Thursday, November 29, 2012

* Fun Advent Idea *

Last year we did the Truth in the Tinsel and had a blast. We were going to do it again this year but I just wasn't sure because we have been pretty busy just getting the basics done around here and everyday we would end up with four new ornaments for the tree. 4 x 24 = a lot of new ornaments.

As I was skimming through my blog reader this morning I saw this post from Erica at Confessions of a Homeschooler. We have the prefect spot to hang this neat banner and the small activities everyday will not overwhelm our small space.

* Oliver H. Kelly Farm Visit *

Over MEA weekend our homeschooling co-op went to the Oliver H. Kelly Pioneer Farm to see the day to day activities of a pioneer family. Oliver Kelly's family had more money that your average family in that time. He purchased 169 acres along the Mississippi River, thinking that the state capitol would be located in Anoka, which was not to be but the farm still stands today, just as it was when the Kelly's lived there.
 This is the chicken yard. There was no such thing as chicken wire then.
 Chicken coop. I love the structure and lines of this building. We will be constructing a new chicken coop next spring and our plan is to build something close to this, if not this exact shape.
 We have some old sliding glass door that would go along this wall of the coop, facing the south. It will keep lots of light in the coop and let what little sunshine we have for heat in, in the winter.
Free range hogs!


 This is the ox cart. The kids had to empty the manure out of it before they could get a ride.
 Four month old Shorthorn calves, they will be in training to become oxen for the next four years.
Love this barn, I really wish we had a hill to build our barn into. We actually have a hill, but it is about 500 ft from our current barn, water, and electricity. Also, I think the kids would be a bit upset if their sledding him became cow pasture.

The wood fired cook-stove. The pieces of wood that fit in the firebox are about 12 inches long and only take about 20 minutes to burn. The children were responsible for filling the wood box, without a reminder from mom.

We had a wonderful day and are hoping to go back next year when the gardens are in full swing and there are more activities for the children to participate in.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

* Our Nature Finds *

We have had lots of nice days here recently so we have taken a time-out from serious school and enjoyed the sunny weather with lots of nature exploration, hands on farm projects, and lots of play. Snow and sub-zero temps are right around the corner.

We have no idea what these little guys will one day be and we lost them before we every got back to the house.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

* Oct. 8 - Oct. 12 *

Monday: Calendar, Geography {NY}, Memory Verse {John 15:4}, Bible {listened to the first 5 chapters of Matthew}, Amish Readers, Handwriting, Math, MFW 1st, WCV - Obedient

Tuesday: Calendar, Geography {MO}, BibleOT Matthew 6 - 10, History, Amish Readers, Editor in Chief, Math Blasters, MFW 1st

Wednesday: Calendar & Exploration Day {Science}

Thursday: enjoyed the weather outside

Friday: Calendar & Fine Arts {Music & Art}

Reading {Black Beauty, Harriet the Spy}
Read Outloud {The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe}

Saturday, October 6, 2012

* Oct. 1 - Oct.5 *

Monday: Calendar, Geography {OH}, Amish Readers, History, Math Detective, MFW 1st, WCV - Content

Tuesday: Calendar, Geography{NE}, Amish Readers, History, Math, MFW 1st

Wednesday & Thursday: Field Trip/Hands-On work prepping for concrete work to be done at the barn.

Friday: Christian Kids Fellowship Homeschool Co-op and library

Reading {Black Beauty, The Wind in the Willows, The Railway Children}
Read Outloud {Chronicles of Narnia: The Magicians Nephew}
Book on Tape {The Secret Garden}

{Better late than never, right?}

Sunday, September 16, 2012

* Preschool Play *

3 - 2 - 1 - Blast Off

* Sept. 9 - Sept. 13 Wrap-Up *

Our first week went so smoothly. The kids and I had so much fun and it was incredibly calm. They even asked if we could do school on Saturday and Sunday. I told them we could  read our read-outloud books and maybe do calendar time.

Monday: Calendar, We Choose Virtues - Diligence, History, Amish Readers, Read, Write, Build (RWB) Mats, Critical Thinking Skills Workbooks, Multi/Divis. Math Work, Game - Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego, Read out-loud-Little Toot and Strawberry Girl

Tuesday: Calendar, Diligence, Geography (ID), Amish Readers, History, Handwriting, Editor in Chief,           Grace - comprehensive workbook, RWB Mats, Read out-loud - The Snowy Day and Strawberry Girl

Wednesday: Calendar, Diligence, Geography (CT), History, Editor in Chief, Read out-loud - A Blessing from Above, Flip the Dolphin, Corduroy and Strawberry Girl

Thursday: Calendar, Diligence, Geography (MD), History, Editor in Chief, Math (Rods and WB), Read out-loud - The Cats of Tiffany Street, A Lion Grows Up, I Like Cats, and Strawberry Girl

Science was a skip week this week.

The kids are reading:

Asa: Black Beauty
Zach: Beast Quest
Grace and I: The Little Princess

Friday, September 7, 2012

* MFW First Grade *

When I did my curriculum post I planned on picking up MFW kindergarten where we left off last spring but realized that Grace is writing and reading three and four letter words. We are going to do a review of letters and numbers but I think she is ready for MFW First Grade.

* Starting School Early *

Today was our first day of homeschooling co-op and even though I brought the camera I didn't get a single picture taken. I help with the preschool class and my older kids were off and running. They had such a blast! My oldest said he had such a good time that it wouldn't even fit into the Azure truck (which is the semi-truck that comes to bring our monthly co-op food orders).

With the excitement of the day still fresh, I have been questioned and begged to start school. They wanted to start tomorrow but we have soccer tomorrow. We start on Monday.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

* Free Periodic Table Lessons *

This free element lesson on Aluminum (including a coloring page) will help you get a feel for teaching the elements of the periodic table to your kids, and developing lesson plans for the other elements.

