29 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
in HS group
We had 6 presentations today and it was the boys against the girls – 3 boys and 3 girls. The boys gave a report on their interviews: a Grandma, a Grandpa and a Scout master. My girls did: Noah (Hannah, of course), Ms. Maris II (Grace) and Jessica Robblee (Bethany.)
Hannah found out that Noah likes beavers because they build dams, he’s been to New York and other places and he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. Also his favorite color is purple and his favorite food is apples.
Grace found out the Ms. Maris II started Save the Whales when she was 14, met Jane Goodall a few months ago and her scariest moment was when she was a kid in Chicago after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was killed (the riots.) Ms. Maris II never thought that making some shirts and handing them out to friends would be the start of an international organization that seeks to help marine life and educate the public about marine life. Also, she told Grace to follow your dreams and volunteer in the field that you love.
Bethany found out that Jessica (Trixie from tRUNks) came to Denver in 1999 and approached Buntport about doing a children’s theater show…maybe something with fairy-tale characters…or comic book characters…yeah! A serial comic book! Jessica has won the MasterMinds prize and grant a few years in a row and that helped tRUNks when it was just a baby of a theater show. She wants to do a choose-your-own adventure type of play, we think that would be cool.
29 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
in School Stuff
This week and the next and the next (it’s like Casablanca..and they wait…and wait) the girls are ‘off’ school. Bethany and Grace are waiting for their next grade level to arrive and they both have state testing in the next two weeks. So, I granted some free time.
Monday was guitar lesson and dance, Tuesday was working on their interviews for Presentation club, Wednesday is Presentation club, Thursday is a trip to the Wildlife experience and Friday is just a play day. Joel might solo on Saturday, so we’ll all be at the airport for that. Bethany has spent some time writing some new songs, Grace has been reading and Hannah has been trying to figure out a way to make her dessert night with Dad come faster (she wants Grace and Bethany to go out this week, that way next Tuesday it’s her turn again!)
We might be taking some side trips in the next few weeks, who knows where the rabbit trails will lead?
27 Feb 2012 2 Comments
Today at dance our devotional was on God – the healer. So, we decided to trade in the word we were going to use for the next two weeks in our house and focus on Jehovah Rapha (The Lord our Healer) instead (to match dance devotionals.)
At dance we focused on the healing that Jesus brings, whether it’s spiritual, physical or emotional. Jesus came to heal us and restore us from our broken state. Jehovah Rapha means The Lord who Heals the Rapha literally means to restore to the original state.
23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.
Mark 10: 46-52
46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus. 51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” 52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
Bartimaeus called out to Jesus and proclaimed Him the Messiah (Jesus, Son of David), he asked to see, he received his sight, he went off and followed Jesus. One wonders if the thing that Jesus healed in this man was more than his sight, maybe he received a spiritual healing and the recovering of his sight was secondary.
We talked about how sometimes healing comes after many years of prayer, sometimes it is instant. Yes, God still heals, people are restored from diseases, mental illnesses, even death. It is not a lack of God that causes healing to be sparse. This site has a table that shows some of the names of God and their meanings, applications and verses. We have just started and are overwhelmed with all of the information about Jehovah Rapha. With this resource we have tons of information to last us quite awhile.
Oh, and in the adult class we are dancing with scarves. Last week it seemed like we’d never be able to do it, this week was better. We were having trouble tying the scarf in the time needed, but I think with practice we will get it. I’m excited and nervous at the same time; excited to dance with scarves for the first time and nervous about how we will do at recital. But, I think in the end it will look pretty and help to convey the song and ultimately – glorify God.
26 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Buffalo Bill,
You don’t look one hundred and sixty six………
and you have a great view from the hill.
Well, it’s really a mountain, but that doesn’t rhyme. It was the Buffalo Bill Birthday celebration on top of Lookout Mountain today. They had a new exhibit in the musuem, Buffalo Bill dime novels (or in the case of the late 1800 ones, nickel novels.)
