Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day #136/175 Days

Kids Can Grow Project Notes

Our 4-H club is doing a new project - for our county - and we're madly scrambling to get it started. We've been meeting monthly but as of May we'll change that to weekly. All of our children will be learning about gardening. Each child will have their own 4x4 (or 3x5) bed at home to tend. We will also have four community beds at our county extension office. Each of the children have been split up in to four teams and have already met to decide what they will be planting. Over the course of the summer they will tend these beds and we'll be heading to the local Farmer's Market 2-3 times to sell the produce. All the money raised will go back in to the KGC program. 

Today we had our second meeting. The kids planted (very  late, I know!) seeds that need a bit of a head start. These will have to go in the ground in the next 2-3 weeks so hopefully they will grow fast! If not, we'll have to look at getting seedlings or just doing plants from seeds this year. 

Once all of this was cleaned up, we headed in for our potluck dinner. 

We also watched a fascinating video on square foot gardening. I mistakenly thought this was just a raised bed. It's not! This is the method we will be having our children use. It's really quite neat! You can see more about it here if you wish. 

It's been wonderful as we had estimated that we would need about $300 per child for this project. We have either raised money through fundraisers or (most!!) of the materials have been donated! It's really been wonderful to see how the community has stepped up to help out this kiddos. We'll definitely be posting photos of our project over the coming months.

And if you have a local 4-H program, I highly recommend it. One thing I love - all three of my boys can do this together. It makes it so much easier than running them around to various age-segregated activities. The older kids in the club help the younger ones. It's been a wonderful blessing over the last year to be part of this group.

We were at the meeting from 4pm to 6:30pm.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day #135/175 Days


  • AWANA verses
  • Mad Dog Math (TOS Crew product)
  • Math Galaxy Whole Numbers practice
  • Complete 9A & 9B in Wordly  Wise
  • Phonics worksheets pgs. 88-91
  • Write each spelling word once and complete pg. 31
  • Complete Lesson 19 in Handwriting book
  • Practice the piano
  • Word Qwerty (TOS Crew product)
  • Read pgs. 132-146 in Christian Liberty Nature Reader
  • AWANA club (last one of the year)
  • I read 3 Chapters Andi's School Surprise and complete two activity pages (TOS Crew product)
  • Get Ready for the Code Book C pgs. 74-79
  • Read pg. 1 in the Alpha-Phonics First Reader Book 1
  • Finished 17F in MUS, watched Lesson 18 and completed 18A
  • Practice the piano
  • AWANA verses
  • Completed Lesson 14 in Handwriting book
  • I read 3 Chapters Andi's School Surprise and complete two activity pages (TOS Crew product)
  • AWANA club (last one of the year)
  • Finish 27D in MUS
  • Complete pg. 90 in Reading Skills
  • Complete Lesson 47 in Handwriting book
  • Complete 8A & 8B in Wordly Wise 
  • Complete pg. 25 in Spelling Skills book
  • Practice the piano
  • Read book of choice for 20 minutes
  • Mad Dog Math drill (TOS Crew product)
  • Math Galaxy Whole Numbers

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day #134/175 Days


  • Practice the piano
  • Mad Dog Math drill (TOS Crew product)
  • Math Galaxy drill
  • Piano lessons
  • AWANA verses
  • Quarter Mile Math drill
  • Try p. 66 in Wordly Wise - review crossword puzzle
  • Play Wordly Wise games for 20 minutes
  • Phonics worksheets pgs. 85 & 86
  • Write spelling words once and complete top part of pg. 30
  • Complete Lesson 18 in Handwriting book
  • Practice piano
  • Word Qwerty (TOS Crew product)
  • Read Christian Liberty Nature Reader (Book 1) pgs. 120-131
  • Piano lessons
  • Finish 27B & 27C (pgs. 322 & 323)
  • Complete pgs. 88 & 89 in Reading Skills book
  • Complete Handwriting Lesson 46
  • Complete 7D in Wordly Wise
  • Complete pg. 24 in Spelling Skills book
  • Practice piano
  • Read book of choice for 20 minutes
  • Mad Dog Math (TOS Crew product)
  • Math Galaxy Whole Numbers practice

