Friday, May 29, 2015

Our Weekly Wrap-Up

Well another week has flown by! We are doing a happy dance that school is almost done.


On our little farm....baby chicks! we now have 16 baby chicks that have hatched. We still have 3 more to go. Our latest chick, who we named Sweet Pea, has hatched all by her self. She has no buddies.




Our first batch had 7 that hatched together, while Sunny's bunch hatched 8 withing 3 days. She left the four remaining eggs, so we brought them in to place in the incubator. Sweet Pea is the first to hatch from the eggs Sunny abandoned. She has taken us on as her mamas. She loves to sit on our shoulders. She chirps extremely loudly of she is left alone. She prefers to sleep curled up under our chins. I think she likes feeling/hearing our heartbeat. Princess P takes her to her room and she follows her around. We tried introducing her to Sunny and her chicks outside, but she is so slow and can't keep up with them. She immediately searchers for us and hops back to our feet. I have a feeling she is going to be a special chicken in this household.







In our school.....We are almost done with this year's lessons!!!!! We are finishing up history and science. All the other subjects have been completed. We will continue on with math through out the summer. We will add a few unit studies in there too. I am preparing our lessons for next year. I love planning the lesson. I honestly believe I enjoy the planning more than the actual schooling. I always get excited about all the fun stuff I find to do with the kids.
The kids tests are ordered, so we will be doing them soon.

What I am feeling....Our homeschooling years have flown by. It feels like I just started with Lego Man. It's hard to believe we completed our 8th year. It really doesn't feel like we have been doing it for that long. It doesn't feel possible that I'll have a young man heading into 6th/7th grade and my baby (she hates when I call her that) will be doing her last year of  the lower grades. How did I get old enough to have kids entering their teens. A few weeks ago at church, my 17 year old aid was mistaken as my daughter. I was shocked at first. I don't feel that old. She is a lovely young lady and I would be proud to call her my daughter. I just didn't think I looked old enough to have a child that old. Sure, it really is possible. It just seems like I was 16 a few years ago. Time really does go by too fast!

On our life......Well all animals are healthy. The dog is healed from her attack wounds. We have successfully healed 2 cats from wounds they received from a stray cat in our area. Mama Kitty really doesn't understand why anyone would want to hurt her.


Hope you had a wonderful week!


Till next time,
~Monique


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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Traveling Thursdays~Frontier Museum The Old World

During our Easter break, we headed out of town for a small get away. On our little getaway, we visited the Frontier Museum. The kids and I had been there before and really enjoyed it. This trip, we had more time so we were able to visit the Old World (Europe and Africa) and the New World.
I love the hands-on learning this museum provides for kids and families.

First, we started with Africa.


We were able to explore the homes of the husband, the 1st wife, and the 2nd wife. We watched as workers repaired a straw roof. The kids looked at traditional household items, like pots and utensils.



We walked around the garden area and saw goats that would have provided for the family.


He seemed to be enjoying the warm sunshine.


After a short trip to Africa, we header to Europe. Here we were able to see homes from England, Ireland, and Germany. All the homes are original. They were painstakingly taken apart in Europe and brought to the United States and reassembled for this museum.


Our first country was England! Here we visited with a family getting ready for spring.


We jumped right in and started helping with tilling the soil. Nothing new to our kids.






The kids got a chance to dye Easter eggs with natural dyes.The purple eggs are from a crushed up beetle. The golden brown colored egg is from onions.


We visited with the sheep.





After helping out at the English farm, we headed to Ireland.


Here we visited the blacksmith shop, saw some ducks, and a sweet cat napping on a chair next to a warm fire.




After a quick stop in Ireland, we headed to Germany. Here we saw a variety of items from Germany. 

A mouse catcher. Yuck! Thankfully the job of cleaning this contraption out usually belonged to the youngest child. Princess P was not too thrilled to hear that!


A child's wooden hobby horse.


A wooden clapper was out on the table during this time. It was used during the three days of the passion of Christ. Starting Holy Thursday, bells in churches wouldn't ring, so instead of ringing the bells during the consecration of the Eucharist, the altar servers would use the clapper. The bells would ring again on Easter Sunday! You can read more about it here.