* New Classroom Chairs *

So, after having the wood all cut in the correct pieces for about four months, I finally got to finish these chairs. They are from Anna White of Knock Off Wood and they were pretty easy to build.

 The were under $4 to build, light enough for an 18 month old to pick up and stack-able.
Isn't this a cute little desk. It was a freebie on the side of the road. The kids love it and are still fighting over who gets to sit there. I think my daughter has claimed it as her own.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

* Brotherly Love *

I have one child that doesn't need as much sleep as everyone else and has a hard time falling asleep. An almost four year old that is trying to cut out naps but falls asleep at 5pm and sleeps till 7pm. They are snuggling and reading stories at the moment (11:05pm). Makes this mama's heart sing, to know that they are such good buddies.

* Our Normal Crazy Day *

Living on a farm one would expect us all to be up at dawn and I wish that were so but we seem to be night owls, not morning birds. As much as I have tried to change that (and some progress has been made) getting up early is not always easy to do. I am working on getting myself out of bed at 5 but having insomnia and a husband that works partial nights doesn't help any.

Our day usually begins about 9 when I wake everyone up and we all go outside to do our respective chores; me milking, feeding cows and sheep while hubby supervises the kids while they do all the poultry chores. When the kids are done (usually before me) they head inside and start breakfast. I bring milk in the house to bottle, eat breakfast and then we all clean up (on a good morning).

We haven't started our book school yet (our summers are filled with semi-structured learning, more hands on and practical) so our schedule isn't nail down perfectly. We really don't watch the clock, we have a routine more than anything else. We start with Bible and memory verses, then reading/grammar/spelling/writing, onto math, and then history. We alternate our science between Apologia Astronomy, Zoology 3 and the Big Bag of Science. We do art and music twice a week.

Lunch happens late, when we are hungry (since we usually eat brunch) or when we need break. We try to make it to the library at least once a week. The late afternoon is usually filled with garden/farm activities (the hope in starting in October this year is that most, if not all, of that work will be done). Asa sometimes goes and mows the lawn for his papa or drags fields in the late afternoon if it isn't too hot.

We are pretty good about getting supper between 5 - 6, devotions after supper and then we shoot for starting night chores at 7. The biggest issue with night chores are the chickens won't go in until dark, so in the middle of the summer that means 10 pm, thus achieving the not-so-good habit of staying up late and sleeping in was formed. (This was the first summer that the kids have been fully in charge of chores when their dad is at work at night on the weekends). I try to milk around 7, but most of the time that gets pushed back to 8 because I am trying to get caught up on all those house chores that went half finished for the day (my biggest pet peeve is unfinished projects). By the time I get finish milking, feeding, filling water tanks, and then bottling milk it is usually ten.

Some nights the kids are great about bed because they are really tired and then there are the nights when everyone is over tired and really ornery. So, working on going to bed earlier and getting up earlier will be the main goal over the next few weeks.

This is share at the iHomeschool "Not" Back-to-School Blog Hop, A Day in the Life

Friday, August 24, 2012

* School Pictures *

 We are not officially starting our new year until October but since we homeschool year round I thought this picture was perfect. This is a picture that the kids needed for their 4H club booth at the county fair (which they won grand champion on).

Asa is 10 and will being doing 5th and 6th grade work. Zach, just turned nine and will be doing 3rd and 4th grade work. Grace is 5.5 and will be doing K and 1st grade work.
Jairden will be doing preschool.

This is part of iHomeschool's Not-Back-To-School Blog Hop Student Photo Week

* Curriculum Downloads *

Extra storage needed! I have hit the jackpot when it comes to homeschooling material downloads the last few days. Lots of great titles from the iHomeschool Omnibus Package and fifteen free titles from CurrClick yesterday! Homeschool Creations also had these awesome Calendar Notebook Pages.

Working hard on getting all my household stuff done today/tonight so I have the time this weekend to really dig in to all my finds. Might have to make a run for more copy paper.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

* Barnstormers Airshow *

This was a free event held by the local airport. Planes and vehicles were from the 20's and 30's. The pilot who flew the plane owned the plane and they were from all around the US. The kids had tons of fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

* Our School Space *

The second week of the NBTS blog hop is sharing our school space. It is a constant work in progress and has been re-arrange a number of times to suit our needs. Most of the storage space that we have has been stolen recycled from other places in the house, which means our school room is rather organized, the rest of the house, not so much.

Our school space is in our partially finished basement. It needs a fresh coat of paint, the trim work finished and the ceiling tiles put up, but since we farm, our productive months are the summer months, maybe when it turns cold.

This wall is our calendar wall. We have printables from several blogs (I will have to add links later when I can match printables with creators). We have several maps, our bible time line from MFW first grade(barely visible at the very top) and I will be adding a wipe erase board that is also magnetic.

The table with a blue top is actually our game table but it does double duty as a school desk really well. We have Lego games and art supplies on the small set of shelves, lots of science stuff, our globe, magazine type boxes that work as holders for modified work box system. More art supplies in the colorful bins and lots of books below them. The little round table is used for the littles and we also have another small table so the little ones can have their own special places.
Better shot of "big blue" (what the boys call the game table) and the wire cubbies hold games and puzzles. The wall with the big shelving system (thank you hubby) holds school books, school games, more books for reading and the really, really, really messy art supplies are in the top spaces.
More wire cubbies holding an assortment of things and because we have so little wall space we use the doors to display our We Choose Virtues posters.

There are over 500 participants in this blog hop and since I love looking at other schoolers set-ups, I may be busy for awhile.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saturday, August 11, 2012