Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Break

We are currently on our Christmas break - we have been since last Monday. Starting on January 3rd we'll be using a brand new (to us) curriculum called Tapestry of Grace (TOG).

TOG is a classical curriculum which means it follows a cycle of set topics. For instance in history it is Ancient Times, Medieval, Early Modern, and Modern. You would start with a general overview for younger students (grades K-4), then in the next four year cycle (grades 5-8) you would build upon the earlier knowledge, and finally in the high school years you would get in to more details. There is more to this but that is the basic overview.

What I like about TOG at this point is the ability to study the same topic with all of my boys at the same time. Obviously Lego-Man will be doing things in a bit more detail than say Happy but we'll all be on the same topic which will (hopefully) make it easier to do school work together.

Things will definitely be changing around here and I'll be taking this next week to put together all of our material. See you back on January 3rd!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day #60/175 Days

  • Computer Review game
  • Wii Fit
  • Independent Reading

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day #59/175 days

  • PC
  • Wii Fit
  • AWANA Club (2 hours)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day #58/175 Days

Homeschool Christmas Party....I was so busy with kids I didn't get a chance to take photos.

The kids played games and did crafts. We ended the day with a potluck lunch. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day #57/175 Days

  • Piano Lessons
  • Practiced piano
  • PC - educational games
  • Wii Fit

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day #56/175 Days - Fine Arts Co-Op

Due to some issues with travel and such, we only focused on music today.

  • Read about the oboe in Story of the Orchestra
  • Listened to the music selection and picked out oboe
  • Created mini-book
  • Read some information found on the Internet about the clavichord
  • Watched a YouTube video of someone playing one
  • Created mini-book
  • Read about Handle in Meet the Great Composers
  • Read from the "Young Composers" book and did student review pages
  • Created mini-book
  • Created paper nativity scenes.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day #55/175 Days

  • Read Library Books
    • Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve by Jan Brett
    • First Snow by Kim Lewis
    • Snow Dog's Journey by Loretta Krupinski
    • Marmalade's Christmas Present by Cindy Wheeler
    • Max's Christmas by Rosemary Wells
    • How to Raise a Dinosaur by Natasha Wing
  • Watched "Clive & Ian's" 12 Questions of Christmas
  • Watched some links on Jan Brett's page about polar bears
  • AWANA verses
  • Simple Schooling Freebies - Arctic Animals (Conductor & Lego-Man)
  • AWANA Club

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day #54/175 Days

  • Piano Practice
  • Piano Lessons
  • Making paper airplanes
  • Wii Fit
  • PC games
  • Independent reading

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day #53/175 Days - Field Trip

This was a busy day. We started at one end of the state and then went in the opposite direction. Lots of driving means lots of audio books though. We listened to a whole set of Adventures in Odyssey CDs - a favorite of the boys.

We headed to our favorite museum today for the model train exhibit. We also did walk around (despite the protests of my oldest son) for about an hour. I'll let the photos tell the train story. We did discover that one of the local model rail clubs has a "junior" membership and I'll be looking in to that a bit more for Conductor's upcoming birthday in April. He just wants to drive the trains when we come to these exhibits. Being a member - junior or not - would allow him to.

After the museum we headed back north to meet up with our 4-H group. This was our first official meeting of the new year and we worked on creating "theater journals" to record what we do this year. The kids had a great time working on them and did a great job!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day #52/175 Days

  • Wii Fit
  • PC games
  • Reading independently
  • Piano Practice

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day #51/175 Days

  • Quarter Mile Math
  • Charlie Brown history video
  • Practice piano
  • Read for 30 minutes
  • AWANA verses
  • Review game website (Conductor)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day #50/175 Days - Field Trip

Today we journeyed to the big city and say a wonderful performance of the Nutcracker. What made this unique was that it was a behind the scene look at how they stage it. It was geared to school groups. Some of our favorites were the mice who came out before the show started (since we were asked to be there 30 minutes early) and entertained the kids. Here is Happy giving the Mouse King a "high five."

