Friday, September 29, 2017

No.36: Six Lessons from the First Six Weeks of School


1. START A NEW WEEK WITH AN EASY DAY.
Mondays are our "easy" days.  We stick to the basics and are usually done before lunch.  I use the extra time to catch up on laundry and other chores I neglected to do over the weekend.  It sets the tone for the rest of the week and I'm much less stressed about feeling behind on life.

2. "QUIET HOUR" IS A GAME CHANGER.
As an introvert, I was really struggling the first few weeks with the non-stop interaction with the kids.  I always felt "on the clock" and it was affecting my parenting.  Enter "quiet hour": for an hour after lunch, the house is (mostly) silent.  The baby naps, the big two read and the little three play quietly in their rooms.  I originally felt like this was the time to catch up on chores until one day, I was like, NOPE.  This is my quiet time too.  I leave the laundry to fold or the kitchen to sweep and instead read a few chapters or blog.  After the hour, we all come back together calm and ready to take on the rest of the afternoon.  Total game changer.

3. MY BIGGEST HOMESCHOOLING FAIL SO FAR: POETRY TEATIME.
Mark jokes and says that we should instead call this "Make delicious baked goods and hopefully have some leftover by the time the cocoa heats up time" and he'd be right.  Turns out that the kids don't like tea and we have a hard time reading when we're stuffing our faces with delicious treats.  Positive side: we all bake together and usually no one gets hurt or cries.  And I'm finally getting some use out of all those sweet treats I've pinned, so #winwin.

4. THERE IS SO MUCH FREEDOM IN NOT FEELING RUSHED.
One of the most interesting parts of going back to homeschooling is hearing the boys talk about the differences between now and their time in public school.  One comment that really stuck out was how much they felt rushed - ten minutes to finish that project, no time to ask further questions about a topic, having to read at a certain level or else, etc.  Homeschooling is not for everyone and it definitely can be hard, but I'm feeling really thankful to be able to give them the gift of unhurried time.

5. ALL THE PIECES WILL FALL INTO PLACE.  AND PROBABLY NOT PERFECTLY, BUT THAT'S OKAY TOO.
We're six weeks in and our days are falling into a groove.  The kids know what to expect and what is expected of them.  But the rest of my life?  A hot mess.  My house isn't sparkly and clean (although having a set of chores for the kids has helped with it not feeling like a wreck!) and our dinners are simple and often repeated over and over.  I have a handful of half-finished projects just waiting for a free minute to complete.  I'm only now figuring out how to sneak in my running schedule.  While I wish I was a well-oiled machine, I'm not.  Life is crazy and messy, but the pieces will still slowly fall into place.  

6. I CAN DO THIS.
If you had talked to me on the first week of school, I would have told you that I had made the biggest mistake of my life.  What was I thinking?!  Praise God, that feeling has passed.  There are still some really hard days - days when I'm happy to shut the books and start again tomorrow.  But the good outweighs the bad and I have peace about our schooling decision this year.  Next year could be totally different, but for right now? I can do this. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

No.35: Five September Favorites

This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting the BWF!

1. GLOBAL TABLE ADVENTURES
If you are interested in international cuisine, Global Table Adventures is the website for you.  We have been choosing recipes to make based on the countries in our African Studies and everything has been delicious!  This week, we are studying Mali and will be making Maasa, a type of gluten-free pancake doughnut.  Her directions are always simple and clear.  I also love how she sprinkles in a little geography and culture throughout each post.  Be sure to check out the Map Room as a cool way to browse her website too.

2. MY NEW TUNIC
We had a handful of fall-like days here a few weeks ago and I excitedly looked at my closet to see what I had to wear.  Apparently, I must have been in a third-trimester decluttering hysteria last year because I have almost nothing!  Part of me is kicking myself for my craziness, but the other part is secretly excited to build a wardrobe from scratch.  It's like a capsule wardrobe in reverse!  One of my first purchases was this tunic from Target's new brand, A New Day.  It's soft and non-clingy and will be perfect over leggings for school days at home.  

