Return home after our road trip
Time with family and friends
Encouraging news about my dad's recovery (he's had several good days this week:)
Spring has arrived- love all the sunshine and flowers
A trip downtown
New cowboy hats
Experiencing the chores of children in the 1800’s
History of growing cotton at a working cotton plantation
History of slavery
Guinness Book of World Record Math
Web site design and moviemaking
Shooting practice with the BB gun and targets
Jumping on the trampoline
Softball games in the yard
Photography- A. looks for unusual perspectives (like me in the rear view mirror)
Lots of books- fiction and non-fiction; This week’s favorites- The Encyclopedia of Dogs, the Sisters in Time series, The All of a Kind Family, and Pie.
Making yarn pom poms for the American Girl dolls
Making duct tape headbands
Building nesting boxes
Completing projects for the upcoming science fair and reporting the results (both girls chose projects involving eggs); lots of writing
Baking…lots and lots of baking
Playing with friends
Making up gymnastics routines to music
Homeschool enrichment classes
Weather books, an experiment, and a video
Caring for the chicks...they are growing fast
Meeting our friend’s new little lamb
Trips to the library
Restful time at home
A new series we came across this week: You Choose Books by Capstone Press- interactive adventures through history written at a 3rd-4th grade level. The format of the books is similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure books I read growing up. M.'s book The Underground Railroad has 3 story paths, 37 choices, and 16 endings. A.'s reading The Titanic. Pretty cool...our favorite resource this week next to the opportunity to experience living history museums in our area!
Here's where I'm linking up today...come by and check it out!
Ah...it's spring and I am so thankful for these blessings-
A husband who works hard putting in overtime hours but still makes every opportunity to serve his family at home by helping me when I need it, talking to and listening to me, tilling my garden, working on the attic craft room remodel, showing the girls how to build nesting boxes for the hens, and helping the two of them put the trampoline together (Plus he's awfully cute and funny too;)
A flexible schedule that has allowed us to spend a lot of time with my parents as my dad continues his stay in the hospital.
My dad's health which has improved pretty significantly in the last two or three days!
The opportunity to spend all day, every day with my girls as we enjoy our time together and cultivate a learning lifestyle.
Hands-on learning opportunities that are meaningful and important...those are the lessons that these girls will never forget!
Beautiful spring weather and all the signs of new life that it brings- buds, flowers, green leaves and grass, sunshine, birds, nests, eggs, chicks, calves, and lambs. We've seen so many signs of spring this week!
Isn't he cute?! We really want goats or sheep...we're researching both to decide which one would be best for our family. Now this is my kind of research!!
Linking up with Theresa for Thankful Thursday!
The girls had friends over this afternoon. While the younger girls were busy creating science experiments you could eat, the older girls were busy creating duct tape headbands. A.'s friend showed her how to make a flat, tailored bow out of duct tape (just like you would for a present) and attach it to a long strip of duct tape to make a headband. Then they made duct tape roses. I just went back and forth from the kitchen to the living room watching both sets of girls busily creating with their friends...a rather nice way to spend the afternoon:)
Come see what everyone else is doing!
Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing.
Sometimes people ask us what we do all day. Maybe they are just curious about the habits of homeschoolers. Or maybe they want to know how we can do “school” without a set schedule or curriculum. Either way, the answer is easy.
We are never idle, and by that I mean lazy, slothful, or indifferent. Because we are never idle, we are always learning. We learn by reading, playing, observing, exploring, creating, asking, talking, and problem solving as we follow our interests and satisfy our curiosities about the world around us.
Because we are determined never to be idle, each of our days is important, meaningful, joyful, and rich. Just another reason to love the homeschool life:)
Jumping on the trampoline is meaningful?! Sure, when the girls put the frame of the trampoline together by themselves yesterday and then helped Daddy attach the mat and springs. Their hard work paid off when they got to spend a good part of the day enjoying fresh air and exercise while mastering new skills:)
Arts and crafts=learning?! Absolutely! To make pom poms for an American Girl doll took organizational and planning skills, reading and listening skills, motor skills, and creativity. The how-to is posted on Craft Monday:)
And caring for the chicks has led to many up close observations and discoveries, as well as a renewed interest in chickens, birds, and eggs. We've had a good number of "eggsperiments" going on here lately, and both girls plan to enter one of their egg experiments in a science fair this weekend:) Yesterday, the girls built a nesting box for the chicks with a little help from Daddy.