There was a "guide" to the show who explained the story and what was happening in the dances. Not only was this good for the kids but it was also good for me. I'm not a dancer and never have been. I think ballet is beautiful but I don't always understand the story.

The dancers were simply beautiful and did an excellent job.

While riding two & from the city we listened to some Jonathan Park cd's (science) and Adventures in Odyssey (character).

After we went to the Nutcracker we surprised the boys with a visit to the mall. Why? Because this was set up in the middle of it....

Conductor was thrilled. Of course, all he really wants to do is drive the train. We also treated them to two rides on this....

Their first ride they all sat on horses. The second ride they were able to snag this "teacup" and spin themselves as they went around. I could only watch for so long before I would get dizzy. They had a fantastic time though!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day #49/175 Days

  • Piano Practice
  • Advent preparation
  • Jotham's Journey
  • AWANA verses
  • Listened to an audio book (Christmas Every Day)
  • Piano Lessons
  • Mission India - Day 9

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day #48/175 Days

  • Piano Practice
  • Piano Lessons
  • Independent Reading 
  • PC
  • Educational TV (Myth Busters, etc.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day #47/175 Days - Fine Arts Co-Op

Today was another day of our "Fine Arts Co-Op" my sister & I are doing this year. It's working rather well overall.

Our focus today for music was on the celesta, tubular bells, and Tchaikovsky. (Tomorrow we're going to see a performance done of the Nutcracker.)

On the drive to my sister's house (it takes about an hour) we listed to "Tchaikovsky Discovers America." We really love these Classical Kids stories and listen to them often.

Here is a breakdown of what we did:

  • Read about the celesta in Story of the Orchestra and listened to the track 
  • Created a mini-book about this instrument
  • Each boy gives me one thing about the instrument and I write it on the wipe board. They then choose three to copy in to their mini-book.
  • Read about tubular bells in Story of the Orchestra. No track to listen to
  • Created a mini-book about this instrument (same process as above)
  • Read Famous Children: Tchaikovsky by Ann Rachlin
  • Read about Tchaikovsky in "Young Scholars" book
  • Answered "Student Review" questions as we went along
  • Created a mini-book about Tchaikovsky (same process as before)
The boys then enjoyed their favorite part of the day...lunch & play time. After lunch it's time for art.
  • Watched Lesson 4 in "God & the History of Art" on the "Byzantine Period." (This is a great series with Barry Stebbing. I purchased it here.)
  • Discussed the video
  • Watched the next section of "Beginning Drawing" (purchased it here)
  • Read about Claude Monet in Art in Story (great book!)
  • Watch "Linnea in Monet's Garden" (via Netflix streaming)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day #46/175 Days

Today was our second craft fair for Money Camp. It was a brand-new fair at a local elementary school - the first year they have hosted one. It was probably the best one for the boys.

Lego-Man sold three computer games. However, we discovered that many of the disks he burned were not working. (Update: I have been trying to burn replacement disks but they just aren't working. It shows they are burning but when I go to test them after it shows they are blank. We need to get some burned in order to replace ones that we know aren't working. Any ideas?)

Conductor again made roughly $6 in sales. I'm so amazed at this little guy! He is very happy at the table. He greets everyone there and is eager to show off his product. A born salesman perhaps? I have said he's never met a stranger and that is a great selling point at the fairs.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day #45/175 Days

  • Piano Practice
  • Play Wits & Wagers (an upcoming TOS Crew review item - super fun!)
  • Play Sum Swamp (great math game)
  • Read to self for 30 mins.
  • Read to Happy for 15 mins.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day #44/175 Days

A lazy, laid back, unschooling type of day. We ended it with two hours at AWANA. I'm sure there was more that happened today, but I can't remember just now - almost a month later! ;-)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day #43/175 Days Co-Op

Today was an interesting day at co-op. We were happy to have a guest speaker with us. Julienne Lebrun joined us to talk about Haiti. She is the co-founder of a group called A Heart for Haiti Missions. What a blessing it was to have her here to speak with the children. She goes to Haiti every 3-4 months to continue support there. The group has adopted an orphanage and thankfully each child there now has a sponsor. Prior to that they children would only receive one meal every three or four days. So sad. She had a great slide show plus videos she shared with the children. Her heart really is for these poor unfortunate people. Haiti was a very poor country prior to the earthquake and now the cholera outbreak and riots that are going on there.

