Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hiking Round Two

The boys weren't satisfied with the little taste of hiking we had yesterday, so we finished school early and headed to the woods.

 Fungus is SO pretty!
 And feels like rubber.
 You need a good walking stick in the woods. That and a costume. Ya know, for effect.

 Walnut husks smelled great to me, but the boys hated them.

 Snack break!
One of the last flowers of summer.

Two hours later I think I may have satiated them for a while. Then again, they are still planning the next hike in the OTHER direction...

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Peek at Autumn

Is there anything nicer than the first day of Autumn weather after a LONG HOT summer? I dare you to think of one. The boys and I got a slow start this morning and school in it's paper form was laughable. What to do? The only thing I have found to focus little boys who need to move is to WALK!

We went around the block and when we got the to path through the woods I took it. The boys were SHOCKED. We haven't ever gone down there because 1) there is, sadly, a lot of trash in that valley and 2) it is all down hill when makes it UPhill on the way back. While walking through the woods we found some trash, but much of the really icky stuff had been picked up. Hooray! We even managed to find some treasure of our own:


A Sweetgum leaf in yellow and a perfect Sweetgum ball, a Black-eyed Susan in deep yellow, a bright red dogwood leaf and a HUGE green Poplar leaf.



After we got home we did what should always be done after a cool Autumnal walk - we had tea and examined our treasures more closely. Chamomile for the little ones and a Christmas blend I still have a few of called Sugar Plum Fairy for GA and I.

Griffin also asked to eat his tiny white pumpkin from the farmers market and I had to explain that he had bought the wrong kind to eat. The tiny ones are decorative. We plan to purchase an edible version this week. I also made sure he knew that the brown Styrofoam ones I made last year weren't to eat either. LOL!

Our first taste of Autumn will, no doubt, be fleeting, but we have surely enjoyed it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Earlyworks

Esther, Karen and I made plans on Thursday to meet up with another homeschool group for a special Harriet Tubman speaker at Earlyworks (the local history museum). The speaker was AMAZING.


She had the kids so involved that at one point she was talking about hiding in a tree and gestured to the back of the room and EVERY kid turned around to see the "tree". It was so great!

Here is our group with "Harriet."


Our group seemed to have been the only one that didn't know the program didn't end with the speaker. Our kids were all psyched up to play at the museum, but we spent the next 90 minutes in other classes...

They were good sports considering. Although I have to admit it was MY kid that told the big guy above that using him as a farm animal sounded like a good idea to him. Sigh. I really wanted to explain about the angst caused by the classes, but just couldn't admit that was MY kid. 

They all volunteered to be part of the underground railroad at the last program and then came the costumes and play!

 It seems the girls had spent much of the evening before coming up with a three page plan on what to do with the store and how to handle...

 THE PIRATES! Keilee had it handled. Frying pan, stat!


We stayed about 30 minutes and they started setting up for a fundraiser and pretty much kicked us out. On the way to the car we stopped to play in the fountain that is out back. Fun times!


All in all a great day to homeschool!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First Day of Autumn: Bama style

We had a double celebration today. First of all it was the first day of Autumn. After reading all of my friends' FB posts bemoaning the mid-90's weather, I had a brainstorm. If you can't beat it, enjoy it! Party at my pool!

Welcome Autumn Swim Party




Sadly, Ali had already left as well as Austin with the Sharman boys. At least we got a partial group pic.

The second thing we were celebrating was that Gina's birthday yesterday. She was willing to let it slide, but I snuck in a cake today. Happy Birthday Gina! We love you!


Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 Morgan County Fair Entries

Here they are:

Portraits



Places



Nature



Animals



Human Interest



I'm up against Esther again this year so you will all have to wish me a happy second place! LOL! I am most excited about getting my pictures from last year back. There was a miscommunication and while I was in England and Wales last year, Lou was NOT picking up my stuff. Six months of trying to get together with the fair coordinator ended with nothing, but she was supposed to have them there for me to pick up yesterday. Nope. LOL! So now I get to pick up during or after the fair again this year. At least I will, hopefully, have them back!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time for a Change

With all of the changes going on at our house, I figured it was time to clean up and change my school for the year as well. I lean heavily on reference materials (because, "You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.  ~Clay P. Bedford") so having my reference books on storage has been like tying up my right arm and asking me to draw a picture; extremely difficult! We have been working on math through a combination of printed work sheet free math games, English through copywork and reading, science by working our way through an in depth, year long study of birds (as well as Austin's SciQuest labs) and music through band and theory class (aka piano lessons with Mom). History, however, has eluded me. HOW do I reference teach without using MY reference materials? We begin this year as always with dynamic introductions: Civil War Reenactment, America; the story of us, pictures from DC of the WWII planes... something to spark an interest and it is working... to an extent. I've just felt like the structured curriculum leaves the stories sounding so flat and the hands on leave too much room to forget. I think I may have finally married my two ideas in the, not original idea, of the Timeline Notebook.


Having seen them in the hands of friends that have spent LOADS of money on a CD program to do it, I was sure that I could come up with a way to make them for free. Today I finally did! Here's how to do it:

1. Go to GuestHollow and print off your timeline pages - there are around 110 so have the paper and black ink ready! That gives you a timeline in USABLE chunks of 100 in BC and 30 in AD to make the base of your book.


2. Go to Currclick and down load the FREE timeline project and add-ons of music, transportation, states and Presidents.


3. If that isn't enough for you you can go to The Homeschool Shop and scroll down to where it says NEW - Clip Art for Timeline Books and download it. Now these have to EACH to opened and converted to something your computer's printer can read, but it is a HUMONGOUS file.


Viola! You now have the same stuff that retails for $30 for each section or study! I can't wait to get started tomorrow. Since the boys have been watching about the Revolution I think we will start there... :o)

Friday, September 17, 2010

I've been wanting to do this for eight years, but I've been too cheap to pay $25 or more for the lights. I scored these four strands for $2 at a yard sale.



It looks great at night sparkling off the pool... and just in time for the Realtor to put us on the market this weekend. :o)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ramen for Me

There are days when I really wish I worked at a public school. You know, the kind where they have the food already prepared after I have fought my way through phonics, fractions and micro-biology? But no. This school's teacher is also the lunch lady. In the last month since we started school I have not done so well at making lunch. More times than I care to remember this past month it has been lovingly prepared by the King of Burgers or the Queen of Dairys. However this is bustin' the school's budget BADLY so back to the kitchen I go. Without further ado here is a QUICK recipe for someone who can't have dairy, corn, peanuts or sesame:

Heather Safe Ramen

Serves 2

Ingredients:
3 packages of Ramen
1 bag of frozen Japanese Veggetables
1 cube of chicken bullion
1/2 tsp garlic and onion powder
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

Bring a full pot of water to a boil. Add the frozen veggies and cook until just wilting - approx. 3-4 minutes. Add ramen noodles and cook for additional 3 minutes, of until noodles are cooked. Drain. Crumble bullion cube and add remaining spices. Mix and enjoy!

Not exactly fine cuisine, but it will do for those days I hear the royal twosome calling. The boys prefer theirs with MSG thanks, so they use the packets that come with them and a little water. Just remember: