Wednesday, August 29, 2012

FIAR- Three Names

We enjoyed some lemonade and gluten free cookies just like they did in the story.
We made coconut macroons and chocolate chip cookies from Elana's Pantry.

I was having a hard time explaining to Robin how an outhouse worked so I figured why not build one. So we took our studies outside (another reason I LOVE homeschooling) We dug a hole (during this time we talked about root cellars, as well and felt how cold the earth was when we got deeper and deeper into the soil.) then placed a toilet paper tube down into the dirt just leaving a bit out of the soil.
 We packed the soil all around it for stability.
 Next we used a piece of cardboard to place over the hole we made so you could sit down on it. ( well if you were that little) Robin's Barbie doll  used this restroom later in the afternoon. Barbie didn't want picture of that posted online though!

Finally we cut a door in a orange juice container and cut the bottom off as well to place over the top of the toilet.

Now she totally understand how an outhouse works! It was a very quick and crude example of how an outhouse works but pretty clever ( if I do say so myself) to whip up in 5 minutes using stuff I had sitting in our craft box.

Our black lab keeping Robin company near what she uses as a desk when we do school work.
He was not laying on her feet like Three names did to Grandfather though, but if it was winter time he may have.

This is our neighbors foster pup, a Golden retriever just like Three names. She is training this dog to be a service dog, The pup visits us everyday as part of his training to get well accustomed to children and many distractions. We read Magic Tree House fact Tracker Dog Hero's we talked about how Three names wasn't a service dog but was defiantly a helper dog to the Grandfather. He Would have never let him get lost on the Prairie.

We went for a walk through a Prairie, we also practiced spelling words on a slate just like Grandfather.

We visited a one room school house back in June and Robin remembered all about it. The School was just like the one grandfather went to. We went back through  the pictures and went back out to visit the school house again.

Notice the tin lunch pail and slates on the steps?
Just like Grandfather's schoolhouse, you can just see the outhouse's through the back door.

I had a hard time finding a set of marbles ( I guess kids really don't play these type of games anymore) I did find some in the dollar section of Toys R Us. After a walk in the park with some friends I got out the marbles that I had brought with me.

The older kids had so much fun playing with them.

The littles were having a good time as well just sorting them and rolling them into the circle.

The kids have been playing marbles all week and even coming up with their own new ways to play!

We also  read many additional books  about Prairies, Horses, and dogs.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

FIAR - Storm In The Night.

We read the Five In A Row book Storm In The Night

Some other books we read to go along with the story. I was happy that mother nature gave us a few thunder and lighting storms so we could observe the weather we were reading about first hand.

This was not a favorite of Robin's, she said it was long and boring.

I cut out of people of all ages so she could sort them into 3 groups on 3 of our circle time rugs.

1.Older than Mommy
2.Mommy's age
3.Younger than Mommy

She did very well except for 1 picture that she put in the Mommy pile. It was a very old Woman (much older than me) with dark hair and lots of wrinkles. The dark hair made her think it belonged in the middle age group (Eek I am middle aged then!)but upon closer examination you could see the many wrinkles on her face.

We also talked about the differences in the age groups and if they could all do the same things, or if they might need specialty products like dentures.

My Dad has dentures and when he came over he popped them out for the kids to see and they were shocked, they did not know he had fake teeth. He then explained that if you don't take good care of your teeth this would happen to you.
Pictures Robin and Owl did of clouds and lightning after reading that story.

We made Storm Smoothies, the kids liked watching the cyclone in the blender.

Just a mix of Spinach, blueberries, Plain Yogurt and bananas
We also ate clouds (Whipped cream) and raindrops (blueberries)

Raindrop limbo

I used a suspension rod and hung raindrops from it, the kids had so much fun playing under the raindrops.

More Mushroom Hunting

Worked on a on a quick symmetry project
Some symmetrical works they did.

