music- History at the time of the movie and the real Von Trapps
RootWords app- quantity, number words
Puzzles- they made their own:)
Plenty of time outside- reading, caring for the animals, jumping on the trampoline, and doing cartwheels
Adam of the Road (what we're reading at bedtime)
every day isn't just like this...
but most of our days are this joyful
and I want to remember that later-
Because these girls are growing up too fast.
Last weekend, we went back in time to 1863.
We participated in a local Civil War
battle reenactment in honor of the sesquicentennial
anniversary of the battle.
A. and M. both took turns assisting the surgeon as he tended
to the wounded during one scene,
and they danced at a party with
soldiers in another scene (just before the party is surprised
by an attack from enemy troops
and their dance partners are carried away as prisoners)!
The cool part is that all of this really happened...
right here in our town
150 years ago.
I love that the girls got to experience just a taste of what life was like back then...
the difficulties and the sacrifices that people experienced.
They danced, acted, interpreted events, served other volunteers, and answered questions from both children and adults.
What a fantastic learning opportunity!
Oh, and I had a part too:)
I was a lamenting lady...
I believe that's Southern for "a lady who complains a lot".
The other ladies and I reflected back on what life was like before the war.
It was fun!
Thankfully, the rest of our week was spent in 2013:)
Here's what we did:
Garden planning and planting
Theater practice and play prep- both girls helped with props and costumes, M. found sound effects, and A. created the program
Adam of the Road (read aloud)
Pilgrim's Progress in Modern English (M.)
Hattie Blue Sky (A.)
Making videos for Seven Cool Homeschoolers
A visit to the Emergency Children's Shelter to take donations and supplies
Presidents...M. found flash cards and quizzed the whole family:)
Khan Academy- equivalent fractions, the flu, the heart, Robert E. Lee's surrender, Abraham Lincoln's assassination...all kinds of good stuff!
Sign language and choir performances
A little lettering and playwriting
Planning the garden out on graph paper before we plant:)
Hope your week was great:)
Linking up with friends right here...
I'm not sure if I should say we are
or interest led learners...
maybe we are a mix of all three.
I really see us as joyful learners,
but I'm not sure that
many people know what I mean when I say that.
I thought I would try to explain:)
One of my goals as a mother who homeschools
is to inspire a love of learning in my children.
I hope that both of my girls embrace learning
throughout their entire lives.
I can't make that happen,
but I can create a joyful learning environment in our home right now...
one that fosters creativity and builds critical thinking skills
with the hope that this will have a profound
life long effect on my girls.
In trying to create such an environment,
I've found this to be true for our family:
A joyful learning environment is one in which children…
Have unstructured time to play freely and explore independently
See learning as natural with parents as both guides and partners along the way
Experience learning by being actively involved in every step or stage along the way
Have easy access to a variety of good books, board games, and art supplies with limited time on electronic devices
Observe nature and spend plenty of time outdoors
Are guided by natural curiosity rather than a scope and sequence or list of learning objectives
Interact with others in the community as an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships
Are treasured for their uniqueness and shown the love of Christ
Enjoy the freedom to express themselves through words, dance, art, music, and/or performance
and most importantly,
Share their ideas and answers without fear or criticism
Being encouraged to follow their interests and passions
What are your ideas for creating an atmosphere of joyful learning?
I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman this week.
I ran into him on one of our outings into the community.
He felt it necessary to express his opinion (in front of my children, no less)
that homeschoolers are too sheltered
and not learning the skills that they need to be successful in life.
Obviously, he hasn't met too many homeschoolers!
I bit my tongue at my first response (which wasn't going to be kind)
and took a deep breath.
I explained as sweetly as I could
that his idea of homeschooling might be a little skewed.
I invited him to look around at the homeschoolers in our group
who were visiting the air and space museum.
They were busy actively learning all around him.
I talked to him for about ten minutes
and explained a little bit about how and why we homeschool
and how we stay active in the world around us.
I didn't have to do that,
but I wanted to show him that there's more to homeschooling
than his narrow point of view.
I hope I made a positive impression on him,
I really just wanted to say,
"Really?! You've got to be kidding me. Clearly, you've
never spent any time with a homeschooler!"
Here's what my sheltered children did this week...I doubt any of this will help them be successful in the real world.
Thomas Jefferson bio
The Indian in the Cupboard- we finally finished it...so good!
Crafts- for AG dolls and also creating puzzles for each other (this took a couple of days, but ended with each of them creating an original seventy piece puzzle of artwork for the other to try to put together- pretty cool!)
Civil War reenactment- We are participating in a local battle reenactment in honor of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the battle. Love Living History and the opportunity to be a part of it.
Woodworking- Daddy helped the girls repair and restore their AG doll beds.