3. PRINTABLE WORKOUT PLANNER
I have been running pretty consistently since July as well as dabbling in a little CrossFit and weight-training.  I started using these printable workout calendars to plan a month out at a time.  Four weeks seems to be the sweet spot for me!  I used to plan full 90-day training schedules and then get frustrated when school would begin again, Mark's work would pick up, or we'd all get the flu.  My plan was ruined and I'd just quit.  Now I just look at the month ahead and tweak my plans to fit what's going on.  I've been much more successful - no quitting yet!

4. 1 SECOND EVERYDAY APP
"Life is made of seconds.  A modern visual diary.  Stitch the moments of your life into a single continuous chronological movie."  I LOVE this app.  We've been recording seconds since the day we moved into the new house (over three months now!) and it is already one of my most prized possessions.  

5. "GARDEN ANSWER" YOUTUBE CHANNEL
While chatting with my hair dresser about future garden plans, she mentioned her latest find: the Garden Answer Youtube channel.  I quickly looked it up when I got home and I'm hooked now too!  Her garden tours are my favorite, giving me so many ideas for our land in the years to come.

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I'd love to hear about five of your favorite things too!  Link up your post below!






Friday, September 22, 2017

No.34: Our Farmhouse Schoolhouse in Photos (Week 05)

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the BWF!

Week five.  This week finally felt like that feeling you get when you put on your favorite pajamas at the end of a long day: comfortable, familiar, normal.  I know there will be weeks in the future where the school week will feel hard, so I'm enjoying it while it lasts.  This week also kicks off birthday season in our house - maybe the excitement of celebrations helped a bit too.

Notes and highlights:

RELIGION

+ Once a week during morning time, I read a story from Once Upon a Time Saints.  The stories are so good and really make these individuals come alive!  This time, we read about St. Barnaby and the spontaneous conversation that came afterward was so fruitful: our unique gifts we can give to God, how Mary points us to Jesus, and on and on.  I always feel so humbled for the opportunity to answer their questions and hear their hearts.


AFRICAN STUDIES

+ We traveled up the coast to Senegal!  We read Kofi and His Magic and made Cinq Centimes, which are peanut butter and peanut sugar cookies (we used this recipe for the cookies).


MISCELLANEOUS

+ I ordered Teaching Textbooks 6 after realizing that 5 was waaaay too easy for M.  Definitely wasn't prepared to make another math curriculum purchase, but I know D is right behind, so it won't go to waste.

+ I bought two more packs of modeling clay for the kids to use while I read out loud.  I have a few wiggle worms and they listen much better when their hands are busy.  Also!  Thank goodness I bought two - TJ managed to take 90% of one pack and mix the colors into one big ball.  

+ I started looking into hiking in Shenandoah State Park, which isn't too too far from here.  I borrowed a bunch of books and pamphlets from my dad and I'm excited to dig in and pick a few trails.  This website has been helpful too.

+ Sophie likes to watch Creative Galaxy on Netflix and she has been in an inspired flurry of creativity all week long.  Construction paper and scissors and glue everywhere!  


Current 1000 Books Project Total: 33/1000
Poetry Teatime Treat: Apple Cobbler Muffins


MOTHER CULTURE & SELF-CARE

+ Health: Running again and feeling really good!  I think I'm finally pushing through the point where every run feels like torture.
+ Reading: The Mysterious Benedict Society (at M's recommendation), Treasure in Clay and just started The Well-Educated Mind.
+ Fun: Making lists and lists and lists - home projects, personal projects, autumn to-dos...I'm ready to get to work.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

No.33: A Peek into my Commonplace Book vol.02

With all the busyness that September brings, I'm happy to say that I'm still writing in my commonplace book.  It definitely helps when you are working through such an inspiring book!  Have you heard of Fulton Sheen?  I admit, before reading Bonnie's story, my knowledge of him was minimal.  I finally got a copy of his autobiography and wow.  I'm learning so much.    



