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Thursday, January 24, 2008


I slacked and didn't post yesterday's work until today, so the post directly below this one is actually the stuff we did Wednesday.
Today, we read Chapter One from the book "Stories of Indian Children". It was all about the homes of the native americans with a focus on teepees. Teepees were the common housing style for the Native Americans since they were largely nomadic people and moved where the food was. Thank the good Lord for Kroger and Wal-Mart. I'd hate to rent a U-Haul everytime I ran out of milk! Jody stepped up to the plate today to help the kids make teepees because my nerves were about shot. The kids just would not sit still or focus to listen to the story. So, I let him take over while I shot the pictures. It was just safer for everyone that way.
Here's Lillie "decorating" her "buffalo skin" for her wigwam.
And here is Jackson, who just dumped the entire crayon can out onto the table and is wearing the can for a hat. He's the class clown...wanna guess if I laughed????

Jackson trying his hand at making an Indian war cry!

And the finished product...

Lillie did another time telling worksheet, this time matching the clock to the written out times. I believe she's got time telling to the hour down. I think I'll work another day or two before moving onto something else. She's wrote more A's today. Our Among the Farmyard People story of the day was "The Bay Colt Who Didn't Mind." Parent's : It's no accident that I picked this story, for the Bay Colt was very disobedient and had a nasty attitude and got into trouble for it. Not sure if the kids got the jist of the character lesson, but we did learn a little about horses. Lillie completed a story page for her animal book with a picture of a bay colt. Skipped out on reading. Been trying to get them laid down for a nap for about two hours now. Probably won't do it today.
Chloe ate pancakes and syrup this morning...loved it.

Today's Lesson is...

We took Tuesday off to go pick up a dryer. For about two weeks, we were without a dryer. Three kids, a husband who uses a different towel every time he gets in the shower and has only three pairs of work pants currently in rotation and no idea of roughing it. What did you do???? you may be asking? Well, it has been so cold, that hanging the clothes out was simply not an option. So, I had every availiable piece of furniture, shower rod, curtain rod, you name it, draped with clothes and busted out the oscillating fans that were in hibernation from the summer. Snow outside, and fans going on in the house...crazy. Hubby said we could manage a little while like that, but then changed his mind when I had to steam iron his pants because the legs wouldn't bend. So, we saw no other option but to get another dryer. Jack was, of course, right by his Daddy's side to lend moral support and the occasional screwdriver.

Today, we picked back up on school. We read our story from Among The Farmyard People called "The Duckling That Needed Something to Do." We learned all about ducks and their babies and the moral of the story was that if you don't have anything to do, help someone. We watched a video of a duckling hatching. The kids thought that was really neat. Lillie did another story page with a picture of a baby duck for some extra added writing practice. I hold her hand while she does these but only to correct. She's pretty good with the movements, enough that I know she's getting it. These animal pages are going in a folder for future reference.
Lillie did another time telling worksheet, this time having to draw in the hands on the clock to represent the correct time.
She practiced writing her upper and lowercase 'a' and tracing triangles and then drawing some independently.
We read the story of Ruth for our bible time and Lillie made a TP roll figure of Ruth gleaning wheat. I printed out a cow cut and paste craft for Jack ...
He took a bit of artistic license and made the boy cow into a girl cow.
I heard Anna tell him, "Hey, Jack! Those are udders. That's how you get milk!"
Lillie started her short 'e' blends today and will begin reading the 2nd Starfall Reader "Peg the Hen".
Charlotte Mason did not recommend narration until the age of six, I believe. So, I was at a loss for how to see if Lillie was actually listening when I read the stories. I'd ask her questions, but she'd stumble around until I told her the answer. So, I printed up a game board and we played review, her against Jackson. Jackson would spin and have to answer questions about letters, numbers, letter sounds,shapes, and colors in order to move on the board. Lillie Anna's questions ranged from working addition problems and reading sentences from her reader to questions covering the material from all the stories we read. Each day, I add the questions for the material covered. Nothing like a little competition to motivate. Lillie Anna got every question dead on right. So, this is how I'm going to "test". It's alot more fun for us all.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dad's Got a Blog

My dad makes awesome knives and various other functional art. Now he has launched a blog to catalog his work. He just started it, so he doesn't have many of his little beauties on there, but keep checking back.