Nature studies
We went on a mushroom hunt this week through the forest again This week we came prepared  with a  backpack full of mushroom identification books  paper, clipboards, pencils and towels  to  sit on.  Our neighbors joined us this time  and her kids seemed to really enjoys spotting all the types of mushroom. She was even amazed by all the different types of mushrooms we found.
 A favorite of the kids was this little dark orange mushroom they called it a  Cheetos  mushroom, we never did identify it.
 Robin hunting for mushrooms
 The boys checking out the sites down a ravine.
 This is a chicken mushroom and totally edible..
 When you break it apart it looks  just like cooked chicken!
 I love the happy little slug hanging out on the mushroom.
Sketching the mushroom with a slug on it.


I am using Story of The World for history with Robin. This week we learned all about Archaeology and the kids went on a dig in out back yard and we examined our artifacts carefully to see what we could learn about the people who left these items behind. I buried various items in the dirt for them to dig up, they had fun all week long burying them and digging them back up.

Falcon has been reading about evolution and wrote a 2 page report on the life and discoveries of Charles Darwin.

Reading room
I am Still trying to get through 50 Shades of Grey.

Falcon is reading:
Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Robin is reading:
Dingos at Dinnertime and American Girl Marie- Grace Cecile books.

Monday, August 20, 2012

FIAR- Who Owns the Sun

We read many other stories to go along with Who Owns The Sun sun. Surprisingly the story that I thought she would like best  she did not care for so much and she LOVED this book. Its a great  true story about a man who was shipped in a box to freedom. A must read!She asked me to read this again and again.

We got out a box and I had the kids take turns inside the box while I slid it around the room and gently flipped it over so they really got a feel for what Henery went through.

We also started reading the newer American girl books Marie-Grace and Cecile
These are historic charecters set in New Orleans in 1853 this was a great extension to  our studies with who owns the sun.

One of our extension stories talked about how the slaves only ate scraps and food that the white owners would not eat. We cooked Collard greens and cornbread for dinner just like the slaves ate out in the fields in the story Working Cotton. I also used up some ox tail from our grassfed cow and made ox tail soup.
Ox tail soup, cornbread, collard greens, and watermelon.

By the end of the week the kids had a good understanding of what slaves went through and what the Underground railroad was.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Magical Blue Mushrooms

With my littles ones we are reading 1 book a week and expanding all sorts of education and projects to go along with it. We had fun reading Dog's Colorful day

We started  learning about the history of money and the value. I made these fun jars to have the kids sort money.

We made a special lucky penny jar to add all the coins we may find.

I took out the family tree my Grandfather made by hand over 40 years ago. This family tree goes back to the 1800's when the first of our family came over from Scotland. My mother said she spent her whole childhood at graveyards while her dad researched, maybe that's why I love graveyards to much

The little branch that is forked is my mom and her twin.
 The original was framed at our cities Main library branch for years. It's taken down now but in their archive room in a vault with other local art pieces. I need to have another print done so I can frame it sometime very soon.

Every time I  look at this tree I am in awe of the work this took.

The children made their own family trees  which were so cute.

This is a very cute story about grouping things together to make families.
I didn't think Owl was even listening but as soon as the story was over and they were eating snack I saw him group is veggie fries together into families. He was so proud!

After snack Duck and Owl got out the counting bears and started sorting them into bear families.

As A family we learned all about Slavery and the Underground Railroad  reading through  the Five in a Row book Who Owns the Sun. I am doing a separate blog post on that next week.

Robin started  Teaching Textbooks math 3 and Falcon Adgebra1

Nature studies:
On a walk through the forest I spotted a TON of mushrooms when they shouldn't be popping up yet until much later in the year (maybe it's a sign for an early winter.) So we went on a mushroom hunt and found at least 20 different types. Luckily I had Falcon's camera so we took a ton of pictures.
Top of mushroom
 The bottom was not gilled so I was curious to feel it when I touched it it turned BLUE!
You can see the stem broken off exposed to air turned blue as well and every time you touched it it would turn blue, like a bruise. This did NOT stain your fingers nor did any blue get on us at all. It was a very weird magical mushroom.

