April 29, 2008

Studying Earthworms

We had a lot of fun studying earthworms in preparation for our very first dissection, and I thought I would share some of the online resources that we found to be helpful.

Check out Worm World for basic information about the habitat, lifestyle and reproduction of worms, as well as how to build a wormery to observe these wiggly creatures in more detail.
Discovery Kids has put together a very informative site called Yucky Worm World. Did you know that worms are recyclers? See them in action yourself by making a worm bin. At Yucky Worm World, you will also encounter Mary the Worm Woman, learn all about earthworms, and visit Wendell the Worm's cousins.

How would you like to read a worm's autobiography? Visit The Adventures of Herman the Worm, where Herman shares his history, family tree, anatomy and many other interesting facts. He even offers worm games to play.

K-2 Teachers will appreciate ReadWriteThink's Digging Up Details on Worms lesson plan, which includes a booklist and directions for making a worm habitat. These lessons could be adapted for older students.

Older students living in Canada might enjoy a more in-depth study of earthworms by participating in Worm Watch. Even if you do not live in Canada, this site offers a very helpful page detailing external earthworm anatomy and a basic earthworm dissection worksheet. Don't miss their Virtual Worm Tour!

Why stop at earthworms? Glencoe Science sends older students on a WebQuest to classify and compare worms. This site lists some great resources and includes a teacher's page and worm comparison worksheet.

I learned so much about earthworms during this study; they are amazing creatures! Enjoy the links.
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May. 1, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

Good for you! I am glad to see them in my garden, but difficult for me to dig further into research with these squrimy critters! We may have to dissect them next year.
Blessings,
Laurie

May. 1, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by ApplesofGold

Wow-thank you for all these great links!! Holly


April 28, 2008

Homeschool Hi-Lights: Colonial Times Research

Ellen from Fun Learning is hosting a meme called Homeschool Hi-Lights. To participate, write a post about a highlight from your past week of home learning, then go to Fun Learning's Homeschool Hi-Lights post for the week and add your post's permalink to Mr. Linky.

Last week's highlights were related to our Tapestry of Grace studies again. Everyone is researching topics for our upcoming colonial times unit celebration.

Nathan decided to do a display board about pirates. I asked him sketch a layout for his board, and I was amazed at how quickly he selected appropriate topics to research. We found several books to go along with his topics, and he seems to be enjoying his research.

Jordan decided to learn about Native American tribes during colonial times. He checked out a huge stack of books from the library and is busy devouring them and excitedly sharing his new knowledge with me.

Allyson did quite a bit of research and writing on colonial living. She created a layout for her display board in Microsoft Word to help keep her on track. I was quite impressed with her creativity. By using Word, she can easily add, delete or move topics for her mock-ups as she continues her research. Here is a picture of Allyson's layout so far.

0428-colonial living

Kathryn has been very busy researching colonial fashion and creating a pictorial display. I am looking forward to seeing her completed project; it promises to be quite interesting and visually pleasing.

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Apr. 28, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Wow, great stuff! I know they are enjoying their hard work and the results will be super. Thanks for sharing. Julie http://funinthesunmom.blogspot.com

Apr. 28, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by pottershand

Sounds like you all have been busy. Enjoy your study and all that goes with it.

Apr. 29, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Training Hearts

You have all been very busy! Your daughter's computer layout for Colonial fashion was neat to see done that way.

May your week be filled with many blessings!
~Tamara

Apr. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Ellen

It looks like each one has found a fun Colonial times topic to learn about. It's great that they are enjoying the research so much.
http://ellenfunlearning.blogspot.com/

Apr. 30, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

That is wonderful!
Blessings,
Laurie


April 27, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Apr 28


Today is another Menu Plan Monday. The Vegetable Casserole à la Foremole that I made last week was delicious! I made some whole wheat drop biscuits to make the dinner more filling, though. This recipe would be more frugal in late summer or early fall, but Kathryn really wanted to make a recipe from her Redwall Cookbook, and that was the one she chose. The Red Beans, Barley and Sausage Stew was so quick to put together that I decided to put it on the menu again for this Sunday!

If you want to see others' menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

Monday

Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, fruit
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Corn Chowder

Tuesday

Breakfast: bacon and eggs, oatmeal
Lunch: PB & J
Dinner: Spaghetti, salad

Wednesday

Breakfast: Five Grain Hot Cereal, milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Creamed Tuna & Peas, brown rice, salad

Thursday

Breakfast: Yogurt with Homemade Granola and fruit
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Lentil Soup

Friday

Breakfast: Blender Batter Pancakes, fruit, milk
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices
Dinner: Garlicky Potatoes and Sausage

Saturday

Breakfast: Smoothies
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Homemade Mac & Cheese, salad

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge, milk
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: Red Beans, Barley and Sausage Stew

April 24, 2008

Outdoor Hour: A Fun Afternoon of Observation

The eighth Outdoor Hour Challenge assignment emphasizes the use of lenses and close observation in nature study.