Bethany was having a conversation with Teddy, Annie and the Bills about the comics. She said it was sad that people would rather read about imaginary heroes like Spiderman instead of the exploits of Buffalo Bill. The lady dressed as Annie is a cowboy poet and singer, she was performing later on in the day. Hannah did her Annie impression outside.
We thought the comic display was great, lots of well preserved items from the dime novel heyday.
Since they had Bill as a hero they showed him with a cape, and they made a flat Superhero Bill for the kids to carry around and take pictures with.
James and Joel had taken this path up to the museum.
They walked up the mountain (via the road) 6.2 miles in an impressive 2 hours. They made it to the gift shop just in time for the birthday song and handing out of cake and ice cream.
We walked up to Bill’s grave and enjoyed the view.
See the snow?
Yeah, it’s the reason the buffalo chip tossing contest was cancelled. Seems the chips were left unguarded and are now resting under 2 feet of snow. We don’t toss wet chips and no one brought any dry ones, so there was no contest. Darn. We wandered around a bit and then headed down the hill to the park where James’ car was. We ate lunch quickly (cold wind will make you eat really fast) and Bill enjoyed a sandwich too.
Green mountain in the distance in this shot.
Here is about where the funicular ride (it’s like a little train that goes up a hill, it was counterbalanced with one train going up and one train going down) was up Lookout Mt. back in the day.
Here is an old picture of the rail-line up the hill.
A very nice outing, even if we’ve done it many times before.
25 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
‘Marine Biologist for a day’ camp at the aquarium?
They fed the turtles and trout, saw krill, went through the kitchen, dissected a squid (and used the squid’s own ink to draw on paper), ate lunch at the aquarium, got a t-shirt, talked about the jellies and fish, saw a sloth and the otters and did lots of other things over the course of five hours. This was Grace’s Christmas present, so she’s been waiting for 2 months for this day. She was super excited and there were only 14 other kids in the group, so she didn’t feel like it was too crowded. She took a lot of pictures with my phone, but I don’t know if I can get any of them off of there and onto here.
She was talking about her class all the way home, so I think she had fun.
Ah, here are a few of the phone pics she got:
24 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
My Love is larger than the cosmos,
it fills space to the brim.
There is no limit to My Love
that wells up from deep within.
So wide and deep is My Love for you,
you cannot fathom its depth.
In eternity you will then see in full
and marvel at its breadth.
There is no quenching of My Love,
that I want to give to you.
I long to pour it out from on high
and give this Love to see you through.
24 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
And not the musical kind. Last night we went to a jelly making co-op. Our guide into the journey of canning, pectin and jelly was a Mom in our HS group. She showed us the big pot, talked about sterilizing the jars and lids, showed us the pectin and let us smell the juice from her neighbors’ concord grape patch that we were using (we also used some chokecherry juice.)
We started off by boiling the jars and lids while the kids measured out the juice.
We looked at a recipe book and found all kinds of neat ideas (habenaro mango jam, yum!)
While the jars were boiling we cooked the juice and added calcium and pectin to the mix.
It boiled and everyone got a chance to stir the mixture – it smelled like grapes and cinnamon (I would venture that concord grapes mixed with chokecherries produced the cinnamon smell, or maybe the grapes had that smell in them already – whatever the case, it smelled delicious.)
After the mix started jelling up we poured it into the jars and sealed them up.
We inverted the jars and waited a a bit and then flipped them over. We headed home with 2 jars of jelly, a recipe sheet and information about canning.
The girls are excited to try this in the summer with some of the sour cherries and plums we have in the neighborhood and maybe even can something that they grow in our (soon to be) garden. Just so you don’t think this is all fun and games here is the chemistry lesson we talked about this (you can find the whole thing here): Pectin is a negatively charged hydrophilic colloid, so the following may be assumed: (1) sugar is the dehydrating agent; (2) the hydrogen-ion concentration reduces the negative charge on the pectin, thereby permitting the pectin to precipitate and coalesce in the form of a network of insoluble fibers, provided the concentration of sugar is sufficient; (3) the dehydration of the pectin micelles by sugar is not instantaneous but requires time to come to an equilibrium; (4) the rate of hydration and precipitation increases in direct ratio as the hydrogen-ion concentration; (5) the maximum jelly strength is reached when the system reaches equilibrium, and depends upon the position of that equilibrium; (6) any component added to a pectin jelly system, including salts, which causes a change in the ultimate jelly strength of that system may function either (a) by changing the rate of gelation, or (b) by affecting the ultimate jelly structure, or (c) a combination of these two.
