Thursday, November 17, 2016

Free Nature Drawing and Journal Download

We have used the "How Great Thou Art" series in our homeschool in the past.  I love the layout of the books, and how Barry Stebbing breaks down the drawing techniques for children.  Here, available until the end of November, is a Nature Drawing and Journal download for free.

If your homeschool experience is lacking in the area of Art, I highly suggest any of Barry Stebbings products.  He has books available for all age levels.

Click here for the free Nature Drawing and Journal download.


Legacy of King Arthur Freebie... Ends Today!

Here is a nice 10 Lesson character building freebie.  Character building is so important!  As I said in yesterday's post, there is so much more to homeschooling than just text books.  Even if this resource wasn't free today, it looks like something I would probably buy anyway.

Again, I just got this notification in my email last night, and was going get it out quickly, but was having yet more technical problems, which have now been resolved.

Go to The Pumpkin Seed Press for your freebie.  Available for free today!  Let's face it, even if you download it, then find its not for you, nothing is lost, right?  I downloaded mine last night and gave it the once over and can't wait to get started on it.  I plan on building a little mini unit study around it for Isaac.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

It's Not All Textbooks



It has been a while since I posted much about our homeschooling activities.  This year I only have four children at home, which has been interesting.  People keep asking if things have slowed down since 3 area away at college.  Actually, no.  If anything, we are just as busy as always.  I finally figured out it was because the ones who aren't here, are the ones that have the most activities, all dependent upon Mom, of course.  For example, we have two sets of art lessons and music lessons.  Josiah is enrolled in two dual enrollment classes as well.  That requires me ferrying everyone.   I'm not complaining, just pointing out the reality of our life right now.  All that coming and going could very easily be my excuse to stay home the rest of the time because quite frankly, it can be exhausting!  However, I have always been in the camp that believes that there is more to learning than what textbooks have to offer.  To become a well-rounded person, you have to get out there, experience life, broaden those horizons!  Carpe Diem!

So, here are a few of our "Carpe Diem" moments so far this fall.

Since Benjamin is up a Miracle Mountain, we have been a couple times.  The first time for the annual Mud Run.  Benjamin and Josiah both ran in that and we watched while sipping hot chocolate.  The second time was for the Harvest Party. That was so much fun!  LOTS of games and activities, pony rides, trail rides, crafts, and even dressing up for a photo op.  What a fun-filled family day it was. It taught many things: socialization, family fun appreciation, creativity, and balance.

Here Dale is playing Monopoly with the kids in the Cabin at Miracle Mountain.  Josiah is bunking with his big brother in the dorm.  Surely everyone is familiar with the benefits of playing Monopoly, such as strategy and math.

Of course, fall without a leave pile just wouldn't be right!  Here Jerusha is doing a random quality control check on the raking job the boys were doing. This teaches to pay attention to detail.  Like, when its time to pick all those leaves out of your very long and thick hair!

Every year our church has a hay ride for the community.  We also have a bonfire after with roasting marshmallows, making smore's, and eating donuts and drinking cider.  This teaches socialization and how to use your brain and think ahead for crying out loud and wear a coat because it is cold at night here!  (Okay, that may have been a little bit of a mommy rant, sorry!)

I love it when the kids get creative on their own.  Caleb was experimenting with food art last week, and made this creation.  He called it "Jungle Fort".   This teaching them to think outside the box, and to come up with creative solutions to building and design. 

Speaking of art, here is a sample of some recent finishes by Jerusha (red frame) and Isaac (green frame).  Okay, yeah, they may have had a little help from the teacher, but they are still very nice.  This teaches them to take pride in their work, and to do their best since they know I will be putting their work on display.  :)

Ummm.... Tubby checking out my cleaning/organizing job?

I am doing a mini sewing class every other week with a friend.  Here you can see Jerusha and her friend and her mom cleaning their machines. This teaching maintenance and sewing skills. 

Ummm... Tubby again... checking out a caterpillar we found in the office. She didn't know what to make of it, and sniffed at it, then pawed at it.  It rolled around some because it went into a ball in self-defense. 

On days when the weather is cooler and we don't have to run anywhere in the afternoon, we like to have a proper tea.  Jerusha and Caleb set this up for me one day.  This teaches them hospitality and food preparations and presentation. 

Josiah wanted cupcakes for his birthday.  Yes, those are eyeballs made out of gumballs.  This taught generosity, creativity, food preparation, math (we had to double the recipe), and hospitality.

And of course.... applesauce making!  We did 100 quarts in 3 days.  The kids were wonderful and helped the whole time.  Dale did too, stepping in when I had to take Josiah to his dual enrollment classes.  Isn't it pretty?  We got the apples free for the picking from an older couple in our church.

