Monday, September 27, 2010

Aw, Thanks!

You're so sweet, Monica, for thinking of me when it came time to pass this award along! We are both members of the MFW Blog Roll, and Monica and her little ones are one week ahead of us in Adventures, so I feel like I get a little sneak preview! :) You can check out her awesome blog here.

There are a few rules for accepting this award:

1. Post a thank you from the person who awarded you and include their blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 10 to 15 other bloggers.
3. Comment the blog owners and award them.

I really enjoy these lovely blogs (in no particular order in alphabetical order):

A Moment In My Father's World
Being Made New (corrected!)
Clemens Clan Current Charades
Golden Acorn Homeschool
In the Heart of My Home
Indy 2 Guam
Jimmie's Collage
Joyous Family
NieNie Dialogues
Sumana's Faith
South-Dakotan Satterfields

Grab a cup a copy and enjoy these lovely blogs! And thanks once again, Monica!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Preschool for Olivia

Olivia is over the moon that she gets to go to preschool. We are sending her three mornings a week (for two hours) to the same preschool that Carli attended, and we absolutely love this school. She is constantly asking when she can go back on those off days.

Open house:

I love this picture! Carli and Liam were in the same class in preschool, and now Livy and Rhys are. We get together with them quite a bit through the year for homeschool outings or just to play.

First day excitement

Walking in to the school...
...down the stairs...

...and onto the circle rug.
A little quiet this first morning, but no tears.

Her turn to take the Mystery Box. (I know she had white on after Labor Day, but I haven't gotten Fall stuff out yet.)

Just altogether too adorable.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Labor Day and MFW Adventures, weeks 4 and 5

Week 6 is just hours around the corner and I have yet to update you on weeks 4 and 5. For those of you who don't really care that much about our homeschooling adventures, just enjoy the pictures and understand that one of my main objectives for blogging about them is to keep a record of sorts of our year. Thank you for dropping by.

Of course, we started out our week 4 with Labor Day. We stayed home…slept in, enjoyed a late breakfast, worked in the yard, sat around and read, watched the girls play outside, and then grilled some ribeyes and roasted marshmallows. Mmm

(Note the lovely non-matching outfit!)

Glen was proud of his perfectly roasted marshmallow, so of course he tweeted it. :)

Besides keeping up with our basics (math, phonics, spelling, handwriting, reading—Mouse Tales by Lobel), this is a bit of what we learned:

Bible: During weeks 4 and 5, we studied "Jesus, the Light of the World." Carli memorized John 8:12—"I AM the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." As a reminder of this special name of Jesus, the girls both decorated a votive candle that we burn during supper.

We studied several passages from both the Old and New Testaments concerning the Light that has come to the darkness. I absolutely love the Discoverer's Bible for Young Readers. The language is so simple and clear. I find Carli reading it when we're not "doing Bible" or quiet time.

(Carli unscrambles the words of John 8:12)

Science: Our science studies for the last two weeks were tied into our study of the Light of the World. Studying the universe, the sun, other "close" stars, and constellations, specifically the Big Dipper. Carli now thinks that we need to go outside every night to look at the stars.

Study of the universe fascinates me. For instance, you probably remember that the sun is 93,000,000 miles from us. I ran the numbers for Carli to break it down a bit—that's 25,000 plus trips to Alaska for us. I don't think she could even wrap her mind around that, but she knew it was a lot. Proxima Centauri is the next closest star, and it is 25 TRILLION miles away. If we could travel at the speed of light, it would take us 2 seconds to reach the sun, but 8 minutes to reach Proxima Centauri.
To illustrate the difference in size between the sun and Betelgeuse (pronounced beetle juice), we cut out a one-inch circle to represent the sun. Olivia stood with it while Carli and I measured 16 ¾ yard away, which is the diameter of the shrunken Betelgeuse compared to the one-inch sun.

There are an estimated 200 billion stars in our galaxy, and possibly billions of galaxies. That just boggles my little mind. God is so great, such an awesome Creator.

History: Week 4 covered the Native Americans. Lots of hands on activities.
A wigwam…
And a teepee village. One of my dear friends (awwwwwwwwww), Kirsten, and her sweet mother, Diana, took Carli and Olivia for the day while I took Madeline to several doctors' appointments in Indianapolis. Diana homeschooled four girls and has homeschooling so etched in her that she loves any chance she can get to work with little ones. I love it when my girls get to go to Nana Di's. Kirsten is a fixture in our home (or almost), loves reading as much as I do (and can describe exactly what I feel about books in general or a book we both love), and most importantly, is in love with my little girls.