Neat! You can find how to can and canning recipes here.
23 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
This morning we woke up to this.
Hannah was excited because she could use her new snow boots, everyone else was wondering if our co-ops and outings were cancelled due to snow. But, the snow plow came down the street, it stopped snowing and the sun came out – so yay!
First stop the Mythology banquet.
Everyone had to dress as whatever god or goddess they wanted to be, share something about them and bring a dish to serve.
Most of the kids were Greek gods/goddesses, but a few came as Roman gods, Norse gods, Indian gods and African goddesses. There were 2 Athena’s, 2 Hermes, and a host of other characters, from L to R:
Front row – Asase Ya, Poseidon, Hera, Jormungand, Dionysus. Back row – Ganesha, Athena, Hermes, and Athena. We had 3 others come late, they were Hermes, Loki and Mars.
Here is a short list of things these gods and goddesses were known for.
Dionysus – Son of Zeus and mortal Semele. He is the god of the grape harvest and wine. Hera (Zeus’s wife) was angry at the affair and planted seeds of doubt in Semele’s mind as to the father. Zeus showed himself to Semele, which caused her to die. Zeus rescued the baby in the womb and sewed him into his thigh where he continued to grow, later Dionysus came out of his Father’s thigh as an infant.
Hermes – Son of Zeus, god of shepherds, trade and athletics. Has winged shoes and a winged helmet, delivers messages from the gods. As a toddler Hermes stole some cattle from Apollon and disguised their tracks by tying brooms onto their tails so that they would swish their tracks as they walked.
Poseidon – Greek god of the ocean, rivers, seas and horses. He sent a sea monster to punish the Trojans after they denied him payment for building their walls. He is brother to Zeus and was eaten by his father (Cronos) at birth and then thrown up.
Loki – Trickster, Norse. He is a son of the giant Farbauti and the giantess Laufey. He is regarded as one of Aesir, but is on occasion their enemy. He is connected with fire and magic, and can shapeshift.
Jormungand – A serpent like creature that gnaws at the tree of the world, Norse. He is a son of Loki and can circle round the earth to eat his tail, when he lets go of his tail the world will end.
Athena – Greek goddess who sprang from Zeus’s head fully formed. She is goddess of war, crafts and wisdom. In a contest with Poseidon she created the first olive tree. In a contest with Arakhne, where she lost, Athena turned Arakhne into a spider. Athena helped Perseus in his quest to kill the gorgon and assisted Hercules with his labors.
Hera – Greek wife to Zeus, goddess of marriage and women. She competed in a contest with Aphrodite and Athena for the golden apple and she lost. She helped the Greeks in the Trojan war and helped Jason in his quest for the golden fleece. She was very jealous, but then her husband Zeus was a ladies man!
Mars – Roman god of war and peace. He was the son of Jupiter and Juno and was thought to be the father of Romulus and Remus. The month of March is named after him.
Ganesha -Hindu elephant god who is the son of Shiva and Parvati, Ganesha has an elephantine countenance with a curved trunk and big ears, and a huge pot-bellied body of a human being. He is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. He is also worshipped as the god of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth.
Asase Yaa – West African goddess of creation and the harvest. She is the mother of the gods and wife to Nyame, their son is Anansi the trickster. When people want to prove they are credible they touch their lips to her soil.
After we told our tales we headed up to eat.
There was fruit, olives, cheese, pita with meat, chicken ka-bobs, honey sesame fritters, plantain porridge, pomegranates, cupcakes, hummus, crackers and more. Here are the recipes for the porridge (we did not use crawfish), fritters and meat pitas.