After a quick google search we were easily able to identify it as a Blue-Staining Bolete check out this link halfway down is a video of them cutting the mushroom and watching it turn blue. It was such a neat find.  Strange that we didn't find this mushroom in any of the 4 mushroom identifying books we checked out at the library.

Monday, August 13, 2012

First day of School

 Back to the books. I was hoping to have 6 complete full weeks planned out for all 4 kids before we started BUT I procrastinated a bit to much and found MANY things to distract me from doing lesson planning. I did manage to get about 65% of it done and I will continue working on that through this week.

Day one went well. the first day usually does, its usually a few weeks in that gets hard. We did get all assignments that I had planned done  today. Falcon  had some issues today but he is almost 12 and anyone who has a preteen knows just what I am talking about with the attitude. At the beginning of the day I had him write out on a piece of paper to be hung up on the wall that ANY work turned into me with illegible sloppy handwriting and improper sentence structure will jeed to be fixed that day. I was really hoping that this would help but Falcon had to rewrite 4 assignments and had quite the attitude about it so he was doing push up's and jumping jacks as punishment. If you didn't already know I run a children's boot camp at my house, failure to  pay attention and attitudes will be addressed with physical labor.

We did manage to  take a walk with our neighbors and play at the park for almost 2 hours.

An exciting event of the day was playing with our neighbors foster puppy that will be used as a therapy dog.

Have you started school yet? How have your Days gone?

Friday, August 10, 2012

School Planning = late nights

Homeschooling stuff
I have spent many late nights this week watching Grey's Anatomy  (my new addiction) and  trying to organize school stuff in a logical order and write up lesson plans. The last few years I have been a bit unschooly but this year I  want to have a better plan on what I want the children to accomplish. My biggest fail last year was not having the supplies I needed to do science and crafts that go along with things we were learning. I will be continuing my late night planning through the weekend because I sure do know how to party!

I have more events, field trips and outside activities planned for the kids this year than previous years BUT this is the first year I don't have a baby. My youngest is now 3! So life might be easier and harder depending on how you look at it.

Robin had entered 5 projects  for Girl Scouts in the state fair and she ended up getting first place  three projects.
1.Art and art History project on Monet
2.Saving the Monarch project
3.Friendship project
She got Second on two as well.
1. First Aid project where she made first aid kits
2. Candy, she made old fashioned honey candy
Our troop entered 3 projects and we got first on all of them and one won the Grand award!

Robin was at art camp with her best friend this week and had a lot of fun.

Robin started Taekwondo this week and looks so cute in her uniform. Falcon is also helping co- teach the class. I don't know  who was more excited  Falcon or Robin. Now Duck wants to know when he can start.

We took this week off school so we can start our official school year next week.

In My Life
I have been doing a modified juice fast this week only  juicing my foods and eating raw fruits and veggies. I threw a few to many hot peppers in a juice this week and my lips, throat, and stomach were on  FIRE. Then the next juice I made which was cabbage,carrots, apples, and grapes was super spicy too!.I clean the juicer overtime so not sure what happened there but I am going to soak everything and see how my next juice turns out.

On Wednesday night Papabird and I decided to break our juice fast and eat Chinese. That was a BAD Idea. You are supposed to ease off juice fasts so its not a shock to your body before through something in it like Chinese full of MSG and other nasty hard to digest foods. Well I learned my lesson I  had pain so bad on my right side I couldn't move well So I  went to my doctor ( google)  and found out that it must be appendicitis so  then I off to google all natural treatments and started treating my self for that. I am in a lot less pain now but this will be a lesson that sticks with me.

On the morning that  I was in so much pain my youngest boys were playing so  nicely in the basement I should have kwon that was a bad sign, but I was in so much pain I didn't care. When I went down stairs to tell the boys it was time to leave to pick up Robin from art camp I almost cried. This is what I found.

They took everything off of every shelf and dumped everything thing out of every container. This is a game they play called "garbage"

So When I cam home from getting Robin Mommy played her game called "Garbage" and  filled 2 bags up with toys to be donated to Goodwill.