Julienne shared a story of a recent trip when they were traveling through a village. They stopped and asked a woman there to cook them some rice to eat in exchange for payment. She replied that she had no rice. They then asked her to direct them to someone else in the village who might be able to help them. She replied, "You don't understand. There is no rice in the entire village. There is nothing to eat here at all." Can you even imagine?

Julienne spoke for about an hour and then left to get ready to actually fly out to the Dominican Republic that very night - well early morning. The last I saw on the Facebook page for their mission trip, she had successfully made it in to Haiti. Please keep them the mission in prayer.

After this was all over, the children did some activities about Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day #42/175 Days

Today we attended our monthly art class. The focus today was sculpture. It looked like so much fun, I paid to take the class as well.

The first sculpture was created with 14 gauge artist wire and river rocks. The children were given five strands. They twisted them together in the middle....

Then they spread them out - "like a spider"....

The next step was to plop a river rock in the center (on top of the twisted area) and then begin to fold the wires around the rock. Once that was done, they again twisted the wires together...

Then they began to create wire trees.

This is Conductor's finished product. However, once he got home he added a bit of sparkle to his tree..

Those are marbles. He ended up giving this away to a friend and made one for his brother as well (the friend's brother - also a friend of Conductor's...confusing no?). 

The boys had so much fun with this activity that they wanted to make more for gifts. We stopped for lunch at  a park down the street from the art studio and Lego-Man gathered river rocks. The next afternoon I picked up more wire. It wasn't the same gauge so it didn't bend quite as easily but it still worked well enough. 

This wasn't the end of the class though. After this activity they were each given a chunk of plaster and a bunch of various tools and began carving. It was super messy but super fun as well.

As I mentioned above we stopped at a park down the street for lunch. A friend joined us and the boys had a good time playing on the playground and visiting a bit. 

After lunch we headed off to piano lessons. We are all still very much enjoying them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day #41/175 Days

  • Piano lessons - postponed from earlier in the week due to Happy having strep throat
  • 4-H meeting
    • We discussed our upcoming year. Taste-tested our fundraiser (cookies and candy bars) and handed out order forms. 
    • Discussed banking issues and resolved those
    • I'm really  looking forward to the upcoming year! Our focus will be theater/drama/puppets. FUN!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day #40/175 Days

  • A low key day
  • Reading
  • PC
  • Wii play
  • AWANA (2 hours)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Day #39/175 Days

Today the boys attended their first craft fair as participants. This was their "final" for Money Camp. They all did great. Every person sold at least three things.

Lego-Man was selling computer games he created. He used GameMaker to create them having bought the pro version but they do have a free version. He also used a free trial of Tektoma (a review product from last year) that shows how to use GameMaker. He had planned to make four games to sell but only managed two - a maze game and a platform game (think Mario Brothers).

Lego-Man was patient and didn't give in to discouragement. It took a bit before anyone bought one. He ended up selling three total at this craft fair.

Conductor surprised me when he announced he wanted to sell paper airplanes. He was very specific that was what he wanted to do so I let him. He sold $6 worth and he only charges $0.50 for a standard plane (not a standard design though) and $0.75 for a "catapult plane." It's a standard paper airplane with a hole punched near the front. A rubber band is added and it's launched using an unsharpened pencil.

Overall "Money Camp" has been great for the boys. They've learned a lot about business and how to market and such.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day #38/175 Days

  • Independent Reading (30 mins)
  • Piano Practice
  • AWANA club (2 hours)
  • PC time

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day #37/175 Days - Field Trip

Today was our last Maine studies focus at co-op. The rest of the year will be spent on holiday information. Conductor did a report on Maine blueberries. The younger group where Happy is - finished up making their Maine lapbooks. 

