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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hodge Podge and Mish Mash

Well, it's been hectic around here as of late. So, I've not had much time to blog. So, you will all be subjected to multiple posts for today. Keep persevering, they do end. This post will be dedicated to an assortment of unrelated pictures.
Picture 1: This is where we sleep. Now, before you go taking up donations to buy my kids beds, be aware. They do have their own beds. They just seldom use them. See, my kids like to break the norm, think outside the box, explore alternate sleeping places. Some nights it's the couch and recliner, others the floor. But they always manage to wind up where I'm sleeping and this night it was a queen sized bed. Notice the 2 ft section to the left. That's where I sleep. I have birthed three bed hogs!
These are the thanksgiving cards we printed using leaves.
Here are some pictures of Lillie, my dad, and my nieces Hannah and Kasey taking gun safety lessons. These are not, I repeat, not real guns! We are not stupid! These are rubberband guns. We are smart!
I love this one. It's like Charlie's Angels, only clothed and with stunted growth.
Key points of lesson: Don't point a gun at anything you don't want dead! That's good advice.
And the Winners of the "Looks Can Be Decieving" award are...
Being groomed to take over the family business!

Chloe...awwwww


Nuf Said!

Wantin' to Be Like Daddy

While going through my videos the other day, I realized that I had alot of great videos of Jody and Jack. Jackson loves his daddy and that is no exageration. Wherever Jody is...that's where Jack wants to be. Unless of course there's a roast on the table and then that's where Jack wants to be. Come to think of it, that's where you'll find Jody too, anyway.Oh well, they like each other is what I'm trying to say. So, here are a few of the better videos.
video
video
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I Can Not Tell A Lie!


The other day, I read the kids the story George Washington and His Hatchet by James Baldwin. What a great little story! It's one of those stories that parents love to read, so they can get in a little character training without the children getting wind of it. We briefly discussed who George Washington was and how his willingness to tell the truth shaped him into the great leader he was. We made a handprint cherry tree to tie in with the story and a devotion about truthfulness from our Keys for Kids.
You know, Looking back through my posts, I counted like...tons of pictures of Lillie with a Kool-Aid smile. It's become so integrated as part of her overall style, I don't really notice it. Sad...especially considering all the bad stuff you hear about dyes in food these days. I'm thinking it's time to hire each child an image consultant that will wipe their mouths and fix their hair before photos.

For all you Sesame Street fans, here's a "News Flash" about this very story! You will need to turn off my music player on the right!

Giving Thanks!

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was blessed! Sorry I'm playing catch-up again! Here are some pics from our trip to the Crafts Center for the holiday expo. They had alot of work by super talented people, including my dad, who in my opinion was the best (though I could be slightly biased). They had some demonstrations as well. Great fun!








Saturday, December 1, 2007

Must Read Blog Post for Homeschoolers and Those Pondering Home Education.

I have had the opportunity to talk to several moms about my choice to homeschool. They have all been very interested, but one thing holds them back. They simply don't believe themselves capable of teaching their own children. Well, I'm here to say that you don't have to have degrees all over the place (or even a high school diploma) to educate your children. Now, legally, it may come to that (let's pray it never does), but as of right now, we enjoy the freedom of being able to take charge of our children's education. I've said it before, it's not for everyone. And circumstances sometimes prohibit a family who wants to school their children to not be able to. But incapability is not one of them. Read this post from The Common Room and I assure you, it will open your eyes to alot of things. You may just realize (if you haven't already) that there is no other option for you but to be bulldoggish and selfish with the children you've been given charge over. Whether publically educated, or home educated parents should and need to be in the drivers seat of their kids development and education. The stories in this post are not isolated and more prevalent than I like to think.

Breaking Free from Twaddle!


As a relative newcomer to homeschooling and fledgling CMer, there is one big hurdle I've had to hop. Making the transition from a textbook mindset to a living book mindset. I know Miss Mason is right about this one. It takes alot more engagement and observation to pull facts out of literature as opposed to having it all laid out in small digestable sections. For example, I have been letting the kids listen to an audio recording of Thornton Burgess's Animal Book I downloaded from Librivox. If you have never checked out Librivox, it is one of my new favorite sites. I am a huge fan of all Burgess's works as well as those of Clara Dillingham Pierson. They are full of rich text, engaging and delightful stories (I love reading them long after the kids have run off to vent some energy) packed full of facts. Chapter Five was what we listened to yesterday and it's all about squirrels which was also the reading lesson Lillie was working on from the American Schoolhouse Reader I checked out from the library. I was listening and found myself overwhelmed! So...much...information...no...outline...no...factsheet. I quickly snapped out of it and realized that my textbook mentality had taken over. I worried that they wouldn't recognize the facts for being so engaged in the story! Sure, using a textbook description of the gray squirrel and it's behavior would have been easier on me. I realized that I, as the teacher, would have to play the role of textbook, by pointing out facts and expounding on them and doing other activities to reinforce what we had read and learned. Using living books takes courage, it takes organization, and it takes more effort. But, I promise you it is so worth it!