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day #133/175 Days


  • Get Ready for the Code Book C pgs. 70-72
  • MUS 17F
  • Practice the piano
  • AWANA verses
  • Lesson 13 in Handwriting book
  • AWANA verses
  • Fix all math errors
  • Wordly Wise - fix errors on 8A, figure out missing words on 8B and complete 8C & 8D
  • Phonics worksheets pgs.81-84
  • Write each spelling word once and complete p. 28 in spelling workbook
  • Complete Lesson 17 in handwriting
  • Practice the piano
  • Work on Word Qwerty (TOS Crew product)
  • Mad Dog Math drill (TOS Crew product)
  • Complete 27B
  • Complete Lesson 45 in Handwriting
  • Complete 7C & 7D in Wordly Wise
  • Spelling Skills book - fix p. 22 and finish p. 23
  • Practice the piano
  • Read book of choice for 20 minutes
  • Mad Dog Math drill (TOS Crew product)
  • Family Walk Again devotional
  • Popcorn Prayer
  • Began The Long Winter Little House book - read 1 chapter
  • Read 1 chapter in True to the Last (great character book!)
  • Calculadder Drill

Friday, April 22, 2011

Day #132/175 Days


  • Watch Lesson 27 in MUS & complete 27A
  • Complete p. 73 in Reading Skills book
  • Complete Lesson 44 in Handwriting
  • Complete 7A & 7B in Wordly Wise
  • Complete pgs. 22 & 23 in Spelling Skills
  • Practice piano
  • Read book of choice for 20 minutes
  • Mad Dog Math (TOS Crew product)
  • AWANA verses
  • Math worksheet
  • Complete 8A & 8B in wordly wise
  • Phonics worksheets pgs. 76-80
  • Spelling - write each word once & complete p. 27
  • Complete Lesson 16 in Handwriting
  • Practice piano
  • Read pgs. 105-120 in Christian Liberty  Nature Reader book
  • Get Ready for the Code book
  • Math book
  • Handwriting book
I can't find Happy's checklist but I know he worked in these three books.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day #131/175 Days


  • MUS Test 26
  • Reading Skills pg. 19
  • Lesson 43 in Handwriting
  • Wordly Wise - complete 6C
  • Spelling - write each word twice
  • Practice piano
  • Read book of choice for 20 minutes
  • Mad Dog Math (TOS Crew program)
  • AWANA verses
  • Math worksheets
  • Wordly Wise - go back through 7A and circe all vocabulary words and fix all that were wrong.
  • Complete 7B, 7C & 7D in Wordly Wise
  • Phonics worksheets pgs. 71-75
  • Spelling - write each word once & complete p. 26
  • Handwriting - Lesson 15
  • Practice piano
  • Word Qwerty (TOS Crew Product)
  • Mad Dog Math (TOS Crew Product)
  • Read pgs. 93-104 in Christian Liberty Nature Reader
  • Get Read for the Code book C pgs. 64-69
  • MUS 17E
  • Practice the piano
  • AWANA verses
  • Handwriting Lesson 12

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day #130/175 Days

  • Fix all problems from last two lesson pages in MUS
  • Complete pgs. 17-18 in Reading Skills
  • Handwriting Lesson 42
  • Complete 5D Wordly Wise
  • Complete 6A & 6B in Wordly Wise
  • Complete pg. 21 in Spelling Skills book
  •  Practice piano
  • Read book of choice for 20 minutes
  • Work on Mad Dog Math (TOS Crew product)
  • AWANA verses
  • Math worksheets
  • Complete 7A & 7B in Wordly Wise
  • Phonics worksheets pgs. 67-69
  • Spelling: write each word once and complete pg. 25
  • Complete Lesson 14 in handwriting
  • Practice the piano
  • Word Qwerty (TOS Crew product)
  • Mad Dog Math (TOS Crew product)
  • Read pgs. 85-93 in Christian Liberty Press Nature Reader