After lunch we headed to the Maine State Museum. I had set up a tour for our group. We had two classes (one on wool carding and one on the history of farming in Maine) and a tour of their Made in Maine exhibit. Sadly  my head wasn't on straight and I didn't realize I had set up a 12:30 start. We had been doing other classes all year that started at 1pm so that's what I thought. Thankfully the museum guides were understanding and able to accommodate us even though my face was a tad red.

Our group started out with wool carding (I won't be posting lots of photos as other children are in most of them):

They were each given a piece of raw wool to card and then once that was done they were shown how to hand spin it. It really showed them the hard work that goes in to making clothing. I loved how it was hands on.
Yes, he is stepping on it to keep it in place.

From there we headed to the Made in Maine exhibit. The boys and I have done this tour in the past but it was still fun to go through. I'm really amazed at all the neat things this museum has in order to tell the history of Maine. One day soon I'm going to go spend the day here all by myself so I can read all the information!

This photo is just an example of one of the exhibits we saw...

We ended the day at the farming exhibit. It was interesting but I personally felt he emphasized evolution a tad too much. The kids enjoyed it all the same and it gave us something to discuss later.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day #36/175 Days

  • Piano Lessons (2 hours total for all four of us)
  • Discussion about the election
  • Independent reading (30 minutes)
  • PC - games and learning

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day #35/175 Days

A "Fun Day" of school. H&H were here.

  • Mission to India study
  • Twice Freed (this is a review product we are using)
  • H&H and Conductor and Happy spent quite a bit of time coloring fall pictures while I read.
  • Trees are Terrific - awesome link! Check it out. I chose the one that did the reading for me. 
  • Leaf Rubbings
  • Fall Pattern page 
  • Lego-Man did his research and paper for his co-op project
  • Conductor - ABC sorting page and a fall story page
  • Conductor - He is working on his blueberry research for his co-op project.
  • Happy - practiced writing his numbers 
  • Lego-Man is working on computer programming - making his games for his 4-H project.
  • Conductor & Happy listen to Adventures in Odyssey in their room during H&H's nap time.
  • Practice Piano

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day #34/175 Days

Similar to yesterday. I'm working on figuring out what will work best for us this year. It's been difficult with such a large age range. Tapestry of Grace is looking very interesting.

  • math 
  • writing journal
  • independent reading
  • own interests (computer and paper airplanes and trains and outside time)
  • AWANA club

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day #33/175 Days

A quiet unschooling day:

  • AWANA verses
  • Piano practice
  • math
  • reading
  • writing journals
  • Conductor - paper airplane construction

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day #32/175 Days

Today we did the following:

  • Mission to India study
  • Piano practice
  • Piano lessons
  • Calculadder drills
  • Regular math
  • Worked one-on-one with Happy (Get Ready for the Code, Math Drill, handwriting)
  • Writing journals
  • Independent Reading
At piano lessons today I began looking at Tapestry of Grace. We may be changing how our homeschool looks in the very near future.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day #31/175 Days - Fine Art Co-Op

My sister and I have been having a hard time getting together to do our co-op. Today was our third meeting. We covered all of the following:

  • Read in Story of the Orchestra about cellos and listened to the track
  • Created a mini-book about cellos
  • Read in Story of the Orchestra about organs and listened to the track
  • Created a mini-book (To create these each boy lists one thing about the instrument and I write it on a blackboard. They then pick three of them - there are four boys - to copy in to their booklets.)
  • Read from Meet the Great Composers about Haydn
  • The boys answered some fill-in-the-blank type questions while listening. We reviewed the answers when done.
  • Read from A Young Scholar's Guide to the Composers 
  • The boys answered the Student Review pages while listening. We reviewed the answers when done.
  • Created a mini-book about Haydn (done in a similar fashion to the instrument ones)
  • Listened to the CD track from Meet the Great Composers with Haydn's work. Had the boys pick out cellos and organs.
  • Took a walk on our lunch break
  • Watched Lesson 3 in "God & The History of Art" about "Early Christian Art" by Barry Stebbing (I really like these videos)
  • Discussed the video
  • Watched the rest of Lesson 1 in "Beginning Drawing" and the boys did the lesson 
  • Read about da Vinci in Art in Story
  • Viewed some of da Vinci's paintings online and in books
Photos from the day:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day #30/175 Days

Today was another "unschooling" type of day.