Favorite quote so far (God never gives up on us!):
"The effort of restoring love succeeds even when's God's original plan is frustrated by the material with which He has to work: 'Where sin did abound, grace does more abound.'  At the close of life, one can well see the potter's intention to make a saint.  But God has not given up, so that if the vessel is not fit to hold the rose, it can at least settle for being a tin can for a geranium.  The Divine Potter can change the circumstances of the human clay, maybe adding a little suffering here and there.  If we refuse to be molded into the original shape meant for us, namely, holiness and perfect imitation of Christ, He molds us into useful pitchers from which He can pour out His Divine Grace.  God does not make anything with the purpose of destroying it.  There is no waste in life."
--- page 35 

Monday, September 18, 2017

No.32: Intentions for the End of September


Where in the world has this month gone?  The days seem to be flying by!  School is finally going smoothly and I'm hoping I can get the rest of my life in order soon.  (I'm looking at you, laundry!)  
  

INTENTIONS FOR THE END OF SEPTEMBER:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • Habit of the Month: KINDNESS
  • finish up letters/care package and mail
  • close out Big White Farmhouse bank account
  • make a plan for #write31days and jot down some notes/ideas
  • wrap Sophia's birthday gifts
  • wrap baptism gift
  • go through P's outgrown clothes to pass on 
  • donate my clothes that are too big
  • sell book on CM B/S/T Facebook page
  • schedule S & TJ well check appointments
  • send hair off to Pantene Beautiful Lengths (I chopped off 8+ inches last weekend!)
  • clean my makeup brushes (100LT #44)
  • find my Garmin running watch
  • show up to every run - 4 weeks to go (!!) before my October 10K
  • find Sophie's princess cross-stitch
  • price out bricks for front garden bed project

PREVIOUS INTENTIONS:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
If you're reading on your phone, click through to see what I crossed off the list!

  • Habit of the Month: KINDNESS
  • mail three letters
  • send a little care package to my sister in college
  • invite someone to Sunday dinner
  • leave an actual comment on at least 1/3 of the blog posts I read (closer to 75%!)
  • finish Anne of Green Gables & start Anne of Avonlea
  • finish The Way
  • close out Big White Farmhouse bank account
  • finalize shutting down Big White Farmhouse's website (so surreal)
  • decide on topic for #write31days in October
  • wrap TJ's birthday gifts (he's getting this and this!)
  • schedule S & TJ well check appointments
  • decide on paint color for house shutters
  • research how to re-do front flower beds
  • buy one piece of clothing for my fall capsule wardrobe (I bought this top - love)
  • clean my makeup brushes (100LT #44)
  • sign up for the Turkey Trot 10K in November (running with my dad and my siblings!)
  • find my Garmin running watch
  • keep up with homeschooling Instagram account (one photo every school day)
  • finish reading Mouse and the Motorcycle aloud to J and watch the movie together
  • pull out Sophie's princess cross-stitch and do a few stitches
  • make a list of clothing needs for the entire family
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What about you?  What's on your to-do list for the next few weeks?

Friday, September 15, 2017

No.31: Our Farmhouse Schoolhouse in Photos (Week 04)

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting the BWF!

Since moving to this house, I tend to think of things in terms of "firsts" - the first summer, the first school year, etc.  This week, we added two more firsts to the list: my first illness (a head cold and sore throat) and the first time we saw a bear!  Mark and I were chatting while he was getting ready for work and I casually looked out the window only to see a BEAR on the porch.  My first reaction was, "Hmm, someone's hairy black dog must have gotten loose."  Oh no no.  We think it was a "yearling" (says two clueless people who have to Google these things because we're fresh from suburbia) and he must have jumped up quickly on the porch before running off for the woods.  So crazy.

Notes and highlights:

HISTORY

+ The little boys weren't ready to leave the Vikings yet, so we started reading Viking Adventure.  The chapters are short but engaging.  I love hearing them make connections from Leif the Lucky - it's encouraging to know that they aren't totally tuning me out as I read!  D (3rd grade) started working on the coordinating notebook work from Homeschool Share.  I was about to scrap it two days in, thinking it was a bit too much busywork for my liking, but he insisted that he wants to continue.

