Thursday, January 31, 2013

7th Grade Math, Dust Bowl, More Sheep....

Still recuperating from the ever hanging on sickness my son and I came home with two weekends seems we are finally on the mend. With lingering coughs, we actually made it outside today to enjoy the sudden warmth and play in the yard a bit, even rake what soon will be the garden and gaze upon the sheep who moved in several months ago but now have finally transitioned to the closest field to our home. What fun it is to see them frolicking about, their babies now bigger, grazing, prancing, ba'ing. Sneakily we attempted to get close and capture some pictures...

More Sheep...

7th Grade Math
We are on new ground as our daughter has spent the later portion of last week researching math programs with us, for her. She needs to see her progress, know she's on the right track grade level wise and challenge herself to learn more, this is what she says she wants, she needs, so we have pursued a program to give her that. We found one we all like, that is affordable and so far she's loving, we did the two day trial and now have signed up. Will it be the last one we use? Who knows, will we find a better fit down the road? Maybe. Never settle or think you've come up with the perfect 'home school' education- as parents we are learning, exploring, researching every day as well.
The program she is using, she is 12yrs and currently in '7th' grade. She is using Middle School Math 2 with: Aleks for Homeschool

Dust Bowl Unit Study
After visiting a local museum when we first moved out here several years ago, both kids have had an interest in learning more about an exhibit they had on the dust bowl. We checked out several books from the library, watched a PBS video, mapped the dust area and talked about the states involved.  There are so many aspects to learn about with this, we barely touched on it. We plan on making another trip to the museum this weekend and see where to go next with our studies on it. Fascinated that they have distant relatives who lived in Oklahoma, and ones who lived in Bakersfield, they plan on doing a sort of family history project and 'interview' grandparents during an upcoming trip in a few months to see them which I think is a fantastic idea. This just opens up more doors for conversation, research, and learning.

PBS Dust Bowl 1 hr Video: PBS Dust Bowl

Tomorrow, Friday we head out to the Library for our weekly trip to pick out new books and head to the park to play with other homeschoolers. Library day is one of the kids favorites. The excitement to receive the books they have placed on hold, the anticipation to look through the shelves to find new adventures and interests. I love it too and love that they enjoy it so. 

Have a lovely Friday and the most wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

4H Smallstock Show...Road Trip

Following us home from our weekend road trip both my son and I caught a cold, coughs, aches and pains, and fevers. Not a great way to end a wonderful weekend. But the weekend was much fun, visiting with old friends, meeting new ones. 4H shows, you can feel the family closeness, the kids love for what they do, their excitement, the dedication. No matter who wins, they are all there just having fun with their friends, its wonderful.  The past few years our daughter has been in two animals projects a year, this was the first year she was in four- Cavy, Rabbit, Poultry and Waterfowl.  It was a big jump in the amount of work and knowledge but she held up well through the long day of showmanship and came out with all blue ribbons and Reserve Grand Champion Jr Showman in Cavy and Reserve Grand Champion Jr Showman in Poultry. We are very proud of her hard work!

Smallstock Show

The best part of the weekend was not the ribbons or medals or winning, it was the friends- kids our daughter hadn't seen in a year even and just like that reconnected because they share this great love of animals and 4H. We are proud to be a part of such a wonderful close knit family organization.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Egypt, Animals, Road Trip

We had a wonderful winter 'break' from schooling as we leisurely read, worked on art projects, cleaned and re-organized and re-arranged bedrooms, played outside a lot and visited with family.

This last week both of the children have found a love for Egypt. They couldn't check enough books out at the library! We have some more on hold, so we'll continue this study next week as well since both children are so involved in it. Mummies, tombs, ancient times, fun and interesting stuff!
 The game 'Pharaoh' which we already had takes place in ancient Egypt where the children both create their own Egyptian family and they have to learn about society then, they build the city are responsible for businesses, have to buy/trade and earn money- it is an all inclusive game that teaches them many important skills, which they have both enjoyed!  Our son is crazy for maps, so we spent time reading his mummy book which documents where 'natural' mummies were found all over the world, so we spent a long time talking about other countries, distances, rivers, oceans.
We also used youtube for full length documentaries about Egypt from National Geographic and the History Channel:  The Pyramid Code

We played some Egyptian games found here: Learning how the mummifying process works: Egyptian Learning Games

Next week we'll be continuing to read our books, learn more about 'business' math/money  with their game and look for facts and truths found when for fun watching 'The Mummy' movie!