Conductor has really become interested in planes lately. He has a book with different airplane patterns in it. We are constantly making copies of them and he has created quite the collection. He spends hours at time constructing his planes.

Lego-Man is computer focused lately and working hard on getting his games done. This is part of his 4-H Money Camp project. He plans to sell these at upcoming craft fairs.

Independent Reading
Adventures in Odyssey CDs (love these!)
Even a bit of math drill thrown in for good measure.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day #29/175 Days

H&H or "They Dynamic Duo" were here today. That limits a bit what I do with the boys as five children ages 18 months to 14 is a bit much for me now that I don't have H&H on a regular basis.

The boys read today. Played with H&H - always a good learning experience! Listened to lots of Adventures in Odyssey stories on CD.

Lego-Man is working on learning how to make computer games. He spent quite a bit time on this task.

Piano Practice - of course.

We ended the day with two hours of AWANA club.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day #28/175 Days - Co-Op

Today was our co-op days. The middle group (Conductor) and the older group (Lego-Man) did reports on either books set in Maine or written by Maine authors or Maine authors. The younger group is working on a lapbook based on the book Blueberries for Sal. (9am-11am)

Today was also our last class at LC Bates museum. The younger children did printing. They created their own stamps and used an old printing press to make cards. The older children finished up on the printing class from last time and then did a short class on school. We've really enjoyed these classes. (1pm-2:30pm)

The boys ended the day with piano practice.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day #27/175 Days

  • Worked with Happy one-on-one 
    • AWANA verses
    • Handwriting
    • Math
  • India Study
  • Piano Practice
  • Fun School (played Monopoly, Jr.)
  • Book reports for Co-Op
  • Piano Lessons
  • Math
  • Writing Journals
  • Spelling

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day #26/175 Days

We had a neat opportunity come up that sort of threw our day off. Late on Sunday I heard of the chance for the kids to talk to a Maine author.

The Mountains of Maine: Intriguing Stories Behind Their Names

Steve Pinkham was intriguing and engaging. The kids seemed to really enjoy talking to him and were full of questions. This is his first book published but he shared the ideas for his next three books. His second book will be coming out very soon. 

This tied in very well with the Maine studies we've been doing at homeschool co-op.

I also had my nephew for the day. Instead of doing school, I let the boys play. 

The boys did practice their piano and we took a two mile walk. I love Maine in fall.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day #15/175 Days

Today has an "independent" school day.

  • Read for 30 minutes
  • Math for 30 minutes
  • Writing Journal
  • Practice Piano

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day #24/175 Days

  • India Study (we are really enjoying this and it's free!)
  • Piano Practice
  • 4-H Money Camp
    • The kids have been working on prototypes of their products. We are signed up for at least one craft fair at this point and looking at doing a couple more. The kids had a chance to show how they would present their product. We talked about customer service, manners, and professional dress. I think it was very good and I'm very thankful we chose to do this camp. The kids have had a great time with it.
  • AWANA (2 hours)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day #23/175 Days

Another full day - I know!

  • The Narrow Way (Bible study)
  • Personal Help for Boys (Bible/character study)
  • Hymn Study (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
  • Poem Memorization (each boys is learning one appropriate for their age)
  • Read Aloud (continuing on with our Little House books)
  • AWANA verses (Happy & Conductor)
  • Math
  • Spelling 
  • Writing Journals
  • Worked with Happy one-on-one (Math, handwriting, Get Ready for the Code)
  • Fun School (Played "Made for Trade")
  • Practiced piano
  • India study
  • Piano Lessons
  • Library visit


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day #22/175 Days

Our first full day! Yeah!

