Archive for June, 2011

My First Week With The Rabbits

June 30, 2011

A post by Miss Sky

Hello I’m Miss Sky.

My mom already told you we have rabbits and their names, so I will not go into that again. What I will tell you is what I learned this week.

Rabbits are more active at night. Not all of them like to be held, Iron-tail is tough. My dad was scratched when picking him up. Male rabbits are called bucks and females are called does. Each rabbit has their own personality.

I am looking forward to telling you more about raising rabbits later.

See you next time.

Bye

The Bucks Stopped Hare

June 27, 2011

Well we added a few new members to our family over the weekend, 4 to be exact.Meet (from left to right) Flopsy, Cotton-tail, (top)Iron-tail(boy, is he), and Peter. They are New Zealand Whites that we are adding to our “Urban” Farm. Papa is going to make a compost collection under the two does cages for our garden. Rabbit manure is the best possible thing you can have for your garden.

I have previously mentioned that we are not allowed to have chickens where we live but there is nothing about not having rabbits.

Miss Sky has been very busy learning everything she can including checking out a stack full of books from the library. There is so much she can learn from breeding animals including earning a small income. This is the part of school she loves most.

So what is next up on the “to do” list ? Well I am trying my hand at soap making. I will let you know how that turns out.

Meanwhile there has been lots of talk going on here about Fibonacci and Little Sis has been keeping herself occupied drawing.

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She loves to draw as much as Miss Sky loves animals,if that tells you anything.

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She checked out a bunch of drawing books from the library. (Note to family members) This child needs more sketch books, I can not make them fast enough.

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Hmm,I guess we should start thinking of a name for our little “Urban” homestead now.

Wishing everyone a great week!

Taboo Talk Friday

June 24, 2011

I have been keeping a secret :).

Before writing a blog you have to ask yourself the question of just how much you want to share with people. I mean do you really want complete strangers knowing everything. When starting this blog I will admit I never thought I would share half of what I have, after all I am a very shy person.

Then I start to think about how when hiding behind a screen I have the ability to  portray our family however I want. Know what though, that’s not me either. We have struggles, we have tears, I never want to portray our family as having it all together.

These past few months have been really hard for several reasons, school has been a big one but I have been a bit on the stressed side for another reason as well. See I found a lump in my breast. I have actually been having pain for several years but to feel a lump that is a very scary thing.

Yesterday I went in for a mammogram but first I want to explain just how much finding this lump has changed who I was.

For people who have never met me , you could say I am a bit on the serious side. I had plenty of opportunities to get into trouble growing up( we are talking about trouble not making mistakes here by the way) but I didn’t. I have always been a people pleaser, I would feel guilty calling in sick to work even if  I really was. This of course isn’t a bad thing, I just never have been a me pleaser.

Then I became a parent and well moms tend to somehow always put themselves last. That is why I decided to write this post. I found out these last couple of months just who I really am and how much my family needs me.

Sometimes people can make you feel unsuccessful because you decide to stay home with your children. Sometimes people don’t see just how much our role plays in our families foundation. I am very lucky Papa has always been on my side 100% but I still have had my share of people try to make me feel this way.

Well anyway to make a long story short the lump turned out to be a cyst and having a mammogram was not scary or painful in any way(don’t be scared to have it done).  However the lesson I learned from this whole ordeal I plan to carry with me forever. Life is too short to worry period. I am ready to start celebrating me !

Wishing everyone a great weekend!!!!

Animal Girl (and Kid Sister)

June 22, 2011

Part of being a “life learner” is allowing children to follow their own interests. As we are taking a break from our dinosaur study ,due to VBS, the girls have been doing just that.

We have been getting hit hard with storms here in Indy with our yard flooding yet again. Even though puddle splashing is a blast it  can only last for so long. So the girls have taken advantage of the nasty weather to relive childhood moments with mama by watching episodes of She-Ra. I am really not that surprised they enjoy it so much as my girls love Narnia and the land of Oz.

How possibly could watching episodes of She-Ra have anything to do with learning you ask? By having them come up with their own character of course.

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Miss Sky’s

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Little Sis’s (I wrote what she told me).

I imagine as we continue our journey into Etheria, more characters (and powers) will emerge.

Frieden

PandaMania

June 21, 2011

Happy Summer!

Even though it has felt like summer all spring. This week the girls and I have been keeping busy with VBS.

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(Can’t you just see the excitement overflowing  from their faces :)).

Wishing everyone a great week!

Digging Up Bones

June 17, 2011

Okay not really but we did have a little discussion about fossils.

Well it is official, we have managed to complete our 180 days  bringing an end to our school year (yeah). I am not going to lie this year did not feel like it flew by. Yet while looking back we did manage to get quite a lot done. Maybe not so much in main lessons but goals I set to work on at the start of the year were accomplished. Instead of focusing on the didn’t dos I thought I  would make a list of the well dones.

Miss Sky might let it be known her feelings towards math but this year she still managed to get all her times tables memorized as well as catch up to grade level. Of course this is a continual process but I understand how she learns much better now and plan to stick with it.

Spelling also has been a success. She is seeing the patterns in words and to be honest adding typing practice has helped with this. I plan on dropping spelling lists this year and instead circle misspelled words in her compositions.

Which leads me to the next accomplished goals of teaching Miss Sky, how to write her own compositions without my help and knowing how to use the dictionary to look up or correct misspelled words. This year she also learned how to take notes to form a report and learned how to write personal letters. This next year she will continue writing rough drafts but will begin to type them out.

