Thursday, November 19, 2009

19th century farm life

Today we took a field trip to Shelburne Farms to learn about life on a Vermont farm in the early 1800's. Our day started off with a little play.

This woman was waking up on a farm in the 1800's:
This woman was waking up in her room in 2009:
The kids learned about all the chores that were done on a farm in that time period. One chore was making butter. So, we made butter while singing a song to pass the time.

Next, it was off to visit the animals.

The goats enjoyed the brown November leaves.

We headed back into the barn to grind up some corn for the chickens.

And then enjoyed feeding the chickens, picking them up and collecting eggs.

B almost picked one up-maybe next time!

After lunch we made beeswax candles. J and B took their candle making very seriously and ended up with perfectly tapered straight candles. They smell so good!

Here they are with their finished candles.
We also carded wool and spun it into yarn. A perfect November day! Oh, and did you see that the coats were off while we were outside? It was almost 60 degrees and sunny here in VT.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I am thankful today for...

the gift of sunshine on a cool November day,

cranberry-orange scones,

and children working together peacefully.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our day...

started off with pink hair. It was crazy hair day at J's home school all-day co-op.
Mama: Do you want me to put your hair in lots of little pig tails so it sticks up funny?
J:Mom, I want pink hair so you don't go putting my hair in lots of little pig tails! (said with appropriate attitude)
Very well. They grow up so fast! B and I stopped at our favorite library after dropping J off in the morning. We had to return Bill Nye's Stuff Happens video. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. We checked out some books, read some Thanksgiving books and went on our way.
At home there was some Club Penguin (yes, my child loves this site) and then we learned about value as it relates to art on Creativity Express.
There was some more reading and balloon play.

We started to memorize a new poem and did some writing and then made some corn muffins.

Ding dong. Friends are here! B had a play date for a couple hours while I chatted with a friend and then it was off to pick up J. From 3-5 today J had theater and she came home with some lines from The Wizard of Oz to memorize for her audition. Oh, she wants to see the movie too. I keep telling her those flying monkeys are really scary but she's not convinced. She thinks she can handle it. We'll see.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

For the love of wolves. . .

B is going to a birthday party tomorrow for a homeschooling friend who is turning 8. This little girl absolutely loves wolves so we thought we'd do a wolf theme for her gifts. First, she let us know that presents are optional and that she would really love it if everyone made a donation to a canine charity. So, we'll be doing that but everyone needs a few presents on their birthday, right?
Here's what we made :

I know the gifts are lacking color but I just couldn't decide on a color for the t-shirt and then I wanted to do a picture frame and I couldn't figure out a way to make it work with the cut out wolves on white background (without taking a huge amount of time to cut right along the edges). So, this is what she'll be getting. Hope she likes black and white! ;)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

November Days

Outside the car window Gobble, Gobble

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Day in the Life

I've enjoyed reading Dawn's account of a day in her life so much that I thought I'd do my own. This is how yesterday went:

Got up around 7 a.m. I had oatmeal for breakfast while the kids had Puffins (B) and Multi grain Cheerios (J). The kids played around for a bit and then I sent them downstairs to the basement to watch Families in China (I've been doing a little China unit with B this past week). Jeff made coffee and we enjoyed some time together having our coffee and chatting before he headed off to work.

It was a short video (30 mins.) and the kids are back upstairs in no time. I start J on spelling and B on Explode the Code 3 1/2 while I finish cleaning up the breakfast dishes and go shower. The kids are working very nicely and I'm hoping this continues throughout our morning.
I'm back down after my shower and they're just finishing up their work. I send J upstairs to study her vocabulary for her Monday home school class (they are studying art in American history and the vocabulary words all relate to this). I get out Pick of the Litter by Bill Wallace and read a few chapters to B while we snuggle on the couch.

J wanders down and says she's done with her vocabulary. We go over a few words and then I send her upstairs again to read Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet. Yeah! Back up she goes.
I decide to change gears with B and take out Singapore Math 2B and we work on telling time.

While B is working on a math worksheet I go boil some water and start preparing our petri dishes for an experiment. B comes over and measures out the gelatin and sugar. We are going to be growing some bacteria.

I look at the time. . .it's about 11 a.m. Time to get the kids fed before heading out for swimming and basketball. J has pb&j, avocado and apple. B has pb&j, banana and apple. Can't remember what I had. I gather up their stuff and we head out.

12 p.m. B has his swimming class while J heads to basketball. We are in a home school swim and sport group and this is the first week of basketball (we were doing tennis before this). I watch B's lesson while chatting with a friend.
B gets out of the pool a little early so I get him showered and we head up to the basketball court to watch J. J seems very happy with the basketball class.

1:10. J heads to swimming and I watch B play. I chat with a friend about the kids, family camps and camping.

2:15. The kids are done. We head home. We take samples for our petri dishes (B's baseball cap, the toilet handle, an armpit and inside B's sneaker). I'm hoping lots of bacteria grows in the baseball cap petri dish and B will decide to give up his baseball cap obsession.

The kids put on Ramona and Her Mother to listen to and I clean up. The kids also do some Halloween candy trading in the den. After cleaning I check on some blogs and then head upstairs to take a bath (I'm feeling a bit chilled and my throat feels a little sore). I tell the kids to make some toast and have some fruit if they're hungry.

5:30ish p.m. Jeff gets home from work and takes the kids to a pottery open studio and out to Friendly's. I get in bed and look at a favorite parenting book (Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids), think about what to make for Christmas gifts, look at some crafty blogs and check out a Ruth Beechick yahoo group. I bookmark some craft ideas and some suggestions about girls devotional books. I contemplate ways to make advent and Christmas meaningful for the kids.

8 p.m. Jeff and the kids are still out. I turn on CNN and watch Campbell Brown for a bit. I say a prayer for the victims and families of the Fort Hood massacre.

9 p.m. Jeff and the kids come home. They quickly tell me about what they made (B made two aliens and J made a cup). They need to pick them up in a couple of weeks. They head off to bed. I chat with Jeff for a while, have a couple slices of pizza he brought home, and then go to sleep at around 10 p.m.

That's it!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nerf dart gun math

B was having fun shooting Nerf darts at the window this morning and I thought, maybe I can incorporate some math into this activity. You know, homeschoolers always trying to make everything educational. :) So, I stuck little sticky notes onto the window with various numbers on them. I then called out an equation such as "What's 9 times 5?" and B would have to shoot the answer on the window. He had a lot of fun with this. We did multiplication, addition and subtraction.J came downstairs and joined in the fun too.I'm thinking this dart gun could really come in handy! ;)

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Our little witch and cat had a fun Halloween. Hope you did too!