+ For M's Civil War studies, he finished reading Iron Thunder (which he loved!) and started The Perilous Road.  He also learned about signal flags from Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself and is making me study so he can send messages to me from their new playset, haha!  

K-3 SCIENCE: ZOOLOGY

+ We started Egyptian desert animals this week: camels and king cobras!  The Sassafras Science book is definitely story-driven and I like how it opens up an opportunity to dig deeper and learn more.  We've been poring over the DK Animal Encyclopedia, reading the facts and looking at the photographs.  That book is probably one of my best purchases so far.
Movie we watched with an Egyptian connection: Treasure Buddies on Netflix

RELIGION

+ M (5th grade) and I are completing the Learning with Fulton Sheen curriculum together.  We finished up the documentary, Archbishop Fulton Sheen: Servant of All (we rented and streamed it through Ignatius Press) and it was SO good.  I got goosebumps at least three times.  

AFRICAN STUDIES

+ We traveled further west to Liberia this week.  We read Head, Body, Legs: A Story from Liberia, made smoked ham and green bean jollof for dinner and plantain gingerbread upside down cake (we used bananas we had at home) for dessert.  So delicious.  It's hard to say for sure, but our African studies just may be my favorite part of homeschooling.

MISCELLANEOUS

+ We worked on our states and capitals by playing Scrambled States of America.  It's fast paced and fun...except when you have a houseful of crazy competitive players (ahem...my entire family).  There were a few tears, but we ended up relatively unscathed.  


Current 1000 Books Project Total: 31/1000
Poetry Teatime Treat: Chocolate Chip Scones


MOTHER CULTURE & SELF-CARE

+ Health: I had a strong run on Tuesday, but took the rest of the week off when I got sick.  Definitely feeling like it's one step forward and two steps back at this point.
+ Reading: The Mysterious Benedict Society (at M's recommendation) and Treasure in Clay.
+ Fun: Making plans to give the blog a little refresh!  I hope to get started on my to-do list next week.  After a lot of prayer (and a little prodding from friends!), I reopened my blog's Facebook page.  Hopefully, I can spread a little happiness in an often negative space.  Let's connect!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

No.30: What We're Reading in September

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” - C.S. Lewis


ASHLEY
MARK
D (age 8)
J (age 6)
SOPHIE (age 4)
TJ (age 2)

Monday, September 11, 2017

No.29: 20 Things I Love - A Gratitude Journal vol.3


a gorgeous weekend
our newly installed American flag waving in the breeze
watching the boys help Mark build their new playset
the first few falling leaves
new lounge joggers (aka fancy-named sweatpants) 
itty bitty baby teeth (2!! finally!)
a great night's sleep after a week of horrible ones
J's jack-a-lantern smile after losing one of his top front teeth
pulling out clothes for P that his brothers have worn before him
easy dinners after a full day of working outside
having the windows open and the air conditioner off
a fresh planner for the new school year
sending off the last few Big White Farmhouse packages
family rosaries at bedtime
the kids' excitement for TJ as he opened an early birthday present
Fulton Sheen's autobiography
special one-on-one time with Sophia
slowly getting started on updates to the house exterior
M and D cooking and baking all on their own (big kids are awesome!)
a big stack of books on my nightstand

Friday, September 8, 2017

No.28: Our Farmhouse Schoolhouse in Photos (Week 03)


Week three is in the books!  My biggest problem this week was Internet connectivity issues.  When it rains out here, we lose almost all streaming capabilities, which is frustrating when you're planning to watch interactive battle maps or documentaries.  Because of this, I've had to move my schedule all around to accommodate the weather (#countrylifeproblems) and have to keep reminding myself that I am in charge of the to-do list and not the other way around.  On the toddler front, TJ seems to finally get that this school thing is our new normal.  He's been generally okay with coloring at the table with us but still has his share of full-on freak outs and tantrums.  Baby steps.