My favorite thing week....
Was going on a long bike ride with Falcon. When he first asked to come with me I told him no because I wanted to just be by myself and listen to the new music I just uploaded and my ipod, plus he slows me down. After I was gone for about 10 minutes I felt guilty for not letting him go so I turned around and went back to get him. We then went on a very long hour and a half long bike ride up to the university and had some great conversations about life, liberty, education, and the pursuit of happiness. I am so glad I changed my mind and went back for him..

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Shell shocked!

Whats going in in my life
My bathroom drain in the sink got all stopped up so my friend came over to fix it. Crazy thing is that I have paid plumbers numerous times to come fix mt slow drain and all they did was snake it through the drain hole. My friend took off the bottom elbow joint and cleaned out all sorts of hair, a pencil and all sorts of yuck. Then he ran a snake through the hole in the wall. Now my drain runs better than it ever has when I paid so called professionals out of the phone book. I always say "you get what you pay for" well not in this case he did such a great job! Now my kitchen drain is having issues I knew it was going to happen eventually due to my really bad quick fix repair on it about a year ago I have been playing Russian roulette with it ever since. I am hoping to get my friend back over to fix that as well.
I took Falcon shoe shopping and was pretty sad now that he has moved up to men sizes and is no longer in boys, seems like just yesterday he was just  learning to walk and I took him to get his first real shoes.
I finally did some family pictures of the kids. On the first day I messed them up because I didn't shoot them in the RAW I got distracted when messing with the settings when Owl tried to run out in front of a car. So after 1 hour of getting them all dressed and pretty and then another 2 hours doing the shoot.  Only a handful look good and that's if I turn them into black and whites. So the next day I convinced them to get dressed up and try again. We went to a different location this time to break up the monotony and the kids had a lot of fun this time out at a State park we got some great shots and had a lot of fun while were were out there,
Duck having fun with a turtle shell in the nature center at the State park after I did their pictures.

We had a brick thrown through the window of our office BLDG.Cops say that thieves have been doing that to see the reaction time of the security system and if they have anyone in the BLDG. at night. Lucky for us, our renters upstairs were there and ran out after the guy. Papa birds has stayed every night up there this week and will until we have the glass block company come and install our new glass block windows.
I was sad to see the cemetary that I have been riding my bike in at night finally fix the big hole in the gate I was getting in. I guess I will now have to go earlier in the evening when the main gates are still open. I love riding my bike through there, it's so quite and peaceful.

Homeschooling fun
I have had  very little motivation this week and really have been a slacker all summer I have done very little schooling with the kids compared to other years, and feeling a bit guilty over it. One thing I hate about homeschooling is that you have your kids entire education in your hands which just makes you worry and have self doubt even more.I know play is just as important as education because they learn through play

We did finish our  studies on Picasso we did 4 works of art from 4 different periods. I am still working on the blog entry and how to display these wonderful works of art.
A sneak peek at Robin's work during Picasso's Blue Period
Robin has won 3 first place ribbons for girl scout projects she did for the state fair. The awards ceremony will be this Sunday to see if she will win grand prize in those categories. She won a grand prize last year for her fly life cycle projects.
This year her projects she won is was
1. saving the Monarch
2. A friendship project that that she did about her 87 year old friend from Poland ( our neighbor)
3. An art   history watercolor project she did on Monet.

She is competing against her best friend in the friendship project (kind of ironic) for Grand prize.
Reading Room
I am still working through 50 Shades of Grey
My library posted a link to 16 books they are turning into movies here
I have read a few but just requested a few from the library

I picked this because I thought it would make an interesting school read for Falcon. I just need to read it first to make sure it is an age appropriate read.
Falcon has been reading
Seeds of Rebellion (Beyonders)
and reading through

Owl has been sneaking this in bed every night

I think the kids and I need some forest therepy next week.

Science now confirms the forests healing influence on the body. When you spend a few hours on a woodland hike or camping by a lake you breathe in phytoncides, active substances released by plants to protect them against insects and from rotting, which appear to lower blood pressure and stress and boost your immune system.