  • Get Ready for the Code Book C pgs. 60-63
  • MUS 17D
  • Practice piano
  • AWANA verses
  • Lesson 11 Handwriting
  • First Grade Skills book - pgs. 28, 136-137, 194, & 232

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day #129/175 Days


  • Fix errors from the day before in MUS
  • Complete 26F MUS
  • Complete p. 16 in Reading Skills
  • Lesson 41 in Handwriting
  • Complete 5C & 5D Wordly Wise
  • Complete p. 20 in Spelling Skills
  • Practice piano
  • Read book of choice for 20 minutes
  • AWANA verses
  • Complete math worksheets
  • Wordly Wise - 6C & 6D
  • Phonics worksheets - pgs. 60-62
  • Spelling - write words once
  • Complete Lesson 13 in handwriting
  • Practice the piano
  • Work on Word Qwerty (TOS Crew product)
  • Work on Mad Dog Math (TOS Crew product)
  • Read in Christian Liberty Press book pgs. 72-85

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Day #128/175 Days - Field Trip (Part 4)

I should preface this with one thing...I love old cemeteries. I'm not sure why, but I do. I could have spent far more time wondering through Burial Hill taking photos and reading gravestones. However, we had four very tired boys with us so we kept it focused. Our goal was to find William Bradford's grave.

The boys spotted this old Powder House from the parking lot and immediately raced up to check it out. Just a funny aside...I had pulled over so my sister & I could find our bearings when we realized we had found the very spot we were looking for.

This grave is for Mr. Thomas Clark age 98 who died in 1697. He was Mate on the ship Anne that carried many Pilgrims a few years after the original ones landed. This stone was erected in his memory by his descendants in the late 1800s. 

The original fort that the Pilgrims built in the village stood on this spot. There is a replica of this fort at Plimouth Plantation. It's the one were Happy was taking target practice with his stick.

Conductor was the lucky boy who found William Bradford's grave site.

The view from the top

All in all we had a fantastic time in Plymouth. It was some long days, but well worth it. 

Day #128/175 Days - Field Trip (Part 3)

The next stop on our day long outing was the Mayflower II. This is actually part of Plimouth Plantation and we bought our admission the day before (combo ticket). It was wonderful not to have to fit everything in on one day!

Just like at Plimouth Plantation in the village, there are interpreters on board the ship. On this particular day there were three and we were able to talk to all of them during the course of our visit. There were also people in certain sections not dressed in costume who would answer any questions we had as well.

One thing I really liked about the visit to the Mayflower II was the information as you walked towards the gangplank. The boys were able to try out some hands-on things as well as gather (well, okay, I gathered they played) information on life on board a ship.

Here they are finding out where the term "knots" in regards to how fast a ship travels originated. Okay, they are simply yanking the rope out and coiling it back up. I did read the information to them though! Sometimes information has to be force-fed a bit. 

Heading on board - thankfully we all had our "sea legs" as it was a bit rocky and windy.

Before heading to the more sheltered areas of the ship, I made them all pose for me. Of course.

This woman was sitting above one of the hatches and just outside the captain's quarters. As always they interpretors have great accents and lots of knowledge. They will spend as much time as you'd like answering any questions you have.

I was struck by how small the ship was. There were 102 passengers plus crew on board this ship. We were there with perhaps a dozen other people and it felt crowded to me. The woman above related how they passengers were rarely let above deck - only a handful of times over the course of three months. It was also a very small ship. In fact, my almost 5'10" teenager had to duck often once we went below decks. Granted most of our Pilgrim forefathers were short, but still, I don't think they would have found these type of living conditions comfortable. Not at all.

This gentleman was hands down my favorite interpretor. The boys and I had been standing near this chair chatting. The "captain" of the ship had come down and my sister and nephew had gone over there to listen in. This man sat down, looked up in surprise at us standing there, and promptly engaged my boys. 

He is showing Happy how to hold up his finger in order to gain his help in making his net. He was so fun to listen to! He even tried to recruit Happy to be a cabin boy. He made a very interesting observation though.