We were even given a chance to look at a 200 year old Bible. It was in wonderful condition. Of course, since I don't read German, we weren't able to read the Bible. While visiting the German home, I was thrilled how the gentleman there was able to talk about how Catholic Germans homes would have been slightly different. He talked about how they would have had an altar instead of a prayer cabinet. He discussed various difference between a Protestant home and a Catholic home. 
It was wonderful for the kids to be able to learn about some of their German heritage.


I really enjoyed visiting the old world section. It reminded my of the days when I traveled through Europe. Hopefully one day the kids will get to visit Europe themselves.

Stay tuned for next weeks adventure to the New World at the Frontier Museum.



Till next time, 
~Monique

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wordless Wednesday~ The Roaming Chickens

Mama and her baby chicks!





Till next time,
 ~Monique



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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Review for Lewis and Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea Unit Study from Homeschool Legacy

This year, we have been studying early American history with our Classically Catholic Memory curriculum. Part of our study this year has been learning about Lewis and Clark. When we were given the chance to review Lewis & Clark: From Sea to Shining Sea from Homeschool Legacy we were thrilled. It fit perfectly into our lesson plans. Homeschool Legacy provides once-a-week unit studies for kids in grades 2nd-12th grades.


Homeschool Legacy Review

So how does it work?

Well, this unit study is a little different than other unit studies we have used in the past. This one is only done ONCE- A-WEEK! Simple and easy. You can add it on to any homeschooling curriculum. Each week, the students get to focus on a different topic. 
Once-a-week unit studies are very easy to use. There is almost no prep work for parents. Mrs. Sharon Gibson has thought of it all. She has even included a book list with their information for the Dewey decimal system. Since the unit studies are geared for grades 2-12, everyone can get in on the fun. They provide children with wonderful hands-on experiences, fun crafts, projects to do, and field trip ideas for families. They include a variety of subjects while focusing on one topic.  Art, bible, art appreciation, music appreciation, life skills, geography, science, history, and literature. It's an all in one lesson! What a wonderful way to encourage children to apply the knowledge they learn. 
Real life learning at its best!
Our kids are not part of the Boy Scouts or American Heritage Girls, but the unit studies are prepared with them in mind. If your kids are in one of these groups, Mrs. Gibson has included how the unit study corresponds with earning certain badges. As the children work through the unit study,  they will be working on completing the requirements to earning their badges. Isn't that fantastic?
Mrs. Gibson recommends setting Wednesday aside for your unit study day. She suggest Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to be reading days. Friday will be a reading day, field trip day based on your unit study, and a family game night based on your unit study. You can choose to do it the way she suggest or you can work to fit it into your schedule. Whatever works best for you! Juggle it around to figure out how to make the most out of the once-a-week unit study. We found Thursdays worked best for us. You just need to make sure you set one day aside for your unit study.


Our Lewis and Clark Unit Study

LEWIS and CLARK From SEA to Shining SEA is a once-a-week unit study that focuses on the history time period of Lewis and Clark. It is a wonderful unit study that is great for teaching children history in a fun way. This unit study is used for 7 weeks.  


During our 7 weeks of study, we focused on the following topics.

Week 1~ New France
Week 2~ Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the Louisiana Purchase
Week 3~Fixing for a Start
Week 4~ Sacajawea Joins the Corps!
Week 5~ Trials and Tribulations
Week 6~ Ocean in View! Oh the Joy!
Week 7~ Homeward Bound!

Each week, we jumped into the journey. We traveled from New France (Canada), to France, and ended up in North America. We learned about beavers, tracking animals, early French explores, Versailles, Napoleon, Thomas Jefferson, Sacajawea, the journey, and of course Lewis an Clark.

Before the start of the week, I would read over that weeks lesson. We would head to the library to pick out the books we needed. I would try to prepare the supplies needed and get everything ready for that week. The last thing you want to do is realize you don't have what you need. I love how a "cheat sheet" is included at the beginning of each week. It fills you in on what supplies you need, what projects the kids will work on, what you will be reading about, and ideas for daily activities.



