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 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!
I don't do lesson plans.We don't follow a set curriculum.But I love it when things come together:)We've been reading about Italy,which led us to a bio on Leonardo da Vinci,which led us to read about inventors, painters, and sculptors.We followed that interest to an art museum in Fort Worth and a science museum in Dallas a couple of weeks ago.That's where we came across this space exhibit.
We came back home and checked out a few library books on space,
watched this cool video tour of the International Space Station
and continued reading our bio of Leonardo da Vinci.The girls were really interested in his drawings,so there has been a lot of drawing by both and at least one invention created by M. this week:)A. also worked on photographing shadows,which led us to a kit of light experiments.We ended up here this morning...
Reading about lasers and how Mona Lisa went to space
this week.I just love it when things come together.And I love interest led learning:)
Our week in photos-1. A.'s been working on cartooning skills. She's been reading Calvin and Hobbes too (one of my faves:)2. We played math games...this one is Zoom, a pretty fun card game.3. The girls drew house plans. I think they inherited my love for house plans:)4.
M. studying horses:)5.
A new game...love it! A fun way to build vocabulary for all (even Mom and Dad;)6.
Love some Trivial Pursuit family7. A little wii fit anyone?! I've committed to thirty minutes a day when the weather is too cold to get outside and walk or run.8. Science Wiz Light Experiments
kit, by Penny Norman- a cool hands-on learning kit. We used the Chemistry kit a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. 9. One of A.'s shadow pics10.
I posted about Time
yesterday:)11. This is my table by the end of the week...and we even cleaned it off a couple of times already. Oh, well!
Linking up with friends here! Join me
So, we pretty much just played all week long...
and guess what?!
We learned a whole lot too.
Our days were busy, happy, and full.
Our learning was
And that's why we do what we do;)
1. Road trip to Missouri with family and friends- M. being sworn in as a Junior Ranger and Civil War Historian at Wilson's Creek National Park.
2. A.'s art journal page- "Love"
3. Relaxing by the woodburning stove with a good book and a kitty
4. Two games at once- floor checkers and Story Cubes (one of our favorite things:)
5. Bubble Talk- a new game we got for Christmas...think Apples to Apples but with hilarious (and borderline appropriate;) photos that you match to captions. We have played it every day since Christmas!
6. Life- another Christmas present that has seen a lot of use since we opened it:)
7. Pico, Fermi, Bagel- a fun game to play with pen and paper (and a kitty of course)
8.-9. The girls trying out M.'s new junior bow and arrow set. She saved her money from her part of the egg business to buy it.
10. Our road trip to Missouri took us to Branson to see Joseph. The girls were quite impressed!
11.-12. My sister got 18 inches of snow, while we only got a dusting. So, we took off on another road trip to see family, have a little Christmas, and play in the snow. We taught the cousins how to play Fox and Rabbit and had a huge snowball fight.
13. My sister caught a picture of my evil laugh just just before I pegged my nephew with a snowball...haha. Before you feel too sorry for him...this kiddo may be small, but he has an arm! He was hitting us right and left with snowballs.
lots of reading...
and chapter books.
and music video making-
with a touch of History Channel and
Food Network thrown in while
visiting at my Mom's
Whew...no wonder I'm tired.
And tomorrow we are off to Dallas to see family.
Wishing you a wonderful week!
Linking up with Mary today. Come join me:)
How can it possibly be December already?!
It's been a while since I posted the highlights of our week, but I want to make sure I go ahead and do it since my blog is my main from of recordkeeping, other than a scrapbook. So these are the highlights of the last couple of weeks...there's no way I could try to remember everything, but maybe I remembered the stuff that the girls think is important.
A visit to the corn maze...I really think that this was about a month ago. I've lost track of time:(
Choir and Theater- practicing for the upcoming Christmas program with our homeschool group
Sign language- the girls are trying to sign some of their favorite Christmas carols
Typing a story- M. finished her book (the Civil War diary of a girl her age:)
Reading the almanac and facts about the presidents (A.)