Conductor's turn

I asked him "how long" it would take him to make the net. His reply wasn't what I expected but it was so true! He said that "you people" look for time everywhere. However, they did not. The net would be done when it was done. If someone came down and needed his help, he would set it aside and go help them. He would pick it back up and work on it as needed. It would be done when it was done. Profound words from the 17th century.

This gentleman was the captain of the ship.! He was riot! Next to the sailor he was my next favorite. 

He had us spell-bound with his tales and stories for over 15 minutes. He discussed things such as why people have the color of hair they do. His theory? It's colored by "brain poop." He took one look at poor Happy's blond hair and declared he must be constipated! (That still makes me giggle!)

He discussed other explorers and their successes and failures. He also had quite a funny talk about Pilgrim/Puritan names. I could have stood there far longer and listened to him, but we still had more ship to explore and Burial Hill to find.

Happy is in an area after you leave the ship. It again has some hands-on things for the children to check out. I made him come stand beside this large barrel to show the size. The barrel would hold a ton - literally!

Recognize the guy in red? He's the sailor who was on board the ship today. I noticed as we entered the Mayflower II area that there were photos of interpretors we had met the at Plimouth as well in different costumes. There are some very knowledgeable people who like what they do and do it well.

We had a great time on the Mayflower II!

Day #128/175 Days - Field Trip (Part 2)

After we visited the Forefather's Monument, we headed in to downtown Plymouth. We found a great parking spot central to everything else we wanted to do and started out.

Our next stop was to the Pilgrim Hall Museum. Sadly we weren't allowed to take any photos inside. I didn't think to ask if I could take some without a flash until long after I arrived home. I didn't even take any outside the museum. But I did snag this photo off their website:

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This is a great and very inexpensive museum right in the center of downtown. It houses many real artifacts (as in not reproductions of things). What I really liked out this museum was how they worked to make it child-friendly. 

When we arrived we were greeted by a sweet older woman at the front desk. After paying admission (for my boys & I to get in, it was less than I paid just for me to go to Plimouth!), each boy was handed a clipboard, pencil, and a Scavenger Hunt to complete. If they brought back the clipboard, they would get a prize (it was a free postcard). This helped keep them engaged - even when they didn't want to do it!

In the basement there were even more artifacts along with a short 15 minute video about the history of the Pilgrims and Native People.

All-in-all this was a great place to check out - especially after having been at Plimouth Plantation the day before.

Day #128/175 Days - Field Trip (Part 1)

Because we did so many different things today, I am going to break up the posts. Our first stop of the day was to the National Monument to the Forefathers.

This monument stands 81-feet tall and was commissioned by the Pilgrim Society. All of the components on the monument depict the reasons why the Pilgrims came to America. I was simply in awe of this structure as we walked around and took it all in. In 1974 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

I am very grateful to a friend of mine (her daughter gives us all piano lessons). When I mentioned where we were headed on our trip, she quickly grabbed a sheet of paper and started jotting down places we should check out. Come to find out she grew up in Plymouth! Without Deb's guidance we never would have gone here or seen Burial Hill later in the afternoon. And these two places were definitely favorites for me!

Here are some more photos of the Monument....

These two spots list all the Mayflower passengers who arrived on the first ship.

"Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise."
- William Bradford

An example of the high relief shown under each of the four larger statues. I think this one is "Embarcation." (basically setting sail)

Looking up....way up!

It's impossible to capture the scope of this monument. It's immense!

Under each of the four large statues (which are each named), there are two (one on each side) of these smaller carvings. Each one (big and small) represents something that caused the Pilgrims to come to America.

A close-up of the head of the tallest statue.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day #127/175 Days - Field Trip

The next couple of posts will be photo-heavy & long. We took a fantastic field trip to Plymouth, MA. We spent one whole day at Plimouth Plantation. It was their spring "Homeschool Days" so we were able to get reduced admission but they also did classes throughout the day. The other little boy you will see in some of the photos is my nephew. My sister took the trip with us.

We arrived in time to watch the orientation film after we registered for our classes and paid our admission fee. We headed right to the first class we decided to take which was about the Bible and the pilgrims. Unfortunately, it was heavy on lecture but the boys did really well. I think the parents enjoyed it far more than the kids. We were even able to check out some Geneva Bibles (the precursor to the King James version). The instructor was excellent.