Each week, the kids would pick out a book or two to read that week. It was extremely helpful to have the book list already compiled for you. We had a few times when our library didn't have the books suggested. During those times, I just did a search at our local library to see what our library had. Our library tended to have most of the younger children's selections. The suggestions for the older kids were a little more difficult to find in our library. The kids would read through their selections.

On Thursday, we would follow the lesson plan. We would discuss our readings. We then would work on the daily activities. We'd work through the lessons dealing with the bible, history, science, etc. Each week would add something new. There are so many suggestions! There are fun craft ideas, like making a animal track. Links are included to various sites so kids can take tours of places like Versailles. You will definitely have plenty of options to choose from. Everyone will find something they like and enjoy doing.

On Fridays, we would head out for our field trips. Living in a rural area we had a lot of fun places we could explore just like Lewis and Clark.



We were lucky enough to find a deer track in the yard.

The Lewis and Clark unit study is filled with so much. I could go on for days! We all know you and I just don't have that much time. So if you are learning about Lewis and Clark, I would highly suggest you check out Mrs. Gibson's unit study. I promise you will not be disappointed. 

Learning about a different topic, head on over to Homeschool Legacy and see all that they have to offer!


Homeschool Legacy Review



You can also check out their other socaial media sites.


and for more reviews......

Homeschool Legacy Review



As always thanks for stopping by!


Till next time,
~Monique

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review for the Flight and Metamorphosis DVDS


FishFlix.com Review


I am very excited to tell you about two amazing Dvds from FishFlix.com.  Fish Flix is an amazing company that produces Christian films for the whole family.
We got to preview Flight The Genesis of Birds





and Metamorphosis The Beauty and Design of Butterflies.

FishFlix.com Review


I received copies of both of these films for my review for the Schoolhouse Review Crew.
I knew immediately that Lego Man was going to love watching these two movies. He loves anything dealing with nature. As soon as we received the Dvds in the mail, he was ready to sit down and watch them.


Metamorphosis The Beauty and Design of Butterflies



The first movie we watched was Metamorphosis The Beauty and Design of Butterflies. The movie is a wonderful look into the world of butterflies. It runs 64 minutes. The photography is breathtaking. The colors are beautiful!

The movie dives into the magical and mysterious world of butterflies. You'll travel to the lush, green rain forests of Ecuador and into Mexico's trans volcanic mountains. You'll follow the Monarch on there migration journey. The documentary follows the life of the butterfly. Through photography, computer animation, and magnetic resonance, you will get to step into the hidden world of the butterfly. During the movie, you will see and learn about every stage of the butterflies life~ from a tiny egg on a leaf to the emerging spectacular butterflies we see flying in the air. 

This documentary is a great way for children to be introduced to the world of butterflies. The movie is a little over an hour. My kids enjoyed the photography, they felt the movie moved a little slowly. Some of the language used was a little above them. My youngest is 9 and she did seem to lose her focus with this film. I think maybe breaking the movie up into various viewing times might help younger kids stay focused and into the film. I think older kids will be fine with the movie. I found the movie wonderfully done. I really enjoyed the beauty of the photography. The images were incredible. We saw so many colorful butterflies that we have never seen before. 

The kids really enjoyed the section of the movie where they discussed the migration of the Monarch butterfly. Seeing trees completely covered with butterflies is awe inspiring! Now they want to plant some Milkweed.

This movie would be a great way to start a unit study on butterflies.
Something fun to do would be to visit a butterfly garden after viewing the film!

The best part of the film was how the scientist never tried to deny the beauty that God created. So often when viewing a scientific film, God's creation is always left out. When we look  out into the world and see all the wondrous things there, how can we deny the reality of God?



Flight The Genius of Birds



The second film we watched was Flight The Genius of Birds. This film was our favorite. Flight The Genius of Birds is part of Illustra Media's new series The Design of Life. This series explores different areas of the animal kingdom around us. Flight The Genius of Birds looks at the bird kingdom. The film runs 63 minutes and is filled with amazing photography! 

