Monday, December 28, 2015

No, I didn't fall off the face of the Earth... (I promise!!)

So, after saying that I was going to really stick to doing a blog this time, I fell on my face. Again.....

Time to pick myself up, dust off and move on!

Life went a little crazy on me this fall. Turns out that buying our dream home, (A big old farm house!) fixing up aforementioned house, then moving in, takes every last ounce of emotional and physical energy you have!

Follow that up with the holidays, and kids getting sick between Thanksgiving and Christmas with Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease (for the second time in 6 months!!!) and that is where I have been!

So kicking things back off with a few pictures, and hoping to get posting on CSH 2nd quarter soon! (we squeezed in the first two weeks between the holidays, and will pick up on week 9 next week, So stay tuned!)
Moving Day!

Home on the Farm!

Christmas Morning Mass

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pixel Scrapper October Blog Train / That Teenage Life Pt 2 & 3!

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's:


And the last part of the kit:
Have fun with some journal cards, word art & decorations!

Find the rest of the Train here: Pixel Scrapper

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pixel Scrapper October Blog Train / That Teenage Life Pt 1

I am absolutely thrilled to share with you my freebie for my first time fully participating in a Pixel Scrapper Blog train!!!!

For those of you unfamiliar with Pixel Scrapper: It is an awesome online community for designers, and every month the members put on a themed blog train, where you can hop around to the sites and download whichever pieces you like.

What do you do with the stuff? Glad you asked ;-) I primarily use them to make digital scrapbook pages that I print for our albums. But the possibilities are endless! Cards, school projects, online albums and more!

My first portion is a set of quick pages. When you download them, each page has "holes". You use your program of choice to layer it over your own pictures, Add some journaling and you are done!

Here they are! Since this is my first time, I expect there might be some bugs to work out... please let me know, so I can fix them!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

CSH Week 1 Science / Botany

This is a little botany project I found on Pinterest that we finally got around to doing! 

 We pushed trains up it while we sang the song from Week 1
"Plants pick up nutrients and water from the earth, 
                                                  they move up the stem through the Xylem and Phloem, 
                                            Then respiration releases water, through the leaves Stomata."

Despite having a tub full of train tracks,
we didn't have enough "Y" pieces to make a big tree.
I still this it's recognizable as one though!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

CSH Week 4 - Science / Botany

4 Types of Seed Dispersal!

The small selection of seeds we were able to find...

We talked about inventions, like Velcro, that were inspired by plants

Departed from the lesson plans a bit here... I didn't have CD cases, or a place to put them while they sprouted. I remembered seeing a plastic baggy experiment on Pinterest, so we did that instead. It was super easy! I mostly followed directions from here: planting-and-growing-beans-in-our-preschool-window  I will update later with a photo of our results. 

Baggies, Cotton balls, Water & Beans

N4 LOVED doing the experiment!

Actually they all loved it!

Update!! Here are our bean sprouts on the 5th day!!

CSH Week 2 / 3 Art - Bull Leaping Fresco

      Hi there! Falling a bit behind on posts, but hope to catch everything up soon. Turns out that homeschooling takes up a big chunk of my day ;-)

     I did want to point out that the post titles refer to what week in the lessons plans our project are from, to make them easier to search. My plan for this year is 2 weeks of CSH, 1 week review. Which has really looked like 2 days one week, 3 days the next, Family vacation, 1 full week.... You get the picture; we just do our best to roll with it!

      For art this week we tackled the Bull Leaping Fresco from Week 2. I changed it up a bit, instead of using muslin, I used some burlap I had laying around. We also used 5 minute drywall plaster we had in the garage, both seemed to work just fine!

Step 1: Sketching our Designs

N4 Mixing Drywall Mud

Gloves on! Ready to Roll. We spread the plaster on our cloths

Time to etch an outline

E2's Bull
      You can see in this picture how deep the outline is. We decided that didn't work well, and ended up smoothing more plaster over everyone's project so we could make the impressions lighter.

     Although we intended to only do the plaster as directed, my oldest, L1, REALLY wanted to paint right away (we read somewhere else that frescoes were painted on WET plaster, so that's how he wanted to do it.) So we dove into the Week 3 part right away!
L1 painting!

N4 LOVED spreading his favorite color yellow ALL over!

E2 decided to use lots of color.

N3 Painting
L1's               E2's
N3's               N4s
I took the liberty of painting a bull over the lovely
background N4 made :-)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

All About Me Free Printable

Here is a free printable that I created for a Manners class I will be teaching this semester to 4 year old preschoolers. (Perfect audience for learning Manners, am I right?)

I am using the videos from The Etiquette Factory and the first week is just an introduction to what Manners and Etiquette are, so I decided to create a little poster for the kids to color/ decorate to help us get to know each other better. We will probably practice some manners, and take turns telling everyone about our posters. :-)

You should be able to right click and download/print. Please let me know if you have any trouble!
(and as always, please follow terms of use in the right sidebar, thanks!!)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

I'm Famous! (Sort of ;-) )

We are back from our family vacation, and ready to dive back into our school work next week! (including our Co-op starting on Fri, which my kids are anxiously counting down to!)