The first class ran late so the boys didn't get a break between the next class. This next one was all about games Pilgrim & Native kids played. Each child was also able to put together their own games to take home. There was a fee for this particular class so there weren't quite so many people in it.

The boys waiting patiently with their materials to make their own Native game of "Twig & Pin."

Conductor was good at this game. Although, I think I got a shot of him here pinning his cousin's ring instead of his own. 

Happy & I were in a different room at this point. He wanted to use quill & ink to create his Pilgrim game. 

We I made a Fox & Geese game for Happy. We I used quill & ink to ink in the board. Happy was busily using quill & ink to draw on a piece of paper beside me. 

After our classes we ate our picnic lunch. It was COLD. Thankfully we found an outside pavilion that was somewhat sheltered to eat in. Then we were off to explore. There were a few school groups at Plimouth on this day but most headed out after lunch. We really didn't meet up with all that many people while we were exploring. 

Our first stop was the barn. The only animal there were some goats. They were still fun to check out.

Then we headed off to find the Native village. It wasn't far away. There was a handful of Native people there that day. While they dress in costume and go about their tasks as if it were the 1600s, they talk to you as if they are your next door neighbor. This is due to the fact that we wouldn't be able to understand each other if they spoke their native tongue. It was quite fascinating to talk to everyone and see what they were doing. All of them were very helpful and knowledgeable. 

This woman was working on a pair of moccasins.

He was making a canoe by burning out the inside of a tree. He said they do two a year. One in the spring an done in the fall - when it's cooler. It takes about three weeks to make one.

This woman was cooking over an open fire. She shared what it was she was making and how she did it. It was really kind of neat to check out. Nearby was her young child playing...

and a large pile of furs....

in which she said her two month old son was sound asleep. I told you it was cold!

I found it interesting when we asked about meal times. They didn't have them. The woman would make sure food was always available and they would eat when they were hungry. What a concept, right? Shortly after this I did see a few of the Native men with a bowl of the above. And I can't remember what this was called. The pot directly over the fire was full of fish chowder (non-diary since they wouldn't have anything like that back then). The other small pot was full of cranberry tea. The pots would be rotated between the stones to warm as needed.

Before we left the village we headed in to one of the houses.

This young man was in there.  He was very knowledgeable. He answered any question the boys (or anyone) had. When asked about fires, I found it interesting that the Native people only used dead fall for fires. It made no smoke and this meshed with their beliefs to basically do no unnecessary harm to their world. Both this man and the woman cooking made mention of the wood and the fires. In fact, here is a photo of the smoke going up out of the smoke hole in the house....

We spent close to an hour in the Native village. From here we walked along the water front on a fun boardwalk. Stopping for some photo ops.

I really enjoyed my time in the Pilgrim village and I think the boys did as well. 

There were quite a few interpretors and they were fantastic! In fact, shortly after walking in to the village we came across three woman sitting by the bread oven waiting for their bread to bake. 

My sister asked, "What breed of chickens are those?" There were a few pecking around near the feet of the ladies. She was told, "Breed, mistress? Why they are just chickens. There is no breed!" That's when we realized this was going to be fun!

I loved how they each would spend as much time as you wanted to stand there with you. They answered any question you asked, but with an accent and sometimes a curious stare if you brought up something very much 21st century.

Various women were working on preparing gardens.

This woman was very nice. She was "Dutch" so her house looked a bit different than the rest. She was also working on her garden this day.

This gentleman was very gracious and spent quite a bit of time chatting with the boys.

We spent probably close to an hour in the Pilgrim village. The last stop there was at the fort. This was every little boy's (and big boy) dream!

the view from the top of the fort

See what I mean? All they need is a broken stick and an imagination. 

One last group shot.

After the boys had a chance at the gift shop we headed back to where we were staying. However, we decided to take a detour through downtown Plymouth. We knew Plymouth Rock wouldn't be all that exciting, so my sister shared some of its history while we headed over to find it. We took a quick walk to check it out and then headed back to our campground to grab supper. All in all a long but tiring day.