The American Revolution - part 2 (Vintage Sesame Street)

This one is for all you history buffs and Sesame Street fans!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Squanto


Being Thanksgiving week, I wanted to impart some bit of Thanksgiving History to the kids. My original intention was to read a story or two a day from the book Stories of the Pilgrims by Margaret Pumphrey. However, the days slipped by me , and now I'd have to read like 10 a day to get them all in. Well, maybe next year I'll plan it a little better. However, today we read about Squanto from the book. I did it at lunch time while the kids were stuffing their faces. I have to do my devotionals while they're eating in the morning too, because otherwise, they won't sit still. I'm going to have to work on that! Anyway, Squanto had it rough, people. The story we read didn't tell much about his early life before meeting up with the pilgrims. If you're not familiar with his sad story, I encourage you to read up a little on it. Without him the Pilgrims probably never would have made it as good as they did. Overall , I was struck by his ability to put aside all the bad things in his life and do something meaningful with it. For our craft, we made an indian corn picture using construction paper and rolled up balls of colored gift tissue. We then wrote what we were thankful for on the paper. Jack's was mostly his toys and his Papa and his Papa's tractor. Lillie's blessings were mostly people. But we all agreed, we are blessed beyond measure. I got the idea from Family Fun Magazine but had to modify it because I didn't have all the needed supplies. I wish I had had the supplies called for because those would have made a beautiful centerpiece.



While flitting around my public library the other day, I found a jewel. It's call The American Schoolhouse Reader Book Two. I have tried and tried to find a more structured means of teaching Lillie to read and this book does just that, and she actually likes to use it! I will have to keep renewing it, as it has 40 graduated lessons and we do one a day. She finished her fifth lesson today and is doing a great job. I told her she got a sticker for every five lessons and then when she reached 20 lessons mastered, she'd get a celebration. So, that got her excited, though I'm not even sure she knows what a celebration is. She read to Jody's family Sunday and they were all astonished, and I tried not to beam too proudly. There are three books in the series and they are very one room school houseish in appearance. Full color victorian era drawings and good words. It was used in the 1800's originally and so I figure it's proven. Took the girls to town to grocery shop and that always takes most of the day, so we went light today. Jackson stayed behind to do maintenance on the lawn equipment with his Daddy and was obviously worked like a dog because I came home and he was laying in the living room floor just inches from a nice soft couch, asleep. At least he was laying down this time.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thar She Blows!

In my futile attempt to "schedule" our days, Thursdays have become our science days. We get alot of science through our nature study, but I still like to do simple science activities with the kids. Today, we did three activities from Science Play. I borrowed it off my sister and it's hands-on science geared towards 2-6 year olds. We experimented with air. I wanted to show Lillie that air is very important and is everywhere, yet you can't see it, only evidence of it. I also shared a spiritual truth with her too. God is real, he's important, he's everywhere, yet you can't see him with your natural eye, only evidence of Him.
Experiment One: Puffy Pillow
We took some colorful tissue paper and cut it up into small pieces. We put them down into a ziploc and sealed it up leaving only enough room to slip a straw in. Then, Lillie blew into it and watched it swirl around. I wish I could've captured the grin on her face.

Experiment Two: Waxy Water Race
I dropped two big drops of water (tinted with food coloring so we could tell the difference between mine and Lillie's) onto a piece of wax paper. Then we blew them with our straws to see who could get their blob across the finish line first. I cut Lillie some slack and let her win because I have more hot air than her. It wouldn't have been fair, you know. Thanks to my camera for taking such a good picture of Lillie and I all by itself!


Experiment Three: Sail Away!
We borrowed three of Jack's Hummers (Jack is very possesive of his cars)

I cut index cars in two and drove a piece of skewer (toothpicks would have been better, but I had to improvise) to make a little sail. I taped them onto the back of the cars and we tried to blow them around on the floor. Jack got mad because he only knows how to spit, not blow. Lillie did a fair job. But once again, I prevailed because of years of nagging and yelling to exercise my lungs.

