Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Better Late Than Never

I had the idea to make a salt dough map of England. We eventually id…. AFTER the component was over…. but at least it was done!






Lo Stivale will be created the first week of the component and then we can add to our map the entire unit!

This counts as a day of school… right?


Does everyone see that Isaac and Bekah are in a Knight? Since we are studying Knights this year, I believe a trip to Sea World counts as a day of school… right? =)


How about this? Actually, I know this counts. Life skills =) How great that my 8, almost 9, year old begged to be allowed to sew the family pajama pants for Christmas!


Another no brainer! I decided this year that it was time to learn to make tamales! Well, a little help from Vallarta’s pre-made masa and voila! we have sweet tamales =) The chicken ones were more fun since we made homemade sauce!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Medieval Festival~This is why we home school!

More than a month ago, someone suggested we have a Medieval Christmas Festival. It sounded pretty fun, for about 5 seconds. Next thing we know, it was going to be a lot of work! Weekday (no dads), food, entertainment, activities, decorations, etc. for 60 people. then, they dropped the bomb, Christmas ornament exchange! AAAHHHHHH! I didn’t think I could do this! So, fortunately, someone suggested pairing up! Most inspired person ever. Now my food/activity both was not just mine, but a joint family effort. Still, the ornaments  which we could choose to opt out. But if we were going, and everyone else could do it, so could we =) Now, our ornaments were not nearly as FANTASTIC as all the others, but as a whole, ours wasn’t too cheese!

So the day! First the children were given bag with money for their intended purchases.


Next, they learned about going wassailing and went wassailing!

DSC02255 DSC02255

Next, they took part in pulling the Yule log!


Then they went around buying food like roasted apples with cinnamon and sugar, gingerbread, potato cakes, bread pudding, pasties, and drinking wassail! Towards the end of the day, the older group did a mummers play on St. George and the Dragon. They were great! Too bad most of them will be done with school within the next couple of years.


Then, the younger children did a play about three shepherds hearing about he birth of Christ and then visiting the manger!



This turned out o be one of the very best days ever! I wish I had a picture of the ornament tree with all the ornaments. I am sure it is on the computer somewhere =) We had such a  great time. AND we are all already planning next years!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Unexpected Costs of Homeschooling

Does anyone want to guess what cost increase we have had in our house since beginning homeschooling? Probably not, so I will tell you..... TOILET PAPER! We have 4 potty trained people in our house all day and a 5th one here half the day. We are going through one of those big Costco packages of toilet paper in 2 months. Looking at what is on the shelf and what is in the bathrooms, I am willing to bet that we don't even make it 2 months this time =) I would also venture to guess that the water bill has gone up! I haven't asked Warren to analyse that for me yet =) He has compared the electric bills and surprisingly enough, every year it gets lower and lower (the watts used AND the money spent). So, I guess one could say we potty in the dark around here =)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bull's Eye

The bambinos with Robin Hood



So serious Isaac

The whole gang
We had an archery class from Robin Hood earlier this month. Thank you Praras!


Medieval Weapons of Warriors was out last sub-topic of our topic Dungeons and Dragons in our component King Arthur. So systematic, I know. I love it! So, we made catapults. I got a great book, Knights and Castles, which has hands-on activities for the middle ages. We had lots of fun.

When I learn how to add videos, I will add one of the children actually using them!


So 3 years ago (I think), when Magdalena came to visit with her family, they brought us this really neat game, Carcassonne. Magdalena's family played it with Bekah a few times. And the good mommy that I am kept the game close by so we could play it often. So, yesterday we finally played it. Pathetic and sad I know. Magdalena I am sorry it took so long. BUT we all loved it. It is a fun strategy game. Bekah understood how to play, but to be honest, Isaac REALLY understood how to play. The object is to get all your pieces on the board and they way to do that is to close road.

If you notice Isaac has such a loving face on. That is because Bekah had a road to close all set up with 3 or 4 of her guys. Well, Isaac blocked it! Great for Isaac, not so great for Bekah. You will also notice Bekah's smiling face. That is because she is so forgiving and kind!
So why is this a homeschool post and not a family post. Because this was our school work!
July 14 is a national holiday in France (History). In Carcassonne, to celebrate, the people release the animals and spend the day collecting them (strategy and logic)! Great game!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our Banner

Before our big medieval feast, our family was supposed to create a banner with a motto, etc. Well, I had no idea what to do. I knew we needed to include each family member on the banner. I had lots of scraps of material. So, Warren suggested we use the colors in the shape of a heart. Then, I started playing with the shapes of the scrap material, and decided that wasn't going to work. Until... I realized I could do a mosaic sort of creation. Well... at some point I remembered that we are supposed to study stained class this year. SO, we have a stained glass heart =) As for the motto, we were deciding between a couple of hymns from church and 'Love at Home' won! (it happened to be the easiest to translate into Latin as well)

Friday, October 28, 2011

"THUH" or "THEE"?

Isaac and Bekah have the BEST grammar curriculum! First Language Lessons is teaching ME so much! Today in Isaac's 3rd grade level we learned...
The article the is pronounced "thuh" before a word that begins with a
consonant sound. It is pronounced "thee" before a word that begins
with a vowel sound or if you are trying to emphasize a word.
Please tell me I am not "thee" only one who didn't know that? Another reason to homeschool... to get an education =)

Interesting Homeschool article in Stanford Magazine

I read this article on a site of one of the great families in our homeschool group, Education Abode It is about Standford and a study they did about their homeschooled students. This is an excerpt on socialization, but the entire article can be seen on her blog. Thanks for sharing Amy =)

by Christine Foster

HALL'S DISCOMFORT RAISES A WORRY often cited by critics of homeschooling. Can these students learn to live with the rules of the larger world? Are they properly socialized?