We read about spiders and cobwebs in The Handbook of Nature Study and discussed basic spider anatomy in comparison with insect anatomy before heading outdoors. I asked the kids to get our magnifying glasses, but we were so anxious to be outside that we forgot about them. We did remember a bug container that has a magnifying glass built into the lid.

We had to look indoors for cobwebs. Either it was too bright to see them or it is too early in the spring for a ton of spider activity outside. Here are some pictures of a cobweb we found in the garage:

cobweb with fly

cobweb

cobweb and spiders2

Here are a couple of blooms:

forsythia

flowering pear tree

I don't have much to show in the way of pictures from our outing. We didn't do any journal pages because the kids ended up staying outside observing insects all afternoon; they were doing a wonderful nature study on their own and I didn't want to stifle them. We did see at least two different spiders that we will identify this week. I would like to have the kids begin their field guide cards once we identify the spiders.

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Apr. 27, 2008 - Green Hour Activity- Grow a plant that moves when you tickle it!

Posted by Mark

I thought your families that homeschool would enjoy an educational indoor gardening adventure, growing the TickleMe Plant (Mimosa pudica). This activity was featured recently by the National Gardening Associations Kids Store, http://www.kidsgardeningstore.com/14-1030.html
If you want to give your homeschoolers to have an experience they will never forget, consider having them grow a TickleMe Plant. This is the plant that will close its leaves and lower its branches when you tickle it. They sprout in days and can be grown indoors any time of year. Just Google TickleMe Plants or go to www.TickleMePlant.com for seeds and growing kits. The TickleMe Plant will encourage your child's interest in plants and respect for nature.
Happy Growing,
Mark

Apr. 27, 2008 - Insects and spiders

Posted by HarmonyArtMom

These are some of my favorite things to look at with the magnifying lens. They sort of look like monsters at first but then you really look more carefully and you realize how wonderfully made they are.

I am so glad you didn't interrupt their nature time with journals. :)

Great job,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

May. 10, 2008 - Great work!

Posted by mamasmurf

Sometimes it's just "the right thing" to let your children take the lead in outdoor activities. I don't know if I'd be able to take such a close-up look at spiders, though (they give me the collywobbles!).
~Chrissy


April 21, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Apr 21


Today is another Menu Plan Monday. If you want to see others' menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

Monday

Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, fruit
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Tuna Melts

Tuesday

Breakfast: bacon and eggs, oatmeal
Lunch: PB & J
Dinner: Garlicky White Beans and Broth

Wednesday

Breakfast: Five Grain Hot Cereal, milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Vegetable Casserole à la Foremole (from Kathryn's Redwall Cookbook)

Thursday

Breakfast: Yogurt with Homemade Granola and fruit
Lunch: Leftovers (hopefully)
Dinner: Sloppy Joes (from freezer), green beans

Friday

Breakfast: Blender Batter Pancakes, fruit, milk
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices
Dinner: Potato Chowder

Saturday

Breakfast: Smoothies
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Spaghetti, salad

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge, milk
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: Red Beans, Barley and Sausage Stew

April 20, 2008

Homeschool Hi-Lights: Colonial Times Projects

Ellen from Fun Learning invited me to join her new meme: Homeschool Hi-Lights. To participate, just write a post about a highlight from your past week of home learning, then go to Fun Learning's Homeschool Hi-Lights post for the week and add the link to your post to Mr. Linky.

Last week was a great week for hands-on projects at our house. I have always had difficulty implementing the hands-on activities portion of Tapestry of Grace, so I am quite excited. We are currently studying colonial times. Several of the projects are from Great Colonial America Projects You Can Build Yourself, which is available for free here (free registration required).

Nathan made a lantern out of a tin can; Jordan made a paper backpack; Allyson made a cipher wheel, a ring-and-pin game, a bilbo catcher, a pomander, and a broom out of newspaper; and Kathryn made a pomander, a miniature table, and miniature chairs.

We also had a very successful nature study on Thursday.

If you would like to participate in this brand new meme or read other Homeschool Hi-Lights, then mosey on over to Fun Learning.

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Apr. 20, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Ellen

What a lot of neat hands-on projects. I can't believe you got all of those ideas for free. I've bookmarked the link. My kids like making things. And I like the fact that they learn from the projects. Thank you so much for participating in the first edition of this new meme. I really appreciate that you joined in.
http://ellenfunlearning.blogspot.com/

Apr. 21, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

I love to hear of kids doing all that hands on stuff! Sounds like everyone had fun. I joined this too this week. IM over at blogger so I will leave my link.

http://peterpanandfamily.blogspot.com

Apr. 21, 2008 - heather @ http://untraditionalhome.com.

Posted by Anonymous Have to download that one--my oldest LOVES project books

Apr. 21, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

Wow! We don't even craft that fast! I have a friend who is blogging about those very lanterns I think!
Blessings,
Laurie

Apr. 23, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

That looks like such fun! I know my kiddos enjoy learning more when they can do hands-on projects like that. We had a fun nature study last week, too. Thanks for sharing your hi-light. Julie http://funinthesunmom.blogspot.com


April 19, 2008

Our Earthworm Dissection

We dissected an earthworm a couple of weeks ago to complement our current Outdoor Hour Challenge studies. The kids requested that we do the dissection outside because they weren't sure they would be able to eat dinner later if we set up in the kitchen. So, we decided to set up in the driveway - yes, in our front yard, for all to see. It was early enough that I didn't think anyone would complain. :-)

getting the tables ready

I had two earthworms that I bought from Home Science Tools, so I paired the kids up into two teams. Here are Nathan and Allyson, getting ready to pin down their worm. This picture really captures their enthusiasm for this project.