Even though I may not have completed all the “topics” taught in 4th grade this year, I still feel pretty good about the skills Miss Sky has learned.

So did I learn anything this year ? You betcha, I learned that our family’s relationship comes first. I learned to listen to my children’s wants and needs and not how others think it I should do it. Then most importantly I learned to listen to myself and allow God to direct our path,I knew all along how I wanted to teach.

The internet is great to gather ideas ,such as the one we did today, but real life is SO much better. (Like sitting on the couch during a rainy day and watching episodes of She-Ra with my girls, okay so I had the sheet and comforter set when I was a kid).

Goals I want to work on this upcoming school year. For Little Sis, to keep letting her direct me with her reading and math and to work on learning  number words. For Miss Sky to work more on life skills such as sewing and cooking on her own.

Yes we managed to squeeze some learning in too. We read the story about how Mary Anning discovered the fossils of the ichthyosaur at the age of 12 and how the tongue twister “She sells seashells by the seashore” was written about her. This led us into talking about what fossils were and we made our own(with salt dough of course). You can find the directions here.

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The girls loved this.

Then they decided to try their hand at paper cutting.

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Having nothing at all to do with dinosaurs but hey that’s okay with me.

Wishing everyone a great weekend !

Passports Ready, Check

June 13, 2011

I believe I have discovered(but not invented) the term that we can officially start calling ourselves, “life learners”. As I look back upon our journey that has led us this far, I have to laugh because this has always been my goal from the very start, to be “life learners”. I just, well you could say took a little detour is all.

I am taking advantage of summer to really “let go” of my preformed ideas and to test the waters so to speak. When you hear about Unschooling in the media it is never portrayed very positive, and then there are always the theories of “If given the choice my children would just watch TV all day”. So here I am allowing my children the choice of the computer and TV, we only have movies no cable, whenever they want ,to see if this theory rings true.

These last few days we have had several outings to different stores and instead of staying clear from the dreaded toy isle, we strolled down everyone. I am curious as to what my girls are truly interested in. Will they give into commercialism or materialism ? Maybe at first but you know what ,Papa and I are not that way. We are not ones to jump on the bandwagon of the latest new fad actually far from it. So if they do show interest in anything it is probably because it has been “forbidden” from them for so long.

I found out our local comic book store is going out of business, figures after Miss Sky has taken an interest in them, with everything 40% off (graphic novels and back issues included).  So Miss Sky helped herself to whatever piqued her interest, she came away with some really cool comics.They also found a few experiments they want to try out( not at the comic store), one they wanted to get started on right away. This actually will tie in really good with another plan we have.

Miss Sky measured out how big the dinosaurs were at the start(1 inch) and again after a few days to see how much they grew with the help of osmosis. Did they ask to buy anything else? Yes, new markers. How could I say no to that?

What else you ask? Well we talked about what a passport is and made ours on the first page of our new sketchbooks,to keep a scrapbook of our Magic Tree House adventures.

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Other projects on the list? Well there have been games of war (so far just the card game).Cookie making and a viewing of the movie Dinosaur. Did you know the Iguanodon was given its name in 1822?This led into a study of Lemurs that we happened to see at the zoo.

So, what about the TV? Well as of right now my girls honestly would much  rather be outside.And that is just fine with this mama :).

Wishing everyone a great week !

So Just How Much Is A Trillion Anyway ?

June 12, 2011

Ever wonder how much our government (USA) is in debt and what exactly that means ? I do.

According to sources our government owes 14.1 trillion dollars, and lets not forget about the $ 1.6 trillion more we will be adding to the deficit this year.

To break it down to my level :), that means we would have to pay $ 1 million dollars per minute around the clock for the next 30 years just to pay off the principle.

I know, like you needed something else to think about today.

Interview with Seth Godin About Education

June 11, 2011

Because he can explain the way I feel so much better than I can :).

 

Don’t Cry Over Missed Learning Opportunities

June 10, 2011

So we were on our way to our weekly visit to the farm when we stopped to get gas. Miss Sky took an incredible interest in how gas is measured and the prices. I began to explain how it’s measured by the gallon and pointed out how many gallons it took to fill our van.

Okay she really was curious about this and it led into a conversation about what would happen if  gas were to run out , and ” could we get a horse ?”. I couldn’t believe it she truly wanted to know about math, and I actually answered her (without the I wonder you tell me).

Then I started to think about all the other things she might have asked me about and began to think OMGoodness what if I turned her off from learning. What if I instilled her dislike for math because when she was curious about something I blew her off as to not “wake” her up to soon.

You know what though I am tired of feeling guilty, I am only human and am bound to make mistakes. I have learned my lesson and realize I still have a chance to instill the love of learning into my children. I see now , my eyes have been opened and now it’s time for me to let go and trust my own instincts.

I have to say the dinosaur study has been a HUGE hit, even with Little Sis. I mentioned how I gave each one of them a notebook to keep notes in from the story. This is completely up to them, no prodding from me. Miss Sky already has 1 full-page of notes.  She has been reading all on her own about different dinosaurs, writing about her favorites and she LOVES the Walking with Dinosaurs documentary.

Little Sis wanted to continue with her letter study. “Why do we have to do one letter a week ?” So yesterday we watched the Mr. H episode and today we watched Miss I and she worked in her alphabet workbook.

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She also is ready for 1st grade math.

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It hasn’t been all work though, with temps nearing 100 degrees the girls had no trouble letting me know what they wanted to do.

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And you know there has been lots of creating going on as well. (I think I have a “little” artist on my hands, I am beginning to run out of wall space :))Wishing everyone a great guilt free weekend !