All that to say, when my teacher's manual scheduled making a teepee, I knew Kirsten would do that better than I. Not only did she help make a teepee, but entire Indian village, complete with teepees, a river with fish, trees, a fire pit, Indian children, and baskets full of beads and corn kernels. The girls had to show everyone who entered our house for the next week, and they still stop and admire it several times a day.

Week 5 launched us into a brief overview of the Mayflower and the Pilgrims. We'll be doing a unit study more in depth Thanksgiving week. Our activities were a lot of fun for this study…I learned something! I did not remember that the Pilgrims used oiled paper for windows when glass was not available. The oiled paper not only was a lot stronger, but was waterproof and let in a lot more light than non-oiled paper would have.

The non-oiled paper (above) doesn't let in as much light as the oiled (below)
(testing with water)

Second, we planted corn, planting alongside in one cup, as Squanto taught the Pilgrims to do. We will be watching the corn grow to see which grows more quickly, the one planted with fish or the one without.

Carli was very sad to wrap up Squanto, Friend of the Pilgrims. We also read Native American Indians, and from American Pioneers and Patriots and The Story of the U.S. (We still have a bit to wrap up in the last one since I forgot it on our trip to Brown County.) Our book basket books included selections about Native Americans, the Pilgrims, as well as universe and our galaxy in particular. (Because I couldn't find the some of the recommended books in the manual, I had to substitute with some that mentioned the Big Bang. This opened up discussion for us, all the while looking at some awesome pics!)

Our selection from Celebrate America is "America" aka "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

Art: We have completed part of lesson 2 in Draw Write Now. We didn't get much art in the second week due to our trip, but we did enjoy Vincent's Colors, a delightful book of van Gogh paintings, using his own words to describe the colors that moved him so much.

Field trips: On Thursday and Friday of this last week, we totally enjoyed some time taking in the slower pace and fresh country air in Brown County. Glen had a work obligation in Nashville, and we tagged along with him. The girls spent a lot of time in the pool as well as rollicking around the park and wandering the streets of Nashville. I'll be posting more on this later (hopefully soon). We did a few lessons, but left the math and phonics at home.

Funny story: While the other children were trying to sleep, Carli was exclaiming loudly every time she found a flag of a country she knew about. She had picked out this DK Flag book to bring along, but I had no idea how much she'd enjoy looking at it. She was almost giddy with excitement.
On Saturday, I took Carli, Madeline and Kirsten over to Koh-Koh-Mah & Foster, a living history re-enactment centered around the French and Indian War. I had no idea we had this major of a production in the Kokomo area. Not only was the reenactment exciting, but the various camps were amazing. (I heard that our Indian camp is the best in the nation in these sorts of events.) Again, more on that later. I'll just leave a picture for now.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gene Stratton Porter's home (one of them, anyway)

A few weeks ago, we took the day to go visit one of Gene Stratton Porter's homes, the one her husband built for her right on the edge of the Limberlost. I grew up loving GPS's book The Girl of the Limberlost, but I've since listened to more of them on tape. It was a treat to find more about the lady herself. Sadly, much of the swamp has been drained, and what has been preserved was a little dry while we were there, and since it was very hot, we didn't tour very much of it.

However, the tour of the house was fantastic...even the girls enjoyed it. They were fascinated by her collections of butterflies and moths, the blue herron and the golden eagle beside her fireplace, her daughter Jeanette's room and porch, the huge clawfoot tub where Gene mixed the chemicals and developed her own film. And showing my one-track mind, I forgot to take any pictures inside while I was busy trying to listen and keep little fingers from touching and little feet from climbing.

At the end of the tour, the guide gave the girls a sheet of stickers and a page of questions to match the pictures to. I was amazed how much even Olivia picked up and remembered.

So without further ado, the pictures....

(below) If you look closely at the fence, toward the edges of the picture, you can see small open spots in the wall. Gene wanted the small creatures to be able to get into her yard. The fence are original and made with rocks from the Wabash.

Gene's daughter Jeanette had her own little porch. Gene called it "A girl's fantasy porch" or something like that.
There was a cat on the premises, which Olivia absolutely loved. She would not let the poor thing alone. (I know Grandma Asbury is gasping in utter shock! And yes, my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek.)

This was my absolute favorite part of the house. Inside there is a small room brimming with plants and natural sunlight, opening into the dining room. At night, Gene would open the little windows at the very top, close off the room with the glass and oak pocket doors, and wait for the butterflies and moths to come. They were attracted to the gas lights, of course, and would land on those huge doors, making it easy for Gene to study them.

Snack time! She loves being able to drink on her own (with Thick-It)
The only remaining covered bridge over the Wabash
Enjoying the Wabash
Just because.