Linking up here today...come with me!
Thankful for the rain this week, because it left so many signs of spring behind.
We found a nest in the forsythia that's blooming out front:) The girls took photos at The Old Mill in North Little Rock. So grateful that they had time to enjoy the outdoors with my mom while I got to visit with dad. After another rough week, we are blessed to see some improvement in his health over the last couple of days!!
So thankful for friends and family. These kiddos know how to amuse themselves- from art to indoor basketball to an impromptu talk show performance! We loved these architectural blocks that belong to my friend's son. A. could have played with these Keva Planks for hours. Absolutely one of our favorite resources this week! Though they are a little on the expensive side, these American made planks are something I doubt the girls would ever outgrow. Definitely something I'll keep in mind for future birthdays or Christmas.
I love living history and was so appreciative of the opportunity to experience life on an 1,800 acre working cotton plantation. The kids learned about the difference between farming cotton then and now, history of the area, early homes and buildings, the invention of the cotton gin, sharecropping, and the history of slavery in the South. It was a hands-on learning experience that they aren't likely to forget!
We also toured the impressive Stanton Hall, a beautiful 14,000 square foot antebellum home in Natchez, MS. An amazing week for sure...so much fun, but I'm so glad to be back home!
Linking this post with three of my favorite bloggers:)
In our lives and homeschool this week...we experienced both sunshine and rain (literally and figuratively).
After a busy and hectic two months, my dad is still in the hospital and we are continuing the long drive back and forth to Little Rock. This week he developed more fluid on his lungs:( After the doctor drained it off again, he seemed to feel a lot better and seems to be regaining some of his strength.
So, the girls and I were able to get away for a few days. We took a road trip with my friend and her boys to visit a working cotton plantation in Louisiana and tour an antebellum home in Natchez, Mississippi. I am a huge fan of Gone With the Wind, so I was on cloud nine. We enjoyed the sunshine, warmer temps, southern cooking, and hospitality. But what we appreciated the most was the slower pace and chance to get away from everything for a few days.
Except for reading a few books, all of our learning this week was hands on and meaningful. I continue to be amazed at all the girls learn from life and their experiences each day!
Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…Let your children see you pursue your own interests and passions. It might just inspire them to do the same:)
Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…Here's a peek at what we saw on our road trip...can't wait to go through the rest of my photos and pick some to share with you:)
Stanton Hall in Natchez, MS- a 14,000 square foot antebellum home
My favorite thing this week was…These photos from The Old Mill in North Little Rock, AR. The mill was featured in the opening scenes of the movie Gone With the Wind, and it's one of my favorite places to photograph. These pictures were all taken by A. and my mom though:) Aren't they beautiful?!
What’s not working for us…rainy days. We made it without going too crazy:) Our solution- crafts, books, skits (the kids made up their own talk show and newscast), indoor basketball (not exactly ideal, but it worked:), board games, Mad Libs, Wheel of Fortune on the wii, and movies.
I’m grateful for…safe travels, friends and family, my dad's slight improvement, the opportunity to pursue learning OUR way, sunshine, and spring
I’m praying for…my dad's continued recovery and my mom's strength
A quote to share…
May You Have
Enough happiness to keep you sweet,
Enough trials to keep you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human,
Enough hope to keep you happy,
Enough failure to keep you humble,
Enough success to keep you eager,
Enough friends to give you comfort,
Enough wealth to meet your needs,
Enough enthusiasm to look forward,
Enough faith to banish depression,
Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.
Have you had a chance to read Just Plain Nora yet?
If not, this may be your chance! Check out the review and giveaway at Lori's blog, Morning Glories and Moonflowers. A special thanks to her for hosting this giveaway!
If you've already read Nora, I'd love your feedback before I wrap up the writing of my second book:)
Leave me a comment here or on my Facebook author page (there's a link in the sidebar:) You can also do a review of Nora at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com
Thanks! I really appreciate your thoughts.
Blessings to you. I'm off to find fun ways to enjoy all this rainy weather with my girls.
I don't mind a little rain, but heavy rain for the next two or three days straight?!
It's not just us either- it looks like most of the central and southern states are going to get a little rain.