Turkey pita pocket
1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound ground meat (we used turkey)
2 spoons lemon juice
1/2 tspn dried oregano
1/2 tspn ground cumin
1/2 cup cucumber, diced
1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh spearmint, chopped
1/2 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup diced tomato
Oil for cooking
Add the onion and the garlic on a skillet, add some oil and cook until soft over low heat stirring constantly. Place in mixing bowl with meat, lemon juice, oregano and cumin and mix thoroughly. Cook in skillet till done. Combine cucumber, yogurt and spearmint in small bowl and mix. Cut around edge of each pita bread and pull open to form pocket. Fill each pita with half the lettuce and tomato, spoonful of meat mixture and half the yogurt mixture.
Honey sesame fritters
4¼ oz flour
½ pt water
2 tbsps honey
1 to taste oil
½ oz toasted sesame seeds
Start heating the oil.
Mix the flour, the water and one spoon of honey and make a dough.
Heat 2 spoonfuls oil in a frying pan and pour ¼ of the mixture.
When it thickens turn it upside down 2 -3 times to fry it in both sides. Prepare 3 more fritters following the given instructions.
Serve them hot, pour over the rest of the honey and dredge sesame seeds over them. (We probably tripled this recipe and added 2 eggs to it too.)
6 big green Plantains
1/2 bag of spinach
5 tablespoons full of Crayfish
1 chicken breast
2 knorr Cubes
1 medium size diced onions
5 table spoons of grounded Fresh pepper
1 table spoonful of salt
0.5 litre of palm oil. Olive or vegetable oil can be used too.
Wash your un-peeled green plantain in warm water first before you start. Holding the plantain down with one hand, cut off both ends. Remove the peel by making a vertical slit on the side of the fruit, about a quarter of a centimeter deep, just below the covering with a kitchen knife. Dip in water and allow to soak for about 5 minutes, this method is known to make the peel come off more easily. Then peel the plantain skin with you fingers or with the aid of a knife. Scrape a little part off each plantain into the pot to act as thickener. Instead, you may decide to chop about half a plantain and blend it into a paste as the thickener. Then slice the plantain into medium sized cubes and place into the cooking pot or sauce pan. Fill the pot with water till it covers the plantain slightly and bring to boil for about 10 to 20 minutes. Chop chicken breast into small pieces and add to pot. Add maggi cube, salt and pepper to taste, as well as crayfish, onions and spinach and allow to boil on medium heat for about 10 – 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add palm oil, stir and cover for 5 minutes. Serve hot. (We had to cook our plantain for longer than it said to get them mushy.)
22 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
So, today was Ash Wednesday and the first day of Lent. This year we’re kind of looking at our family roots and James’s family was Catholic, so we are looking at Lent and wondering what it meant to his family. It meant ashes on Ash Wednesday, fish fry’s on Fridays and 46 days till Easter.
I think we got off to a good start of the season by looking at the names of God and what they mean, kind of a reflection of sorts. Jehovah Nissi – how can we show God as our banner? Thinking of things, not things we give up, but things that we add to our lives that show Jesus.
Forty days of Lent.
Forty days to Resurrection.
Forty days to seek and reflect on what a risen Saviour means to me.
Forty days to wander in prayer and see where the path leads.
From sorrow to rejoicing,
From despair to hope,
From death to life,
From darkness to light.
22 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
Today was my co-op at CU Boulder’s natural history museum. We’ve wanted to do the Southwest Indian tour and workshop before, but we are only 4 people, so I stashed it as a co-op idea. Well, today we had 20 kids and 10 adults on the tour. We started in the pottery room where Jim, our guide, showed us a birch bark canoe that the museum is trying to get back to the East coast.
We obviously don’t have too many birch trees around here and really no waterways in which to put them. I get why they want to return it to the tribes to which it belonged, but it’s nice to have it here for now.
Jim toured us through the room and talked about how we can study the culture or language of people to find out about them and how archaeology is the study of people of the past. We looked at this collection of bison bones that were dug up on the eastern plains.
