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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.

Being a Big Sister


Being a big sister is rough. It's alot of work.

Little sisters can be sooooo messy!
How do babies eat this junk!
Doin' a little Christmas shopping...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Building An Arsenal


If you're a child of God, you believe what His word tells you, right? In Psalms 127:3-5 , David writes, "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."
Psalms 127 is just as true as John 3:16. So how come our attitudes don't reflect this? I have, I'm ashamed to admit, been on both the giving and receiving ends of the comments and looks women get who dare to have more than 2.5 children and venture out into public. The Bible says we ought not to be ashamed of the quantity of children the Lord gives us. Lord forgive us (especially us ladies)if we make that mother ashamed. You know the one I'm talking about. You may be that woman I'm talking about. The mother who has given up any personal ambition she might have had to stay home and disciple her children. The mother in the Wal-Mart checkout line with 6 small kids in tow who survived the toy department and the cereal isle with no incident who is just trying to make it to her vehicle with all her children, all her groceries, and her checkbook. I've been there. The looks of pity, the fake smiles, the "you sure have your hands full" and the ever popular "so, are you done?" And then there's that look you get when you answer that last one with,"I'll take however many the Lord sees fit to give me!" You know the look, like they think you got lost on your way to the Planet Nutso.
It's not God's will for everyone to have 13 children. Sometimes it's not God's will for some to have children at all. All throughout the Bible, there are accounts of women who were "barren" and it was considered a bad thing by society. Oh my how far we've strayed from the Bible in this world. Now , it's just the opposite. It's a bad thing to have children at all! Children are the enemy! That's what this world, the media, and I'm sorry to say it, some so called bible believing churches will tell you. It's funny to me, that God's people will get in an uproar over abortion, (and we should. It's wrong, it's murder) yet we'll look down our noses at those that dare to break free from the status quot and go God's way. We ought to support, in prayer as well as in deed, those parents who are not just filling their quivers with arrows, but building an arsenal for the Lord.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Picture Study:Noah's Ark


Been slackin' again. We have not done much "school work" other than just the basics. We picked back up this past Thursday. We suspended doing the rest of our unit on the senses, but will pick up the rest later on. I did a picture study with Lillie Anna for the first time. This is one aspect of the Charlotte Mason Method. Ms. Mason suggested starting formal picture study at age six. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong with introducing little ones under six to beautiful works of art. Picture study increases a child's power of observation as well as gives them an appreciation of the contributions that artists have made to our world. Now, in every medium of art or creative expression, there is good and bad. Music, art, literature, media etc. As a parent, you must choose only the best of these things to expose your children to. Charlotte Mason really "got" this.
Anyway, Garden of Praise is a wonderful resource and they provide picture study resources that are very Charlotte Mason-y. They chose "Noah's Ark" by Edward Hicks as their study but I went and googled some more of his works, chose two more, and will have Lillie "study" each one. We began with "Noah's Ark". Garden of Praise provides a list of questions to ask the student about each painting, but these questions were geared towards children older than Lillie, so I made up my own questions to ask her. Such as, what animals do you see? What colors? What animal isn't walking into the ark? What does the weather look like? What do you like about this picture? What do you not like? You could make up your own questions, anything to get them stimutlated and interested in looking at the picture. Then, I let Lillie Anna listen to an audio reading of Noah's Ark off the Garden of Praise site. Another resource they have is audio readings of many and most of the well known bible stories. After listening to it, I asked Lillie to tell me all she had learned about Noah from the story. We then talked about obedience to God and parents (had to get that in) how it is important to listen to God's voice, and how you can trust God to lead you in the right path. After the picture study, I read her a short bio of Hicks and let her paste his picture and a small printout of the picture we studied on an artist profile notebooking page I got off Homeschooling with Index Cards (another great resource).

We played a counting file folder game with a Noah's ark theme that I got off Christian Preschool Printables.

Lillie continued working on reading her "Autumn Fires" poem by Robert Louis Stevenson and did some addition practice. She is now where she can do the process by herself, though I still watch her and listen to ensure she's doing all correctly.
What was Jackson doing at this time? Between playing with his cars and begging for something to drink, he played with his magnet board (that's cheapo mother who doesn't want to seem cheapo lingo for discarded cookie sheet with dollar alphabet and number magnets) I bought Lillie Anna letter, number and shape magnets at the Dollar Tree about a year ago and Jack loves to shout out the letters etc. as he finds them. The metal cookie sheet insures that they stay where they're supposed to and not all over my floor.
I am amazed at how much Lillie has taught him :)
Here is another fine example of Jackson's super human ability to sleep anywhere and in any position.

And here is an example of Lillie Anna's not so super human ability to disguise herself so that she doesn't get caught out of bed at naptime. She really thinks that I can't see her!

Busted!