Looks gross!

Here are Jordan and Kathryn, pinning down their worm. They were only slightly more enthusiastic than their siblings.

Kathryn getting ready

I have no idea what they thought the masks would do; they didn't stay on. I won't gross you out by putting any more pics on this entry. I didn't get very many anyway, as I was busy going back and forth teaching and explaining. If you really want to see them, you can go to my Worm Dissection set.

I wasn't quite sure if the enthusiasm for dissections of my younger years would resurface once I pulled the specimens out. However, as soon as the cutting began, I began to enjoy myself. I was pretty tempted to take over a couple of times, but I refrained and let the kids do the dissecting. Maybe I should order another grasshopper for myself for the next dissection. It actually would be better if I could demonstrate rather than having the kids look at pictures with me explaining. We weren't able to see everything clearly because of some sloppy cutting, but overall I thought it went really well.

I'll list the supplies needed for one dissection specimen in case someone is interested. I purchase my supples from Home Science Tools, but you can find these at any science supply store. I always wait to order until I get a 10% off or free shipping coupon code from their Science Explorations newsletter, which is extremely informative. You do have to check the box to receive promotions when you sign up if you would like to receive coupon code information.

This is what we actually bought since we will be performing more dissections:

That is enough to do two earthworms, two grasshoppers and two frogs. The Introductory Kit includes everything you need to dissect one earthworm, one grasshopper and one frog (one of each specimen, tools, three styrofoam dissection trays, and a dissection guide for each specimen). I thought that my actual purchase list might be helpful for anyone wanting to do two specimens; it took me some time to make sure I had everything I needed before ordering. We did have to use some sewing pins for our worm because we didn't have enough dissection pins. They worked well for the earthworm, but if I was going to do it again, then I would order the 100/pack.

This was an extremely informative study. We learned some amazing things about earthworms. I'll do a separate entry with earthworm links another time.

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Apr. 20, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Ellen

I've started a new homeschool meme for Mondays and I thought that you might be interested. If you want to participate, just write a post about a highlight from your past week of home learning. Then, come to my blog and sign Mr. Linky.
http://ellenfunlearning.blogspot.com/

Apr. 21, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

We'll be dissecting next year. Ugh. My SIL was going to help but with working and pregnant and active toddler, I may have to beg her! She's a vet so she loves this kind of thing. I've also planned on setting up outside!
Blessings,
Laurie


April 18, 2008

What My Children Have Taught Me

I decided to participate in the Heart of the Matter Online Meme this week. The topic today is: The Things Your Child Taught You During Homeschool.

The greatest and most difficult lesson that my children have taught me is to see my sin reflected in them. You know those incidents when you say, "Where did s/he get that from?" And then, if you honestly reflect, you find that s/he got it from you! It might not display itself in exactly the same way, but the root issue is the same. I hope that this is something I would have learned regardless of my children's educational setting, but constant companionship seems to sharpen my vision. My husband and I often recognize sin issues in ourselves when praying about and dealing with a child's disobedience or ungodly character traits. It is very humbling.

Homeschooling has definitely helped me learn flexibility. I love order, schedules, routine, you name it! I still enjoy putting together a skeleton of order for our days, but I am much more relaxed than I used to be when things don't turn out my way. I've also learned to recognize that my way is not always God's way. Well, I should say that I am learning to recognize this. :-)

I just thought of another lesson that I am learning by homeschooling: the value of time. There is only so much time in the day, we only have our children so long, and we only have a certain number of years in our lives. The world says to live life to the fullest on your own terms. Psalm 90:12 says, "Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." I want to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that I use the time I have wisely. I want to be available for God's use, whether that is in my family, community, church...wherever, as long as I am in His will.

It seems that homeschooling is full of lessons: perseverance, patience, humility, increased sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.... Although I have been homeschooling for 8 years now, when I look at this journey as lessons to be learned, it feels like I have just begun.

This meme definitely caused some introspection on my part. If you want to participate, go to Heart of the Matter.

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Apr. 18, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Ellen

I know exactly what you mean about recognizing our own sin issues in our children. When I worked on not getting angry often, I noticed that my son's anger issue got better, too.
http://ellenfunlearning.blogspot.com/

Apr. 18, 2008 - Uh!

Posted by Anonymous

You've been in my home, haven't you? LOL So true and honest. Great post! Thanks so much for sharing your heart. And you have such a beautiful blog.

Kysha
http://humblemama.blogspot.com

Aug. 6, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Thanks for sharing!! : )

Heidi
www.jhcckkm.wordpress.com


April 17, 2008

Outdoor Hour: Invertebrates and Nature Journals

The seventh Outdoor Hour Challenge assignment encourages us to begin a personal field guide. What a wonderful idea! Barb even includes a sample information form to use for your field guide cards.