Junior Electrician's Kit- a favorite this week, but always right before bed for some reason...probably part of a plan to stay up all night;)
Adam of the Road- still reading aloud just a few chapters a week, but enjoying it
Gymnastics- the girls created a "vault" from the ground up to the trampoline...not sure if I should be worried or not:/
Seven Cool Homeschoolers on YouTube:)
Episodes of Fetch
The Brain unit study
Field trip to the Animal Safari- a great day trip with friends, lots of fun, and loads of animal science. Definitely one of the best things we did this week:)
Writing- family newspaper, a play, and short stories with Storycubes
Another road trip to the Tulsa Air and Space Museum trip-Wow! So much learned in one day...parts of an airplane and function, flight simulator- Cessna 172, forces of flight (lift, drag, gravity, thrust), parts of the instrument panel, centrifugal force
Planetarium- the highlight of the Tulsa museum for all of us. I had never been to a planetarium before. M. said that it was "amazing"!
And now, please excuse me. My sheltered children are participating in a local Civil War battle reenactment as part of a living history demonstration.
I love homeschooling, even if some people just don't get it!
"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things."
Leonardo da Vinci
We homeschool a little differently than many people we know.
I don't usually tell the girls what to do
or when to do it.
We don't work through a set curriculum
or a set schedule
at a set pace.
But that doesn't mean that the girls are idle...
not by a long shot-
in fact, they are quite industrious.
Industriousness is a matter of attitude
Of wanting to take the initiative
to develop new skills.
It's realizing that idleness serves no godly purpose,
and seeking to avoid it.
It's not just staying busy for busy's sake.
It's being busy with a purpose...
with a goal in mind.
Now I don't know what my girls will be doing when they grow up,
but I do know that I want to teach them to
work at whatever they do
so that when they are grown, it's a part of their character.
If I can model industriousness for them now
give them opportunities to practice it,
then they will have learned a most valuable skill
that will prepare them whatever
they do in the future.
Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.
Ephesians 6:7 NLT
Our week: DIY.org
- check this out...such a cool site! Thanks, Susan:
) The girls are so excited about this.
Cooking tutorials- M. makes videos of her own while she's cooking in the kitchen The Silver Chair
(M.) The Indian in the Cupboard
Literature Fair with our homeschool group. Thanks for the idea, Mary
! A.'s presentation based on a biography of Leonardo da Vinci won first for her age group, and M.'s Pie project
won second place for her age.
Nancy Drews book and the movie (a favorite of ours:) Caddie Woodlawn
- we finished the book and are looking forward to the second one...definitely going to add this to our favorites list
! Seven Cool Homeschoolers
- This week's assignment was to make a craft tutorial. Loved watching all the videos!
Root Words App (Thanks again, Susan
:), 94 seconds, BrainPOP
How It's Made episodes Girls Who Rocked the World
- A.'s reading it now...M. just finished it:)
Piano Little Women
, the movie (both book and movie are much loved here:)
Garden planning and prep work
AG doll crafts Caring for the chicks and rabbits Helping with the remodel- Oh no, I forgot to take pictures of the new bathroom!
I will work on that this week. Photography
- both girls practiced using their photography skills at the garden center:)
Thomas Jefferson bio
The brain- A.'s been wanting to know more about the brain so we found a unit study for her...it's pretty fascinating.
Olga Korbut- M.'s been watching all the videos from her gymnastics routines form the 1970s
Roald Dahl and Dr. Seuss bios
Episodes of Fetch
M. made me some lemon honey this week: local honey, a few drops of pure lemon essential oil, juice from a lemon (with a little pulp and zest too). We add a tablespoon or two of this to hot water and drink it for allergy related issues like drainage, sore throat, or cough. I'll add this little recipe to our Natural Health page
2. A. answers questions as she interacts with one of the judges at the Literature Fair with our homeschool group.
3. We had a nice turnout of kiddos from kindergarten through eighth grade for the fair and some amazing project board displays.
4. If you ask the girls, the best part was hanging out with their friends all morning!
5. M. did her project on the book Pie, of course;) She made passed out samples of the peanut butter raspberry cream pie that is mentioned in the book too (it's surprisingly yummy:)
6. I love that this fair was an opportunity to share a favorite book with others and to interact with people of all ages. Here M. is visiting with someone's grandparents about her project...awesome!
7. I have no idea what she is doing, but she has drawn a crowd...looks like cheerleading, but that doesn't really fit in with the theme of her book. There's no telling!
8. Both girls brought home ribbons and book prizes from the fair.
9. Love this stoneware egg crates from a friend in my favorite colors!
10. It was raining one day and I heard laughing from the other room. I walk in to find M. covering A.'s face with tin foil and duct tape. What?! No worries...they were just making masks. Good to know!
11. We take an archery class together every week. The girls are waiting for class to start and enjoying the beautiful view:)
12. My favorite of A.'s flower pics! I love the color.
13. I had a hard time picking a favorite from M.'s, so I picked three! She's really gotten interested in taking better pictures lately:)
Linking up here today. Join me!
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
I really want to make every day count...
to be intentional...
to make each day meaningful...
to find joy in the little things.
Sometimes that's easier said than done.
Sometimes I just need a reminder that time is precious.
This week, I turned another year older...
how's that for a reminder that time is precious?!
This is how we spent part of our time this week-
Gymnastics- haha, even Mama...cartwheels and flips aren't as easy as they used to be;)
Girls That Rocked the World
Helping out with Preschool/K class at church (both the girls and I) and volunteering at preschool (A.)