Notes and highlights:

HISTORY

+ The little kids and I finished Leif the Lucky yesterday.  I was so surprised with how much they got out of it!  We're still working our way through d'Aulaires' Book of Norwegian Folktales and enjoying those too.  The boys aren't ready to move on yet, so next week we start Viking Adventure!  Cool website find from the BBC: How did Vikings fight?

+ For M's modern history, we veered off the Beautiful Feet guide to investigate the Ironclads.  He started reading Iron Thunder and is flying through it.  This week, we started using this daily reading as his written narration work.  Because he finds the book so interesting, he hasn't complained!  Other activities: he started working on notebooking pages (from Homeschool Share) that correspond with the book, Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself.  

K-3 SCIENCE: ZOOLOGY

+ Another fun week with Sassafras Science!  I love how low-key this early science is.  I read half of the chapter aloud, we check out more facts in the DK Animal Encyclopedia and then I have the kids share their favorite fact about the animal.  After that, we make art!  (Wash and repeat for day two.)  Some of my kids like to follow along with Art for Kids (like this how to draw an elephant), while others prefer that I find an example (like this giraffe project) to copy.  So easy and I'm always amazed at what they remember.  This week, we continued with the African grasslands and learned about elephants and giraffes.  Awesome website: African live safari cameras!

AFRICAN STUDIES

+ Our African Studies took us to Ghana!  We read Pretty Salma: A Little Red Riding Hood Story from Africa and made Ghanian meat pies (but with ground beef instead) and watermelon lemonade for dinner.  Some of my pickiest eaters gobbled this up.  Who knew we'd have to "travel" to Africa to get them to eat?!


Current 1000 Books Project Total: 29/1000
Poetry Teatime Treat: Very Berry Pound Cake


MOTHER CULTURE & SELF-CARE

+ Health: Running a little, but feeling like there's not much in the tank.  My teething baby has me sleeping poorly and my good eating has totally bombed.  I need to get back on track in this department.
+ Reading: Finished The Way and started Treasure in Clay.  I just have two more chapters left of Anne of Green Gables - it's one of my favorite books, but one I haven't read in years!  It's been funny reading it again as an adult.
+ Fun: Enjoying recording a memory of our school day on my new Instagram account.  It's also challenging me to pay attention on the hard days - there has to be something good, right?


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An opportunity to help fellow homeschoolers in the wake of Hurricane Harvey:  After an entire summer of planning and searching and stocking up materials for our school year, I just cannot imagine how devastating it must feel to have lost it all before you even get a chance to start.  Adopt a Homeschool was created by a fellow homeschooling mom on Instagram and is now on Facebook, connecting families with wishlists with families who'd like to give.  You can send them gently used curriculum if you have it or send directly from Amazon.  I just sent along some Magic Treehouse books!  Anything helps and more importantly, it shows that mama that she's not alone.  Check it out!
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

No.27: Intentions for the Beginning of September


Our family habit for September is kindness.  We've been dealing with uncharitable behavior between siblings and it's starting to take its toll.  So a good lesson in being thoughtful, helpful, and forgiving (when we'd rather just be angry) is on the docket!  I'd like to say this is only for the kids, but I know I could use a refresher course as well.  My spin on this habit is forcing myself to look out.  This season of my life is so full and it's easy to keep my head down and dig deep into my own crazy.  But I know I've been called to more.  I'll be praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance to seek the people in my life who may need help, encouragement or love.
  