We read about snails in The Handbook of Nature Study and proceeded to the backyard to make some observations. We are also making tentative plans to construct a sunflower house if Rob gives me permission to dig up more of the yard. It was such a beautiful day! We lifted up a patio stone and struck... invertebrates! Woo hoo!

Here's a picture of a centipede that we happened upon.
He wasn't very happy to be disturbed!

centipede

There is a pill bug in this dark crevice, although it is difficult to see.

pill bug

The girls put together a collection of rocks, dead leaves, and branches from some bushes on a bed of moss, using a wicker paper plate holder, one of Barb's suggestions from Challenge #6.

nature collection centerpiece

The girls each did a nature journal page. I have to print out some more pages for this; Kathryn used lined paper. Of course, Nathan wants lined paper for his nature journal - to each his own, right?

Ally's Nature Journal Kitty's Nature Journal

We also sighted some spiders, but we didn't get pics. I think we'll move on to spiders next week, then insects. I have some grasshoppers to dissect! :-)

We didn't make field guide cards today, but I think my children will want to do this activity, especially when I show them the sample at the Handbook of Nature Study blog. We seem to finally be settling into a nature study routine. This challenge has been extremely helpful for our family!

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Apr. 17, 2008 - I love this entry

Posted by HarmonyArtMom

This is a great example of nature study, so much learning going on and connections being made.

I look forward to seeing your field guide when you start.

I like lined paper too. :)

Thanks for the link,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Apr. 18, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by rcelliott

Ok, I'll bite. What is a sunflower house?


April 15, 2008

Free Gardening Unit Study

Dana at Principled Discovery is offering a free gardening unit study (click link for info)! I was going to add this to my previous gardening post, but that one was already so long that I decided to write a separate entry.
This would be a great study if you're looking for a way to get in some extra outdoor time and still "do school." I'm always looking to spice things up once the weather starts getting nice again!
Enjoy!
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Apr. 16, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Hey, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Dana
http://principleddiscovery.com


April 14, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Apr 14


Today is another Menu Plan Monday. If you want to see other people's menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

I never did get to the Beef Vegetable Soup last week. It got moved to Saturday, but we ended up having leftover chili after being at a youth leaders conference all day. Sunday I worked on some broken computers all afternoon, so we got pizza. The Beef Vegetable Soup is going in the crockpot this week!

Monday

Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, fruit
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Creamed Tuna & Peas, brown rice, salad

Tuesday

Breakfast: bacon and eggs
Lunch: Homemade Pizza
Dinner: Sloppy Joes, green beans

Wednesday

Breakfast: Five Grain Hot Cereal, milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Beef Vegetable Soup (in the crockpot)

Thursday

Breakfast: Yogurt with Homemade Granola and fruit
Lunch: Black Bean Soup (from freezer - I still haven't had to use this, so I keep putting it on the menu), carrot sticks
Dinner: Spaghetti, salad

Friday

Breakfast: Blender Batter Pancakes, fruit, milk
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices
Dinner: Turkey Tetrazzini (from the freezer - I used turkey instead of chicken), corn

Saturday

Breakfast: Smoothies
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Tuna Melts, mixed vegetables

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge, milk
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: TBD (something in the crockpot or grilled)

April 12, 2008

Outdoor Hour: Finishing up Worms

The sixth Green Hour Challenge assignment was to start a collection. We do have some rocks that we could organize, but we ended up doing a worm dissection yesterday, so I didn't do anything with the collection idea.

Our plan is to read about and look for garden snails and spiders, then move on to insects. We will continue to observe our wormery (click link for instructions), but now that the dissection is done we're ready to move on. :-) We didn't see much on Thursday, although we found a pill bug that died. I will see if the kids want to start an insect collection to go with our nature study. Here are some pics from Thursday's outdoor time:

a nice, juicy worm

bull thistle.

bull thistle

A bud on our flowering pear tree!

flowering pear tree bud

Although this isn't technically nature-related, I had to add the picture of Nathan and Jordan dancing on the picnic table.

Jordan Kelly & Nathan Astaire

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Apr. 13, 2008 - Collections

Posted by HarmonyArtMom

I think collections just happen over time. Keep up the good work with your weekly nature study.

I love the picnic table shot....do I see garden boxes in the background??? Cool.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom


April 11, 2008

It's Gardening Time!

The gardening season is fast approaching here in Michigan, and I am so excited! Jacque at Seeking Rest in the Ancient Paths wrote a wonderful post about learning in the garden. She also posted a photo journal of her family's gardening experience last year that is very inspiring.

I found a gardening gem this morning that I just have to share: Garden-Based Learning. This website is geared towards starting school-based gardening programs, but it contains quite a bit of helpful information, activities, projects, and other gardening resources and publications. I was especially excited to find a downloadable guide entitled Know Your Insects (a 4-H publication in PDF format) that includes instructions for starting an insect collection. We are studying invertebrates for our Outdoor Hour Challenge, and we will be learning about insects as soon as we are finished with worms, snails and spiders.