Preparing for a show this weekend, both of the kids have spent time studying their animals. Our daughter spent time researching and writing up a paper about each of her breeds of chickens. She also drew pictures and memorized facts. They both worked on parts of chickens and ducks. They also attended a showmanship clinic, dressed in their show clothes and practiced with their animals. We also discussed cold weather temperatures and ways to keep the animals warm.

Road Trip Fun
During road trips we used to have tv screens and plucked in a movie or several movies depending on the drive length, I'm not opposed to movie time but wanted to make that time spent more meaningful, an experience, a learning time, just fun togetherness- So, the last big trip, we traveled 10 hours and made it without any tv- We checked out books on CD and music from the Library and we played 'car' games on the road trip as well. So this trip, following suit, we checked out the following book on CD- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (which is my daughters all time favorite story and she wanted to share with her brother who has never heard it) and a new music CD...only a 4 hour drive so we should be good!
Tonight its fun with 4H, practice, fun with friends, packing then to bed somewhat early....and tomorrow after I go on a short work trip meeting we'll be on our way for a 3 day weekend of fun in a town we've never ventured to for the kids animal show. We love road trips, seeing new places, experiencing fun, meeting new friends.
We hope this weekend finds you on a new adventure as well!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beauty & Death

Glorious, Peaceful, Beauty, Thankfulness
The Sun rising and setting, start of a new day, an end of other days. Early morning thoughtful moments, the quiet, the colors. 

Our children and our family prayed a lot last week when death came to two of our animals, unexplained, questions left unanswered, the children wondered, saddened, it hit them hard. A backyard burial suggested by our son took place, stones on top of the graves as they work this week on head stones. Not trivial to them, the small animals that lay beneath the ground, every creature just as important as the next to them. A few words, a few moments of silence, they will be missed.

RIP Batman and Peach, the Guinea Pigs, Loved immensely by your Two Great Kids

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

And the Sheep Moved In...

The first 8 days of the month have just flown by...with family in town, us trying our hardest to complete the work at the old house to finally be completely out of there, both hubbie and I working, luckily we are on 'break' from home school, and then still attempting to unpack and settle into our new home and keep up on household and animal chores. It's felt overwhelmingly busy. I want to freeze the day, the moments and just play them slower, to have more time. I know that will come.

Today should be the last full day of work at the old house then we can concentrate on our new home. Tomorrow we'll be going back to 'school' and getting into our lovely groove again. Amongst all the busy, crazy, we looked out the kitchen window one morning and had to laugh....

The Sheep were being Moved In!

What a wonderful happy, silly, fun experience to see- we took pictures, stood and watched as the men unloaded the truck fulls of sheep and they flowed out into their new home in the next door fields. A wonderful 'pause' in the busy crazy to enjoy. Reminding us that happy moments can be found and we need to be thankful and grateful always for every cherished experience.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Eve 2012, Happy 2013

NYE, we traveled to Vegas to pick up my sister in law from the airport. With a plane delay, we drove down the strip, the children amazed at so many people and cars in one city. It was a bit overwhelming, the streets flooded with people everywhere. A trip to the mall, to look for treasures with the Christmas money they received. A small toy bought by our son and a unique peacock locket purchased by our daughter. Every where being so crowded, busy, impossible to drive, park to get into a restaurant for food, we went to the airport early and snacked on fruit, lunchables and I treated myself to some yummy hot starbucks coffee.  While waiting for the plane, we played 'I spy', adventured up and down the glass elevator several times, people watched then walked through an aviation museum display the airport had. Our son enjoyed the items from the past, a typewriter, airmail letters, a mannequin dressed in a aviation suit while our daughter stood and read about women pilots and other flights from the past. 

 Upon arriving back home, snuggled up in our jammies, with the space heaters turned on, we enjoyed some Harry Potter as we rang in the New Year. The kids stayed up until midnight for the first time, but snoozed off and on during the movie, tired from the day. With hubbie gone working a long shift for the holiday, we all piled in my bed, myself, two kids, three dogs and we had ourselves a sleepover. So funny that you'd think after such a long day and snoozing through the movie, they would be tired, but all of the sudden, tucked into bed it was time for telling stories, tons of giggles and lots of hugs...then finally peace and sleep which this momma needed. A nice end to the year. 

And here's to the first day of the New Year, may we work hard, live happy, pursue our dreams, enjoy our family and friends and have a wonderful 2013.