INTENTIONS FOR THE BEGINNING OF SEPTEMBER:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

  • Habit of the Month: KINDNESS
  • mail three letters
  • send a little care package to my sister in college
  • invite someone to Sunday dinner
  • leave an actual comment on at least 1/3 of the blog posts I read
  • finish Anne of Green Gables & start Anne of Avonlea
  • finish The Way
  • close out Big White Farmhouse bank account
  • finalize shutting down Big White Farmhouse's website
  • decide on topic for #write31days in October (any ideas welcome!)
  • wrap TJ's birthday gifts
  • schedule S & TJ well check appointments
  • decide on paint color for house shutters
  • research how to re-do front flower beds
  • buy one piece of clothing for my fall capsule wardrobe
  • clean my makeup brushes (100LT #44)
  • sign up for the Turkey Trot 10K in November
  • find my Garmin running watch
  • keep up with homeschooling Instagram account (one photo every school day)
  • finish reading Mouse and the Motorcycle aloud to J and watch the movie together
  • pull out Sophie's princess cross-stitch and do a few stitches
  • make a list of clothing needs for the entire family

PREVIOUS INTENTIONS:

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
If you're reading on your phone, click through to see what I crossed off the list!

  • more green smoothies with collagen peptides (drinking them in my post-workout water with Nuun instead)
  • no cell phone scrolling right before bed! (not perfect, but getting better about this)
  • make three more recipes from my new cookbook
  • bake bread in the dutch oven (100LT #51)
  • be able to barbell squat 70lb. (hurt my hip flexor, so stopped these exercises for now - I'm bummed)
  • choose a dress/outfit to wear for the blogging conference
  • reorganize the garage (garage gym is all set up)
  • buy last few school supplies
  • start new Instagram account for our homeschool (here if you want to follow along!)
  • celebrate the beginning of school by going out for ice cream
  • take out all of the kids' fall/winter clothes and see what needs to be purchased
  • make a list of clothing needs for the entire family
  • think about a fall capsule wardrobe (this turned out to be more like a wardrobe starter set...I have almost nothing!)
  • start reading Anne of Green Gables (part of 100LT #3)
  • read two chapters in my Jackson Pollock book
  • continue Operation Catechism catch-up
  • decide on big gifts for S and TJ's birthdays and add amount into budget 
  • pull out Sophie's princess cross-stitch and do a few stitches
  • make root beer floats (100LT #97)
  • finish reading Mouse and the Motorcycle aloud to J and watch the movie together
  • finish kids' chore charts and start new allowance system (started two weeks ago and working great!)
  • sign up for cards at our new library 
  • hang master curtains and artwork (I finally had Mark ready to help me and the electric drill died!)
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What about you?  What's on your to-do list for the next few weeks?

Monday, September 4, 2017

No.26: New Habits, Little by Little - Cooking at Home (August 2017)


I was finally getting into a meal planning/dinner making groove...and then school started.  Our meals have gotten much simpler, but that's not always a bad thing, right?  Mark and I were high-fiving each other this month because we finally hit a parenting milestone: more than half of our children will eat vegetables without complaint!  After months and months of cooking and offering and "just try a bite, you may like it" (aka begging), asparagus and Brussels sprouts and bell peppers are starting to be gobbled up.  We're still working on my two picky kids, but there's hope!

Week 5 (continued):
Tuesday, August 1: roasted chicken thighs with asparagus and mashed potatoes
Wednesday, August 2: taco salads
Thursday, August 3: pasta with leftover meat sauce
Friday, August 4: breakfast for dinner for the kids (waffles!), Home Chef for date night (brasserie-style sirloin steak with truffle frites and green beans)

Week 6:
Saturday, August 5: burgers and hotdogs on the grill
Sunday, August 6: Mark's homemade pizza
Monday, August 7: roasted chicken thighs with pasta
Tuesday, August 8: sweet and sour chicken meatballs with a cabbage slaw
Wednesday, August 9: big kids in the kitchen - they made tacos!
Thursday, August 10: kielbasa, potato and veggie skillet
Friday, August 11: homemade pizza for the kids, Home Chef for date night (beef gyro sandwiches with fries and cucumber yogurt tzatziki sauce)