Cornell's Gardening Resources website is also full of gardening helps, too many to list here.

Cornell's resources focus on the northeastern United States, but there are a lot of helpful tips for all gardeners. However, if you live in the U.S., you can find links to your state's Cooperative Extension System office here.

Here are some of my favorite gardening links:
 There are so many wonderful gardening websites available. I would love it if you would share some of your favorites; I'll add them to my list (giving you credit, of course).

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted...." Ecclesiastes 3: 2-3

Happy Gardening!

April 8, 2008

A Helpful Homemaking Website

I get so excited when I rediscover helpful websites that I've forgotten about! I wanted to link to a chicken tetrazzini recipe on my Menu Plan Monday post this week, but I had to find the recipe again; it was one that I had printed out some time ago and put in my recipe binder. I forgot how much information was at The Family Homestead! There is more information than I remember seeing when I first came across it. I have since come across it looking for laundry soap recipes, but I didn't realize it was the same website.

The Homestead Kitchen contains information on feeding your family nutritiously, as well as several recipes and helpful tips.

One of the highlights of the Homemaking and Home Management section is a homemade laundry soap recipe and a pictorial tutorial. I compared the cost of several laundry soap recipes and this is one of the least expensive. I am currently using a similar recipe that I adapted a bit, but I'll blog about that another time. You will also find spring cleaning and other home organization tips from this mother of eight.

Homestead Crafts includes bath & body, soap and soy candle recipes. The soap tutorials look very helpful, although I don't think I'm up for that yet! :-)

Crystal Miller, owner of The Family Homestead site, also blogs at Homemaking on the Homestead, where she shares weekly menu plans, recipes, bulk cooking tips, etc.

Enjoy!
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Apr. 9, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by BChsMamaof3

This looks like a super website! Thanks so much for sharing it with us and I wanted to let you know that I have been really enjoying reading your education week entries to :) They are wonderful. Have a wonderful evening,
Rosina


April 7, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - Apr 7



I'm back on track with my menus for Menu Plan Monday, although I forgot to plan around a family birthday dinner on Friday and a birthday party on Saturday. Those were two dinners I didn't have to make, so I incorporated them into this week's menu. Rob ended up cooking a turkey on the grill, so we have quite a bit of leftover turkey. I'm making a double batch of turkey tetrazzini this week, one to freeze.

If you want to see other people's menus for this week or post your own, go to orgjunkie.com.

Monday

Breakfast: Blender Batter Pancakes, fruit, milk
Lunch: Tuna Melts, carrot sticks
Dinner: Split Pea Soup (in the crockpot)

Tuesday

Breakfast: Oatmeal Muffins, fruit
Lunch: Leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: Turkey Tetrazzini (I'm replacing the chicken in the linked recipe with leftover turkey and making extra for the freezer)

Wednesday

Breakfast: Five Grain Hot Cereal, milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Beef Vegetable Soup (I snagged this from one of orgjunkie's menus)

Thursday

Breakfast: Yogurt with Homemade Granola and fruit
Lunch: Black Bean Soup (from freezer), carrot sticks
Dinner: Fried Tilapia, green beans

Friday

Breakfast: eggs or oatmeal
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, apple slices
Dinner: Chili, cornbread, salad

Saturday

Breakfast: smoothies, eggs, maybe bacon
Lunch: PB & J, carrot sticks
Dinner: Homemade Mac & Cheese, salad

Sunday

Breakfast: Porridge, milk
Lunch: leftovers or sandwiches
Dinner: TBD (something in the crockpot or grilled)

April 5, 2008

Home Education Week: Future Goals


Today is the last day of Home Education Week! Dana at Principled Discovery has done a wonderful job setting up writing topics and activities for the week. I am so happy that I participated. The writing topic for today is "Looking Forward ."

 

Looking Forward: Saturday, April 5
What are your goals for home education? What do you hope to instill in your children? Are you planning any changes to how you educate your children?

Our goals for home education are for our children to love and serve Jesus Christ in whatever God calls them to do and to have a passion for furthering the Kingdom of God. We believe that the values that come with hearts of service to Christ will also cause them to want to love and serve others. We also hope to instill a lifelong love of learning in them.

Academics

We are planning to continue with Tapestry of Grace (TOG) for the majority of our children's academic subjects, tweaking it as necessary to fit each child and our family. My sons really don't like to do writing assignments based on their TOG readings. I am going to try to give them a little more leeway in their writing, although I have tried this in the past and it hasn't worked well. However, I've learned a lot from their comments on yesterday's Homeschool Education Week assignment, so I'm hoping to be able to revise their writing assignments with better results this time around. Cardamom Publishers has an inspiring article entitled Teaching Your Children to Write that I am going to leave out as a reminder to myself to use simple ideas to stay focused on writing. Click on the title to go to a free download page if you're interested in reading the article.

I would also like to integrate some extra Bible reading more with TOG's schedule. Year 1 of TOG is mostly from the Bible, but the curriculum also includes a lot of Scripture verses in the teacher's notes each week to help older students make investigate God's hand in history. My plan is to write out the verses for each week of each unit and turn them into a Bible study of sorts, adding verses and probably entire books of the Bible to our study.