During the film, we were transported to North America, England, Peru, Greenland, and even Antarctica. The film explores the thrilling world of birds. We learned about how the bird's anatomy works and how their instincts influence their journeys. We were introduced to a variety of birds...Hummingbirds, Starlings, Chickens, and Arctic Terns. The children LOVED this film. We learned so much on how amazing birds truly are. After viewing this film, there is no way you can doubt the existence of our creator. God made birds and their creation is absolutely breathtaking. It truly is a miracle that they can even fly. No amount of science can fully explain this. It can only be explained by God's creation. It transcends the natural world.

We loved how the film was broken up into different sections. The film documented various birds. The Hummingbirds were first. They are amazing little birds. We love seeing them every summer at our house. We often have to rescue them from becoming trapped on our porch. Lego Man has even found a tiny nest of theirs. The film introduced us to a variety of Hummingbirds. We didn't know they came in so many colors. There are even rainbow hummingbirds. Princess P has googled Hummingbirds and have saved pictures of them to her tablet to keep as screen savers. I loved the the Hummingbird in the movie that looked like she was wearing a bright purple crown.

After learning about Hummingbirds, we learned about chickens and the process of how chicks began to grow in the egg. The film went into detail about how the birds start to grow from the first day of fertilization. We found this section of the movie fascinating. We had baby chicks hatch 2 weeks ago, so this was a great science lesson on what the eggs were doing before we received this sweet, fuzzy babies.


We are still waiting for 6 more to hatch, so now they kids know what is going on behind that tan shell.

Next, we headed off to England to look at Starlings. This part was great. The patterns the Starlings formed were incredible. It's crazy how they all seem to work together. How they don't run into each other is a question only God can answer. I have a hard enough time trying to walk in a straight line and not run into the person next to me. We were lucky enough last fall to have a flock of Starlings invade our back yard. We sat out on our porch and viewed their incredible dance in the air, even the cats sat wan watched in wonder.

The final area the film looks at are the Arctic Terns. These birds complete the longest migration of all birds. How they can travel that far and Know how to complete the journey is a marvel of nature. It was impressive how they learned the pattern of their flight.

After viewing the Flight The Genius of Birds movie, we are really looking forward to seeing more of the movies in this series. I think they are a great way to introduce kids to the world around them. They can learn more about various animals in the animal kingdom. The films are beautifully done. The photography is breathtaking.  It really is the next best thing if you can't get out and see them in real life. The films are very well done.

Want to learn more about Fish Flix and all of their Christ centered films?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fishflix
Twitter: https://twitter.com/christiandvd
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fishflix/
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Fishflix/ 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/familychristianmovie



FishFlix.com Review




Till next time,
~Monique





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Monday, May 18, 2015

Happy Homemaker Monday!




It's been awhile since I joined Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. If you've never stopped by, I would highly suggest you do. She is a wonderful lady and has some amazing recipes!


As I look out my window..... I see an overcast sky threatening to pour out rain. I was really hoping for bright, sunny skies so I could hang out the wash. We finally had to turn on the air. The humidity just got too bad. The poor dog was ready to collapse from heat stroke.



Right now......I am sitting on the couch enjoying my morning cup of coffee listening to the rambunctious, little chicks chirping in the house. Our 7 little chicks are all doing fine. They have grown so much!




Big Mama is sitting on 11 more eggs. Two chicks hatched yesterday. We are now waiting to see if the other 9 will produce sweet, baby chicks.




What's for breakfast this morning.... Coffee and farm fresh eggs.

As I look around the house.... I see we need to vacuum. With the temps getting warmer, all the animals are shedding like crazy.

On my to do list this week..... After last weeks busyness, I am looking forward to staying home and doing laundry. We do have to go to the library, but it seems like we have to do that every week anyway. We didn't go last week, so I guess we are are on our schedule.

Currently reading...... Nothing right now. I am currently working on lesson plans for next year. That will keep me busy for a couple of weeks.


What's on the menu this week....
Sunday~ Leftovers and anything easy after working on the garden
Monday~ Grilled Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans
Tuesday~ Spaghetti and Meatballs
Wednesday~
Thursday~
Friday~
Saturday~

I've only gotten to Tuesday. I need to see what we have in the house and figure out menus for the next few weeks.




Till next time,
 ~Monique


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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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