Archaeologists determined that about 175 bison were run off a cliff and that the Indians gathered about 63,000 pounds of meat for their village.
In the picture you can see the piles and piles of bones, they found marks on the bones from the scraping and cutting…pretty cool. We went over to the pottery exhibit and everyone got a shard of a pot to match to one on display.
It was harder than it looked. You had to look at your shard and determine: was is painted on the inside or outside? Did it have corrugated marks on it or was it smooth? Was it natural colored or black on white or white on black?
Just when some people thought they had their piece figured out Jim would tell them to look again. We sat down and Jim talked about the pots and variations, designs and color of them.
Then we went to different stations to learn more about the Ancient Ones.
There was a station to learn about what the Anasazi did for food, what crops they planted and what they hunted. Another station was about the tools they made and used for hunting and everyday life.
This station was comparing modern Pueblo pottery designs to older ones. Another station was about natural items that the Anasazi used to make clothing (plant fibers for sandals) or items like rope. Annalivia thought the stick was cool.
This station was all about homes and shelters that the Indians made, from pit houses to adobe apartments.
We took a break and then headed upstairs to the Modern Life room to make pots.
Jim told us that clay is great, but breaks easily, so the Indians used sand to make it stronger.
Indians by oceans used ground shells to make their pots sturdier, we saw an example of that kind too. Then everyone got some model magic and either formed a pot or did the coil technique to make a pot or bowl.
We got pots or bowls to decorate too.
Now the girls know that when they find clay in the river they need to add sand to it before trying to make a pot out of it. I must say though that model magic is much easier to work with than clay (and weighs less too!)
We thanked Jim and everyone went their merry way. The girls and a friend went back down to the Discovery room and checked out the animal boxes (or made snowflakes.) I forgot to mention that a front moved in today and the wind by the foothills (and thus Boulder) was strong. So strong that the turbines at the wind lab were shut down and employees were sent home, so strong that 18 wheelers were being flipped over on the freeways, so strong that not long after we left on 36, it was shut down in both directions as a footbridge over the freeway was twisted and glass and chunks of metal were tossed around. The wind around here can get gusty at times, but winds today topped out at near 100 mph, DIA closed some runways for awhile because of the wind and we drove through a rock/pebble/dust storm on the freeway as the winds blasted all that leftover grime from the last snowstorm across our van. All we got was one crack on the windshield, so I am thankful for that. But dang, I am ready for the wind to stop!
This BLM Colorado site has a ton of information about the Anasazi. If you’re ever in CO, visit the cliff dwellings at Manitou to see an Anasazi cliff dwelling. You can go inside of them, walk around, touch them, see the kiva, it’s very cool. Even better, go to Mesa Verde and see the dwellings there.
21 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
in School Stuff
Bethany and Grace finished up their curriculum today, they worked hard this past month to finish up before the 29th and poof! They did it! Why work so hard to get done? Because we school year round, but we use a virtual public school for the curriculum. In order to go year round we have to finish early to order the next grade level early so that ‘we’ have about 11 months to complete a grade level instead of their Sep-May routine. It works for us. Now the girls (sans Hannah) can relax for a bit before studying for their yearly Colorado assessments in March.
James happened to walk by when both girls were doing their math tests and he was like – how can you do all that math…it makes my head hurt! I try to make it fun and hands-on (like figuring out the surface area, volume and perimeter of a valentines box) and I’m excited about some Life of Fred books coming our way LOF: apples and butterflies, here are just a few of the topics in the apples book – Numbers that Add to 7, Circles, Ellipses, Reading 6:00 on a Clock, 5 + ? = 7, Days of the Week, Leap Years, Spelling February, Dressing for Cold Weather, 15 Degrees Below Zero (–15º), Deciduous Trees, Deciduous Teeth, Counting by Fives, 3x + 4x = 7x, Archimedes 287 B.C. Wrote The Sand Reckoner and Got Killed Being Rude, ante meridiem (a.m.), Donner and Blitz in German, One Million, Euclid Wrote The Elements, Squares, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Whales Are Not Fish, The “There Are Zero . . .” Game, Sets, the Popularity of Zero, Why Boats Are Cheaper to Rent in the Winter, Triangles, Herbivores and Carnivores, the Colors of the Rainbow, a King in Checkmate, the Story of the Titanic, ≠ (not equal), x + 4 = 7, One Thousand, Counting by Hundreds, Reading 3:05 on a Clock, Rectangles.