Civil War books (M.)
Civil War diorama (both girls)
A visit to the Museum of Military History
Local and family history- lots of stories about my dad and what times were like when he was growing up. This has definitely sparked more interest in family genealogy.
Central High School National Historic Site and visitor center- M. earned a Jr. Ranger badge
History of coins
Consumer math- tax, percentages, using coupons, calculating unit price
State Park Visitor Center with the cousins. The best part is that they created their own state park visitor center with activities and badges when we got back to my mom's house:)
The Constitution and amendments
Little Women- the movie (we read the book already...twice;)
Library- Addie American Girl (M.) and anything by Andrew Clements for A.
BrainPop- Fibonacci numbers, Civil War
The Door in the Wall, by Marguerite de Angeli (our read aloud)
Fall of the Roman Empire
Archimedes and a science experiment
Christmas crafts- we're working on one a day...25 total:)
Some of the doll crafts- 1. A. used a glue gun and created a hammock from fabric, yarn, and popsicle sticks. The campfire was made from a cd covered in paper. 2. A. saw this one of these somewhere and had to recreate it...a campfire. The base is a cd covered in paper. She used rocks, sticks, and paper to make the fire. The little marshmallow and S'more are made from foam. 3. The video camera is a small box covered in paper with foam for the buttons and screen.
A beautiful day at the corn maze!
1. Paper Christmas trees 2. Fabric scrap ornaments- I'll post how-to make them tomorrrow;) 3. Our take on an Advent calendar
I also never seemed to have my camera with me:/
So most of my photos are on Instagram, so I hope you'll follow me:)
Linking up with friends here...
When I tell people that we don't follow or use any specific curriculum,
they sometimes ask what it is that we do all day...
Most of the time that question irritates me,
because it seems to imply that by not using a curriculum
we must be either
pretty undisciplined people.
I can usually shake it off though
I know what we do all day
and I am certain that my girls are not only learning
but loving it!
They are independent,
very creative, and
able to manage their time quite effectively.
So I am happy to report that this is what we did all week...
Photography- A.'s really working on mastering new skills:) The first four photos below were taken by her, and she put a few of her fall pics into a slide show here.
Creative Writing- M.'s writing a book now after seeing A. working on hers; both girls wrote a short story this week
Government- voting and the electoral college
Cooking and baking- we tried a new fall recipe, made my grandma's German apple cake (with local apples), and baked a pumpkin pie (I made the crust, M. made the pie, and both girls whipped the cream...yum!)
Pie, the project:) The girls are close to being finished baking all the pies mentioned in the book by Sarah Weeks!
Hurricanes- independent study as we learned more, watched the weather, and prayed for those in the northeast
Civil War- M.'s book is set in the civil war, so she's been doing some research and sharing it with the rest of us;
both girls learned how to cite sources appropriately when doing research
The Middle Moffat
Episodes of How It's Made
Power point presentation on ancient Egypt- They each made one for us, so last night we had homemade pie while we enjoyed their presentations...it wasn't planned that way, just a little impromptu party:)
Much inspiration for the project comes from this source- a favorite resource this week!!
Crafty projects, like "Pumpkin" pomanders and more doll craft tutorials
1-4 These are A.'s photos. Love the fall leaves and the one of M. running through the yard (it captures her perfectly!)
5-7 Art journaling- I'm pretty sure A. did a new page every day this week. My favorite is the string art, though I'm not sure she's even finished with it yet.
