Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I'm moving!

I do not really have time to keep up 2 blogs....SO I'm combining my blogs into one.  Please come on over to Reflections in the Window to read about homeschooling and life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pioneer life

A big part of pioneer life was the food. Where would it come from, would we go hungry, is there enough ect. Grains played a big part in the diet of pioneer families. To go along with our Little House on the Prairie study we bought a Grains unit study from Marmee Dear Co. The study covers a bunch of different grains, rice, wheat, Kamut, rye, triticale, spelt, barley, oats, buckwheat, flax, corn, amaranth, quinoa, millet and teff. Some of these I have never heard of let along tried. But I did notice that our local Mennonite store has most if not all of these. We have tried rye, wheat, spelt, barley, oats and flax. I must admit I feel much better after introducing these into many of my baked items.

After a short lesson on the grain of the day we went to the Bible to see how many verses on bread, baking and food we could find. Below is a list of what we found: I have used many versions to find these.


Gen. 14:18
Gen. 47:12-13
1 Sam. 16:20
1 Sam. 21:6
1 Sam. 25:18
1 Kings 17:6
2 Kings 4:42
Nehemiah 10:37
Psalm 80:5
Psalm 102:9
Psalm 104:15
Hosea 7:8
Matthew 6:11
Matthew 26:26
Mark 14:22
1 Cor. 11:23-26
Luke 6:4


Gen. 18:6
Gen. 40:1
Jer. 37:21
Hosea 7:4
Exodus 16:23
Lev. 2:4
Lev. 26:26
1 Kings 19:6
Matthew 13:33

Food: just a few because there are A LOT of verses in the Bible on food.

Gen. 1:11-12
Gen. 9:3
Judges 7:13-15
Psalm 78:25
Lamentations 5:9

I really enjoy turning all of our studies to Christ. Isn't that one main reason we are home schooling our children? Point them to Christ. We bought the book:" Where to Find it in the Bible: the ultimate A-Z resource" by Ken Anderson. I must tell you I am so glad we bought this book. No matter what the subject we are studying I can open this and it will point me to a scripture passage to use. Many times it is more than one. We bought this book at Dollar General for $5.00!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sorry I've been away....

I've neglected this blog for a bit. I'm sorry about that. It has been a very crazy few weeks. We were away for a weekend, had a sewer problem here at the house, my Husband was up for a promotion at work and did not get the position, 15 year old is rebelling against everything (I think if I said the sky is blue she would say NO....its red LOL!), I was on my way to my scrapbooking club and the tire blew on the car...uggggh! Then we found out we needed new brakes on the back of the car....not cheep. Honestly I had in the past few weeks lost the desire to homeschool. I battled with such guilt over this. That is when I just put all the workbooks away and we have done some fun stuff centered around autumn. I have really enjoyed it. I have worked in math, language arts and writing in these. It has been great because the kids do not even know they are doing these "boring" subjects. Why is it we sometimes feel the need to "conform" our children to the school's way of teaching???

So anyway, I'm hoping to get everything caught up tomorrow....I'll be all alone in the house in the morning....but I'm not promising anything. :-)

I'll leave you with this wonderful unit study from The Old School House magazine. You will find it on the side bar. I'm so excited to do this study. We have just finished the book Little House in the Big Woods and the final chapters are all about the harvest.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Great pioneer websites

Since we are on a very limited budget for school curriculum I thought I'd share exactly what we use. The majority of the items we use for our home school are free!! I do a lot of research ahead of time to gather materials on the web or at the library. Here are a few of those resources I have found to go along with our school. This year we bought the Prairie Primer, and a number of workbooks for seat work. I work very hard at keeping our school cost to below $200 for all 3 per year. So far over the last 4 years I've succeeded.

I did a search on Pioneer Life and came up with a wonderful website all about pioneer life. This site is stuffed full of anything and everything you will ever want for a study of pioneer life. It includes crafts, cooking, and much more.

My husband and son built us a fire pit out in our backyard. I am excited about getting the chance to cook over the fire very soon. I will post about our experience doing this.

Another great resource is "The Young Man's Handybook" by Gail Kappenman and Martha Greene. Although it is written to prepare boys for life, we have used it for the whole family. There are a number of fun projects in the book from kitchen adventures to managing your money. If you have never heard of Martha Greene, click on the link and visit the website. You will be SO blessed by all the wonderful and affordable products there to make your life so much simpler.

Another major resource we use is our library. We are blessed to have a library system here that is very home school friendly. They have put together learning kits for us. They are all placed in a large bag and labeled according to what the topic is. Each library in the county has a different subject, science, history, math, language arts ect. We are able to borrow from any or all of the libraries. So utilize your local library system. You will also meet many home schoolers this way as well.

It may take more time using this approach to homeschooling, but I love it. Besides I am learning so many new things this way. If I am excited about a topic my children will be as well.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Little House on the Prairie

We are REALLY enjoying our curriculum this year! I highly recommend it to anyone still looking for a curriculum this year.

I know it has been a while since I've posts our progress but we have had a crazy month! We have been busy every week. So I'll try and get you caught up on what we've done this month.