  • The Narrow Way (Bible study)
  • Personal Help for Boys (Bible/character study)
  • Hymn Study (Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
  • Poem Memorization (each boys is learning one appropriate for their age)
  • Read Aloud (continuing on with our Little House books)
  • AWANA verses (Happy & Conductor)
  • Math
  • Spelling (Conductor & Lego-Man - pretest on their levels)
  • Phonics Drill
  • Writing Journals
  • Science (Astronomy Study)
  • Worked with Happy one-on-one (Math, handwriting, Get Ready for the Code)
  • Fun School (Played "Set")
  • Practiced piano
  • India study
  • 4-H Money Camp planning
9am ----- Noon

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day #21/175 Days

We headed south today to the coast for a program put on every October by the Damariscotta River Association. It is about the Native American culture found in Maine. David Moses Bridges was our instructor. He is a member of the Pasamaquoddy Tribe.


He was  very knowledgeable and, more importantly, enjoyed sharing that knowledge with us.

He had brought a birch bark canoe he had made using traditional skills. It had no nails or screws in it and used no adhesive. It was made from one large piece of birch bark. It only weighed 55 pounds but could carry up to 700 pounds.


A close up of the details. 

Soon after we headed down to the village that was being built near the water. During the course of the program they have a number of schools and homeschoolers who come through. At the village, they teach the children how the Native Americans had lived and they participate in finding food and helping to build a wigwam. The frames are up, but the children help make grass mats to shingle them.


The kids are heading down to the village carrying bundles of hay to be made into mats for the wigwam construction.


Our first view of the village. It’s hidden by some trees so you walk around a bend and there it is in front of you. It was so very cool.


A partially finished wigwam. Every year they do this program and construct these since the winter elements destroy them. These would have been summer homes for the tribes living near the coast.   

After the kids had spent some time exploring and helping to build the wigwam, we headed back to the main instruction area.

David talked about etchings done on birch bark and showed us some examples that he has made.


Then the children were all given a small 1x1 square of birch bark and allowed to make their own etchings. David had even made some stencils that they could use to create their designs.


Lego-Man is contemplating what he’s going to make.

They sketched out their design in pencil or pen first. Then the bark had to soak for about five minutes in a bucket of water to soften. Once it is softened they could scrape their design out.  Here is Lego-Man’s finished etching:


All the kids seem to have had a great time. I could easily see us going back next year or even going back for another of their programs. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day #20/175 Days

Today the boys did their piano practice in the morning.

In the afternoon we had Money Camp. We are really having fun with this. Today we talked about marketing and packaging. Debra had some cookies there in a couple of different packages - just local grocery story bakery cookies. The kids talked about which type of packing worked better and why.

They she broke them up in to four groups. Each group was to take two cookies and create a package and a name for them. There was a bunch of craft things there such as markers, tape, containers, doilies, and plastic wrap plus a lot more. They were given only fifteen minutes to come up with their completed concept.

It was a lot of fun to watch them work on problem solving this. We will be meeting next week as well plus bringing a working prototype with us. We are going to work together to help troubleshoot and problems and give some tips on improving the product, package, and marketing of it.

The kids will then have a table at some of the local craft fairs to sell their goods. This all counts as part of their 4-H program as well.

We ended the day with our AWANA club.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day #19/175 Days - Co-Op

Another Co-Op day has come and gone. Today the older and middle groups of students (the ones that Lego-Man and Conductor are in) did reports on "famous people from Maine."

We also had one of the men from church (his granddaughter is in the co-op) offer to come and do a tree study with the kids. He took each group of students in to the woods nearby and helped them identify different types of trees that grow in Maine.

The older children once again wanted to play kickball. They were able to play for about 15 minutes before we were done for another week. Next time they will be doing presentations on books and/or authors from Maine.

We found it was too difficult for the younger children to do the reports. It was really a "mom-activity." It was really crazy as many of the children that attend our co-op have moms that attend MOPS (which is why we meet when we do - so the older homeschool children have something to do while their moms are at MOPS). These moms wanted to help their younger kids with their reports and it was a rush of in and out to help.

We eliminated all that this week by having the younger group work on a lapbook. It seems to be working well. We're keeping all the elements at the church until they are completed and in the lapbook. They are doing on about Blueberries for Sal and are currently working on a study about bears. We'll see how much we complete between now and November 3rd when we will be switching gears a bit.