Now our original plans today were to visit dad at the hospital, go by the bank, and visit the presidential museum in Little Rock but things didn't work out that way.
I rolled my window down at the bank's drive-through. No problem. A few minutes later when I tried to roll it up, it wouldn't budge. Big problem with the threat of heavy rain looming overhead. So, we hightailed it home- well, really to my parent's house.
When I say we are stuck indoors for the next few days, I mean it!
We don't really like to be cooped up either, and...
we're not even at home right now
which makes it even more of a challenge.
So, any ideas for keeping these girls from getting stir crazy?
Here's what we've got going on so far...
cooking (M. made dinner with a little help from her big sister)
looking at old photos
organizing (A. is helping my mom organize her bills into folders)
catching up on Food Network and Waltons reruns (we don't have any television channels at home, so this is a treat)
eating ice cream (probably not the best idea, but it's working for us at the moment:)
Thanks for your suggestions, and stay dry!
I love it when one of the girls is interested in something and it feels like everything comes together to foster that passion!
One of our favorite books is Because of Winn-Dixie. Though we read the book some time ago, we watched the movie this week. And over the last couple of weeks, M. has been reading James Herriot's Treasury for Children. She's even taken it with her to read while we are on the road. To add to her interest in dogs, she ran across a copy of the book Dog Heroes, by Mary Pope Osborne at the library. She's been reading bits and pieces out loud to us ever since:) And of course, we're all finishing up Ginger Pye as our bedtime story.
One morning when we were at the hospital with my dad, we took a little walk to the next building where the rehabilitation therapies are located. We were just in time to see one of the recreational therapists bringing a therapy dog into a group session. We watched through the observation window for a minute before the therapist asked us if we'd like to come in. She introduced herself and her therapy dog Molly (we laughed at the coincidence:) and was kind enough to answer our questions about how Molly was trained to assist patients in a rehabilitation program. It was a pretty cool experience for my little dog lover.
That same weekend, my husband found an article on therapy dogs in the newspaper. M. and I sat down to read it together. She had a lot of questions...I couldn't answer all of them. But I was able to help her pursue the answers by giving her the tools and support she needs to find them on her own. Plus she knows I am interested in what she learns and available if she needs help. I also plan to support her by being on the look out for other life experiences to enrich her study of dogs. In fact, one of our dogs needs her check-up at the vet. I bet M. would be happy to accompany me to the animal clinic. Who knows what she'll learn there!
Seeing everything come together to support M.'s love of learning is just one more thing to appreciate about homeschooling!
Linking up with HHM today:)
In my life and our homeschool this week…I find that I can’t separate the two. Life is school. I see all of us pursuing our interests and passions, learning new things, reading, discussing, experimenting, listening, encouraging each other, and supporting one other. We are joyful learners:)
I am inspired by…my dad. He’s battling many complications after having lung surgery. He’s tough though, and his strength and attitude through this long, exhausting process have been very inspiring.
People we’re seeing…family and friends. Who knew chicks were so popular?! We’ve had a lot of company this week, and many of them were friends that came by to see our new chicks. They really are quite cute! With the beautiful weather this week, there were kids all over the place…inside, around the table, outside, on the porch, in the treehouse, swinging in the tire swing, playing basketball, or running around the yard. The girls loved every minute of it!
My favorite thing this week was…the girls made a fruit tart, but they insisted on calling it a fruit pizza. It really did look like a pizza…and it was delicious too! The crust is a giant sugar cookie. The "sauce" is 4 ounces cream cheese mixed with 1/4 c. sour cream and 2 tsp. sugar. The fruit? Rainbow colors, of course:)
What’s working for us…a little “front porch therapy.” Earlier this week, I told my husband that I felt overwhelmed and stressed. His response, “We just need to sit on the front porch more…with iced tea.”
You know what?! He was right! After taking his advice, I have to agree that it’s almost impossible to be stressed while enjoying the beautiful weather and watching the kids play in the yard from your perch on the porch swing where you can sip sweet tea:)
Things I’m working on…yard and garden planning.
I’m reading…The Backyard Homestead, by Carlene Madigan. Yeah, I really want a mini farm.
I’m grateful for…family and friends, encouragement and prayers, other mom bloggers who inspire me
I’m praying for…my dad, others who are hurting or sick, and the many who are traveling this time of year.
That's about it for this March week. After a rough start, it was a good one after all!