Most parents recognize that there are many different ways for children to learn.  I have found that by experiencing new things, their brains just get a refreshing.   It's like shaking the proverbial cobwebs from your head when you get a little fogged over.  Sometimes it is created from being in a rut, and getting out into the fresh air and doing something OUT of the house is the way to shake things up.  


Monday, November 14, 2016

Some Recent Bargains!

Who doesn't like a good deal?  Especially on a shnazzy looking outfit to wear on "Date Day".  This morning Dale was kind enough to snap these pics before we went out the door so I could share on my blog.  

I know some people don't care for thrift stores, but I love to poke around in them.  True, some things are a undesirable, but I love it when I find something unexpected and it is on sale.  

Excuse the strange expression on my face, and the red eyes.  I think I was saying "Let me know when you are ready to take the pic" and , well, apparently he was!  

The white turtleneck I've had for so long that I didn't count in the cost of the outfit.  The cute argyle sweater was a whopping .49 cent (I just now realized that I don't have a cents sign on my laptop!) at the thrift store.  The skirt was around $2.49, if I remember correctly.

Now just to prove you don't have to only shop of thrift stores and yard sales to get a good deal, these boots I bought brand-spankin'-new at a Payless a couple of weeks ago.  I had to get winter boots for Jerusha and work shoes for Dale.  They were having a sale, and a had a cupon I received in the mail.  The money I saved from the sale and coupon paid for my boots.    Awesome!   It didn't, however pay for the water protection treatment I got to put on the boots, but that wasn't much.

BUT.... the best deal award goes to my husband.  Our big 15 passenger van didn't pass inspection because one of the tread on one of the tires was too low.  After nosing around and making about two dozen phone calls, my husband managed to find a brand new, heavy duty tire for our van.  Usually these tires cost around $200, give or take.  He got it for... drum roll please.... $25!  

Love those bargains!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

I. Need. Tea.

For the past two days I've been wrangling with some technical issues on my blog.  Long story short, I'm trying to do some changing up around here, and I seem to be such a techno-dork that I can't figure the simplest little computer trick.  After two days of these, calls to tech geeks, and questions on different geek squad boards, I'm still nowhere with my issue. I feel like this:

So, after venting to my best friend, and praying with her over my laptop issues, and several others that are weighing on me (car problems, for example), I decided it was time to just drop my technical acrobatics and just get on with my life.  

Enter the tea... nice, calming chamomile tea.  I even have "Anxiety Ease" in the diffuser.  I think from here I will work on some quilting, which brings me to the purpose of this entry.  Time to do a little crafting-catch-up.

I started a sampler class on Craftsy a while ago, and have moved twice since then.  Obviously, that means that the project has gotten put aside.  I finally decided to get it out and try to finish it up this year, at least to the point where I can call it a flimsy.  

Cleopatra's Puzzle Block

Friendship Circle Block

Drunkard's Path Block

Below is a snuggle quilt I just finished up... mark one off the UFO list!

 This is a custom FMG attempt on a WIP just for fun!

Fun Fact:  November 8th here was so warm I hung laundry out.  In North-Western PA.!

Okay, finishing up my tea and treating myself to some more quilting time.


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Homeschooling on a Shoestring

Sometimes families have to get a little... "creative" ... when raising children. Large family, medium family, or small, we all have our financial limitations. I think I can speak for a lot of home schooling families that even though we try and do as much as we can electronically, we still have a lot of copying to do. Recently, we had to replace the toner cartridge for our laser printer. My husband, who is our chief researcher on such things and got the following product online. Replacing the ink and toner can get very expensive. He has tried several strategies for the ink, each working to varying degrees. I'll post more about that another time. However, our best find recently was for the toner..

Feel free to click on the above affiliate link for easy access to the toner.   So far it is working very well!

Disclaimer:  Amazon's prices do change without notice.  When we bought the above product it was $17.50.  I just checked, and it is now $42!  Always check the price of your product before purchasing.

Whew! Lots of Hard Work

Yup, made it even though that Lit Theory class was a doozy!

Time for some chocoloate!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I don't usually get into all the political stuff.  I don't debate, because I fail to see any edifying properties as a result.  I do make up my own mind, and I do vote.  I encourage you to do the same.  I also encourage my children... all ages... to do likewise.  Even if they aren't voting age yet, it is good for them to be aware of our country's politics.  Granted, some of my children won't be able to grasp the finer points of it all, since they are younger.  But, apparently enough is seeping through.

During breakfast this morning we were talking about Election Day tomorrow.  And Isaac, out of the blue came out with his opinion.  I videoed it, after asking him if he minded being on record for his opinion.  My 7 year old says.... (and the question prompts are mine, yes, but he had already stated his opinion a few minutes before without any prompting):

I'm not trying to offend anyone here, but the point of this is that you are never too young, or too old, to get involved and vote.  So,....