Parents say they can hear the socialization question coming before it's asked--and it clearly annoys them. (They even call it the "s" word.) "People always ask in this tone of voice that suggests they're the first to have thought of it," Baruch says. "I sometimes answer, 'Yes, I think the way school kids are socialized is a terrible thing; I don't know what to do about it.'" She dismisses fears that homeschoolers aren't well socialized. "I don't think [those worries] are borne out at all, in any way."

Backing her up is a 1999 survey organized by Brian Ray, president of the National Home Education Research Institute. Ray found that the typical homeschooler takes part in at least five social activities outside the home every week--from dance classes and sports teams to scout troops and community theater. He also collected previous findings by educators and psychologists suggesting that children taught at home are actually socially and emotionally healthier than those in schools. They are more comfortable interacting with adults and less likely to pin their self-esteem to the fads and whims of teenagers, Ray says.

The way these youngsters learn social skills--modeling themselves after adults rather than peers--is more consistent with the way children have been socialized through most of history, Esther Baruch asserts. "Until about a hundred years ago, the rich kids learned from adult tutors, and poor kids went to work early," she says. "Now, [kids in schools] model themselves after the other kids, who model themselves after tv characters--and the results of that are clear."

Homeschoolers tend to meet adults in the community during the day when they're out running errands, doing public service projects or seeking out mentors. Becca Hall, for one, is grateful for her friendships with adults. One of her closest confidantes is 35--"and that's fine," she says. "I also have younger friends. I think that is more healthy than every one of your friends being your age."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sculpey - Adult Playdough

Last year I had a friend use the word Sculpey and I looked at her like she was from outer space. Well, she had the same look on my face when I asked her what she was talking about. Well, today we used Sculpey for the first time =) I bought some to try and never did. Today we went on a Nature hike to Sherwood Forest (Wrightwood mountains) to see oak trees (we saw Live White Oak and Black Oak) and then were supposed to make Sculpey acorns to hang on our journals. Yea, well the pack of earth tone Sculpey was left at home with my camera! Fortunately, I have wonderful friend who took a picture (or 3) for me =) Anyway, we came home and made acorns. They turned out pretty well =)

After our hike, one family took Isaac and Bekah, along with others, on a little Goecaching trip. Only 1/2 miles up the road (or so they thought). It turned out to be more like 1 mile up the side of the mountain, and Robin Hood and Maid Marian both got tired of carrying their capes, so the wonderful Prara Girls gathered Isaac's and Bekah's belongings along the way. Thank you Prara Girls! Anyway, Isaac met a new best friend, Mr. Prara. He is into archery... he and Isaac already planned a date to make arrows and go to the local archery club meeting to shoot arrows.
Speaking of friends. One concern of homeschooling I had was that my children wouldn't get to have any close friends. Well, while they were off Geocaching, there were a couple of boys looking to play with Isaac and a couple of girls looking to play with Bekah. All of these children are being raised with the same moral beliefs. What a great group of children to pick a best friend from!

Ways to Homeschool

1. Enroll your child through the local school district. They will give you all the curriculum, at the child's grade level. Your child will meet with a teacher once a week and turn in their work and they take all the required tests.
2. Enroll your child in a charter school that provides all the curriculum. You the parent do more grading, and meet with a teacher less often. Your child takes all the required tests.
3. Enroll your child in a charter school that allows you to pick all your own curriculum. You meet with a teacher once a month. Your child must take all the required tests.
4. Enroll your child through the state as being enrolled in your own private school. You must take attendance (that no one sees). You are able to teach whatever you want. Your child in not required to take any tests (unless you ask for them or if your child wants to go to college).

Last year we choose option 4. We choose to study Folklore Around the World. We read fables, myths, fairy tales, and legends from each of the 6 continents (yes, we know there are 7, but Antarctica isn't inhabited). We had lots of fun.
This year we are doing option 3. I am loving it. My children don't really know the difference because last year everything came out of my pocketbook and this year most things are coming out of Sky Mountain's pocketbook. The beginning of the year tests were simple and the children were surprised when they ended =) We are able to take classes and buy curriculum to use throughout the entire year instead of just borrowing from the library. We are also able to get this (science and foreign language) that we just couldn't afford. Thank you Bridey for giving us the information!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I am not the world's greatest artist, but I am willing to put forth SOME effort =) Here is the latest art we did:

It is supposed to look 3-D =) This website is wonderful!I really love the tutorial for making a small handbag AND the Sudoku quilt!

Welcome to our Homeschool Blog!

In attempt to share our happiness with others, the children and I will be starting to share with you are experiences with our schooling. This is a great year to begin this, too! We are studying Medieval History and how to become a valiant, virtuous Knight! We have a WONDERFUL group with so many creative people! There is always something fun to do. To help supplement the costs, we signed-up with a charter school, In exchange for taking all the state tests, we get $1600 a year to buy WHAT EVER WE WANT! Well, almost =) So far it has been great! We are learning the periodic table (chemistry), chess, martial arts, illumination (art), Spanish, memorizing scriptures, killing dragons with our virtuous acts, going on field trips, sewing, joust reading, and gymnastics (beginning soon). I am sure I have forgotten something, but I think that covers it for now =)