We're Rollin' in Dough!

Before long lost cousins and relatives come out of the woodwork, it's not that kind of dough. It's play-doh, homemade play-doh. Jackson is at his Uncle Jason and Aunt Cassie's house, hopefully behaving himself like a little gentleman. So, Lillie and I had a full day of "school" today. Hadn't had one of those in a while. One of the American history topics I want to cover with Lillie is the Indians of North America. Talk about a culture clash. She couldn't believe they didn't have stoves and cooked over an open fire. I found a couple of nice (free) books and began one today. It's called "Stories of Indian Children". You can get the entire text with all the illustrations at Google Book Search! Yipeee! I skipped chapter one because it was all about teepees and wigwams and I didn't have the materials to do the project I wanted to. So, we went to chapter two and learned that
1. An Indian baby was called a papoose and they spent 98% of their time strapped into a cradle and being carried on the backs of their mothers. What was even more interesting is that they actually hung them from trees while they worked in fields or gathering. I doubt I could get away with that in this day. I have , however, threatened to hang my kids up by their ears (oh, dust off your know you've made unrealistic disciplinary threats to your kids before.)
2. They did not have stoves or ovens and cooked either over an open fire or by pulling hot stones out of the fire and throwing it into the pot they were using. They cooked in kettles made of clay, used carved wooden utensils and hauled water in a birch bark pail.
3. Indians were hospitable to one another. If one family didn't have a good hunt, the other families would pitch in and all would eat. They ate when they were hungry, if they had anything to eat at all.
And we learned all this from a "living" book.
So, we made homemade clay, fashioned some indian pottery and a papoose and painted them. Here's the pics. Lillie Anna's looks a bit gruesome, like it was burned, but that's just because she hasn't learned the fine art of painting. She's four and only cares about seeing how much paint and how many colors she can slap onto something.

And here is the picture Lillie took of me... nice. I think she really captured the essence of my double chin. Thanks, honey.
For science, we will work our way through Clara Dillingham Pierson's Among the Farmyard People. A story each day and then discussion over the animals mentioned in the stories. I like Pierson's books because they are packed with simple straightforward information in a storybook format that won't bore your kids to tears. And an extra added bonus is she never fails to incorporate some bit of character or manners education. Todays reading was about swallows. We learned that...
1.They migrate in the winter to the South, but that mourning doves do not.
2. They live in barns, old sheds...secluded places and build their nests out of mud and straw. They eat in flight meals (hee, hee, a little airline humor)catching insects as they fly and dive through the air.
3. Behavior principle...children ought to be respectful when others are talking, especially their elders, not interrupting, but giving full attention. She also threw in that the parents are the ones that have to teach the kids. So, Lillie and I both got a dose of moral in todays lesson. I had her do a storypage on the swallow for some writing practice. You can find them here to print.
After about two weeks of practice sounding out short "a" blends and words,Lillie read her first book from Starfall and will move onto the next tommorrow. She practiced some addition and did a worksheet where she had to tell the time to the hour. We got alot done and I really enjoyed the dough makin' together. Just for laughs, here's Chloe taking health matters into her own hands... We're gonna have to start callin' her Scarface. Jackson accidentally gashed her with his nail yesterday. I emphasize the word "accidentally". You could tell he didn't do it on purpose. When he does something wrong and doesn't mean to...he'll tell the truth. When he's been mean on purpose, he lies like a dog.
I gave Chloe a few little bits of country ham this morning and she screamed bloody murder when I took it away. The kid has two teeth and thinks she can whoop the world and eat whatever she wants. I pacified her with a peace offering of gravy and bisquit.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Okay, I love hymns. While picking up the living room today for the fifth time, I snatched up a hymnal my grandmother gave me a couple of months ago. One of the kids had thrown it in the floor. While I squelched the urge to really let them have it about respect and taking care of things, I glanced to see what page it was opened to. Page 147, "The Christian Home". I read it through and I almost cried. This song embodies exactly what I want my home to be.