This afternoon we went by 3 libraries, too many books not enough time….We picked up 20 books at our library, then got Grace a library card at JeffCo library (in order to get free passes to the MCA this weekend…you can only have 1 per month checked out on a card and we already used Bethany’s – sneaky!) Then we went to a Denver library to do a metal art drawing class.
The theme was ocean, they were drawing a turtle on foil and using Sharpies to color it in.
I’m surprised all my girls ended up drawing turtles instead of something else, I guess they decided that they had enough open space to draw in other things too.
It was a big deal to draw with Sharpies, you can’t really make a mistake with them (that’s why Hannah’s turtle has a tongue sticking out, she drew the mouth too far down, but I think it’s cute like that.)
We changed up the Tuesday night out thing and decided it is now going to be ‘Dessert with Daddy’ instead of a ‘you pick where you want to eat, shop and spend lots of money’ night out. Hannah was still excited, she put on a skirt and a necklace and proclaimed that she was ready. I wonder if I get a ‘Dessert with Dad’ night?
Oh, and look what came in at the library –
I know what I’ll be reading with my free time.
20 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
Remember that song (actually they didn’t write the words, they got it from Ecclesiastes)? A time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to be born….What is true of life is true of homeschooling. There are seasons in homeschooling just as there are seasons in the year. There are winters of harshness where bitter winds blow you over. There are joys of spring where learning seems to pop up all over the place without even trying. There are summer days of schooling where laziness sets in because there is so much to do outside. There are fall days where we are pulled from the outdoors and start to settle into a schedule of teaching. Yet, they all have their place at the homeschool table. We can learn from our seasons and see how we can be year round learners and try to avoid the pitfalls of getting stuck in a bad season. We all know that things change and even when we have the ideal set up, the perfect season, it can’t last forever.
Have you ever seen a new homeschooler? I know, we were all one once, but do you remember that joy, that newness, the ‘I can do this’ attitude? You know that you can do this, you have grand ideas and can’t wait to get your little learner started. Oh, can we get back to that season?
For the veteran homeschooler it may seem impossible, after all we know we can do this, we’re all out of ideas and we’re trying to keep the kids interested in yet another year of grammar. But, we can strive for the newness of the spring season.
We can realize that learning never stops, which means that we, the teachers, are always learning too. We can try new ideas with our kids, maybe the old way of teaching that has worked for so long is a little stale, we can freshen it up a bit. We can fine tune our schooling, do some spring cleaning and get rid of the cobwebs and start to see a sparkle again.
If you are this new homeschooler, revel in the newness. Remember it for the days ahead when you are tested and know that it is a place that you can come back to in the future.
The strict days of fall come next. I’m sure you thought summer came after spring, but not always. Fall is a time of change from leaves to the temperature.
When you start to school after a while, you slip into a routine. Maybe you need a change to jump out of a rut. Maybe you like this season because you see progress, hard work and determination and those are good things. But, don’t forget to change up your pace and throw in some fun or your fall might just turn into a winter of discontent. The season of teaching that is fall can be productive, this is usually the beginning of the school year and everyone is ready for sharpened pencils and new notebooks. Everyone has a goal, whether it is Christmas break or summer vacation and that is a good reminder to get some learning done.
There is a time for learning and a time for breaks, make sure you have good doses of both in your season of fall.
Ah, the bitter winds of winter are chasing you now.
I have seen homeschoolers stuck in this season for long periods of time. They seem to get stuck in a blizzard of discontent and gloominess. The piles of snow surround them and they give up.