It was very fun to join in with the Lillie. Sometimes I get so caught up in "teaching" her , that I forget to have fun with her. I will try to get Lillie's reading lesson in tonite. She shut down on me this morning and I know when she gets that "I'm going to play dumb because I don't want to do this" look to try and pick up on it later. We probably won't get around to math, as today I folded a massive pile of the kids laundry. I taught Lillie how to fold Jack's pants and her skirts and she almost has it! I've read several good blog posts about scheduling and homeschooling, so I'll link to them here.
Here is a post from Jacci over at The Educational Life explaining how she plans her days out to fit everything possible in. Dominion Family has a great post that gives the pros and cons of a schedule and the importance of atmosphere in educating our children.

The Evils of Idleness

I believe that Miss Mason (Charlotte, that is) would cringe at the amount of idle time my children have some days. Below is the perfect example of why children should be given enriching activities to keep them busy. It started as an innocent lesson in patterning... video
And ended in this... I'll let you take a guess what's holding those foam beads onto his face like that. Hint: It is cold season :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rites of Passage Davis Style!!!


Sniff. Yes, that's my little boy with some Smith and Wesson ear protector thingies on. Why was he wearing them? Well, there comes a time in every little boys life when they must transition from a diaper wearing boy to a diaper wearing man with a ... leaf blower.



Picture Study: Peaceable Kingdom


"The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."
These words from Isaiah 11:6 were the inspiration for Edward Hick's "The Peaceable Kingdom". In fact, he painted 60 versions of this painting in his lifetime! Hicks was a Quaker, as was William Penn whose famous treaty with the Indians is portrayed in the painting. The book of Isaiah, and in particular Chapter 11 was Hick's favorite of all the Bible. Lillie really liked this picture. I printed it off last night and she got all weepy when I wouldn't let her study it last night. I asked her some questions to stimulate her to really look at the painting. Then, for history, I read "William Penn" from "American History Stories Volume One" by Mara Pratt from the Baldwin Project. We looked at a picture of the actual treaty
I pointed out to the kids how the Indians signed the treaty using animals and symbols. I then asked them what animal they would want their sign to be. Lillie wanted to be a Lion and Jack wanted to be a Tiger.
We talked about the difference between a male and female lion. Then we made a paper bag puppet of a Lion that I got off DLTK. I have said before that those people can turn a toilet paper roll into anything. Well, they can do it with brown paper lunch sacks as well.
We didn't do math or reading today, however. After we spent some time outside, lunches and naps, Lillie was not in the mood to do anything other than the little bit we did. I have learned we have to tackle the basics first thing in the morning or they don't get done. By the way, the 5th Edition of the Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up and running over at On Our Journey Westward. Check it out. Lots of great articles by some great ladies!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Birthday Leila!

This is me and my one and only sister. She's the one on the right. I'm the normal one (just kidding, sis).For all you PETA supporters, I know her headress looks alot like that cat she's holding, but I assure you no animals were harmed to make that thing on her head.

She looks alot better now, don't she? She's the one on the right,again. I'm the one with the double chin.
Happy ?st Birthday Sis, I love you and all the kooky weirdo memories we share together!

It's Sink or Swim!


We've had car trouble the last two days. As in the one car we have went dead on us. So, I didn't get much done in the way of schoolwork the last two days. Good thing Lillie's only four and not technically school age yet. So, today, I wanted to do a little science which is something we do little of, sad to say. So, I thought we'd do an experiment from my Usborne Pocket Scientist 2 book. It is internet linked which means that Usborne has a site that gives you links related to the content of certain pages in the book. If you're not familiar with Usborne books they are wonderful!
Our experiment was to have Lillie predict ,out of some selected items, which would float and which would sink. Then, she dropped them into a pan of water to see if she was right. I explained in simplest terms why things float and sink. See, it's called the Archimedes principle which states that a body immersed in a fluid is buoyed up (pushed up) by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid.
Just kidding. I didn't say it like that. If I had Lillie would've been like this...

Basically, an object floats if it is lighter than the liquid that is pushed back when the object is put into it. By the way, Archimedes is the dude in the picture above. Legend has it he discovered the principle of buoyancy while taking a bath. See, kids, cleanliness and personal hygiene really does pay off! Here's the pictures of this experiment.


Next, I sat three different size containers out. We counted how many pennnies we could put in each one before they sank.
First Container:9 pennies 2nd:96! 3rd: 76 pennies.