I had the pleasure of being interviewed by a friend for her podcast recently. Since this was just before I discovered CSH, I don't touch on that specifically, but a lot on my own experiences being Un-schooled growing up, and on our more Un-schooly life the last 2 years. I hope you enjoy!

Un-Schooling is NOT Un-Parenting

Friday, August 21, 2015

CSH Week 2 - Science / Botany

Time for our 2nd week's Botany experiment!

Since we visited King Tut on Tues, We did science on Thurs (I had already bought the spinach and needed to use it up quickly!)

The experiment was to see PHOTOSYNTHESIS in ACTION!
First the prep work: punching holes out of organic spinach (note: see my pretty school wall? I will do a post all about it soon!!)

E2 Punching Leaves, L1 waiting for his turn

N4 Punching Leaves

N3 Tapping the bubbles out of the vacuum on our second try.

It was tricky to get them out of the syringe into the water....

2nd time was a success! We got all of the circles to sink when
they were deprived of oxygen, then about half of the circles to 
rise to the top after they made oxygen under the lamp 
through Photosynthesis.

The lab sheets included in the CSH book didn't work out for us,
because I had to do all the writing x 4... So we are going to draw
pictures in our Nature journals instead.
L-R:  L1, (10 yrs) E2 (8 yrs) N3 (6 yrs) N4 (4 yrs) I sketched and he colored

Thing I learned:

I assembled everything while they were playing, and did the experiment while the twins were napping, which made the whole thing smoother than the last science project!

You really need to pay attention to detail with this one. We had to do the whole project twice, because I missed the part about holding your finger over the tip of the syringe, while pulling it down to create a vacuum. The neat part about it was seeing the wonder in their eyes when it DID work the second time!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

CSH Week 2 - History

    We have the privilege of living near the awesome city of Grand Rapids, MI. I am literally blown away with the awesome opportunities we have, and lately by God's providence in lining them up in perfect timing for our school journey this year.
     This week on Tues, since I had babysitter for the littlest 3, I decided we should take in the King Tut exhibit at our local museum: Grand Rapids Public Museum This ended up taking the place of Art in my lesson plans for the week.
     I apologize for the blurry pictures! I toted my heavy camera around the whole day... only to find that I forgot to put the SD card in it :-( Thank goodness for phones though, since blurry pictures are better than none!

The exhibit was made up of awe inspiring, museum grade reproductions.

     The site says to expect 90 min to get through the exhibit, but it took us closer to 2 hrs. We had audio tours (a cool little gadget; you punch in the exhibit numbers as you go through, then hold it to your ear, to hear a narrator talk about them.) You also use the gadget to listen to the many videos with additional information. It was a fascinating multi media experience, although it didn't entirely sit right with me to have everyone in their own little bubble, which makes for less discussion and shared experience. So we did try to stop in between and talk and look without the "noise" in our ears.

    I believe that everything in the exhibit was actually museum grade reproductions, as the originals are too fragile to travel, but they were stunningly executed! The first rooms that you go into made it feel like you were right there when they discovered the tomb.

     I especially loved the replica of the Rosetta Stone. The boys picked the model boats as their favorite.

We took time to look at a section of unfinished fresco on one of the tomb walls, and talk about the next art project "Making a Bull Leaping Fresco"

This "Shrine" held the Canopic jars

This was King Tut's Throne!
     It's hard to see the mural on the back of the throne, but we easily recognized it when flipping through something Egyptian the next day!

     Not Egypt related, but we had time to fit in a planetarium show and carousel ride (both free for members, which helps!) Then we grabbed lunch to make it a special day all around. I am really enjoying reaching this stage with a bit older kids, we share interests and all have fun hanging out together. Of course after a little break, I was more than happy to get home and snuggle my little 3 too :-)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

CSH Week 1 - Art / Cave Painting!

Our First Art Lesson!!

We did cave painting for our first Art lesson. Since the brown paper that I found in the garage acquired was on a large roll, I decided to change it up a bit, and I taped in under the ledge of our counter, so that it would feel a bit more "CAVE" like. 
N4; yes he owns clothes, but he doesn't like them, and it makes
 for easier paint cleanup!

N3; Hard at work

N3's finished Cave Painting of colorful animals

E2 Hard at work!

I think he liked the project!

And was very proud of the finished Cave painting, of grey
hunters surrounding animals

L1 was a good sport, and didn't mind being
on the end instead of under the counter 

His was the most elaborate, with hunters, woolly mammoths and a
dotted background that he said represented sunlight.
What I learned:

Dollar store paintbrushes were worse than no paintbrushes, I had to go scrounging around to turn up a few decent brushes for this project, and will need to add new brushes to my list.

I failed again in the prep department, I need to do some the night before, and then give then a 5-10 min break while I set up.