We studied owls, where they live, what they eat, and how they act. Since we live right across from a nature center we went outside after dark and listened to the different sounds in the woods. My husband is a great outdoors man and was able to imitate an owl and call an owl in to our tree. The children were thrilled at the fact an owl was in our tree right above our deck!!

We used many library books and some Internet sources to round out our study of owls.
Some Internet are:
My Owls of the World
National Geographic Kids

Books from the library:
"Owls: flat-faced flyers"
"Barn Owls"
"The book of North American Owls"

Our library also has a homeschool section and we used the Pioneer Life kit. We are very fortunate to live in an area with a large amount of homeschoolers.

We have also learned how rust forms. What is it? How does it form? What are the causes? Does it form on everything?

The kids wrote in their notebooks what they thought would happen to a nail we placed in water for a week. (I wanted to make sure it rusted!) We read a few books about rust and what different things rust.

Well that about does it. I promise to keep this more updated. The computer is very busy at our house with my husband's online classes. But keep coming back, I plan on taking more pictures to go along with our studies.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Week 1

This week was very exciting for us in many ways! We started our 4th year of home schooling, which I must say will probably be my favorite one of all! We were able to meet Karen Grassle on Saturday! She was the woman who played Ma on the series "Little House on the Prairie". We went to the Genesee Country Museum near our home for Laura Ingalls Wilder Day. We had such a wonderful week I'm not sure how to top it!

Tuesday we made home made butter, Wednesday we made our home blessing schedule. We took exactly what was in the book and set it as our schedule. Of course we have changed it some to match today.
Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
REST on Sunday
Thursday we learned about 1800's family Christmas gatherings. The children were just amazed at how excited Laura and Mary were to just get 2 gifts for Christmas. We talked about how materialistic modern children can be with the I wants! I gave the children a number of things to think about with the upcoming holidays. First I asked them to think of the real reason for Christmas. Not only that Jesus was born but that he came to save us! What a gift he has given us. Second was that there are still many children in the world and this country that do not get any gifts for Christmas. They all agreed that they wanted to give up a gift and send to someone in need. So this year we will be taking an angel off the tree in town and buying for another child. I was very touched by their excitement!!
This leads me to Saturday!! Below I will share many pictures of our travel back to the days of Laura Ingalls Wilder. ENJOY!!
Katrina washing clothes. She has decided she wants us to get rid of our washer and dryer and do laundry this way from now on. That would last about a day! LOL!
Andrew wasn't so sure about doing the laundry. It took some convincing to get him in there to try it. Doesn't he look thrilled??

Hannah was so excited about learning how they did things in Laura's day. She loves Little House. The bonnet she has on is something she has had for a while. She wears it everywhere, even Church!

This is Karen Grassle, who played "Ma" on the series Little House on the Prairie. She is a very soft spoken woman. She is kind and down to earth. Although, she admits to being a feminist, I really enjoyed listening to her speak. She talked for about 20 minutes about how she was cast into the roll of Ma. She was asked to come in for an interview with Michael Landon to read for him. After she did he was very excited to give her the roll right on the spot. Then she opened up the floor and took questions from people. Some questions she graciously refused to answer, but I do not blame her because I couldn't believe someone would ask her, "Who did you not like on the set of Little House?" She also said she was nothing like Ma, but she does have the grace of her! This woman is a direct descendant of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her Great Grandfather was Charles Ingalls. She just happened by the museum on a bus tour the day before and one of her family members brought her back for the day. Wonderful lady. Next it was onto making ice cream. The children were able to turn the crank and see how the ice cream was formed. Then we were able to sample it. But because of NYS laws we had to sample some made in the museum kitchen by "professionals". It still tasted very good!!

We then moved on to the baseball field. Where we enjoyed a 19th century baseball game. It was great because Friday nite we went to a modern baseball game with our church. Andrew loved watching it and seeing how different it was from today's baseball. One thing he noticed was that they didn't use gloves in the 19th century because the ball was much softer. They also pitched underhand, like in softball of today.

There are SO many more pictures, but I need to get some work done. So I promise I'll post them later! If you are ever in the Rochester, NY area please do not miss this museum!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Off to a great start!

We are off to a great start this year. As I mentioned we are using the Prairie Primer this year as our history, geography, and science. I love the way you can incorporate many different ages as well as learning styles.

The first book we are reading is "Little House in the Big Woods". The first few chapters had some details in it that the girls did not really care for, butchering a pig. Andrew on the other hand loved every minute of it....and he was worried there would nothing in it that was interesting. In the first few chapters it talked about bears and owls. So we read a couple of books about them. The books we have read so far are:

"Baby Bears and How they grow" by Jane Heath Buxton
"The way of the Grizzly" by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
"Owls:Flat Faced Flyers" by Adele D. Richardson
"Barn Owls" by Patrica Whitehouse

For our science activity yesterday we made home made butter. This was somthing the children loved doing!! We bought heavy cream, put it into a mason jar, placed the top on it and shook it for a long time. The children got a taste of how hard it really was to produce the food that we take for granted now a days.I placed a plastic baggie over the top of the jar just incase. Have the children shake the jar until a solid lump starts to form. This takes a long time.
Then pour the butter into a strainer, be sure to save the buttermilk to use in baking. We saved it and made biscuits last night. The kids really enjoyed making this. It tasted so good!!