All the while there is a shovel there ready to plow through the snow, but all they can see are piles of schoolwork, piles of laundry and piles of unhappiness. Everyone is going to suffer through a winter while homeschooling, it is inevitable. There will be days when you wonder why you ever thought you could do this thing called homeschooling and for goodness sakes – why would you even want to? What can we learn from the winter season? It is a time for looking to the future and not stagnating in the place you are now. It can be a time of personal growth as you look for what works in your homeschool and what doesn’t. This season never lasts forever, so take heart.
Summer is a time for fun and relaxing, where lazy days meet at the river to splash. So, what’s bad about that? Give me a sunny day and the river calls to me.
But, if every day was a summer day we’d never be able to follow our learning trails. Sometimes what we want to learn is in a book, or in a museum, or on the Internet, it’s not easily found at a waterpark, a river or a beach. Downtime is certainly needed when you homeschool and this can be woven into your whole year of learning. As a homeschooler you are not bound by the traditional school year. You can school year round and take your ‘summer’ breaks whenever you want them. Maybe it’s the middle of winter and you suddenly get a sunny 75 degree day – take advantage of it. Maybe you don’t need 3 months off at a time, maybe you set up your schedule to have 2 weeks off every 6 weeks of school done – maybe you school until you’re frazzled and then take your break (I wouldn’t advise doing that.)
Don’t be afraid to take a summer season and relax, everyone needs it and your homeschool will be the better for it.
What season are you in right now? What season do you want to be in? How can you change from one to the other? Can you see the good in where you are at or are you mired down? Remember that seasons change, they cycle, they ebb and flow, look to tomorrow and find where you want to be – and then chase after it.
19 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
This past week for dance we were supposed to be looking at things that the Bible says we should do in Jesus’ name like: baptizing, speaking His name, be united and not divided in His name and so on. In our family we spent the week also looking at one name of God – Jehovah Nissi (the girls wanted it in Latin too so – Dominus est vexillum.)
It means ‘The Lord is our banner’, so we thought about what we want to have on our banner, our flag, our person that shows Jesus. Obviously if you just had a big ‘Jesus’ on your flag it would be apparent that is who you were talking about. But, we wanted to know what we could show to others that would point back to Jesus without having the name Jesus on our banner.
The girls came up with love, joy, kindness, a good attitude, helping and serving in the name of Jesus. We will be doing a name of God for 2 weeks, although you could spend a lot longer on a name, what it means and how to show it.
We will be looking more at Jehovah Nissi this week as Lent starts mid-week, then next week we’ll start with the name of God as provider – Jehovah Jireh. What we give up in His name is nothing next to what He provides for us. From the very breath we breathe to the sun rising and setting, He blesses us with things that we need daily, but we often don’t think about.
18 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
Joel had a flight today, so James stayed home to take him and pick him up and the girls and I went to Manitou for the Mardi Gras parade. My husband’s family was cajun Catholic – so you can be sure he grew up with Epiphany, King cake, Mardi Gras, Lent, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, fish fry Friday and gumbo with file (fe-lay.) We brought home a King cake for him and made him some gumbo to make up for missing the fun.
When I saw that Manitou was having a gumbo cook-off and parade….well, we grabbed our masks and headed out!
We got to see some of the parade people, floats and puppets beforehand.
Then we grabbed a spot on the route and waited for the jester to lead the carnivale parade.
Beads and candy were flying as the parade went by. The costumes were pretty, some were outrageous, some were scary and some were ingenious.
Look, even the Pope was there!
We ended up with lots of beads, a little candy and a hula-hoop.
We walked up the street to our favorite candy shop and then had lunch at Natural’s.
I had this tuna salad sandwich, good thing I only had half a sandwich! We got creative with the coloring sheets and drew some masks.
Then we played some games at the penny arcade, got a sip from the fountain and looked at another fountain.
It’s closed off right now. On our way out we saw the bomb squad, there was a suspicious package somewhere on main street, we were headed out anyway.
Back home we got a King cake for James and made some shrimp gumbo, Mardi Gras at home!