8 A not-so-spooky treat from our local bakery:)
9-12 Making "pumpkin" pomanders using oranges and whole cloves
13 Our quirky pumpkin family
14-16 Hayride and bonfire with our church family. M. was a cowgirl, I was Pioneer Woman (but I forgot to bring my cookbook), and A. was a basketball player. Hutch went as himself:)
Things we read about, learned, played, explored, experienced, and enjoyed this week
In other words, our "school"...
no textbooks necessary;)
War of 1812 (M.'s reading the Caroline American Girl books right now, so we were researching the war together:)
Yawning- someone asked why we yawn, so we looked it up in the encyclopedia together
Ancient Rome- again from the encyclopedia, though I can't remember what caused us to look it up in the first place
Civil War history- M. Visited a national military park with friends and earned a junior ranger badge. A. earned one from home at Web Rangers!
Egg business- A.'s keeping up with the books
M.'s cupcake business- She had two orders this week and got a package from Wilton too! She was the Grand Champion in junior cake decorating at the fair this fall, so they sent her these two new books. She's pretty pumped about it;)
Sheep farm- a great experience
Songwriting- using the Scholastic rhyming dictionary (this book has been carried everywhere with us this week)
Math journals- We added these printable pages after reading about Fibonacci sequences at Mensa For Kids...very cool! There are also other printables at this site- definitely a favorite resource this week:)
Oregon Trail on the computer
A trip to the costume shop for inspiration and ideas
The Middle Moffat, by Eleanor Estes (our bedtime read aloud)
Shel Silverstein poems
Building a leaf fort
Wii dance party with friends:)
Fall art lessons and tutorials from Deep Space Sparkle:) Another favorite resource! My girls love the artwork and the tutorials here.
Doll craft tutorials
Chess lessons with daddy (I am not a chess player...I have no ability to strategize and a short attention span;)
M.'s super easy applesauce- 4 apples cored and chopped (we left the peel on), 3/4 c. water, 1/4 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Combine everything in a covered medium saucepan and cook on medium until apples are soft enough to mash (about 15 minutes). Mash and serve applesauce warm or cool. Yum!
1.-2. Wii Kid's Dance Party with friends
3.-7. Impromptu art session with friends:) Love that
8. This girl is always in the kitchen!
9.-10. New cake decorating books from Wilton!
11. Making my own alcohol free hand sanitizer. Here's the recipe
12. A little one who's not feeling to well:( Her dog is right by her side.
13. A. was baptized on Sunday!!
We were featured here this week! Check it out:)
Linking up here today. Join me!
Our week in words and pictures...
better late than never;)
After a rocky start,
the week ended well.
Here are the highlights-
AG doll tutorials
Dollhouse crafts- I feel like I live in a doll craft studio...really. But one day, they will be too old to care about these things anymore...so no complaining, huh?!
Math journals- we started math journals this week. We've been wanting to try a living approach to math, but one that inspires us to work on it daily. So far, their journals are filling up with math challenges and puzzles, games, and line design art. I'd say that's a good start:)
Web Rangers (National Park Service)- my favorite resource this week:) M. designed her own ranger station online and has been busy earning badges by completing activities. In completing a civil war historian activity, she located one of my relatives that fought in the Civil War and was captured! Later, she got out the legos and designed another ranger station. That was enough to convince A. to get in on the action, so now she's doing the same:)
Cooking- fresh veggies, potato soup, and apple crisp
Art- drawing and watercolors; perspective; line designs
Babysitting- their very favorite part of each week
Making commercials- Oh, my! Completely ridiculous but so funny!
Historic Home Tour downtown- my favorite thing this week. I love old houses! The tour of downtown showcased several of the first homes in our area and we learned about the style of each one. We also learned a little about the people that lived in each one and a little history about our area before and after the Civil War.
The Constitution- a former senator came to speak at the college and I took the girls to hear him speak on our Constitution. A great opportunity!
The Bronze Bow- our read aloud is almost finished:( It's definitely been one of our favorites!
Let's see...what else?!
Hutch is almost finished with my screened porch! Just in time to enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
A. is trying to master a handstand on the trampoline:)
And we had family pictures made for the first time in five years!
Our interest led week in words and pictures...
Craft Monday - A. rocked out the plain front $.20 spiral notebook!