After lunch we headed once again to LC Bates Museum for our Maine studies class. I would share some photos, but after taking only four my camera battery died. It's the second time it's done that at the museum classes. Today the older children learned about printing and were able to make their own plates and print them using old fashioned methods. The younger children learned about chores. Their hands on bit was using an old washboard and basin to wash clothes. They all thought it fun!

We only have one more museum class left. I need to make sure my camera battery is fully charged!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day #18/175 Days

What we did today.....
  • Read Aloud (current Little House on the Prairie book) 
  • Personal Help for Boys by Pearables - two sections (I really like this so far)
  • The Narrow Way by Pearables (Bible) - character study. We're working on "brotherly kindness."
  • Christopher Columbus lapbook - read information & the boys created their vocabulary booklet
  • Piano Lessons (2 hours total for all four of us)
    • Conductor played with Legos while waiting for us to be done (he went first)
    • Conductor & Happy played outside on the swing and watched "animal life"
    • All three boys were able to play some pool during my lessons
We finished the day watching our first episode for My Passport to India.This is a free five week study on the country and culture by India being put out by Mission India and Sonlight Curriculum. It started today but you can still sign up. We watched a five minute episode about traveling from the US to India by plane (25 hours). There was a lot of bonus material about the country that was linked below the video. I read this to the boys as well. We are waiting for our Welcome Kit to arrive to add even more fun.

Subjects covered today:
  • literature
  • Bible
  • history
  • music
  • geography
  • PE

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Day #17/175 Days – Field Trip

Today we headed about two hours north to Leonard’s Mills a living history museum. We’ve only been there once before about two years ago. The boys assured me they didn’t remember a thing!

**Warning** This post is photo heavy.

This museum is unique in that it hosts “living history” days. There are a large number of people dressed in costume doing chores and living as if it were 1790. They also now have a small encampment from the 20th Maine Civil War unit camping just outside the gates. I find things like this a lot of fun. Lego-Man – who begged me to leave him home today – enjoyed himself immensely. I’m pretty sure the two younger boys did as well. Sometimes it is hard to tell.

First we checked out a new mill they have added since we were here last. It’s a small sawmill that cuts cedar shingles.


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Before we could cross the covered bridge to get to the village,  we came across the 20th Maine camp. We stopped to check out a few things and chat with the men. 


They were great about explaining things, answering questions, and letting us poke about.


This is actually paper coins that were printed during the war. The gentleman here knew a lot about all the artifacts he had displayed and was more than happy to share his knowledge.


There were oxen pulling logs and horses pulling wagons. The horses were huge draft horses – well, tall ones at least. The boys and I took a ride around the village in the wagon.



I was talking Little House on the prairie to them the whole time. We are currently reading through the series and I hoped visiting would help make some things more understandable. Although, having the guy driving our wagon chatting on his cell phone kind of brings us quite quickly to the modern time.

We then headed over and let the boys have their hand at tossing a hatchet. Happy almost took out the back of his head, so I stopped his attempts at getting it in the target, but Lego-Man and Conductor were both successful.





blog10They had just thrown some small pieces of green wood on the fire and the wind was blowing the smoke straight at us.


From here we headed to the blacksmith shop. It was a pretty busy place today. We sat for a good ten minutes here watching the blacksmith make pot hooks.



Our walks then took us past some nice and scenic areas. I snapped lots of nature photos on this trip as well. We then headed to another new exhibit – the smokehouse. This was an Eagle Scout project and the boys built it all by himself. There was a very nice lady there smoking sausages and we were able to taste some – well Happy & I at least. It was pretty yummy!


The next stop was the “drinking fountain.”   It is really a hand pump with a trough attached. Conductor found out the hard way that controlling the stream of water isn’t that easy – especially with your six-year-old brother pumping.







The boys favorite place was the sawmill. It is powered by the water wheel outside.




All-in-all it was a fun field trip. I just hope the boys learned a lot. We’ll be doing a report about it on Monday so I guess we’ll find out!