18 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
Note, Bethany had a co-op today that was about the care and keeping of you – teenager edition, so at the end of this post there will be pictures of things from the co-op and precise language of parts (we don’t use baby terms here for our anatomy.) There you were warned.
So, we dropped Bethany off and I really wanted to stay, but I had Grace and Hannah with me and the co-op was for ages 12 and up. Joel was at a flight lesson and James had something to do after he picked up Joel, so Grace, Hannah and I wandered around killing time.
First, we went to DeLaney farm and hiked around.
We saw the prairie dogs barking at us and this magpie cawing at the prairie dog and at us.
He’s looking down at Hannah who was trying to sneak up on him (unsuccessfully.)
We walked around to the round barn and checked out some more prairie dog holes, the dogs were way over on the other side at this point (smart!)
The Aurora history museum was close, so we went there next. It never fails that something that we are studying relates to an exhibit there: case in point – in the 1960′s style area (check out that shag green carpet!) there was an issue of a 1969 National Geographic.
Grace was just reading about the moon landing/space race in history and ‘poof’, here is a copy of a magazine from that era. The girls love to sit in the old desks and have me ‘be’ the ‘teacher’ at the front of the class.
I have no idea why this is so cool to them, but they just think it is crackalakin’. In another room they had a camera exhibit, although it’s kind of weird to take pictures of cameras with a camera.
Aerial cameras from planes that flew out of Lowry started the exhibit.
There were small cameras, box cameras, art deco cameras, detective cameras and more.
Back in the hands on room we had fun looking at the ads from 40 years ago, you can’t read the print on this Polaroid ad, but it actually says the new camera makes a ‘beep, boop, beep’ sound – and they thought that was a selling point.
The girls weren’t quite sure what this was, they’ve seen record players at the antique and thrift stores, but not one like this one.
This ad had them totally confused – why were they advertising about having a phone extension in your bedroom? Well, I told them, back then where would you have a phone in your house…in every room like we do? No…..probably in just one room, so it was a big deal to have a phone in another room in the house that you could use. (Grace said why couldn’t you just pick up the phone from one room to another, then she saw the green rotary phone on the table…ohhhh…)
This ad was super funny…and I quote, “Surprise her with a Ladies Electric Timex and she’ll know there’s still something electrifying between you. Not only will you make her very happy, you may make her a lot more punctual as well.” Oh yeah, I bet sparks were flying after he gave his wife that watch and told her it might make her ‘more punctual’! Always a learning experience to go to that museum.
We tooled around at the Dollar store and school store before heading back over to pick up Bethany. We got there just as they were finishing the talk about birth control. C, the mom giving the class, is an RN and a midwife and she had tons of displays and books and items to use for this class. But, one item was handmade by her just for this class. It was a vagina pillow/puppet.
Yep, there it is, vagina with cervix at the end of it, a flower to mark the urethra, labia, hair, the whole nine yards.
The girls were totally embarrassed and the moms were totally impressed.
C had 2 breast models that had lumps of varying sizes in them, you were supposed to be able to feel the lumps without looking to get an idea of what a lump in your breast would feel like.
She had a model of the inside of a woman so they could see the uterus, fallopian tubes and other parts. She had a speculum and showed how it was navigated into the opening of the vagina on the model. The girls learned about STD’s, birth control, breast exams, cancer screening, fertilization of the egg, where the egg can go after it is fertilized (like a tubal pregnancy), menstrual cycles, ovulation cycles and more.
This is a menstrual necklace (to keep at home, not to wear) the red bead is the first day of your period, the beads after are the flow, the white are fertile days and the rest of the beads are leading up to the next cycle. The main reason we (those with older girls) wanted to have this class was to make all of this information available and take the mystery out of it. Although, to me, getting pregnant is just plain magic – with everything that has to happen…I’m pretty sure it’s magic.
After we got home and had dinner we relaxed with a Sherlock, not the good one, the Jeremy Brett one, but it was okay. Tomorrow we’re off to Mardi Gras in Manitou – Carnivale!