I would like to focus more on TOG's hands-on projects, perhaps even cutting back on some of the reading, especially for Jordan. Since science and history intertwine so much, I think I will encourage him to pursue science projects that relate to our current history studies. Of course, anything with battles and weapons would be fine too. :-)

I will also continue to supplement our history studies with This Far By Faith, by A Blessed Heritage. This is going well, and it is important to us that we include "educational resources to foster understanding of the spiritual and racial heritage of children of color" (quote from A Blessed Heritage website - they say it better than I can).

I recently switched to Teaching Textbooks for math for Nathan and Jordan (8th and 7th grades respectively), and it is working well. I plan to continue that through high school unless something changes. I will continue to use a mix of Math Mammoth, living math, and whatever used textbooks I have on hand for Allyson and Kathryn, switching to Teaching Textbooks in sixth or seventh grade (whenever they're ready).

I also want to be more intentional about having planned nature study time and enjoying God's creation together. I recently began participating in the HarmonyArtMom's Green Hour Challenges, which have been so helpful in achieving this. If you are interested in nature study and want a simple way to begin, I highly recommend these weekly challenges.

Living our Faith

We will continue to make mistakes and need forgiveness, as well as read the Bible and pray together as a family. We will also continue to try to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be available to serve where He leads, whether it is saving runaway dogs (our daughters' specialty), shoveling a neighbor's driveway (our sons' specialty), making a meal for someone in need, praying for others together, serving at our church, participating in missions trips, or someone unknown future adventure.

I can't begin to tell you how much I have learned by participating in Principled Discovery's Home Education Week. Writing and reading others' posts about the topics "assigned" for the week have really helped me to do some evaluation and put some things into perspective. Thank you so much for hosting this, Dana.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Apr. 5, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by AussieinAmerica

Lots of worthy goals here!

Stacy

Apr. 5, 2008 - Those are some

Posted by SuperAngel

great goals. I can see you are truly blessed by what Mrs. Hanely did! :)

Thank you for your thoughts! I really enjoyed reading them and am glad you liked my article so much!

Prayers and Blessings,
Miss Amanda
http://superangelsblog.com

Apr. 6, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Lots of great goals!!
Thanks for sharing!!

Heidi
www.jhcckkm.wordpress.com


April 4, 2008

Home Education Week: In Their Own Words


Today is day six of Home Education Week! Dana at Principled Discovery has set up a week of writing prompts and activities for anyone who wants to participate. The writing topic for today is "In Their Own Words."

In Their Own Words: Friday, April 4
Share your children’s home education experience in their own words. What have they said about their education? What are their likes and dislikes? Share some stories, some quotes, or turn your blog over to your children for the day.

I somewhat fearfully decided to let my children hijack my blog for the day. These are in the order written, not order of age. I'm glad I let the kids do this (I think). I learned some things by reading their comments, one of which is that our family must be even weirder than I thought.

~Andrea

Hi, I'm masterwindu/Jordan, and I like anything that has to do with building, science, computer work and free reading. I don't always like history or literature. My favorite sports are biking, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, bowling, martial arts, and playing tennis on the wii with my cousin. My favorite type of science is going to Robert Krampf's website, which is www.krampf.com. He has a lot of fun projects you can do. I like spending time with my mom because she teaches me how to work on computers and other stuff like that. I like going on bike rides with my dad and I like street riding. I love building things and coming up with invention ideas like designing weapons or vehicles. I like helping my dad build new bikes. I can't wait until we launch my potato cannon. That's pretty much all.

Hello, I'm Kathryn. I love everything about homeschool. It is very nice of my MOM to take her time to homeschool us. It shows how much she loves us. I love reading. My favorite subjects in homeschooling are reading, math and Copywork for Girls. My favorite sports are soccer, basketball, biking and volleyball. My favorite book series is Redwall.One thing that other schools do that we do not is recess, but we get a lot of free time. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. And that's pretty much all I can think about right now. Good bye.

Hi, my name is Allyson. I'm glad that my mom wants to take the time to homeschool us. Our school is not like other schools. We do not use textbooks; we do not get recess (but we do get a lot of free time); we do not have to finish at a certain time (we just have a planner and when we finish everything we're done, unless our mom wants us to do more); and we can start anytime before nine. I really like homeschooling because sometimes if there is a book that we don't want to read our mom will give us a list of books that are similar to that and we can pick one. I really like everything about homeschooling. The only thing I dislike is not having more of it. Well, that's all I can think of for now.

