I often feel like the laziest of all homeschooling moms. We're a one-vehicle family, so I don't go anywhere during the day. And if I do drive Dr. D to work, the wildest adventure is the library. But then I forget that we do go places on the weekends. And sometimes the places we go are actually interesting! Or educational! Or both! Most interesting of late was a trip to Bowen's Mills (I'd link to the website but the layout is so horribly terrible that I'll spare you) on the weekend of a Civil War Reenactment. Never mind that we're not studying the Civil War right now. It was incredible! Below, some visual highlights.
Union soldiers. Mud Pie did NOT like the noise. At all.
The cider mill - with lots of bees. Again, Mud Pie was not impressed by the noisy machines. In fact, I'm trying to think what did impress Mud Pie and I'm drawing a blank. She has a fear of anything loud, dark, smelly ... garages, trucks, cars, animals (but not her brothers! Though they do meet the requirements).
Oh, the apples! She did like the apples. In fact, about all she did was clutch her apple and cry.
We all (with one exception) thought the covered bridge was cool.
And I love the costumes. Actually, I do think Mud commented on the "pwety dwess" once or twice.
But the warfare was the big hit for the boys. Not that I'm surprised ...
Hi, St. Nick!
Caption: "Should we take 'im out or shoot 'im in the stocks?"
"Time to clean up your act!" (Groan - that's soap, by the way. In case it wasn't obvious.)
My impression of the event was awe. I walked around googly-eyed, in love with everything. "This is SO COOL!" I remember saying a few times. St. Nick got bored (we discovered later that he had a nasty cold coming on), Little Fish was his usual along-for-the-ride self, and I already mentioned Mud Pie's reaction. I am certainly going to look for more of these events, and eventually, wouldn't it be awesome to participate? Talk about Living History!
October's Ivy Kids subscription box featured the adorable book Night Animals. This and the cute as anything plush skunk were without a doubt the highlights of the box.
Our second Kiwi Crate proved almost as much fun as the first. I say almost because the first crate had such "playtime" value, while the second was very much scientific exploration and experimentation. Great value, of course, but let's be realistic, nothing is quite as fun as making a real working stethoscope.
September's Ivy Kids box (made possible by our Hamilton Schools homeschool partnership!) featured Chicka Chicka 123, a book about counting! My first surprise: the format sent was a board book.
I've been delighted by the sweet and adorable and creative artwork children have shared with me. So much so that I've added a gallery page! Find it under the Book & More tab above. Or enjoy a little preview...
This is our first year working with a partner public school for a few fun educational extras. My favorite addition? The subscription boxes! Sure, foreign language is fun, and art (things the older kiddos are doing through the school), but what's better than your own personal activity kit, new every month? I have a thing for subscription boxes, I'll admit.
When it comes to homeschool technique I've tried everything. Work boxes? Tried it. Digital planners with printed-out schedules? Been there. Pre-planned curriculum packages that cover all subjects? Done it. Totally online learning like Easy Peasy? Yup. The non-homeschool option: Public/Charter school? Yes, even that.
And no matter what I did, every day was a whirlwind of...
Last summer I went a little nutty. See, I was SO excited that our curriculum recommended a timeline. SO SO excited that timeline figures came with it. Until ... I opened the packaging. The timeline figures were ... ugly. So I made ancient history timeline figures using classic art! And now I'm sharing them with you, free!
I hid brochures for MFA programs in my bottom desk drawer. Every few months I’d take them out, page through, dream a little… Until finally in 2009 I enrolled in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. The program took two years of concentrated study at home, and for 60 days, spread over five residencies, I lived...
Mud Pie's Flat Stanley returned not long ago, so while the kiddos were asleep with flu and fevers, I took the photos Stan collected and made a little video.
Ever since our decision to switch the kids from the charter school to an elementary in our district, I've felt uneasy. Beyond uneasy. Conflicted. No. Queasy...