Unlock the Secrets of Your Mind (A.'s been doing a little light reading in the mornings;)
Word box puzzles
The Bible Almanac for Kids (A.)
Book of centuries- we dusted ours off and the girls added some important dates to it:)
Trips to the library
A pool party
Pie project- M. sent an email to Sarah Weeks, the author of Pie. She told Sarah about the project and how much both girls enjoyed the book. Sarah wrote about it on her blog and is sending them an autographed bookmark. The girls are thrilled!!
Graphic History books (M.)
The Bronze Bow (our read aloud)
The Horse and His Boy (M.)
Greek myths and legends on audio
Wilma Rudolph bio...what an inspirational story!
Career Exploration- A.'s making a list of potential careers. She's been doing lots of research;)
Dewey the Library Cat (M.)
Monopoly and Life
A picnic at the park...the girls packed us a bento box lunch:)
Creative writing- short stories
A little Instagram:)
A beautiful week! How was yours?!
Linking up here today:)
Today's kinda random.
But it is Monday.
Perfect time for Miscellany Monday...
1. The girls cleaned their rooms. That doesn't sound like big news, I know...but trust me, it is. They spent all afternoon cleaning and straightening, and both of them came downstairs later with a box of things for donation, and...here's the really great part...I wasn't involved (other than being the one who sent them upstairs in the first place;) I laid on the couch and read a book. Later, I looked for remodeling ideas on Pinterest. I didn't go upstairs to help them. They didn't need me to. That's the first time that has ever happened here. Usually, I have to get involved at some level...so glad that they were able to handle it on their own (and did such a nice job)!! I took a few pictures to commemorate this special milestone:)
2. The girls are back on their Pie project. The last pie M. made was a peach pie- our favorite so far. Today's pie is green tomato pie. I know it doesn't sound too great, but it really surprised us by being pretty tasty. At any rate, it's a yummy way to use all the green tomatoes in my garden that are never going to turn red!
3. It's hot. Too hot! We can hardly bear to go outside between the hours of 9:00a.m. and 7:00 p.m. It makes for a very long day:( Plus, there are about a dozen outside jobs that need to be done every single day here on our little homestead! I can't wait for fall. We have stayed busy indoors though with books, audiobooks, board games (today it was Scrabble), Wheel of Fortune on the wii, BrainPop, painting, and cooking (everything all at once so we only heat the kitchen once a day). What are your favorite ways to beat the heat?
4. The girls did a great job at their final performance for Heritage School. A. really didn't want to recite her piece in front of a crowd, but she did it! They both loved the dances...I think it was the audience's favorite part too!
And after a week of being immersed in history, we are still learning about the Civil War. M. and I read the picture book Sarah Emma Edmonds was a Great Pretender:The True Story of a Civil War Spy, by Carrie Jones. Together we are reading a Dear America book about Civil War times and a biography of Harriet Tubman. Oh, and a history of women's fashions over the years...super interesting to all three of us after a week of wearing hoop skirts, gloves, and bonnets:)
The belles of the ball;)
5. Call me crazy, but I think I want an orange couch for the loft. Don't know where I'll find one (for a bargain), but I think I'm officially on the look-out. What would be really awesome is the orange naugahyde couch my college roommate and I had in our first house...well, maybe not.
6. So we got a home phone which is something we haven't had in years (we just use our cell phones for everything). With Hutch working from home some now, we needed a land line. So the girls got all excited about the new four phone system with intercoms that he brought home. The best part was when the they were helping him test the phones and Hutch asked Molly if she could hear a dial tone. Her response was, "Daddy, what's a dial tone?" Poor kids only know cell phones. Anyway, they played with the phones all afternoon yesterday. I kept getting intercom calls in the kitchen from one of the girls upstairs..."Mom, can I have a snack?"..."Mom, what are you doing?"..."Mom, is it time for dinner yet?" Finally, I just stopped answering the intercom altogether:)
"Mom, can you hear me now?!"
Linking up here today!