Hi my name is Nathan. I like some of the stuff that we do in our school, and there is some stuff that I do not like. My favorite subjects are literature, history, writing when it is stuff that I choose, read alouds, and I kind of like math. My least favorite subjects in school are copywork, history writing and literature writing. My hobbies (favorites are bold) are biking, playing our xbox 360, playing my cousin's Wii, skating, watching movies, listening to music, going on the computer, eating, doing crazy stunts, writing music for guitar, playing guitar, hanging out with my friends, and going on motercycle rides with my grandpa. Life has been like a roller coaster (the dragster) for me: You get strapped up in that roller coaster going 130 mph, and your cheeks are flying to the back of your neck, your stomach is miles behind you, and you're not sure if a pigeon is going to hit your face or not - it's just great. I am a full of life person. I will never run out of energy. When I die and go to heaven my grave will have neon lights on it (just kidding - that's from Arsenic and Old Lace). I have an awsome God, an awesome family, awesome friends, an awesome guitar; I have everything - everything a handsome young man could possibly need.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Apr. 4, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

I enjoyed reading your children's perspectives. It's so wonderful that they all like school so much. And their personalities shine through their writing.

Peace to you,
Renae
http://lifenuturingeducation.com

Apr. 4, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Yes, one of the great things about homeschooling is not knowing whether or not you are going to get smacked in the face by a pigeon.

I think I shall adopt that as a new motto, or something. :)

Thank you for being brave enough to turn it over to them!

Dana
http://principleddiscovery.com

April 3, 2008

Home Education Week: Show & Tell


Today is day five of Home Education Week! Dana at Principled Discovery has set up a week of writing prompts and activities for anyone who wants to participate. The writing topic for today is "Show and Tell."

 

 

Show and Tell: Thursday, April 3
Show off those talents. Share a story, a special moment, a piece of artwork. Any accomplishment, great or small, is fair game.

I decided to share some projects from our ancient history unit last year.

Nathan wanted to try his hand at modeling a sphinx out of clay:

Nathan's model of a sphinx

Jordan made an early ancient Egyptian shield and weapon:

Jordan's early ancient Egyptian shield and weapon

Allyson made a replica of a falcon necklace:

Allyson's falcon necklace

Kathryn made a salt dough map of Egypt:

Kathryn's salt map of Egypt

I'm afraid that I'm really, really bad at getting to Tapestry of Grace's wonderful hands-on projects, so I don't have much to show you. I guess I shouldn't forget our 9-month-long chicken mummy saga either. It's too long to bore you with all of it, but you might enjoy the grand finale.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Apr. 3, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

Those projects are very well done! And of course the chicken mummy news story was great!
Blessings,
Laurie

Apr. 3, 2008 - heather @ http://untraditionalhome.com

Posted by Anonymous

Great stuff!

Apr. 3, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by hsmomof2

Look like some great projects. I have heard people's tales of the chicken mummy experience... :-)

Apr. 4, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by kympossible

Those are GREAT hands-on projects!! They certainly look more involved than what I have done with my kids. Thanks for sharing!!

Blessings,
Kym

Apr. 4, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Chicken mummies, huh? I enjoyed the video...and these projects you shared are great!

Dana
http://principleddiscovery.com


April 2, 2008

Outdoor Hour: Keeping a List

We didn't get out at all for the Green Hour Challenge last week. I'm hoping to do two days this week now that it is getting warmer. The fifth Green Hour Challenge assignment was to make a list of things you observed that are in your area of focus. We only found some earthworms, but that is what we are focusing on this week anyway. Here are some other items that we observed:

moss:

moss

half of a walnut:

walnut

There is a worm in here, although you can't see it very well:

worms

We are making a wormery to observe how worms mix soil. :-) I will post pics and worm links as soon as we are done with the experiment.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Apr. 2, 2008 - Worms

Posted by HarmonyArtMom

Worms are fascinating to me. We just completed an earthworm dissection and I couldn't get over how interesting their insides were. We had a worm bin once, a very long time ago but it was a very interesting project.

Thanks for sharing your unique focus with us.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom
PS I hope it warms up for you soon!


Home Education Week: Recipe for Success


Today is day four of Home Education Week! Dana at Principled Discovery has set up a week of writing prompts and activities for anyone who wants to participate. The writing topic for today is "Recipe for Success." I'm not the most creative person with topics like this, but I'll give it a try!

 

Recipe for Success: Wednesday, April 2
It is also National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day! So share a recipe…figuratively, as in two parts love, one part creativity, or literally, as in a super quick, nutritious meal your kids scarf up. Think about what you do in the day, what helps keep it organized and you sane (or how you got past that need for organization and saneness!), and curriculum materials you find effective.

Recipe for Homeschooling Success

Ingredients:

love
humility
patience
perseverance
academics
organization
flexibility

Mix together infinite amounts of love, humility, patience and perseverance. Add academics and organization to taste. Pray constantly while mixture thickens. Season with flexibility as needed.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Apr. 2, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

wonderful ingredients, and easily modifiable to fit anyone's nutritional needs. :)

Dana
http://principleddiscovery.com

Apr. 2, 2008 - Recipe

Posted by Morning Rose

I love your recipe. It reminds me of the fruit of the Spirit--love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. My older son memorized those verses this week.

Apr. 2, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

Terrific ingredients!
Blessings,
Laurie

Apr. 2, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Karly

Flexibility, that is a very important ingredient! Great recipe!

Karly @ www.indescribablelife.blogspot.com

Apr. 2, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Kristen @ home-learners-r-us.blogspot.com

Excellent recipe! I may just have to print this one out for my fridge, beautiful.