Week 7:
Saturday, August 12: burgers and hot dogs on the grill
Sunday, August 13: (Friends Over!) pork chili verde, Mexican-style pinto beans and rice (tortillas on the side), ice cream for the kids and dairy-free blueberry peach cobbler for the adults
Monday, August 14: sweet and sour chicken meatballs with fried rice
Tuesday, August 15: pasta and homemade meat sauce
Wednesday, August 16: roasted pork tenderloin with veggies (so good - we doubled this to eat for the rest of the week, but barely had enough left over)
Thursday, August 17: Refrigerator Clean-out night
Friday, August 18: homemade pizza for the kids, Home Chef for date night (patio BBQ steak sandwich and grilled corn)

Week 8:
Saturday, August 19: panini sandwiches
Sunday, August 20: greek lemon chicken kabobs with homemade tzatziki sauce
Monday, August 21: tacos
Tuesday, August 22: kielbasa pepper pasta
Wednesday, August 23: pasta and homemade meat sauce
Thursday, August 24: roasted pork tenderloin with veggies (again!)
Friday, August 25: grilled cheese sandwiches and chips for the kids, Home Chef for date night (ranch steak and jalapeno popper fritters)

Week 9:
Saturday, August 26: breakfast for dinner - waffles and fruit
Sunday, August 27: homemade personal pizzas
Monday, August 28: pulled pork in the slow cooker (put in sandwiches with coleslaw)
Tuesday, August 29: A Taste of Nigeria: peanut kabobs, jollof rice, virgin chapman cocktails, and gingered pineapple ice cream sundaes
Wednesday, August 30: tacos
Thursday, August 31: pork fried rice (with leftover pork from Monday) and eggrolls

Friday, September 1, 2017

No.25: Our Farmhouse Schoolhouse in Photos (Week 02)


Week two went much more smoothly than the first, praise the Lord!  The big kids are beginning to understand what is expected of them and are generally happy to get to work.  But just like Ana, I'm still pretty frazzled about TJ's "involvement" and his frequent two-year-old trouble making.  Hands down, the hardest part of homeschooling.  

Notes and highlights:

HISTORY

+ After their begging last week, we upped our history to every day.  The Beautiful Feet guide is so gentle at this age that it really doesn't feel like that much more work.  While I read from Leif the Lucky or d'Aulaire's Book of Norwegian Folktales, the boys (and sometimes Sophie) drew and colored pictures I found on the Internet.

+ For M's history, he finished Across Five Aprils.  In terms of pace, the book is much different than what he usually likes to read (Action! Mystery! Fast, fast, fast!), so it took some prodding to get him through.  He really enjoyed watching the animated battles of Antietam and Gettysburg.  He also did his first project from Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself: a lean-to shelter.

K-3 SCIENCE: ZOOLOGY

+ We're really enjoying Sassafras Science!  This week, we read the chapter on the African grasslands and our first two animals there: the lion and the cheetah.  We investigated both animals in our DK Animal Encyclopedia and then made art!  I love that we can take the time to connect the two subjects.  We also watched the first two episodes of Africa's Deadliest on Netflix.  

AFRICAN STUDIES

+ This was probably the highlight of our week!  Our first country was Nigeria.  We found and colored it on our huge wall map, read Master Man: A Tall Tale from Nigeria (BIG hit with the kids!), played a Nigerian strategy game called Dara and had a Nigerian feast!  Our menu consisted of peanut chicken kabobs, jollof rice, virgin Chapman cocktails and pineapple ice cream for dessert.  We even listened to groovy 70's Nigerian music during dinner, which cracked me up.  So random, so awesome.

MATH

+ D (3rd grade) began a section on line segments and angles.  He had some trouble so we played Line Segment Simon Says to reinforce the concept.  


Current 1000 Books Project Total: 27/1000
Poetry Teatime Treat: Blueberry Cake

MOTHER CULTURE & SELF-CARE

+ Exercise: Back to running three days a week!  After a week off, I'm realizing how crucial it is for me if I'm going to do this whole homeschooling thing.  I need that time to be in my own head a bit.
+ Reading: Still working on a few chapters of Anne of Green Gables before bed
+ Fun: Closing Big White Farmhouse on such a high note!  We raised over $500 to donate to the Houston Food Bank.
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