Literature Fair with friends- M. worked on her Pie display board and A. finished her Leonardo da Vinci display board. I worked on book related prizes for everyone;)
Creative writing- M.'s writing a play, and we are editing it together:)
Standardized testing- math and reading (required by our state every year...the girls actually look forward to it, probably because we don't do tests or grades, so it's a novelty;) I got to spend the morning with other homeschool moms...what an encouragement!
The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia (A.)
Multiplication- M. watched this video to learn a trick for her 6's through tens...cool! How did I not know this?!
Archery lessons- I'm taking lessons too:) I want the girls to see that you are never too old to follow your passions!
Seven Cool Homeschoolers video- definitely a favorite activity (both to see and do) around here each week!
Theater (for all...the girls take a class and I teach one for high school homeschoolers) and choir (for M.)
The brain- A.'s been wanting to learn more about the brain...we found a cool unit study and both girls are doing it independently and sharing cool info. with me. I found a kit called Brain Workout: 100 Days to a Sharper Mind at the thrift store- I started it today:) Let's see if I am any sharper in a hundred days;)
Art journals for Craft Monday- all three of us worked on entries plus a friend joined us too
Remodeling the loft space upstairs
Games- Bubble Talk, Scattergories
Apps- 94 seconds (my fave), lots of Minecraft (the girls' fave)
Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds- We found a lost dog this week (a beagle mix) and took care of him until we could get him to a no-kill animal shelter. We have photos and are trying to find his owner or someone who would like to adopt him. We would have loved to have kept this little guy, but in his brief stay... he ate two of my chickens:(
1.Learning something new on my birthday!
2. The bow was as big as M. but she handles it well!
3. A. started off with a bullseye. Maybe we should call her Katniss;)
4. That face!
5.-6. Easter Sunday- a beautiful day of worship and time with family 7. Learning on the screened porch...great idea, girls! 8. The chicks are starting to grow up! They're losing their fluff and getting feathers now. 9.-10. Art journals for Craft Monday- We created "50 Things About Me" layouts
Hope you have a great week and make each moment count!
Linking up here today:)
After visiting family last week and this past weekend, we spent a quiet week at home. We got out of the house two days so I could teach at the college and the girls could attend their homeschool classes like choir, sign language, and theater but that was all. The rest of the week we were home. Ah...home days are the best days. The girls have plenty of time throughout the day to get involved in big projects, craft all afternoon, get lost in a book, or just play outside. Just one of the many blessings of our relaxed homeschool...uninterrupted time to pursue passions:) Our passions this week-
DK Eyewitness book- Space Exploration
(M.) Trading Faces
, by Julia de Villers and Jennifer Roy (A.)
2013 SEC Gymnastics Championship- last weekend with Mimi:) Lots of gymnastics practice outside in the beautiful spring weather Olga Korbut- a gymnast from the 1970's; M. found this amazing video of her performance in the 1972 Olympics
...watch it- you won't be disappointed;)
Episodes of Fetch Mr. Z.'s science class
Practice standardized tests- their idea, not mine!! I guess when you don't have textbooks, tests, or grades, this seems kind of fun so I went with it and downloaded practice tests for reading and math. Exploring Careers: A Young Person's Guide to 1,000 Jobs
book The Space Shuttle
, by Gregory Vougt (M.)
Baking- blueberry muffins, no bake cookies (boiled cookies)
Board games- Yamodo, Bubble Talk, Scattergories
New apps- Minecraft, 94 seconds (this one's my fave)
Little House on the Prairie movie (mini-series from 2005...love it!) It follows the book fairly well, if you haven't seen it. U.S. Presidents trivia- A. loves to
quiz us...I think Daddy knows more than the rest of us on that subject!
Remodeling- we have a new bathroom upstairs:) Putting it in was a family affair for sure, though Hutch definitely did the majority of the work! Pictures later this week..promise:) Girls Who Rocked the World- a favorite book this week
; Thanks, Susan
for the idea!
Traveling Trio DVD Piano Photography and blog design (A.) Outside play- trampoline and balance beam Art, drawing, and lettering Seven Cool Homeschoolers video
- the girls are really enjoying this collaborative project! I am too. Check it out:)
Our read alouds- Adam of the Road, Caddie Woodlawn, and The Indian in the Cupboard
are taking forever but that's because we are reading all three at the same time I guess. We are enjoying all three:)
Sign language Egg business Caring for chicks
and rabbits Lots of babysitting this week
and A. volunteered at preschool
Art, choir, and theater classes
Dessert date with Daddy! Tonight's special?! Pie:)
1. The chicks are getting bigger but still have a long way to go before they are ready to be out in the yard.
2. Spring is here finally! We've some rain and everything is turning green:)
3. Watching over little ones is one of A.'s favorite things to do!
4.-8. What they do all day when the weather is nice...sometimes we get out there too;)
9. One fat bunny:)
10. Learning on the screened porch
11. Our oven is broken:( Hutch is waiting for a part so he can fix it, so it seemed like the perfect time to show the girl how to make no-bake cookies (boiled cookies) from my grandmother's recipe.
M. and her friends made fairy crafts one afternoon:)