Apr. 2, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by hsmomof2

Yes indeed! :-)

Apr. 2, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by rcelliott

You are really smart and insightful.

Apr. 2, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

Very clever. Thanks for sharing such a sweet recipe.

Peace to you,
Renae
http://lifenurturingeducation.com

Apr. 3, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by http://maccarthaigh.blogspot.com

Thanks for the visit. I like your post and what Kristen said about putting it on her fridge, might just do that myself! Will put a link to my post.
God bless,
Ruth

Apr. 3, 2008 - Recipe for Success

Posted by Ellen

A very clever recipe. I need to add in more patience and work more on the praying constantly part.
http://ellenfunlearning.blogspot.com/

Apr. 3, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Jocelyndixon

That is a great recipe. It has all the necessary ingredients. :)

And GGM did a really neat article on PBJ day! LOL
http://www.growingingraceonline.com/2008/03/pb.html

Thanks for stopping by! I am glad you liked the icons. :)

Love
MJ

Apr. 3, 2008 - Hello, there

Posted by Testimony

Nice recipe!

Blessings,
Karen
www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony


April 1, 2008

Home Education Week: My Greatest Challenge


Today is day three of Home Education Week! Dana at Principled Discovery has set up a week of writing prompts and activities for anyone who wants to participate. The writing topic for today is "April Fool's!"

 

 

April Fool’s!: Tuesday, April 1
And we have likely all felt the fool in one way or another. Share your greatest challenge. Or one of those terrible, horrible no good, very bad days where the only thing there is to do seems to involve moving to Australia.

My biggest challenges always hinge on my expectations, so I would say that my biggest homeschooling challenge is my expectations. I plan a really fun day, expecting that my children will jump right in and everything will go as planned, and nothing turns out the way I had hoped. I plan several weeks of really fun math activities and living math books, expecting that everyone will love it and math will be fun forever; but it doesn't work out as planned, we don't get to math at all, or it doesn't change math attitudes in all of my children. I plan a great winter nature outing, expecting everyone to be thrilled to get out of the house, but some of my children complain the entire time. It could be curriculum-related, a planned fun day, keeping up with housework...you name it.

With expectation comes the possibility of disappointment. With disappointment comes the possibility of unfair criticism. Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that I should condone complaining or other sinful attitudes. However, I also have to be very careful not to let my expectations drag me into a sinful attitude, which I do far too often. It's okay to be flexible and not worry if things don't go as planned. Sometimes another plan is better. Sometimes I just can't please everyone. :-) And sometimes God uses circumstances to expose my own sin or sin in my children's lives that He wants to address.

So, my own expectations probably challenge me more than anything in our homeschooling adventure. However, I thank God that He uses my failures to prune and refine me, and that my children know (without a doubt) that I am nowhere near perfect, but that He is perfect and forgiving.

HomeschoolBlogger Comments
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Apr. 1, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by PosterGirl

I can thoroughly relate to you in this. I do the same thing myself and have to step back and re-remind myself of the possible reasons you mentioned. I am given to be a perfectionist in other areas, and I was amazed when it also reared its ugly head even in my homeschooling and relationships. I think being aware of what I'm thinking and why can help me get past those hurdles. And being with other hs moms who are also walking on these same paths is also helpful. I am so glad you shared your very wise insights- you really articulated things I think so many hs moms can relate to.
God bless,
Kim

Apr. 1, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by lahbluebonnet

Years ago I learned from Christian author Dr. Larry Crabb the difference between desires and goals. But I always forget that during the school day. sigh
Blessings,
Laurie

Apr. 1, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by AcceptanceWithJoy

I have been working on having appropriate goals for my child for years. Every once in awhile I realize how close she is to moving out and we step it up... and she gets stressed and starts to shut down... I realize I am messing up big time... I apologize and we get back to normal.

Those times are balanced by the times I think, "She is old enough to do this on her own." I don't set any goals and then I get mad because her room looks like a disaster and she is a week behind on her lessons.

Apr. 1, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Ellen

I totally know what you mean about expectations. I've almost quit homeschooling, because I expected it would go smoothly and everyone would be happy to learn.
http://ellenfunlearning.blogspot.com/

Apr. 1, 2008 - Untitled Comment

Posted by Anonymous

"My expectations..." Yeah, that about sums up my problems as well. Actually, that is why I wanted to have one topic that had something to do with challenges. I think one of the most difficult hurdles for many new homeschoolers is realizing that everyone has bad days...it isn't just them, no matter how "together" the people they know seem.

Dana
http://principleddiscovery.com

Apr. 2, 2008 - http"//maccarthaigh.blogsot.com

Posted by Anonymous

I have also joined in the Home school Week although I live in Ireland! I like what you say and am in agreement, especially about God refining us through our experiences!

God bless and keep up the good work.
Ruth

Apr. 2, 2008 - What a great post!

Posted by AussieinAmerica

You are right on the money here! I have been noticing this too. Thanks for the reminder to check my expectations. Good stuff.
Stacy