O give us homes built firm upon the Savior
Where Christ is head and counselor and guide
Where every child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ, the crucified:
How sweet to know that tho our footsteps waver
Our faithful Lord is walking by our side.

O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and xourage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines tho days be dark and grim.

O give us homes where Christ is Lord and Master,
The Bible read, the precious hymns still sung;
Where prayer comes first in peace or in disaster
And praise is natural speech to every tongue
Where mountains move before a faith that's vaster
And Christ sufficient is for old and young

O Lord, our God, our home is thine forever
We trust to Thee our problems, toil, and care;
Our bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor
Be Thou our guest, our hearts and homes to share.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Week of Milestones

Well, so much of the blog revolves around what Lillie and Jack are up to, that Chloe sometimes gets lost in the background. So, this post is all about her. Chloe has two teeth. Two at the bottom, side by side. Like my other two darlings, she is an early budder with teeth. Lillie had a full set by the time she was 1 year I think. Jack was about the same. But Chloe is the crankiest teether I have ever had. Can't much blame her though... Well, so with the new teeth comes new responsibility, such as eating finger foods. In this picture, she's chomping (or gumming, or slobbering) some baby gold fish (crackers, that is).

She likes them, as you can see.
She is sitting up by herself very well, though has not gotten any closer to crawling than flopping onto her belly and scooting.
Diggin' usin' a big girl sippie cup...
This girlie is too cool for her own good...

Yet not so cool that she doesn't remember "the little people"...
It is very hard to believe that in close to 8 months, my baby has gone from this...
To this...

Another reminder of how fast time slips away...

Monday, January 7, 2008

We're Back!

Man, the holidays were jammed packed of events this year. It seemed like only yesterday that I overate at Thanksgiving. Before I could blink an eye, I overate at Christmas. Between both sides of the family, we attended 4 get togethers. All with food. My how we are blessed! Then, my sister-in-law Shanna, had the crazy idea to get married on the 29th, just 4 short days after the week of gluttony. Getting married wasn't the crazy idea, by the way. Her expecting me to fit into a bridesmaid that was crazy.
It was a beautiful wedding and they had the best wedding cake I have ever eaten. And I know cake!! ;)
Anywho, so I've been evaluating and trying to settle on a plan for Lillie's first "official" year of school. I have looked at Ambleside and also Miss Maggie's free curriculum over at Old Fashioned Education. (I give much love to Miss Maggie. She was formerly The Hillbilly Housewife, but has since moved on. Susanne has taken it over and is doing a great job keeping with the vision of frugal living. Miss Maggie has a new blog called Frugal Abundance, and I encourage you to check it out.)
So, here's what I've decided. I like Ambleside, but will need to do alot of tweaking as it is heavy with literature and I don't want to get too overwhelmed. I like Miss Maggie's take because of it's simplicity and total use of online and free resources and texts. She is CM friendly, but will need to add some resources and factor in things like Nature study and such. Alright, so I'm going to follow Miss Maggie's forty week schedule for Kindergarten, supplementing with some recommended texts from Ambleside's Year One. Not failing to incorporate nature study, but also dedicating some time each week to let Lillie do some fun science experiments. Adding in handicrafts, the Abeka Handbook of Reading for phonics practice and the McGuffey's Primer for reading. Toss in MEP free math curriculum and blend until smooth. Hopefully, this recipe will lead to a lump free schoolyear, though I realize that is idealistic. However, what I love about the path we've chosen, is that I can evaluate. I can see when things aren't working. And I, not a stranger who knows nothing about my child and really doesn't have the luxury of tweaking to fit her individual learning style, can decide the new course of action.